File Naming in Operating System

You should already know from the prior article that files offer a means of storing information on a disc so that it can be read at a later time; this information may be required.

As a result, this step needs to be taken in such a way that the user is kept in the dark regarding the specifics of how and where the necessary information is stored, as well as the operation of the disc in terms of storing the necessary information for later use.

Since files are an abstract mechanism, the most important characteristic of any abstract mechanism is the way that the objects being managed are named.

Every time a process in a computer system generates a new file, that file is subsequently assigned a name by the process. You could say that the file continues to exist even after the process has ended or stopped running; in other words, you can say that the file continues to exist and that it can also be accessed by some other processes simply by using the name of the file.

The rule for file naming varies from system to system, but all the current OSs allow strings as file names. Therefore, myfile, file1, my_file, etc. are the three legal file names.

Digits and special characters can also be used to name a file, such as myfile, file-2-1, file_21, 32, etc., which are also legal file names.

The naming of files is supported by many file systems as long as the names contain all 255 possible characters. While other file systems do not, some do make a distinction between the capitalization of words and the case of their initial letters.

The following is a list of the names of the three files:

  • myfile
  • Myfile
  • MYFILE

In a UNIX operating system, each of the aforementioned three files has its own identity, whereas in MS-DOS, each of the aforementioned three files is identical.

Almost every OS supports two-part file names. These two parts of the file names are separated by a period or dot (.).

The part that comes after the period (.) is known as the file extension, and it typically provides some kind of information regarding the file.

The following is a table that describes the most common file extensions and what files they can be used to open:

File Extension File Meaning
myfile.bak This indicates the existence of a backup file.
myfile.c This denotes a source file for the C programming language.
myfile.gif This denotes an image file in GIF format.
myfile.hlp This indicates the presence of a help file.
myfile.html This is an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) file.
myfile.jpg This denotes an image file in JPG format.
myfile.mp3 This denotes an MP3 music or audio file in which the music has been encoded in MPEG Layer 3 audio format.
myfile.mpg This is an MPEG video file containing a movie encoded with the MPEG standard.
myfile.o This indicates the presence of an object file.
myfile.pdf This indicates a file in Portable Document Format (PDF).
myfile.ps This denotes a PostScript file.
myfile.tex This denotes TEX formatting programme input.
myfile.txt This denotes a standard text file.
myfile.zip This indicates that the archive has been compressed.

Operating System Quiz


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