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Free Space Management

A file system is responsible to allocate the free blocks to the file therefore it has to keep track of all the free blocks present in the disk. There are mainly two approaches by using which, the free blocks in the disk are managed.

1. Bit Vector

In this approach, the free space list is implemented as a bit map vector. It contains the number of bits where each bit represents each block.

If the block is empty then the bit is 1 otherwise it is 0. Initially all the blocks are empty therefore each bit in the bit map vector contains 1.

LAs the space allocation proceeds, the file system starts allocating blocks to the files and setting the respective bit to 0.

2. Linked List

It is another approach for free space management. This approach suggests linking together all the free blocks and keeping a pointer in the cache which points to the first free block.

Therefore, all the free blocks on the disks will be linked together with a pointer. Whenever a block gets allocated, its previous free block will be linked to its next free block.


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B.Tech / MCA