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Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook by Sarath Lakshman

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squashfs – the heavy compression filesystem

squashfs is a heavy-compression based read-only filesystem that is capable of compressing 2 to 3GB of data onto a 700 MB file. Have you ever thought of how Linux Live CDs work? When a Live CD is booted it loads a complete Linux environment. Linux Live CDs make use of a read-only compressed filesystem called squashfs. It keeps the root filesystem on a compressed filesystem file. It can be loopback mounted and files can be accessed. Thus when some files are required by processes, they are decompressed and loaded onto the RAM and used. Knowledge of squashfs can be useful when building a custom live OS or when required to keep files heavily compressed and to access them without entirely extracting the files. ...

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