inode and filesystem question

Alex Bligh alex at
Sat Jun 28 11:54:20 UTC 2008

--On 28 June 2008 07:39:55 -0400 Mag Gam <magawake at> wrote:

> Well, I guess this is more for a theoretical question. How the filename
> is determined if its not in the inode.

It isn't. There is no easy way to get back from an inode number to a
filename (or filenames, as there can be more than one - think how hard
links work, multiple directory entries (and hence filenames) pointing to
one inode) apart from recurse through the entire directory tree and find
which directory entries contain that inode number. That's because there
is (fsck type operations apart) in general no need to go from an inode
number to the list of directory entries that point to it. Indeed some
inodes can have no directory entry pointing to them (e.g. if you
open a file, then unlink it (with rm) before closing it).

This isn't ext3 specific, this is the way UNIX file systems work. I suggest
doing some background reading on UNIX filesystems in general rather than
asking on an ext3 specific list. For a very simple intro see:


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