Linux File System Structure

The Linux system contains thousand of files located within many directories. All directories are organized in a tree-structure like manner.

  • The 'trunk' of the tree is the root directory.
  • The root directory is simply identified as a "/".
  • All other directories 'branch' off from the trunk.

The following lists the most common directories and their intended contents.

  • / - root directory
  • /home - where directories are contained for each user, example:
  • /usr - pronounced 'user' and contains Linux commands and utilities
    • /bin - binary executable programs
    • /lib - program libraries, similar to Windows 'dll' files
    • /sbin - more executable programs and Linux utilities for administrative purposes
    • /doc - documentation
    • /src - source code to programs
  • /tmp - temporary work files
  • /etc - configuration files
    • /rc.d - scripts used during boot and shutdown process
    • /sysconfig - default configuration files
    • /sysconfig/network-scripts - network scripts
    • /sysconfig/daemons - special programs that run in background, such as print spooling
  • /bin - binary executable programs that all users need
  • /dev - device files that control drives, terminals and any equipment attached to the server
  • /var - user specific files
    • /log - log files containing system usage and errors
    • /spool - where spooled files are stored during print spooling process
    • /mail - where Email files are stored until retrieved by client Email program
  • /proc - system files
  • /root - root's home directory
  • /opt - other options
  • /sbin - more executable programs and utilities
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