OS File Attributes

As you know that every files have its name and data.

But in addition to the file's name and data, OS also associate with some other information related to the file such as date/time the file was created, file's size etc. These extra items that are related to the file are also called as file attributes.

Basically, the list of file attributes varies from system to system.

The table given below lists some common file attributes with their meaning:

File Attribute File Attribute Description
Protection Who can access the file and in what way
Password Needed just to access the file
Creator Person ID who created the file
Owner Current owner
Read-only flag 0 for read/write and 1 for red only
Archive flag 0 for has been backed up and 1 for needs to be backed up
ASCII/binary flag 0 for ASCII file and 1 for binary file
Hidden flag 0 for normal and 1 for don't display in listings
System flag 0 for normal files and 1 for system file
Random access flag 0 for sequential access only and 1 for random access
Temporary flag 0 for normal and 1 for delete file on process exit
Lock flags 0 for unlocked and non-zero for locked
Key length Number of bytes in key field
Creation time Date and time, the file was created
Time of last access Date and time, the file was last accessed
Record length Number of bytes in a record
Key position Offset of key within each record
Time of last change Date and time, the file has last changed
Current size Number of bytes in the file
Maximum size Number of bytes, the file may grow to

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