The following lists identify, characterize, and link to more thorough information on Computer file systems. Many older operating systems support only their one "native" file system, which does not bear any name apart from the name of the operating system itself.

Disk file systems

Disk file systems are usually block-oriented. Files in a block-oriented file system are sequences of blocks, often featuring fully random-access read, write, and modify operations.

File systems with built-in fault-tolerance

These file systems have built-in checksumming and either mirroring or parity for extra redundancy on one or several block devices:

File systems optimized for flash memory, solid state media

Main article: Flash file system

Solid state media, such as flash memory, are similar to disks in their interfaces, but have different problems. At low level, they require special handling such as wear leveling and different error detection and correction algorithms. Typically a device such as a solid-state drive handles such operations internally and therefore a regular file system can be used. However, for certain specialized installations (embedded systems, industrial applications) a file system optimized for plain flash memory is advantageous.

Record-oriented file systems

In record-oriented file systems files are stored as a collection of records. They are typically associated with mainframe and minicomputer operating systems. Programs read and write whole records, rather than bytes or arbitrary byte ranges, and can seek to a record boundary but not within records. The more sophisticated record-oriented file systems have more in common with simple databases than with other file systems.

Shared-disk file systems

Shared-disk file systems (also called shared-storage file systems, SAN file system, Clustered file system or even cluster file systems) are primarily used in a storage area network where all nodes directly access the block storage where the file system is located. This makes it possible for nodes to fail without affecting access to the file system from the other nodes. Shared-disk file systems are normally used in a high-availability cluster together with storage on hardware RAID. Shared-disk file systems normally do not scale over 64 or 128 nodes.

Shared-disk file systems may be symmetric where metadata is distributed among the nodes or asymmetric with centralized metadata servers.

Distributed file systems

See also: Comparison of distributed file systems

Distributed file systems are also called network file systems. Many implementations have been made, they are location dependent and they have access control lists (ACLs), unless otherwise stated below.

Distributed fault-tolerant file systems

Distributed fault-tolerant replication of data between nodes (between servers or servers/clients) for high availability and offline (disconnected) operation.

Distributed parallel file systems

Distributed parallel file systems stripe data over multiple servers for high performance. They are normally used in high-performance computing (HPC).

Some of the distributed parallel file systems use an object storage device (OSD) (in Lustre called OST) for chunks of data together with centralized metadata servers.

Distributed parallel fault-tolerant file systems

Distributed file systems, which also are parallel and fault tolerant, stripe and replicate data over multiple servers for high performance and to maintain data integrity. Even if a server fails no data is lost. The file systems are used in both high-performance computing (HPC) and high-availability clusters.

All file systems listed here focus on high availability, scalability and high performance unless otherwise stated below.

Name By License OS Description
Alluxio UC Berkeley, Alluxio Apache License cross-platform An open-source virtual distributed file system (VDFS).
BeeGFS (formerly FhGFS) Fraunhofer Society GNU GPL v2 for client, other components are proprietary Linux A free to use file system with optional professional support, designed for easy usage and high performance, used on some of the fastest computer clusters in the world. BeeGFS allows replication of storage volumes with automatic failover and self-healing.
CephFS Inktank Storage, a company acquired by Red Hat GNU LGPL Linux kernel, FreeBSD via FUSE[21] A massively scalable object store. CephFS was merged into the Linux kernel in 2010. Ceph's foundation is the reliable autonomic distributed object store (RADOS), which provides object storage via programmatic interface and S3 or Swift REST APIs, block storage to QEMU/KVM/Linux hosts, and POSIX filesystem storage which can be mounted by Linux kernel and FUSE clients.
Chiron FS GNU GPL v3 It's a FUSE-based, transparent replication file system, layering on an existing file system and implementing at the file system level what RAID 1 does at the device level. A notably convenient consequence is the possibility of picking single target directories, without the need of replicating entire partitions. (The project has no visible activity after 2008, a status request in Oct. 2009 in the chironfs-forum is unanswered.)
CloudStore Kosmix Apache License Google File System workalike. Replaced by Quantcast File System (QFS)
dCache DESY and others proprietary (Free for non-commercial usage)[22] A write once filesystem, accessible via various protocols.
General Parallel File System (GPFS) IBM Proprietary AIX, Linux and Windows Support synchronous replication between attached block storage, and asynchronous replication to remote filesystems. Also support erasure coding on dual homed SAS attached storage, and distributed over multiple storage nodes.
Gfarm file system Asia Pacific Grid X11 License Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD and Solaris Uses OpenLDAP or PostgreSQL for metadata and FUSE or LUFS for mounting.
GlusterFS Gluster, a company acquired by Red Hat GNU GPL v3 Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris A general purpose distributed file system for scalable storage. It aggregates various storage bricks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect into one large parallel network file system. GlusterFS is the main component in Red Hat Storage Server.
Google File System (GFS) Google internal software Focus on fault tolerance, high throughput and scalability.
Hadoop Distributed File System Apache Software Foundation Apache License Cross-platform Open source GoogleFS clone.
IBRIX Fusion IBRIX Proprietary
JuiceFS Juicedata GNU AGPLv3 cross-platform An open-source POSIX-compliant file system built on top of Redis and object storage (e.g. Amazon S3), designed and optimized for cloud native environment.
LizardFS Skytechnology GNU GPL v3 cross-platform An open source, highly available POSIX-compliant file system that supports Windows clients.
Lustre originally developed by Cluster File Systems and currently supported by OpenSFS GNU GPL v2 & LGPL Linux A POSIX-compliant, high-performance filesystem used on a majority of systems in the Top-500 list of HPC systems. Lustre has high availability via storage failover.
MapR FS MapR Proprietary Linux Highly scalable, POSIX compliant, fault tolerant, read/write filesystem with a distributed, fault tolerant metadata service. It provides an HDFS and NFS interface to clients as well as a noSQL table interface and Apache Kafka compatible messaging system.
MooseFS Core Technology GNU GPL v2 and proprietary[23] cross-platform (Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, macOS, OpenSolaris) A fault tolerant, highly available and high performance scale-out network distributed file system. It spreads data over several physical commodity x86 servers, which are visible to the user as one namespace. For standard file operations MooseFS acts like any other Unix-like file systems.
ObjectiveFS Objective Security Corporation Proprietary Linux, macOS POSIX-compliant shared distributed filesystem. Uses object store as a backend. Runs on AWS S3, GCS and object store devices.
OneFS distributed file system Isilon Proprietary[24] FreeBSD BSD-based OS on dedicated Intel based hardware, serving NFS v3 and SMB/CIFS to Windows, macOS, Linux and other UNIX clients under a proprietary software.
OIO-FS OpenIO Proprietary Linux OIO-FS provides file-oriented access to OpenIO SDS object storage backend. It is based on FUSE technology and presents a POSIX file system to users. This access can be used locally, or over a network using NFS or SMB.[25]
PanFS Panasas Proprietary Linux, macOS, FreeBSD A POSIX-compliant, high-performance, parallel filesystem used by HPC clusters. It uses erasure coding and snapshots for data protection, is based upon a scale-out object store, and is focused on transparent failure recovery and ease of use.
RozoFS Rozo Systems GNU GPL v2 Linux A POSIX DFS focused on fault-tolerance and high-performance, based on the Mojette erasure code to reduce significantly the amount of redundancy (compared to plain replication).
Scality Scality ring Proprietary Linux A POSIX file system[citation needed] focused on high availability and performance. Also provides S3/REST/NFS interfaces.
Tahoe-LAFS Tahoe-LAFS Software Foundation GNU GPL v2+ and other[26] Windows, Linux, macOS A secure, decentralized, fault-tolerant, peer-to-peer distributed data store and distributed file system.
WekaFS WekaIO Proprietary Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows[27] WekaFS, a modern file system optimized for NVMe and the hybrid cloud that handles the most demanding storage challenges in the most data-intensive technical computing environments, delivering epic performance at any scale. Comprehensive enterprise features set that includes Distributed Data Protection (similar to Erasure Coding), instantaneous snapshots, tiering to S3 datastores, runs in the cloud or on-prem. High throughput and low-latency combined without specific tuning. Fully POSIX-compliant filesystem, with proprietary client protocol, NFS, SMB, and S3 protocols for access.
XtreemFS Contrail E.U. project, the German MoSGrid project and the German project "First We Take Berlin" BSD 3-Clause[28] Linux, Solaris, macOS, Windows A cross-platform file system for wide area networks. It replicates the data for fault tolerance and caches metadata and data to improve performance over high-latency links. SSL and X.509 certificates support makes XtreemFS usable over public networks. It also supports striping for usage in a cluster.

In development:

Peer-to-peer file systems

Some of these may be called cooperative storage cloud.

Special-purpose file systems

Pseudo file systems

Encrypted file systems

File system interfaces

These are not really file systems; they allow access to file systems from an operating system standpoint.

See also


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