Linux already stores a lot of metadata with files. e.g. owner, permissions, file's name, checksums (in some file systems), along with essential data like location on disk.

Is there any filesystem (e.g. btrfs, zfs, ext*) which allows you to store extra metadata?

  • 1
    An answer depends on what you understand by meta data.
    – schily
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 20:44
  • Not a filesystem by itself, but iRODS adds custom metadata to existing filesystems which don't provide it. irods.org.
    – 3r1d
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


Yes, most of the modern ones support extended attributes that can be used to store custom metadata: EXT4, Btrfs, ReiserFS, JFS, and ZFS. Check this question: What does mounting a filesystem with user_xattr do? and this page.

If you meant fork (it is like a companion file, that's kept together with the main one inside the filesystem), then some implementations of ZFS are also an option.

  • I was only looking for something like xattrs, thanks! Forks also look interesting, I didn't find any mention of ZFS on the wiki page, and "fork zfs" doesn't return any useful hits either. Could you point me to the implementations of ZFS that offer it as a feature? Commented May 4, 2020 at 9:15
  • 1
    Solaris does. OpenSolaris did and open-zfs might someday offer it. Commented May 4, 2020 at 13:25

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