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Each file is represented by a structure, called an inode. Each inode contains the description of the file: file type, access rights, owners, timestamps, size, pointers to data blocks. The addresses of data blocks allocated to a file are stored in its inode. When a user requests an I/O operation on the file, the kernel code converts the current offset to a block number, uses this number as an index in the block addresses table and reads or writes the physical block. Figure gif represents the structure of an inode.

ext2fs/inode 8cm 8cm Structure of an inode

Andrew Anderson
Thu Mar 7 22:36:29 EST 1996