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File Management in Operating System

Learn: In this article we are going to discuss about the file management of operating system. How files are managed in operating system? What are the uses of files management in operating system? What are the different operations performed by operating system in computer system?
Submitted by Amit Shukla, on August 14, 2017

File management is one of the basic and important features of operating system. Operating system is used to manage files of computer system. All the files with different extensions are managed by operating system.

To learn about more features of operating system: refer Introduction to Operating System and their Types.

A file is collection of specific information stored in the memory of computer system. File management is defined as the process of manipulating files in computer system, it management includes the process of creating, modifying and deleting the files.

The following are some of the tasks performed by file management of operating system of any computer system:

  1. It helps to create new files in computer system and placing them at the specific locations.
  2. It helps in easily and quickly locating these files in computer system.
  3. It makes the process of sharing of the files among different users very easy and user friendly.
  4. It helps to stores the files in separate folders known as directories. These directories help users to search file quickly or to manage the files according to their types or uses.
  5. It helps the user to modify the data of files or to modify the name of the file in the directories.
general hierarchy of the storage in an operating system

The above figure shows the general hierarchy of the storage in an operating system. In this figure the root directory is present at the highest level in the hierarchical structure. It includes all the subdirectories in which the files are stored. Subdirectory is a directory present inside another directory in the file storage system. The directory base storage system ensures better organization of files in the memory of the computer system.

The file management of function in operating system (OS) is based on the following concepts:

  1. File Attributes
    It specifies the characteristics of the files such as type, date of last modification, size, location on disk etc. file attributes help the user to understand the value and location of files. File attributes is one most important feature. It is uses to describe all the information regarding particular file.
  2. File Operations
    It specifies the task that can be performed on a file such as opening and closing of file.
  3. File Access permission
    It specifies the access permissions related to a file such as read and write.
  4. File Systems
    It specifies the logical method of file storage in a computer system. Some of the commonly used files systems include FAT and NTFS.





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