About

Logical entities that contain data in a filesystem. Use this tag if your question: is about programs that create files (e.g. gzip, tar, zip); deals with characteristics of files (permissions, size, path/location); or is about management of files (renaming, listing, moving, removing). For operating on text in a file, see /text-processing and/or /text-formatting.

A computer file is a logical entity that resides in a filesystem and is either empty or contains data. Depending on the filesystem, files have certain attributes, such as: (full) path, name, permissions, size, etc. Files are typically arranged in a set of folders or directories to separate them by purpose.


We have a canonical question with several good examples that asks:

How can I replace a string in a file(s)?


There are many tags on this site that are related to files; use these either along-side or in place of the files tag:

  • - either generically renaming files or the prename (perl rename) utility
  • - a utility to find files
  • - who can read, write, and execute a file
  • - logical container for a set of files
  • - contains files and directories on a storage device
  • - lists files and their attributes
  • - removes a file
  • - renames one or more files
  • - special syntax for a shell to specify more than one file, using a pattern
  • - special link to another file
  • - files that contain messages from one or more programs
  • - name of a file
  • - copying files from one place to another (e.g. cp, rsync, dd)

There are other tags on this site that deal with the processing of the data in files; use them in place of this tag:

  • - performing some operation (modifying, adding, deleting) on text in a file
  • - presenting the text in a file in a different way
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