The /home directory or partition contains user-specific configuration files, caches, application data and media files.

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656
votes
2answers
135k views

Why was '~' chosen to represent the home directory?

I have often wondered why the ~ (tilde) represents the home directory of a user. Is there a reason behind this, or is it just some infrequently used character?
33
votes
8answers
6k views

Are there pitfalls to putting $HOME in git instead of symlinking dotfiles?

I have for many years had my entire $HOME directory checked into subversion. This has included all my dotfiles and application profiles, many scripts, tools and hacks, my preferred basic home ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

Why aren't crontabs stored in user home directories?

I'm curious to know: why are crontabs stored in /var rather than in the user's home directories? It makes it a total pain to isolate these files for upgrades but I suspect that there is a logical ...
27
votes
2answers
1k views

Does ~ always equal $HOME

I know this has probably been asked before, but I couldn't find it with Google. Given Linux Kernel No configurations that change $HOME bash Will ~ == $HOME be true?
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do some applications use ~/.config/appname for their config data while others use ~/.appname?

I've noticed that some applications put their configuration files to ~/.config/appname while others use ~/.appname (the classic way, AFAIK) for this. What's the sense in this distinction and what ...
21
votes
1answer
857 views

At what point did the /home directory appear?

Originally in Unix, /usr was used for user (home) directories. So if I had a user named alex, my home directory would be /usr/alex. (Interestingly, Plan 9, the successor to Unix, still has user ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Tilde (~) inside working unix directory

So, Im working in a UNIX environment and I noticed that inside my working directory, which is miles miles away from my UNIX home, there is a ~. Now, once in the past, I did rm -rf ~ from my working ...
14
votes
5answers
949 views

Make pwd result in terms of “~”?

pwd gives me /data/users/me/some/random/folder Is there an easy way of obtaining ~/some/random/folder from pwd?
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it a bad idea to use an SD card for home directory?

I'm planning to make an SD card (or a flash drive) my home directory so as to be able to work on different PCs without much hassle. Is this a bad idea for some reason?
13
votes
3answers
482 views

Clean $HOME directory

During a few years, in my $HOME directory a lot of hidden files and directories appeared. I would like to continually delete the unneeded ones. How can I find out which applications created those ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it possible to redefine the tilde ('~', home directory)?

Is it possible to redefine the home directory? e.g. to /ext1/username instead of /home/username, i.e. expanding the ~ to another directory (as opposed to changing the actual home directory where ...
10
votes
2answers
11k views

Installing a package locally to a user - best practices?

I want to install Git locally to a user on a RHEL server (I don't have root access) What would be your cleanest/ most organized way of installing software to a local user account? Installing ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What are .serverauth.##### files in my home directory?

The files are .serverauth.##### where ##### is a 5-digit number. I have a handful of these files in my home directory with a broad range of creation dates spanning a couple of years. What are these ...
9
votes
1answer
154 views

How can I create an account with a copy of the same home folder?

I have a 'user1' account with the home folder set up. I'd like to create a 'user2' account with a copy of the same home folder setup. Is it possible to do this?
9
votes
3answers
417 views

Stacked filesystems with write-back

I need to setup a system where a laptop and a desktop computers coexist. The idea is, I bring the laptop into the network and the laptop syncs the /home directory( with some exceptions) with the ...
8
votes
3answers
20k views

~ is $HOME, but sometimes?

This is kind of a trivial and dumb question. cd ~ does the same thing as cd $HOME which is also the same as cd /home/tandu However, cd ~not-tandu changes to /home/not-tandu Is this ...
7
votes
2answers
15k views

How to add home directory path to be discovered by Unix which command?

I have installed node.js at custom location and added the location to the $PATH in .profile file. Hoons-MacBook-Air:npm Eonil$ node --version v0.6.2 Hoons-MacBook-Air:npm Eonil$ which node ...
7
votes
2answers
678 views

how to prevent a user from changing his home directory permissions?

If user smith's home directory has the following permissions: $ ls -l /home/staff drwxr-x--- 51 smith staff 4096 Sep 18 09:08 smith/ is it possible, somehow, to prevent him to change his ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the $HOME environment variable always set on a Linux system?

Assuming the machine is running a Linux kernel, sessions make use of the Bash shell and everything is using default configurations (no user has made any changes to config files), can we assume that ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

force copying a corrupted home directory

I have a home directory in a disk that has a lot of corrupted files. I am trying to save most files as possible. I am trying to create a backup of my home directory on an external drive using tar ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

how to make gnome use my home folder as Desktop folder?

Environment: Debian 7, gnome-shell. I dislike having a Desktop folder and a Home folder. I like all the applications to use my home folder. Specifically I am concerned about nautilus and ...
6
votes
2answers
837 views

Isn't $HOME supposed to be the location of the user's home directory?

I'm having trouble with a web application I'm writing: The web application, which runs as user nobody, needs to launch an inkscape process to manipulate some SVG files. Because this runs as user ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Where should user configuration files go? [duplicate]

If I look at my home directory there are a large number of dot files. If I am creating a new program that needs a user configuration file, is there any guidance where to put it? I could imagine ...
6
votes
2answers
302 views

Is there any issue to put / as a home directory of root user from security point of view?

Is there any issue to put / as a home directory of root user from security point of view instead of /root
6
votes
2answers
900 views

conceal home folder completely - is ecryptfs the right choice?

On my Debian-Testing-System, I want to completely conceal the home folders. That means, I not only want the data to be encrypted, but I also want to preclude determining any (or most) information from ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Splitting the Home dir two different partitions

I run a Ubuntu desktop environment with two harddisks. A small SSD and a large regular disk. Currently i run a setup where my home drive is located on /home/name, but some folders e.g. Downloads ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Can the /home folder in Linux contain anything else but user folders?

Can the /home folder contain anything else but user folders? I have a folder I want to share between Windows and Arch - can it go in the home folder under a name not belonging to any existing user? ...
5
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

Using ~ in symlink target or making a symlink with a variable

I would like to create a symlink to ~/foo/ but when I write that, ~ is always resolved to the absolute home path. I've used ../s in the past and they work fine, is ~ not allowed? The reason I'd like ...
5
votes
1answer
572 views

SSH public keys not working; my home directory is encrypted

I installed Ubuntu LTS 14.04 server edition on a remote computer, and added my local public key to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the remote computer. I found that I still needed to use password to log in ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

Where should an app save working files?

I'm designing a GUI application that works with scanned documents. It allows the scans to be manipulated before they are saved/exported, so it needs to store the data for each scanned page ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I create a new user but with a home directory that already exists?

Let's say I have a user called panos and he has his home directory located at /home/panos. Then, I create a another user called Tom: adduser Tom It creates a user Tom who has home dir: /home/Tom ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Authentication refused: bad ownership or modes for file /var/git/.ssh/authorized_keys [duplicate]

EDIT The issue as exposed here is solved (about files modes of the .ssh folder. But an other issue persists so I create a new question : > Unable to login with SSH-RSA key I can no longer ...
4
votes
1answer
379 views

configuration ethics (esthetics): /etc vs $HOME

Ok this may not be a very concrete question, and is perhaps subject to taste, yet I'm struggling to get this right so here it goes. I have a computer. This computer has linux on it (thank god). Arch ...
4
votes
6answers
6k views

umount /home does not work

I trying to merge my separate /home partition with my / partition in linux mint 13. I was told to umount /home, mount it on a different location and copy the contents to the /home directory on the / ...
4
votes
1answer
598 views

Approaches to prevent user from deleting home folder

I think prevent home folder from deleting is a very good idea. So I search possible approaches to do that. I that's what I’m find: Use chattr +i /home/user - even root can't can add/delete/rename ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Bash script for scp interpreting tilde (~) too soon

So, I just started a new C++ class that requires me to program in a Linux environment. I don't have Linux installed on my machine, but I do have OS X and I can ssh into a linux machine in the lab at ...
4
votes
1answer
9k views

What does 'mount point' mean in a Linux installer?

While installing Linux, it asks for a 'mount point' selection. I gave it /, but I don't know the exact meaning and aim of this. Also, now I want to create one more mount point, /home in my machine ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Linux and Windows compatible home drive

I want to have a singular home drive for both my Win7 and Arch partitions, so I initially set the partition to NTFS, as so: 5gb / 20gb C: 475gb /home + D: which worked up until I started ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

Invalid cross-device link while Hardlinking in the same file system

I have /home/myuser/Desktop/rc/.netrc file that i want hardlink to /root, ie home directory of root user. When i do: ln /home/user/Destkop/rc/.netrc /root it gives the following error: ln: ...
4
votes
1answer
785 views

How can I decrypt my encrypted /home partition?

A year ago I installed Linux Mint 17 on my laptop. I partitioned the HDD and separated the system (/ mount point) and the data (/home mount point). I chose to encrypt the whole /home using the basic ...
4
votes
4answers
13k views

What type of permissions should a user's home directory and files have?

I'm working with a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04 and I've just added a new user: useradd -m testuser I thought that the -m flag to create a home directory for users was pretty standard, but now ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

SSH not landing in the home directory

I have recently installed Raspbian into a Raspberry Pi. As part of the installation process I changed the user name and group from the default (pi) to my own (let's call it user) using usermod and ...
4
votes
1answer
639 views

change location of $HOME/.Xauthority

Is it possible to change the location for .Xauthority, to something other than $HOME/.Xauthority ? AFAIU, this file is being created every time I log into LXDE, by my login manager slim. The problem ...
4
votes
1answer
381 views

How to run script when SSSD creates home directory for a new user

I have a network with several RHEL6 workstations and RHEL IdM Server (a.k.a. FreeIPA) as a domain controller. Every LDAP user can log into the every workstation. When the user is logging in for the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Automatically mount encrypted home folder on login

I'm looking into encrypting my home folder with Truecrypt, and mounting it after I've logged in, which should be pretty straightforward. However, it occurred to me that it should be theoretically ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Root /home Directory vs ~ (tilde)

I have created a virtual image for Scientific Linux and came across this after I finished installing it: [root@ftpserver home]# pwd /home [root]@ftpserver home]# ls When I cd into ~ I get this: ...
3
votes
3answers
713 views

To secure my data, is it good to have separate data partition (along with separate home partition)

I am installing fresh Ubuntu 15.10 on my laptop after erasing my hard disk completely. Now, what I am interested to know is whether it is good to have a separate data partition along with separate ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between 'cd' and 'cd ~'

I am wondering, if cd alone sends me to my home folder and cd ~ does the same, why was the ~ added in the first place then? Is it something specific to BASH or would they behave differently in ...
3
votes
3answers
501 views

Convert old /home from ext3 to ext4

I have an old /home partition, that dates back to former linux systems, and it is still in ext3 format. Whereas the rest of my system, / and some other mounted point are devices formated in ext4. I ...