I don't understand the difference between /var/www path and /usr/local path on linux command because for instance at the moment I can see my red5 server folder is in the latter path and within that folder is /webapps/root/demos path and has me wondering why it is there and why red5 directory is not in the first path. What is the difference between these two paths? I mean one is clearly to place all your publicly viewed html files and then I can understand the /etc/httpd path for apache but does /usr/local always refer to things such as media and server connections- is that why? Then what would the root in webapps refer to, how is that implemented when demos can be accessed essentially by anyone if you have your server running.


The directory structure for a linux system is defined by the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

The /usr/local directory is usually used for user installed applications that are not part of the official distribution. These generally are apps that you either installed from source or as binary tar archives. Applications installed using your distributions package management software will be installed under / and /usr.

The /var subdirectory is for variable files. Specifically, it was created for files that are modified so that it could be mounted r/w and the / and /usr be mounted read only.

/var/www is not an official standard directory of the FHS but has been used by many Linux Distributions. Other directories used on other distributions are /srv/www and /usr/share/www.

I am not familiar with Red5. If I understand you correctly it has installed demo apps under /usr/local/webapps/root/demos.

As I stated above, user installed application generally are installed under the /usr/local folder.

/var/www is where the actual HTML pages should be not applications.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.