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What does etc stand for?

And why isn't it named /cnf or /syscf or /cfg? No one I have ever asked has been able to tell me, not that I have access to any of the minds that created UNIX.

When I was a youngster, I saw the /etc and assumed it was for 'et cetera', namely, other files that had no place elsewhere, and I used it for that in a few of my early Linux installs (cringeworthy, I know) in the mid-90's. I continued learning and trying to do better, and I have, since. But the mystery remains, and even the FSSTND does not seem to contain this info. Anyone?

merged by Michael Mrozek Nov 24 '12 at 16:18

This question was merged with What does etc stand for? because it is an exact duplicate of that question.