[Techtalk] Linux file system versus dos/win model
carla at bratgrrl.com
Tue Jul 29 22:28:10 UTC 2008
On Tuesday 29 July 2008 14:28:47 Anne Wainwright wrote:
> One of the reasons I often read for the superiority of linux over windows is
oft-touted statement that under linux 'everything is mounted on one
contiguous file system'
> So if I mount my usb stick on linux it comes up on the file system
> If I mount it on windows (well, plug it it) then it comes up as 'F' with my
allocated name of Sahara.
> How is this any different? Both are shown on a tree-like structure. I can
move files from the device to any other part of the tree with equal
facility. What am I missing here, what in essence is the real difference?
On a single PC that is not connected to a network it doesn't matter. On a
network it makes a huge difference, because Windows drive letters are purely
local. So in a Windows network they have to fall back on a Unix-type
addressing convention, because you cannot mount the filesystem on D:, for one
example, on another computer on the network by using the drive letter.
In a feeble effort to be Innovative and Original, and to also make network
filesharing possible, Microsoft came up with UNC (Uniform Naming Convention),
which in a stunning display of ingenuity imitates Unix filepaths, except the
slashes go the wrong way and there are different numbers of them, like this:
On a Unixy system it looks like this:
Windows users can map UNCs to local drive letters, which is convenient for
creating a persistent mount, but I think it's an unnecessary complication
because it hides the real filepath, and I have wasted way too many hours of
my life trying to debug user problems when they are understandably confused
by all of this useless abstraction.
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