Part of the Operating systems glossary:

Also see flat file , an entirely different term.

A flat file system is a system of files in which every file in the system must have a different name. In Windows 95 and most other operating system today, files are managed in a hierarchical file system with a hierarchy of directories and subdirectories, each containing a number of files (or subdirectories). The operating system allows more than one file to have the same name as long as it is stored in a different directory. Early versions of the Macintosh and DOS operating systems used a flat file system.

The term flat file directory is used to describe a file directory that can contain only files (no subdirectories).

This was last updated in November 2005
Contributor(s): Jack Hubbert
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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