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Chapter 7. Administering File Systems

A file system is a structure of directories used to locate and store files. The term file system is used in several different ways.

  • To describe the entire file tree from the root directory downward.

  • To describe a particular type of file system: disk based, network based, or virtual.

  • To describe the data structure of a disk slice or other media storage device.

  • To describe a portion of a file tree structure that is attached to a mount point on the main file tree so that a portion is accessible.

Usually, you can tell from context which meaning is intended.

The Solaris system software uses the virtual file system (VFS) architecture, which provides a standard interface for different file system types. The kernel handles basic operationsósuch as reading, writing, and listing filesówithout requiring the user or program to know about the underlying file system type.

The file system administrative commands provide a common interface that enables you to maintain file systems of different types. These commands have two components: a generic component and a component specific to each type of file system. The generic commands apply to most types of file systems; the specific commands apply to only one type of file system.

Administering the Solaris file system is one of your most important system administration tasks. The file system story is a complex one, and understanding it can help you more effectively administer file systems. This chapter describes the following topics.

  • The types of file systems.

  • The default Solaris file system.

  • The virtual file system table (/etc/vfstab).

  • The file system administrative commands.

  • Making local and remote files available to users.

  • Backing up and restoring file systems.

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