I want to create a folder inside /home directory and another one inside /home/$USER directory. Does another user on the same system may be able to access the folder which was inside the /home directory?

Is there any disadvantage of creating a folder just inside /home directory?

What are the differences between creating a directory inside /home and /home/$USER directories?

1 Answer 1


The answer is, as so often, "it depends".

Usually directories directly under /home are only user home directories. It is entirely possible to put other stuff there too, and it won't harm anything.

Whether a user can access a directory under /home, e.g. /home/thisdir, will depend on what permission the directory has. If you grand read and execute permissions only to the owner, then only that owner and root can look inside it. If you grant read and execute permissions to everyone, then everyone can look inside it.

The same goes for users' own home directories. If you have username avinash, and your home directory is /home/avinash, then it's up to you to decide who may look inside it. You may choose to have it sealed up so that only you have read and execute permissions - then nobody other than yourself (and root) can read it. Or you may decide that everyone may look inside it - in which case they can.

There's a long description of various file and directory permissions at wikipedia - I think you'll find most of your questions answered by reading it.

  • 3
    I'd just like to add that there is nothing special per se about /home versus any other location. Some operating systems do include extra ACLs on the /home directory.
    – Lucas Holt
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 21:04
  • @lucasHolt: Just curious, which OSes are those?
    – nishantjr
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 4:26
  • If you've got SELinux enabled, it might. Solaris might, although it usually uses /export/home rather than /home, since it assumes that everyone's home directories live on an NFS server. HPUX can do it too, depending on configuration. In all these cases it's something that can be turned off.
    – Jenny D
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 7:06
  • In addition to those mentioned, Mac OS X does it since around 10.7 with their /Users
    – Lucas Holt
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 11:44

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