Is there a conventional location to store non-secret bulk files that can be accessible by multiple users? I know that I can create a new folder (and set the right permissions) in most places in the file system. But I'd like to follow a established convention so (a) the structure is more familiar to our new users and (b) it avoids subtle problems with certain directories that I'm not experienced enough to anticipate.

If it matters, this is a fresh Red Hat 6 install on a VM. Users will access it through ssh, and maybe RDP or the vCloud Director. The tarred & gziped files are 6.6GB; uncompressed is 11GB.

  • If in /home then it will (hopefully) be backed up. But would normaly just be in the creators directory, with appropriate permissions. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 19:52
  • Thank you @Giles for linking to that previous issue. It helped with some issues that I hadn't thought about thoroughly enough yet.
    – wibeasley
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


Usually it depends on exactly what the files are for. In practice I've seen people use /srv for server data, /var/www/html for web-accessible files, and /usr/local as sort of a catch-all. I've also seen a lot of vendors using /opt as being similar to C:\Program Files on Windows (i.e a collection third party application roots) which may themselves have files that non-root users should have access to.

There's also nothing all that wrong with creating a directory directly underneath root (e.g /accountingData, etc) as long as it's consistent between servers.


Many documents dealing with file system layouts (hier(7) in FreeBSD, the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, et al.) don't talk about what to do with shared user data. Anything that isn't covered by the standards can be put in whatever location best fits your organisation. For example, on my home storage server I have a top-level directory /data containing subdirectories for music, documents, backups, stuff shared to Windows by Samba, etc. At work, we have top-level directories for the software developers to put their shared files, build artifacts and so on, and the content development team have another location to keep their files - split by project and then by stage - incoming, in-flight, master archives, etc.

You are free, as the administrator, to set things up as you see fit - but I recommend getting input from the business, and establishing a configuration that makes sense to your users.

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