A file system structure in which to store computer files.

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119
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3answers
48k views

Why do directories need the executable (X) permission to be opened?

In my CMS, I noticed that directories need the executable bit (+x) set for the user to open them. Why is the execute permission required to read a directory?
54
votes
6answers
8k views

How linux handles multiple path separators (/home////username///file)

I'm working on a python script that passes file locations to an scp subprocess. That's all fine, but I'm in a situation where I may end up concatenating a path with a filename such that there's a ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to run a command when a directory's contents are updated?

There is a directory A whose contents are changed frequently by other people. I have made a personal directory B where I keep all the files that have ever been in A. Currently I just occasionally ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Any way to sync directory structure when the files are already on both sides?

I have two drives with the same files, but the directory structure is totally different. Is there any way to 'move' all the files on the destination side so that they match the structure of the ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

Where do the files go if you mount a drive to a folder that already contains files?

I just accidentally mounted a new drive to a folder that already contained files. I don't care about them and have them somewhere else, but that folder appears empty now. I'm curious what happened ...
33
votes
3answers
4k views

What does size of a directory mean in output of 'ls -l' command?

What does size of a directory mean in output of ls -l command?
85
votes
1answer
96k views

How to set default file permissions for all folders/files in a directory?

I want to set a folder such that anything created within it (directories, files) inherit default permissions and group. Lets call the group "media". And also, the folders/files created within the ...
30
votes
2answers
19k views

Do the parent directory's permissions matter when accessing a subdirectory?

If I have a root folder with some restrictive permission, let's say 600, and if the child folders/files have 777 permission will everybody be able to read/write/execute the child file even though the ...
41
votes
6answers
8k views

The result of ls * , ls ** and ls ***

I know using the command ls will list all the directories. But what does the ls * command do ? I used it and it just lists the directories. Is the star in front of ls means how deep it can list the ...
76
votes
6answers
21k views

Why hard links not allowed to directories in UNIX/Linux

I read in text books that UNIX/Linux doesn't allows hard links to directories but soft links do. Is it because, when we have cycles and if we create hardlinks, and after some time we delete the ...
19
votes
5answers
33k views

Script to monitor folder for new files?

How do I detect new files in a folder with a bash script? I would like to process the files as soon as they are created in the folder. Is this possible to do so or do I have to schedule a script with ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

Getting new files to inherit group permissions on Linux

I am having a problem with permissions on a Linux server. I am used to BSD. When a directory is owned by a group the user who owns it isn't in such as www-data, files created in it will be owned by ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How to find all the links to a directory

When I stat a directory I get a listing that tell me there are 5 links to the directory. stat dir My question is how do I get information (names and locations) to all these 5 links?
55
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 ...
38
votes
7answers
10k views

What does the .d stand for in directory names?

I know many directories with .d in their name: init.d yum.repos.d conf.d Does it mean directory? If yes, from what does this disambiguate? UPDATE: I've had many interesting answers about what the ...
25
votes
3answers
6k views

How to remove all empty directories in a subtree?

How can I remove all empty directories in a subtree? I used something like find . -type d -exec rmdir {} 2>/dev/null \; but I needs to be run multiple times in order to remove directories ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

In Linux, “Write” Permission Is Equivalent To “Execute” For Directories?

The Execute permission makes sense for files (which include scripts etc), but when it comes to directories, write (w) permission works the same way as execute (x), right? Which means, if we are giving ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I copy a file and create the target directories at the same time?

I want to cp aaa/deep/sea/blob.psd to bbb/deep/sea/blob.psd How do I do the copy if the deep and sea directories don't exist under bbb so that the copy both creates the directories that are needed ...
1
vote
1answer
977 views

How can I make ls show information about the directory specified only, not info about its sub-files or folder contents?

Say I have folder "foo" residing, the home directory. I want to get some info of it, owner, group, permissions, etc... I then do this to try to get the information: cd ~ ls -l foo Of course it now ...
36
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is '.' a hard link in Unix?

I've seen many explanations for why the link count for an empty directory in Unix based OSes is 2 instead of 1. They all say that it's because of the '.' directory, which every directory has pointing ...
22
votes
1answer
67k views

Create a symbolic link relative to the current directory

I'm trying to create a symbolic link in my home directory that points to a directory on my external HDD. It works fine when I specify it like this: cd ~ ln -s /run/media/name/exhdd/Data/ Data ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I move files by type recursively from a directory and its sub-directories to another directory?

What would be a good way to move a file type from a directory and all of its sub-directories? Like "move all *.ogg in /thisdir recursively to /somedir". I tried a couple of things; my best effort was ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I force unzip / zip not to create a subdirectory when I extract it?

Depending on how a zip file is created, sometimes it will extract all of the files directly, and sometimes it will extract the files into a subdirectory. If the latter is true, how can I force the ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Lowercasing all directories under a directory

I want to lowercase every directories' name under a directory. With which commands can I do that?
7
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I change folder timestamps recursively to the newest file?

I was wondering if anyone knows how to change the timestamps of folders recursively based on the latest timestamp found of the files in that folder. So for example: ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Fine-tune LS_COLORS for directory suffixes?

I’m fine customizing most settings in LS_COLORS. I don’t need help customizing the colors for different file suffixes. What I would like to do is configure special colors for certain directories, ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

What is the “~/” directory?

I'm trying to locate where some files are stored and I can easily browse to them via ssh by going to "cd ~/foldername", however, I have no idea what directory "~/" actually is. When I browse around ...
17
votes
3answers
9k views

Is there any way to prevent deletion of certain files from user owned directory?

Let's say user has Directory1 and it contains File1 File2 CantBeDeletedFile How to make so the user would never be allowed to delete the CantBeDeletedFile? If I change the ownership of Directory1 and ...
28
votes
3answers
15k views

Why unix mv program doesn't need -R (recursive) option for directories but cp does need it?

This is a kind of "wtf?" question, so I'm sorry if I will disturb someone's vision of how things should be or if I will just annoy you with the "stupid" question. I always get messed up when need to ...
38
votes
4answers
31k views

What is the 'working directory' when cron executes a job

I have a script that works when I run it from the command line, but when I schedule it with cron I get errors that it cannot find files or commands. My questions is twofold: When I schedule a cron ...
8
votes
5answers
23k views

Using sftp to Transfer a Directory?

When I try to use sftp to transfer a directory containing files, I get an error message: skipping non-regular file directory_name The directory contains a couple of files and two subdirectories. ...
17
votes
3answers
5k views

When should I use a trailing slash on a directory? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How linux handles multiple path separators (/home////username///file) Most commands I use in linux behave exactly the same whether I include the trailing slash / ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

What's the best way to count the number of files in a directory? [duplicate]

If parsing the output of ls is dangerous because it can break on some funky characters (spaces, \n, ... ), what's the best way to know the number of files in a directory? I usualy rely on find to ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does a new directory have a hard link count of 2 before anything is added to it?

Say I just create directory newDirectory and then I do ls -ld command. I see that the number of hard links is 2. What exactly makes the hard link 2 from the start? Also is the number of subdirectories ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Why was '.' chosen to represent the current directory and '..' for parent directory?

After reading this question Design question: Why was '~' chosen to represent the home directory?, next obvious question on my mind was why '.' and '..' was used to represent current directory ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Folder with ONLY write permission is useless… right?

Having worked with Linux for years, and finding myself with some free time, I decided to revisit some basics. So I re-read the stuff about permissions (without checking source code), and its special ...
5
votes
8answers
3k views

Run a command on all subfolders

If you have a series of subfolders (like from a to z) and want to run a command on each one of them (like rm *.pdf or ls *.pdf), how do you do that? The "manual" approach would be cd a, rm *.pdf, or ...
4
votes
2answers
414 views

Searching for string in files

Is there an easy way to search inside 1000s of files in a complex directory structure to find files which contain a specific string within the file?
2
votes
2answers
607 views

Is a -rw-rw-rw- file really inaccessible inside a drwxrwx— directory?

Say I have a directory with these permissions: drwxrwx--- Inside this directory, a file with these permissions: -rw-rw-rw- Is the file readable/writable by everyone or not ? If not, how secure ...
13
votes
1answer
173 views

When did directories stop being readable as files?

I have the 1st edition of The Unix Programming Environment book. In chapter 2, the authors state that directories are readable as files, and mention some facts about the format of these files. They ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Why can't I have a folder and a file with the same name?

I've never had this problem before, but for some reason, I can't rename my folder to packages/. This is the structure: root - packages_old/ - packages When I try to rename the folder with ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How are directories implemented in Unix filesystems?

My question is how directories are implemented? I can believe a data structure like a variable e.g. table, array or similar. Since UNIX is Open Source I can look in the source what the program does ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the advantages of the Unix file system structure

If I install an application in Linux for example Debian/Gnu Linux, the files of the applications are copied to many different directories in the file system. Some scripts goes into /usr/share .. ...
6
votes
3answers
383 views

“mkdir foo; svn mv * foo”

I often want to do some variant of this idiom: $ mkdir 2010 $ svn mv * 2010 Of course, I get an error because the glob matches 2010 as well: svn: Cannot copy path '2010' into its own child ...
6
votes
1answer
780 views

Is there a tool that hooks to two directories and synchronizes them as soon as something changes?

I have huge simulation directories on the two machines server and on cluster which I want to keep synchronized. The basic situation is that files rarely change but when a simulation is done many big ...
4
votes
2answers
883 views

Determine what device a directory is located on

If I do # cd / # ln -s /home test # cd test # mount --bind $PWD /mnt the entry in /proc/mounts is /dev/sda2 /mnt ext4 rw,noatime,data=ordered 0 0 which is the device that is mounted to /home and ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Permissions to change only directory content and not itself

We have a directory and want to protect that from remove and rename, but we need to be able to rename, remove and create contents. What we can do?
3
votes
2answers
199 views

Command for creating a directory and navigating into it directly? [duplicate]

Quite often I need to perform this two commands: mkdir abc cd abc I am curious whether there is a simple command (or an alias that I can create and use) to do it in one go, like user@GROUP:~$ mdcd ...
3
votes
1answer
312 views

How does the Linux file structure work?

I see the different folders bin, dev, mnt, proc, srv, sys, etc. What are the properties of all these different folders? What are there purposes? Are there files in some of them that I should not ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

creating abbreviations for commonly used paths

I am new to linux and was wondering whether it is possible to create abbreviations that can be used in terminal. I know about alias command, but am not sure whether that can be used for what I am ...