A Question on inode - ext3FS

Stephen Samuel darkonc at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 05:02:20 UTC 2008

It's an application issue.  It has to do with how the file is updated.
There are two ways for an editor to update a file:
  write to the file in place, (nostly done with simple appends) or
  write a new version of the file (with a temporary name), then rename the
temporary file to replace the old one.

The first method only modifies the existing file, so the Inode number
changes the same.

The secondmethod creates a new file (with a different inode number) and then
the new file (with the new inode number) replaces the old file.

THe main advantage of the second method is that it's atomic. Either the file
is replaced, or it isn't. Thus other users/programs which accesss the file
never see intermediate results.  (also the case if the program dies, or the
system is reset).

The first method has the advantage that the inode# stays the same, and so
any programs which had the old file open will see the updates.  The
disadvantate is that if anything goes wrong in the middle of the update, the
file could end up in an partial update state.

Remember, the file is nothing more than a collection of bytes.  There's no
way to insert a character or two in the middle of the file. You then have to
rewrite the entire file from that point on.

On Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 8:40 PM, lakshmi pathi <lakshmipathi.g at gmail.com>wrote:

> I have noticed that whenever you edit a file content,a new inode
> number is assigned with the File.
> But Sometime file changes the inode number,Sometimes it remains as older
> inode.
> Can anyone please let know the concept behind this - modifing content
> changes the file's inode but not all the time?
> I'm using Fedora 7  with ext3 file system. (Kernel :

Stephen Samuel http://www.bcgreen.com
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