Fwd: Re: What does the "i" in inode stand for? Dennis Ritchie doesn't know either.

From: Rob Landley (landley@trommello.org)
Date: Sat Jul 20 2002 - 08:05:42 EST

Dennis Ritchie hath replied, unto the masses, with a resounding "dunno" from on high...

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

Subject: Re: What does the "i" in inode stand for? Nobody seems to know...
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2002 00:52:39 -0400
From: Dennis Ritchie <dmr@plan9.bell-labs.com>
To: landley@trommello.org

In truth, I don't know either. It was just a term
that we started to use. "Index" is my best guess,
because of the slightly unusua file systeml structure
that stored the access information of files as a flat array on
the disk, with all the hierarchical directory information living
aside from this. Thus the the i-number is an
index in this array, the i-node is the selected element
of the array. (The "i-" notation was used in the
1st edition manual; its hyphen became gradually


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From: Rob Landley <landley@trommello.org>
To: dmr@bell-labs.com
Subject: What does the "i" in inode stand for? Nobody seems to know...
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 19:38:19 -0400
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I asked on the linux-kernel mailing list, and got four different replies.
The votes so far are "information", "index", "incore", and "indirection",
with more coming in...

Care to clear up this mystery for the younger generation? :)



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