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Linux Directory Structure

Why is this needed?

The directory structure of Linux/other Unix-like systems is very intimidating for the new user, especially if he/she is migrating from Windows. In Windows, it's fairly obvious. There's different letters for drives. "C:" is your main hard drive, "D:" is usually the DVD-ROM or CD-ROM or whatever, and "A:" usually the floppy drive, though not many people have them now. Even then, in the main hard drive, it's intuitive. "Documents and Settings" contains files pertaining to just that. "WINDOWS" contains Windows system files, and "Program Files" is just obvious. Linux, though, has lots of randomly named folders in the root "/" drive. So, without further ado, Linux Directory Structure for the beginner.

Linux Directory Structure.

/ - Root directory that forms the base of the file system. All files and directories are logically contained inside the root directory regardless of their physical locations.

/bin - Contains the executable programs that are part of the Linux operating system.

/boot - Contains the Linux kernel and other files needed by LILO and GRUB boot managers. Fairly obvious.

/dev - Contains all device files. This includes everything from keyboard and mice to graphics cards and webcams. All files pertaining to them are here.

/etc - System configuration files. You'll never need to touch this.

/home - You'll keep your files, almost certinaly, in folders like /home/David and /home/Jennifer.

/lib - Contains library files, they're system files that programs need to function.

/lost+found - Directory for lost files. Every disk partition has a lost+found directory.

/media - Directory for mounting files systems on removable media like CD-ROM drives, floppy disks, and Zip drives.

/mnt - A directory for temporarily mounted filesystems.

/opt - Optional software packages copy/install files here.

/proc - Contains the information about various aspects of a Linux system.

/root - Home directory of the root user.

/sbin - Contains administrative binary files. Think of it as like the /bin directory, except for the most fundamental system functions.

/srv - Contains data for services (HTTP, FTP, etc.) offered by the system. You won't need to worry about this as a home user.

/sys - System Directory.

/tmp - Just contains temporary files used by programs.. The contents of this directory are cleared each time the system boots.

/usr - Contains subdirectories for many programs you have installed.

/var - Contains various system files such as logs, cache files, print spool, some more important temporary files, etc. which tend to change in numbers and size over time.

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