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Write a Simple File System in a Linux Virtual Machine

Are you intrigued by the intricate workings of file systems? Our step-by-step guide takes you on a fascinating journey, walking you through the process of crafting a fundamental file system in a Linux virtual machine. This hands-on experience not only deepens your comprehension of data organization and management within a computer but also empowers you to grasp the essence of how modern operating systems manage their most fundamental resource—data.

Creating Linux VM File Systems

Explore the process of crafting a simple file system within a Linux virtual machine through our comprehensive guide. This step-by-step guide not only delves into the intricacies of file system creation but also provides valuable insights that can help you complete your Linux assignment. Gain practical knowledge and bolster your understanding of data organization and management while following along with our detailed instructions.

Step 1: Installing FUSE

Begin by confirming Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) installation on your Linux system. FUSE enables the development of file systems sans kernel code—an excellent learning avenue.

Step 2: Writing the Code

We'll now illustrate a simple example of a read-only file system using FUSE. Together, we'll generate a virtual file named "file.txt," containing a special greeting message.

```c #define FUSE_USE_VERSION 31 #include #include #include #include staticconst char *file_content = "Hello, this is a simple file system!\n"; staticintsimple_getattr(const char *path, struct stat *stbuf) { memset(stbuf, 0, sizeof(struct stat)); if (strcmp(path, "/") == 0) { stbuf->st_mode = S_IFDIR | 0755; stbuf->st_nlink = 2; } else if (strcmp(path, "/file.txt") == 0) { stbuf->st_mode = S_IFREG | 0444; stbuf->st_nlink = 1; stbuf->st_size = strlen(file_content); } else { return -ENOENT; } return 0; } staticintsimple_readdir(const char *path, void *buf, fuse_fill_dir_t filler, off_t offset, structfuse_file_info *fi) { if (strcmp(path, "/") != 0) { return -ENOENT; } filler(buf, ".", NULL, 0); filler(buf, "..", NULL, 0); filler(buf, "file.txt", NULL, 0); return 0; } staticintsimple_open(const char *path, structfuse_file_info *fi) { if (strcmp(path, "/file.txt") != 0) { return -ENOENT; } return 0; } staticintsimple_read(const char *path, char *buf, size_t size, off_t offset, structfuse_file_info *fi) { if (strcmp(path, "/file.txt") != 0) { return -ENOENT; } size_tlen = strlen(file_content); if (offset len) { size = len - offset; } memcpy(buf, file_content + offset, size); } else { size = 0; } return size; } staticstructfuse_operationssimple_oper = { .getattr = simple_getattr, .readdir = simple_readdir, .open = simple_open, .read = simple_read, }; int main(intargc, char *argv[]) { returnfuse_main(argc, argv, &simple_oper, NULL); } ```

Understanding the Code:

  1. Headers and Constants: Include vital headers and define constants for context.
  2. File Content: Define the virtual file's content that we'll be manipulating.
  3. simple_getattr: This function aids in retrieving crucial file attributes like permissions and size.
  4. simple_readdir: List directory contents—a key aspect of a file system.
  5. simple_open: Invoked when opening a file—a common operation.
  6. simple_read: Functionality for reading from a file.
  7. simple_oper: Organizes function pointers for diverse file system operations.
  8. main: Launch the FUSE file system from the main function.

Step 3: Compiling and Running

Compile code using the given command.

gcc -Wall -o simple_fssimple_fs.c `pkg-config fuse --cflags --libs`

Then, assign a directory as the mount point for the file system.


Finally, run the FUSE-based file system.

./simple_fs -o allow_othermountpoint

What You'll Achieve

This guide provides insights into core file system aspects—file representation and access mechanisms. Note that our example simplifies for learning and doesn't encompass real-world complexities. Designing real file systems involves meticulous planning for data security and integrity.


Crafting a basic file system in a Linux virtual machine offers an engaging approach to grasping data storage and management intricacies. This practical experience not only equips you with a tangible understanding of file system architecture but also opens doors to more advanced topics such as file security, data persistence, and even the development of complex file systems. With this foundational knowledge, you'll be well-prepared to explore the broader landscape of operating system concepts with confidence.