(ī´nōd) (n.) Data structures that contain information about files in Unix file systems that are created when a file system is created. Each file has an inode and is identified by an inode number (i-number) in the file system where it resides. inodes provide important information on files such as user and group ownership, access mode (read, write, execute permissions) and type.
There are a set number of inodes, which indicates the maximum number of files the system can hold.
A file's inode number can be found using the ls -i command, while the ls -l command will retrieve inode information.