< file system > An element of data storage in a file system .
The history of computing is rich in varied kinds of files and file systems , whether ornate (e.g., Macintosh file system for a well-known case) or deficient (e.g., many simple pre-1980s file systems don't allow directories ).
However, the prototypical file has these characteristics:
* It is a single sequence of bytes (but consider Macintosh resource forks ).
* It has a finite length, unlike, e.g. a Unix device .
* It is stored in a non-volatile storage medium (but see ramdrive ).
* It exists (nominally) in a directory .
* It has a name that it can be referred to by in file operations, possibly in combination with its path .
Additionally, a file system may associate other information with a file, such as permission bits or other file attributes ; timestamps for file creation, last revision, and last access; revision numbers (a` la VMS), and other kinds of magic .
Compare: document .