The layout of the directory hierarchy — questions like “where does this file belong?” or “what is this directory for?”.

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4
votes
2answers
1k views

How does /dev/fd relate to /proc/self/fd/?

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 ...
230
votes
3answers
61k views

What is the purpose of the lost+found folder in Linux and Unix?

There is a folder at the root of Linux and Unix operating systems called /lost+found/ What is it for? Under what circumstances would I interact with it? How would I interact with it?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Standard and/or common directories on Unix/Linux OSes

Coming from the Windows world, I have found the majority of the folder directory names to be quite intuitive: \Program Files contains files used by programs (surprise!) \Program Files (x86) contains ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What do I install into a given install prefix

Which directories should I expect to have in an install prefix when I'm writing makefiles? I've noticed that in the common prefix /usr, there is no /etc, yet there is an /include dir, which isn't in ...
-2
votes
1answer
522 views

“Clean” Filesystem Hierarchy

The Linux filesystem hierarchy is full of unused folders that only exist for historical reasons. Do any distros install with only the directories that are actually used?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between /etc and /usr/local/etc

I am developing a daemon that needs to store lots of application data, and I noticed that on my system (Fedora 15), there is a /usr/local/etc directory. I've decided to install my daemon to ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

File and directory naming conventions

I want to refactor the files and directories on my system. However I am not sure what is best practice. After reading this question and it's answers I assume the most important part is to be ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the linux directory structure obsolete and obtuse? [closed]

I genuinely feel that the Linux directory system presents an obstacle for users migrating from other systems as well as being a bottleneck for the evolution of Linux itself. Rest assured I am not here ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Mounting a device — role of /dev, /media and /mnt, and the mount command [closed]

I have several closely related questions about what happens when I insert a CD. The files on the CD /media/Ubuntu\ 11.04\ i386/, but from what I've seen /dev/cdrom is also involved. What is the ...
26
votes
2answers
6k views

What is this new /run filesystem?

I just ran df -h a minute ago and noticed a filesystem has been added that I'm not familiar with. Does anyone know why /run exists? Is this something that's been added by the kernel? By Arch Linux? ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

where on the filesystem do user-generated system scripts go?

I have a couple command line php scripts and also php pages that call the same class file. Instead of having mutiple copies of it floating around, I want to put class.myApi.php in one central location ...
6
votes
2answers
159 views

Placement of application and user files on linux system

In which directories should I place the following? I have an application with few .net assemblies, a default database (containing default application settings), a directory with 100's of images, a ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Difference between “/export/home” and “/home”

In our UNIX machine my home path looks like /home/<userid> and we have another batch user whose home looks like /export/home/<userid> I want to know whats the difference between ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Which is the best practice when replacing a system binary?

I'm working on Mac OS X which is shipped with several binaries mostly located in /usr/bin/ and /usr/sbin/. Since it doesn't have a native package manager like some Linux distros, I got used to ...
50
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the difference between /opt and /usr/local?

According to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, /opt is for "the installation of add-on application software packages". /usr/local is "for use by the system administrator when installing software ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

Where should I copy-paste-install software to?

I'm installing IntelliJ, and the readme tells me to choose an installation folder. Where is a good, standard place to put installed programs?
7
votes
2answers
645 views

How can I copy a subset of files from a directory while preserving the folder structure?

I want to move some subset of files from dirA to dirB (let's say files with "blah" in the filename), but I want all the nested directories to be the same in the new location. How can I do that?
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Why did my package get installed to /opt?

A while back I installed couchdb from source on my debian machine. It seemed to install okay and everything worked. A few weeks later I wanted to upgrade and installed from a .deb using dpkg. ...
4
votes
3answers
408 views

Best directory for shared scripts

What is the conventional directory to keep shared scripts that might be used by more than one user? I've read through this overview of the standard file system hierarchy, but it doesn't seem to ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the Linux file system/organization differ from Windows?

One of the things that really slows me down in catching on with Linux is the huge difference between the file system in Linux versus Windows. Up until the last 3-4 years I only used Windows systems ...
3
votes
2answers
926 views

What directories/file permissions should i ensure are set?

I have a similar question about default software configuration. For this question i would like to ask What directories/file permissions should i ensure are set? Aprrently Is it normal to get ...
27
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do /usr and /tmp directories for Linux miss vowels in their spellings?

I have often started to think about this but never found a good answer. Why are these two Unix directories not /user and /temp instead? All the other directories under root seem to be exactly what ...
41
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I know where to put things in linux?

Installing something in windows takes a click of a button. But every time I try to install something in linux, which is not found in APT, I get so confused. You download a zipped folder, then what? ...
49
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does '/' have an '..' entry?

This just baffles me. Why does the root directory contain a reference to a parent directory? bob@bob:/$ ls -a . build home lib32 mnt .rpmdb sys vmlinuz .. cdrom ...
31
votes
7answers
13k views

What does etc stand for?

What does the "etc" folder in the root directory stand for? I think knowing this will help me remember where certain files are located. Update: Might be useful for others, the folder is used for ...
24
votes
7answers
24k views

What is /usr/local/bin? Came across it in an script installation for Applescript but would like to know more

Before today, I've used Terminal to a limited extent of moving in and out of directories, changing the dates of files using the touch command, but had realised the full extent of Terminal after ...
2
votes
3answers
149 views

Carry-on Ubuntu Customization

Like most of us, I have several machines: at home, at work, for travelling... etc. I mainly write papers or books while I code. But I'm tired of svn'ing, rsync'ing and so on, so I've decided to carry ...
59
votes
17answers
6k views

Where should I put software I compile myself?

I need to compile some software on my Fedora machine. Where's the best place to put it so not to interfere with the packaged software?