2.3. The /proc Virtual File System
Unlike most file systems,
/proc contains neither text nor binary files. Because it houses virtual files, the
/proc is referred to as a virtual file system. These virtual files are typically zero bytes in size, even if they contain a large amount of information.
/proc file system is not used for storage. Its main purpose is to provide a file-based interface to hardware, memory, running processes, and other system components. Real-time information can be retrieved on many system components by viewing the corresponding
/proc file. Some of the files within
/proc can also be manipulated (by both users and applications) to configure the kernel.
/proc files are relevant in managing and monitoring system storage:
- Displays various character and block devices that are currently configured.
- Lists all file system types currently supported by the kernel.
- Contains current information on multiple-disk or RAID configurations on the system, if they exist.
- Lists all mounts currently used by the system.
- Contains partition block allocation information.
For more information about the
/proc file system, see the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Deployment Guide.