Inode & its corruption

Inode- An inode is a data structure on a Unix-style file system such as UFS. An inode stores basic information about a file, directory, or other file system objects. They are data structures that contain information about files in Unix file systems which are created when a file system is created. Each file has an inode and is identified by an inode number (i-number) in the file system where it resides.


Inodes provide important information on files such as user and group ownership, access mode (read, write, execute permissions) and type. There are a set number of inodes, which indicates the maximum number of files the system can hold. A file's inode number can be found using the ls -i command, while the ls -l command will retrieve inode information.


The term inode generally refers to inodes on block devices that manage regular files, directories, and possibly symbolic links. The concept is very important for the recovery of damaged file systems. An inode number indexes a table of inodes in a known location on the device; from the inode number, the kernel can access the contents of the inode, including the data pointers, and the contents of the file.


Inodes do not contain filenames. Unix directories are lists of "link" structures, which contain one filename and an inode number. The kernel can search a directory, looking for a particular filename, and convert the filename to the correct corresponding inode number if the name is found. The stat system call retrieves a file's inode number and some of the information in the inode.


Most of the computer programs used by system administrators in UNIX operating systems often give i-node numbers to designate a file. Popular disk integrity checking utility fsck or pfiles command may serve as examples. There is a need to translate i-node numbers to file pathnames and vice versa. It can be done by using file-find utility find with option -inum or ls command with proper option which on many platforms is -i.


The problem with any kind of data is that it is a very important resource. There are times when problems arise and we have to suffer agony due to that. If the inode gets corrupted due to any reason, a user will not be able to access his data. It can be a big problem for him in case he has some critical software or that presentation made with a lot of energy and effort. In that case, he will have to get data recovery software.


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