When you create a UFS file system, the disk slice is divided into cylinder groups, which is made up of one or more consecutive disk cylinders. The cylinder groups are then further divided into addressable blocks to control and organize the structure of the files within the cylinder group. Each type of block has a specific function in the file system. A UFS file system has these four types of blocks:
Type of Information Stored
Information used when booting the system
Detailed information about the file system
All information about a file
Storage or data block
Data for each file
The following sections provide additional information about the organization and function of these blocks.
The boot block stores objects that are used in booting the system. If a file system is not to be used for booting, the boot block is left blank. The boot block appears only in the first cylinder group (cylinder group 0) and is the first 8 Kbytes in a slice.
The superblock stores much of the information about the file system, which includes the following:
Size and status of the file system
Label, which includes file system name and volume name
Size of the file system logical block
Date and time of the last update
Cylinder group size
Number of data blocks in a cylinder group
Summary data block
File system state
Path name of the last mount point
Because the superblock contains critical data, multiple superblocks are made when the file system is created.
A summary information block is kept within the superblock. The summary information block is not replicated, but is grouped with the primary superblock, usually in cylinder group 0. The summary block records changes that take place as the file system is used. In addition, the summary block lists the number of inodes, directories, fragments, and storage blocks within the file system.
An inode contains all the information about a file except its name, which is kept in a directory. An inode is 128 bytes. The inode information is kept in the cylinder information block, and contains the following:
The type of the file:
FIFO, also known as named pipe
Other inodes – attribute directory and shadow (used for ACLs)
The mode of the file (the set of read-write-execute permissions)
The number of hard links to the file
The user ID of the owner of the file
The group ID to which the file belongs
The number of bytes in the file
An array of 15 disk-block addresses
The date and time the file was last accessed
The date and time the file was last modified
The date and time the file was created
The array of 15 disk addresses (0 to 14) points to the data blocks that store the contents of the file. The first 12 are direct addresses. That is, they point directly to the first 12 logical storage blocks of the file contents. If the file is larger than 12 logical blocks, the 13th address points to an indirect block, which contains direct block addresses instead of file contents. The 14th address points to a double indirect block, which contains addresses of indirect blocks. The 15th address is for triple indirect addresses. The following figure shows this chaining of address blocks starting from the inode.
Data blocks, also called storage blocks, contain the rest of the space that is allocated to the file system. The size of these data blocks is determined at the time a file system is created. Data blocks are allocated, by default, in two sizes: an 8-Kbyte logical block size, and a 1-Kbyte fragment size.
For a regular file, the data blocks contain the contents of the file. For a directory, the data blocks contain entries that give the inode number and the file name of the files in the directory.
Blocks that are not currently being used as inodes, as indirect address blocks, or as storage blocks are marked as free in the cylinder group map. This map also keeps track of fragments to prevent fragmentation from degrading disk performance.
To give you an idea of the appearance of a typical UFS file system, the following figure shows a series of cylinder groups in a generic UFS file system.