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
84
votes
2answers
58k 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 $...
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?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

When you type “ls -a”, what is the significance of “.” and “..”?

Whenever you type ls -a into the command prompt, you usually get all of your folders, files, and then you see that the first two entries are . and .. Just curious, but what is the significance of ...
464
votes
8answers
317k 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 ...
691
votes
3answers
328k 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?
101
votes
4answers
75k 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 ...
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 ...
100
votes
2answers
87k 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 ...
201
votes
9answers
158k 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 "...
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?
11
votes
9answers
67k views

How to recreate /var/lib/dpkg/status?

I have deleted some files around /var/lib/dpkg/, namely: /var/lib/dpkg/status /var/lib/dpkg/available /var/lib/dpkg/info/* I understand Debian uses these files to keep some information about ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

What are the advantages of the Unix file system structure

If I install an application in Linux for example Debian/Gnu Linux, the files of the applications are copied to many different directories in the file system. Some scripts goes into /usr/share .. /usr/...
146
votes
4answers
106k 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?
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? ...
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?
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 ...
36
votes
4answers
26k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I copy a subset of files from a directory while preserving the folder structure?

I want to move some subset of files from dirA to dirB (let's say files with "blah" in the filename), but I want all the nested directories to be the same in the new location. How can I do that?
4
votes
2answers
718 views

Where should I copy-paste-install software to?

I'm installing IntelliJ, and the readme tells me to choose an installation folder. Where is a good, standard place to put installed programs?
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Where should an application be installed if it consists of multiple files?

I have noticed that essentially all the files in /usr/bin are stand-alone executables, rather than a directory containing the executable plus other files that the executable might need (such as ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Is it possible to specify a path in which a directory name is variable?

Asking this question on mpv player and dvds, I stumbled into a more generic question: is it generally possible to specify a path in which one of the directory names is variable? Let's say that I want ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

What is the “~/” directory?

I'm trying to locate where some files are stored and I can easily browse to them via ssh by going to "cd ~/foldername", however, I have no idea what directory "~/" actually is. When I browse around ...
182
votes
13answers
248k 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 ...
101
votes
7answers
174k 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 ...
57
votes
7answers
142k 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 ...
86
votes
2answers
77k 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? ...
19
votes
3answers
41k 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
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 ...
31
votes
1answer
41k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Where do I put scripts executed by systemd units?

For any OS that uses systemd to manage processes and follows the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard by the Linux Foundation I recently asked where to but a systemd unit file: Where do I put my systemd ...
17
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

Linux File Versioning?

We are migrating from A VMS environment to a Linux environment for some old alpha servers we are decommissioning. The one challenge I have not been able to overcome is file versioning. VMS keeps ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the linux directory structure obsolete and obtuse? [closed]

I genuinely feel that the Linux directory system presents an obstacle for users migrating from other systems as well as being a bottleneck for the evolution of Linux itself. Rest assured I am not here ...
9
votes
2answers
9k views

How can you move (or copy) all files to a directory with the same filename prefix?

Using Bash So let's say I have a bunch of files randomly placed in a parent directory ~/src, I want to grab all the files matching a certain suffix and move (or copy) them to a ~/dist directory. Let'...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Best directory for shared scripts

What is the conventional directory to keep shared scripts that might be used by more than one user? I've read through this overview of the standard file system hierarchy, but it doesn't seem to ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between /etc/rc.d/rc*.d and /etc/rc*.d

I know that rc*.d directories are used at startup, or reboot, or so on time, for starting or stopping programs. Can anybody explain me what's the difference between the rc*.d folders placed under the /...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Where to store shared data in FHS 3.0?

I'm working on a FHS2-conforming application that used to store data in $sharedstatedir (i.e. $(prefix)/com, e.g. /usr/local/com). This directory is no more in FHS 3.0, and it seems that we need to ...
3
votes
3answers
757 views

mysql database no space available

I was restoring a 200 GB database into a newly installed RHEL machine. However, while restoring I ran into no space available issue. Is it possible to change the directory where the databases are ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Who should own files shared by a group and where should they go

I am configuring a Linux work station that will be used by a small number of users (20-30). These users will belong to a small set of groups (5-10) with each user belonging to at least one group and ...
2
votes
2answers
914 views

Public, Non-Root Access to file system?

I'm trying to structure an android project for continuous integration/continuous delivery via gradle and git. The main code will be pulled from git on the build server without various files that ...
1
vote
2answers
188 views

Mount point for system-wide USB disk

I have a USB disk connected to a server computer which is mounted when the computer starts. I'm thinking that it's not ideal to mount it under the /media directory since it could potentially lead to a ...
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 ...
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'...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
23
votes
2answers
12k 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/...