inode list An inode is an on-disk data structure in the file system that defines everything about the file, except its name. Inodes contain information such as user and group ownership, access mode (permissions), access time, file size, file type, and the block map for the data contents of the file. Each inode is identified by a unique inode number in the file system where it resides. The inode number is used to find the inode in the inode list for the file system. The inode list is a series of inodes. There is one inode in the list for every file in the file system.