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       A  typical  Linux  system has, among others, the following

       /      This is the root  directory.   This  is  where  the
              whole tree starts.

       /bin   This  directory  contains executable programs which
              are needed in single user mode  and  to  bring  the
              system up or repair it.

       /boot  Contains  static  files  for the boot loader.  This
              directory only holds the  files  which  are  needed
              during  the  boot  process.   The map installer and
              configuration files should go to /sbin and /etc.

       /dev   Special or device files, which  refer  to  physical
              devices.  See mknod(1).

       /dos   If  both  MS-DOS and Linux are run on one computer,
              this is a typical place to mount a DOS file system.

       /etc   Contains configuration files which are local to the
              machine.  Some larger software packages, like  X11,
              can  have  their  own  subdirectories  below  /etc.
              Site-wide configuration files may be placed here or
              in  /usr/etc.  Nevertheless, programs should always
              look for these files in /etc and you may have links
              for these files to /usr/etc.

              Host-specific configuration files for add-on appli­
              cations installed in /opt.

              This directory contains the configuration files for
              SGML and XML (optional).

              When a new user account is created, files from this
              directory are usually copied into the  user's  home

              Configuration  files  for  the  X11  window  system

       /home  On machines with home directories for users,  these
              are  usually  beneath  this  directory, directly or
              not.  The structure of this  directory  depends  on
              local administration decisions.

       /root  This directory is usually the  home  directory  for
              the root user (optional).

       /sbin  Like  /bin, this directory holds commands needed to
              boot the system, but which are usually not executed
              by normal users.

       /tmp   This  directory  contains temporary files which may
              be deleted with no notice, such as by a regular job
              or at system boot up.

       /usr   This  directory  is usually mounted from a separate
              partition.  It should hold only sharable, read-only
              data, so that it can be mounted by various machines
              running Linux.

              The  X-Window  system,   version   11   release   6

              Binaries  which  belong  to  the  X-Windows system;
              often, there is a symbolic link from the more  tra­
              ditional /usr/bin/X11 to here.

              Data files associated with the X-Windows system.

              These  contain miscellaneous files needed to run X;
              Often, there is a symbolic link  from  /usr/lib/X11
              to this directory.

              Contains  include  files  needed for compiling pro­
              grams using the X11 window system.  Often, there is
              a  symbolic  link  from  /usr/include/X11  to  this

              This is the primary directory for  executable  pro­
              grams.   Most  programs  executed  by  normal users
              which are not needed for booting or  for  repairing
              the  system  and  which  are  not installed locally
              should be placed in this directory.

              is the traditional place to look for  X11  executa­
              bles;  on  Linux,  it usually is a symbolic link to

              Binaries   for   games   and  educational  programs

              Include files for the C compiler.

              Include files for the C compiler and the  X-Windows
              system.    This  is  usually  a  symbolic  link  to

              Include files which declare  some  assembler  func­
              tions.    This  used  to  be  a  symbolic  link  to

              This contains information  which  may  change  from
              system  release  to system release and used to be a
              symbolic link  to  /usr/src/linux/include/linux  to
              get at operating system specific information.

              (Note that one should have include files there that
              work correctly with the current libc  and  in  user
              space. However, Linux kernel source is not designed
              to be used with user programs  and  does  not  know
              anything  about  the libc you are using. It is very
              likely  that  things  will   break   if   you   let
              /usr/include/asm  and /usr/include/linux point at a
              random kernel tree. Debian systems  don't  do  this
              and  use  headers from a known good kernel version,
              provided in the libc*-dev package.)

              Include files to use with the GNU C++ compiler.

              Object libraries, including dynamic libraries, plus
              some  executables  which  usually  are  not invoked
              directly.  More complicated programs may have whole
              subdirectories there.

              The  usual  place  for data files associated with X
              programs, and configuration files for the X  system
              itself.  On Linux, it usually is a symbolic link to

              contains executables and include files for the  GNU
              C compiler, gcc(1).

              Local documentation.

              Configuration   files   associated   with   locally
              installed programs.

              Binaries for locally installed games.

              Files associated with locally installed programs.

              Header files for the local C compiler.

              Info pages associated with locally  installed  pro­

              Man  pages  associated  with locally installed pro­

              Locally installed programs for  system  administra­

              Local  application  data  that  can be shared among
              different architectures of the same OS.

              Source code for locally installed software.

              Replaced by /usr/share/man.

              This directory contains program binaries for system
              administration which are not essential for the boot
              process, for mounting /usr, or for system repair.

              This directory contains  subdirectories  with  spe­
              cific  application  data,  that can be shared among
              different architectures of the same OS.  Often  one
              finds  stuff  here that used to live in /usr/doc or
              /usr/lib or /usr/man.

              Contains the word lists used by spell checkers.
              Manpages go here in subdirectories according to the
              man page sections.

              These directories contain manual pages for the spe­
              cific locale in source code form. Systems which use
              a unique language and code set for all manual pages
              may omit the <locale> substring.

              Miscellaneous data that can be shared among differ­
              ent architectures of the same OS.

              The message catalogs for native language support go

              Files for SGML and XML.

              The datebase for terminfo.

              Troff macros that are not distributed with groff.

              Files for timezone information.

              Source files for different  parts  of  the  system,
              included with some packages for reference purposes.
              Don't work here with your own  projects,  as  files
              below   /usr   should   be  read-only  except  when
              installing software.

              This was  the  traditional  place  for  the  kernel
              source.  Some distributions put here the source for
              the default kernel they ship.  You should  probably
              use  another  directory when building your own ker­

              Obsolete. This should be a link to /var/tmp.   This
              link  is present only for compatibility reasons and
              shouldn't be used.

       /var   This directory contains files which may  change  in
              size, such as spool and log files.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Variable state information for programs.

              Variable data for /usr/local.

              Lock files are placed in this directory.  The  nam­
              ing   convention   for   device   lock   files   is
              LCK..<device> where <device> is the  device's  name
              in  the filesystem.  The format used is that of HDU
              UUCP lock files, i.e. lock files contain a PID as a
              10-byte ASCII decimal number, followed by a newline

              Miscellaneous log files.

              Variable data for /opt.

              Users' mailboxes. Replaces /var/spool/mail.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Run-time variable files, like files holding process
              identifiers  (PIDs)  and  logged  user  information
              (utmp).   Files  in  this  directory  are   usually
              cleared when the system boots.

              Spooled (or queued) files for various programs.

              Spooled jobs for at(1).

              Spooled jobs for cron(1).

              Spooled files for printing.


              Spooled files for uucp(1).

              Like /tmp, this  directory  holds  temporary  files
              stored for an unspecified duration.

              Database files for NIS.


       The    Filesystem    Hierarchy   Standard,   Version   2.2


       This list is not exhaustive; different systems may be con­
       figured differently.


       find(1),  ln(1), mount(1), proc(5), The Filesystem Hierar­
       chy Standard

Linux                       2001-09-07                    HIER(7)



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