I was curios to know what happens when I copy files from a VFAT32 formatted disk ( formatted under Windows system ) into the Linux system.

  1. Does the files which are copied in the linux system automatically converts into the ext2/ext3 filesystem?

  2. If yes, what about the permissions? Are the attributes such as readonly, hidden, users permission etc also converted?

  3. Is there a possible way to see the conversion going on by seeing the kernel log messages ( perhaps by activating the debug options etc )?


The copy doesn't do any conversion itself. Basically the "conversion" happens as part of the read process. All file access is through VFS (virtual filesystem) calls. The copy reads data from one file using VFS calls and writes it to another the same way, equally for any file attributes it copies. Copy doesn't really know anything about disk formats like FAT.

So to answer your second question you can just look at the file attributes in the source filesystem.

Read-only will show up (e.g. visible in ls -l or Gnome Files -> Properties). "Hidden" and "system" attributes have no equivalent in Linux (except you can access them on FAT using fatattr command).

There is no other permission like user in the FAT disk format.

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