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

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521
votes
2answers
120k views

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

I have often wondered why the ~ represents the home directory of a user. Is there a reason behind this, or is it just some infrequently used character?
27
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 ...
22
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
868 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?
19
votes
2answers
928 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
716 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
990 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?
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
368 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
8k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
194 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
5
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
611 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
422 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
303 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
1answer
401 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
671 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
192 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
3answers
884 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
331 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Default files in home dir for each user

I'm using ubuntu server 14.04. I want to add some files and folders by default in each user's home directory, whenever a user account is created.
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Is there a standards-specified location for user configuration files?

I'm talking about files like ~/.foo found on a user's home dir. I'm working on a program that reads from such a file, and I'd also like to clean up my user root directory if I can. Is there a ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

Login when root filesystem is full

Will I be able to login into the system if the root filesystem is 100% full? Configuration: home is not a partition but is also placed on the root (i.e. /home is a directory on the partition holding ...
3
votes
1answer
372 views

advantages and disadvantages of manually un/mounting drives.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of manually un/mounting internal drives? I've never really bothered un-mounting internal HDDs after mounting them the first time around but would like to know ...
3
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

/home/user: change directory failed error

I just installed Arch reading from the Beginners' Guide on the Arch Wiki. Once I rebooted Arch, I logged into root then I added my own personal account: useradd fox then passwd fox and set my password ...
3
votes
1answer
612 views

Can I safely delete ~/Trash file?

My Uni account is over disk quota and requesting more quota takes time. Unfortunately, I need disk space now and I noticed that the Trash file in my home directory is quite a large file. Now I’m a ...
3
votes
2answers
40 views

Can I delete my home partition and create a new(larger) partition with the same files without issue?

I installed arch linux and figured I might want to have another distro or 5, so I left over half my hard drive space unallocated. Due to the fact that I wouldn't know how to add another distro to my ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

Can I safely delete old directories in my home directory?

I have several hidden directories in my home directory of which I don't know if I need them any more. How do I know if I can safely delete them? For instance, next to the directory .gimp-2.8 there is ...
3
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
279 views

Dealing with Endless Config files in Home Folder

I'm beginning to have a lot of .[program name]rc files in my home folder. I wish i could create a folder to keep them all in, and then get every program to to look there. Is there an easy way to do ...
3
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
1answer
62 views

Ubuntu user disappeared from machine

Unsolved mystery - I was given a coworker's Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS machine and set up my own (sudo/admin) user on there from the command line. I switched to my user (from his sudo/admin user) and ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

How do programs detect home directory (other than $HOME) [duplicate]

I work at an organisation where the fileserver containing /home sometimes fails to start in the morning. I can still log in on the console but get an error message something like $HOME not available, ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Modifying $HOME variable on a session startup script: Gnome ignores it?

I'm modifying the $HOME variable on a /etc/profile.d script. This seems to be OK for console sessions. There are some caveats on graphical sessions, though: Gnome won't load my desktop ...
3
votes
0answers
284 views

How are you organizing your $HOME? [closed]

I've always wanted to know more about how people (power users and lambda users) were organizing there $HOME. The trend is currently is using xdg-users-dirs which define a set of most used folders like ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

What exactly is a “home directory”?

When your University sends everyone an e-mail saying "We're sorry! One or more of our disks have failed; thus we've lost 'x' number of home directories on our servers." Is it basically just the root ...
2
votes
6answers
385 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 / ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Disabling (or removing) X from CrunchBang home server

I've just installed crunchbang linux (based on Debian) on some really old hardware (we're talking single cores and DDR memory here) for a simple home server. However, seeing as the hardware sucks ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Can we add home partition by adding an additional hard disk?

I have installed CentOS 6 and I have configured it as a mail server. All user data is stored in the /home directory now, but it is running out of space. By adding extra hard drive can I increase the ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Mounted a USB to /home and lost all the sub-directory's

I have been searching for a about a hour but I can't find a answer if someone knows another thread that will help I would gladly look through it. So what happened is I am learning about how to mount ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Changing username still leaves old traces

I changed my username about a month ago, and although I have forgotten the specificities of how I had done so, I'm pretty sure I followed the instructions on the Arch Wiki. Since then, some programs, ...
2
votes
1answer
244 views

How can I create files in my home directory without root?

I created a user, then using root I created a folder for him. The folder has the same name as the user. When I am logged in as the user, I cannot create files or edit existing ones without using ...
2
votes
4answers
286 views

Installing different distro without losing /home

I have a 2 year old laptop with Linux Mint 13 on it. Recently I've been having some problems with it (computer freezing, my settings suddenly disappearing and more) so I've been thinking about ...