Questions tagged [directory-structure]

The layout of the directory hierarchy — questions like “where does this file belong?” or “what is this directory for?”.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
686
votes
3answers
325k views

What is the purpose of the lost+found folder in Linux and Unix?

There is a folder at the root of Linux and Unix operating systems called /lost+found/ What is it for? Under what circumstances would I interact with it? How would I interact with it?
462
votes
8answers
311k views

What is the difference between /opt and /usr/local?

According to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, /opt is for "the installation of add-on application software packages". /usr/local is "for use by the system administrator when installing software ...
201
votes
9answers
157k views

What does etc stand for?

What does the "etc" folder in the root directory stand for? I think knowing this will help me remember where certain files are located. Update: Might be useful for others, the folder is used for "...
177
votes
13answers
244k views

Find the total size of certain files within a directory branch

Assume there's an image storage directory, say, ./photos/john_doe, within which there are multiple subdirectories, where many certain files reside (say, *.jpg). How can I calculate a summary size of ...
146
votes
4answers
104k views

What is the difference between /tmp and /var/tmp?

On most FHS systems, there is a /tmp folder as well as a /var/tmp folder. What is the functional difference between the two?
136
votes
17answers
43k views

Where should I put software I compile myself?

I need to compile some software on my Fedora machine. Where's the best place to put it so not to interfere with the packaged software?
100
votes
7answers
171k views

What is /usr/local/bin?

Before today, I've used the terminal to a limited extent of moving in and out of directories and changing the dates of files using the touch command. I had realised the full extent of the terminal ...
100
votes
2answers
85k views

What is this folder /run/user/1000?

What is this folder: /run/user/1000 on my Fedora system and what does it do? ~ $ df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on tmpfs 1.2G 20K 1.2G 1% /run/user/1000 EDIT: 7 ...
100
votes
4answers
72k views

Where do I put my systemd unit file?

I read that there are two folders for unit files (not in user mode). /usr/lib/systemd/system/: units provided by installed packages /etc/systemd/system/: units installed by the system administrator ...
98
votes
9answers
41k views

What's the most appropriate directory where to place files shared between users?

Or: where can I put files belonging to a group? Suppose there are two users on a Unix system: joe and sarah. They are both members of the movies-enthusiast group. Where should I put their movie files?...
96
votes
3answers
20k views

Why is the root directory denoted by a / sign?

I have done some research about this on Google, but the results were cloudy. Why is the / sign used to denote the root directory. Are there any solid reasons behind it?
92
votes
12answers
11k views

Why is Linux's filesystem designed as a single directory tree?

Can anyone explain why Linux is designed as a single directory tree? Whereas in Windows we can have multiple drives like C:\, and D:\, there is a single root in Unix. Any specific reason there?
91
votes
9answers
152k views

Why is the root directory on a web server put by default in “/var/www”?

Tuxfiles says the following about the Linux directory structure: /var: This directory contains variable data that changes constantly when the system is running. FHS on /var says the following:...
85
votes
2answers
76k views

What is this new /run filesystem?

I just ran df -h a minute ago and noticed a filesystem has been added that I'm not familiar with. Does anyone know why /run exists? Is this something that's been added by the kernel? By Arch Linux? ...
82
votes
2answers
56k views

Where should a local executable be placed?

I have an executable for the perforce version control client (p4). I can't place it in /opt/local because I don't have root privileges. Is there a standard location where it needs to be placed under $...
82
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does '/' have an '..' entry?

This has always puzzled me. Why does the root directory contain a reference to a parent directory? bob@bob:/$ ls -a . build home lib32 mnt .rpmdb sys vmlinuz .. cdrom ...
65
votes
7answers
45k views

What is the Linux equivalent to C:\Program Files?

I understand that in Windows as well as Linux and Unix, a program|application|software can be installed in any directory. Also if packages are installed using the distribution's packaging system, it'...
59
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I know where to put things in linux?

Installing something in windows takes a click of a button. But every time I try to install something in linux, which is not found in APT, I get so confused. You download a zipped folder, then what? ...
56
votes
7answers
139k views

Into which directory should I install programs in Linux?

I want to install a program in Linux and run it as a daemon. (Team Speak 3 in this case, but the question is general in nature). There is no package provided, only tarred binaries. Where in directory ...
44
votes
1answer
40k views

Difference between lib, lib32, lib64, libx32, and libexec

My 64 bit Ubuntu 13.04 system has the following directories in /: lib lib32 lib64 libx32 libexec In the /usr directory there is: lib lib32 libx32 libexec This seemed like something that could be ...
37
votes
2answers
28k views

Difference between /run and /var/run

Is there any difference between /run directory and var/run directory. It seems the latter is a link to the former. If the contents are one and the same what is the need for two directories?
36
votes
4answers
25k views

Where in “/” should extra permanent disks be mounted?

According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_directory_structure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard extra disks should not be mounted in /mnt/ according to the ...
35
votes
5answers
8k views

Why do /usr and /tmp directories for Linux miss vowels in their spellings?

I have often started to think about this but never found a good answer. Why are these two Unix directories not /user and /temp instead? All the other directories under root seem to be exactly what ...
35
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the alternatives to the FHS?

I'm a long time Linux user for over 15 years but one thing I hate with a passion is the mandated directory structure. I don't like that /usr/bin is the dumping ground for binaries or libs in /usr/lib, ...
35
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
32
votes
4answers
15k views

Where are userspace programs supposed to save their logs?

I am writing a script that I want to run without privileges. I want the errors that the script encounters to be logged to some log file. I do not not have privileges to write one to /var/log. And I do ...
30
votes
3answers
23k views

Permissions/ownership of /usr/local/bin

From what I understand, the right place to put your own scripts is /usr/local/bin (for instance a script I use to back up some files). I notice that this folder is currently (by default) owned by root,...
29
votes
1answer
39k views

How to create a file and parent directories in one command? [duplicate]

Is there a flag/option for touch, mkdir, >, or some other command that will allow me to create a file and any non-existent parent directories at the same time? For instance, let's say I'm in an ...
28
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
17k views

Recommended location of node.js applications in linux filesystem?

Where is the conventionally accepted location of node.js/express web apps, in a linux file system? Currently I've got a subdirectory in /opt/ but I'd like to hear other people's view on this...
26
votes
3answers
12k views

Standard and/or common directories on Unix/Linux OSes

Coming from the Windows world, I have found the majority of the folder directory names to be quite intuitive: \Program Files contains files used by programs (surprise!) \Program Files (x86) contains ...
26
votes
5answers
26k views

What's so special about directories whose names begin with a dot?

I was wondering what the difference between these two were: ~/somedirectory/file.txt and ~/.somedirectory/file.txt It's really difficult to ask this on Google since I didn't know how to explain ...
26
votes
4answers
62k views

Adding to path vs. linking from /bin

Our sys admin installed a software application (Maven) on the server and told everyone to add the /usr/local/maven/bin/ folder to their path. I think it could be more convenient to just link the few ...
26
votes
4answers
18k views

What is the difference between /etc and /usr/local/etc

I am developing a daemon that needs to store lots of application data, and I noticed that on my system (Fedora 15), there is a /usr/local/etc directory. I've decided to install my daemon to /usr/...
26
votes
4answers
32k views

Should I put application into /usr/local or /usr/local/share?

What are the "standards" -- should I put application (not just binary, but entire distribution) to /usr/local or /usr/local/share. For example scala or weka -- it contains examples, binaries, ...
25
votes
2answers
26k views

Download files and create same file structure as the source

I have a config file which consists of list of URIs I want to download. For example, http://xyz.abc.com/Dir1/Dir3/sds.exe http://xyz.abc.com/Dir2/Dir4/jhjs.exe http://xyz.abc.com/Dir1/itr.exe ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does '/' contain '..'? [duplicate]

There's no directory above /, so what's the point of the .. in it?
24
votes
2answers
70k views

Where to search for the core file generated by the crash of a linux application?

I am trying to find out the reason of crash for one of my Linux application. But I don't know where core is going. cat /proc/sys/kernel/core_pattern core.%e.%p Any Idea?
22
votes
3answers
21k views

File and directory naming conventions

I want to refactor the files and directories on my system. However I am not sure what is best practice. After reading this question and its answers I assume the most important part is to be ...
21
votes
2answers
11k views

what is the distinction between /media, /mnt and /run/mount?

In FHS-2.3, we have /media that holds mount points for removable media such as CD-ROMs and we have /mnt that holds temporarily mounted filesystems. On the other hand, we have /run/media and /run/...
20
votes
2answers
13k views

How does /dev/fd relate to /proc/self/fd/?

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 /proc/...
19
votes
3answers
40k views

Mounting a device — role of /dev, /media and /mnt, and the mount command [closed]

I have several closely related questions about what happens when I insert a CD. The files on the CD /media/Ubuntu\ 11.04\ i386/, but from what I've seen /dev/cdrom is also involved. What is the ...
18
votes
2answers
30k views

What are the files located in `/var/crash/`?

I know when a program crashes, some files creating in /var/crash/. But I don't know what these files are! Is that error logs?
18
votes
4answers
13k views

Preferred mount points for internal HDDs [duplicate]

I am relatively new to Linux and I apologise if this is a silly question. I read the Linux FS Hierarchy document but it didn't answer my question. I would like to know if there is a typical drive ...
17
votes
4answers
9k views

Standard location for holding software source files

Is there a standard location in Linux for holding source files for example OpenSSL. I am building Nginx from source with non default version of OpenSSL. I need to download and untar OpenSSL and I did ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Which folder should I write to for my intermediate files, as a dev?

I'm starting to write a few bash scripts for my project and they need some intermediate files or variables to be written. I want to know which folders can I be sure of having access to when someone ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Compact bash prompt when using a directory tree / filename

In a system with Ubuntu 14.04 and bash, I have the PS1 variable ending with the following contents: \u@\h:\w\$ so that the prompt appears as user@machinename:/home/mydirectory$ Sometimes, however, ...
17
votes
3answers
29k views

find with -execdir

When I run find with -execdir I don't get the results I was expecting. For example: mkdir -p a/b/c find . -type d -execdir touch foo \; $ tree a a ├── b │   ├── c │   └── foo └── foo Directory c ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Can I prevent a folder of a certain name being created?

I'm working on a LAMP web app and there is a scheduled process somewhere which keeps creating a folder called shop in the root of the site. Every time this appears it causes conflicts with rewrite ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are init.d scripts in etc?

I keep reading/hearing that /etc is for system configuration files. Can someone explain/give me some intuition for why these scripts that start/stop/restart various programs are usually in /etc ...

1
2 3 4 5
9