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Modern Operating Systems by Herbert Bos and Andrew...
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Modern Operating Systems by Herbert...
Modern_Operating_Systems_by_Herbert_Bos_and_Andrew_S._Tanenbaum_4th_Ed.pdf-M ODERN O PERATING S YSTEMS
Page 823
CHAP. 10
scheme also reduces fragmentation for large files. As a result, ext4 can provide
faster file system operations and support larger files and file system sizes. For
instance, for a block size of 1 KB, ext4 increases the maximum file size from 16
GB to 16 TB, and the maximum file system size to 1 EB (Exabyte).
The /proc File System
Another Linux file system is the
(process) file system, an idea originally
devised in the 8th edition of UNIX from Bell Labs and later copied in 4.4BSD and
System V.
However, Linux extends the idea in several ways. The basic concept is
that for every process in the system, a directory is created in
The name of
the directory is the process PID expressed as a decimal number.
For example,
is the directory corresponding to the process with PID 619.
In this direc-
tory are files that appear to contain information about the process, such as its com-
mand line, environment strings, and signal masks.
In fact, these files do not exist
on the disk.
When they are read, the system retrieves the information from the ac-
tual process as needed and returns it in a standard format.
Many of the Linux extensions relate to other files and directories located in
They contain a wide variety of information about the CPU, disk partitions,
devices, interrupt vectors, kernel counters, file systems, loaded modules, and much
more. Unprivileged user programs may read much of this information to learn
about system behavior in a safe way. Some of these files may be written to in order
to change system parameters.
10.6.4 NFS: The Network File System
Networking has played a major role in Linux, and UNIX in general, right from
the beginning (the first UNIX network was built to move new kernels from the
PDP-11/70 to the Interdata 8/32 during the port to the latter).
In this section we
will examine Sun Microsystem’s
Network File System
), which is used on
all modern Linux systems to join the file systems on separate computers into one
logical whole. Currently, the dominant NSF implementation is version 3, intro-
duced in 1994.
NSFv4 was introduced in 2000 and provides several enhancements
over the previous NFS architecture. Three aspects of NFS are of interest: the archi-
tecture, the protocol, and the implementation.
We will now examine these in turn,
first in the context of the simpler NFS version 3, then we will turn to the enhance-
ments included in v4.
NFS Architecture
The basic idea behind NFS is to allow an arbitrary collection of clients and ser-
vers to share a common file system.
In many cases, all the clients and servers are
on the same LAN, but this is not required.
It is also possible to run NFS over a

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