I'm reading a paper about Android/Linux. It contains a line I'm not able to understand. I tried searching about "semi-files" but nothing relative came up. Can someone please rephrase it or explain it in more detail?

Linux provides many system functionalities as semi-files.

Source of paper: Google Android: A State-of-the-Art Review of Security Mechanisms The sentence is at page 7/42, line 6.

  • I don't remember seeing that expression before, it's definitely not standard terminology. The paper is not written in very good English, this may be a bad translation. May 19, 2016 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


This is referring to the fact that Linux (like all Unix-style systems) exposes most of the resources it manages through objects which look like files: /dev-style devices, /proc and /sys entries... In the context of your quote, this property is mentioned because it allows access permissions to be reasoned about in a consistent fashion.

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