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       hier - description of the filesystem hierarchy


       A typical Linux system has, among others, the following directories:

       /      This is the root directory.  This is where the whole tree starts.

       /bin   This  directory  contains  executable programs which are needed in single user mode
              and to bring the system up or repair it.

       /boot  Contains static files for the boot loader.  This directory  holds  only  the  files
              which  are  needed  during  the  boot process.  The map installer and configuration
              files should go to /sbin and /etc.

       /dev   Special or device files, which refer to physical devices.  See mknod(1).

       /etc   Contains configuration files which are local to the machine.  Some larger  software
              packages,  like  X11,  can  have  their  own  subdirectories below /etc.  Site-wide
              configuration files may be placed here  or  in  /usr/etc.   Nevertheless,  programs
              should  always  look for these files in /etc and you may have links for these files
              to /usr/etc.

              Host-specific configuration files for add-on applications installed in /opt.

              This directory contains the configuration files for SGML and XML (optional).

              When a new user account is created, files from this directory  are  usually  copied
              into the user's home directory.

              Configuration files for the X11 window system (optional).

       /home  On  machines  with  home  directories  for  users,  these  are usually beneath this
              directory, directly or not.  The structure  of  this  directory  depends  on  local
              administration decisions.

       /lib   This  directory  should  hold those shared libraries that are necessary to boot the
              system and to run the commands in the root filesystem.

       /media This directory contains mount points for removable media such as CD and  DVD  disks
              or USB sticks.

       /mnt   This  directory  is  a  mount  point for a temporarily mounted filesystem.  In some
              distributions, /mnt contains subdirectories intended to be used as mount points for
              several temporary filesystems.

       /opt   This directory should contain add-on packages that contain static files.

       /proc  This  is  a  mount  point for the proc filesystem, which provides information about
              running processes and the kernel.  This  pseudo-filesystem  is  described  in  more
              detail in proc(5).

       /root  This directory is usually the home directory for the root user (optional).

       /sbin  Like  /bin,  this directory holds commands needed to boot the system, but which are
              usually not executed by normal users.

       /srv   This directory contains site-specific data that is served by this system.

       /tmp   This directory contains temporary files which may be deleted with no  notice,  such
              as by a regular job or at system boot up.

       /usr   This  directory  is usually mounted from a separate partition.  It should hold only
              sharable, read-only data, so that it can be mounted  by  various  machines  running

              The X-Window system, version 11 release 6 (optional).

              Binaries  which belong to the X-Window system; often, there is a symbolic link from
              the more traditional /usr/bin/X11 to here.

              Data files associated with the X-Window system.

              These contain miscellaneous files needed to run X;  Often, there is a symbolic link
              from /usr/lib/X11 to this directory.

              Contains  include  files needed for compiling programs using the X11 window system.
              Often, there is a symbolic link from /usr/include/X11 to this directory.

              This is the primary directory for executable programs.  Most programs  executed  by
              normal users which are not needed for booting or for repairing the system and which
              are not installed locally should be placed in this directory.

              is the traditional place to look for X11 executables; on Linux,  it  usually  is  a
              symbolic link to /usr/X11R6/bin.

              Replaced by /usr/share/dict.

              Replaced by /usr/share/doc.

              Site-wide  configuration  files to be shared between several machines may be stored
              in this directory.  However, commands should always reference those files using the
              /etc  directory.  Links from files in /etc should point to the appropriate files in

              Binaries for games and educational programs (optional).

              Include files for the C compiler.

              Include files for the C compiler and  the  X-Window  system.   This  is  usually  a
              symbolic link to /usr/X11R6/include/X11.

              Include  files  which declare some assembler functions.  This used to be a symbolic
              link to /usr/src/linux/include/asm.

              This contains information which may change from system release  to  system  release
              and  used to be a symbolic link to /usr/src/linux/include/linux to get at operating
              system specific information.

              (Note that one should have include files there that work correctly with the current
              libc  and  in  user space.  However, Linux kernel source is not designed to be used
              with user programs and does not know anything about the libc you are using.  It  is
              very   likely   that   things   will   break   if   you  let  /usr/include/asm  and
              /usr/include/linux point at a random kernel tree.  Debian systems don't do this and
              use headers from a known good kernel version, provided in the libc*-dev package.)

              Include files to use with the GNU C++ compiler.

              Object  libraries, including dynamic libraries, plus some executables which usually
              are not invoked directly.  More complicated programs may have whole  subdirectories

              The  usual place for data files associated with X programs, and configuration files
              for  the  X  system  itself.   On  Linux,  it  usually  is  a  symbolic   link   to

              contains executables and include files for the GNU C compiler, gcc(1).

              Files for the GNU groff document formatting system.

              Files for uucp(1).

              This is where programs which are local to the site typically go.

              Binaries for programs local to the site.

              Local documentation.

              Configuration files associated with locally installed programs.

              Binaries for locally installed games.

              Files associated with locally installed programs.

              Header files for the local C compiler.

              Info pages associated with locally installed programs.

              Man pages associated with locally installed programs.

              Locally installed programs for system administration.

              Local application data that can be shared among different architectures of the same

              Source code for locally installed software.

              Replaced by /usr/share/man.

              This directory contains program binaries for system administration  which  are  not
              essential for the boot process, for mounting /usr, or for system repair.

              This  directory contains subdirectories with specific application data, that can be
              shared among different architectures of the same OS.  Often one  finds  stuff  here
              that used to live in /usr/doc or /usr/lib or /usr/man.

              Contains the word lists used by spell checkers.

              Documentation about installed programs.

              Static data files for games in /usr/games.

              Info pages go here.

              Locale information goes here.

              Manual pages go here in subdirectories according to the man page sections.

              These directories contain manual pages for the specific locale in source code form.
              Systems which use a unique language and code set for all manual pages may omit  the
              <locale> substring.

              Miscellaneous data that can be shared among different architectures of the same OS.

              The message catalogs for native language support go here.

              Files for SGML and XML.

              The database for terminfo.

              Troff macros that are not distributed with groff.

              Files for timezone information.

              Source  files  for  different  parts of the system, included with some packages for
              reference purposes.  Don't work here with your own projects, as  files  below  /usr
              should be read-only except when installing software.

              This  was the traditional place for the kernel source.  Some distributions put here
              the source for the default kernel they  ship.   You  should  probably  use  another
              directory when building your own kernel.

              Obsolete.   This  should  be  a  link  to  /var/tmp.  This link is present only for
              compatibility reasons and shouldn't be used.

       /var   This directory contains files which may change in  size,  such  as  spool  and  log

              This directory is superseded by /var/log and should be a symbolic link to /var/log.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Data cached for programs.

       /var/catman/cat[1-9] or /var/cache/man/cat[1-9]
              These  directories  contain  preformatted  manual pages according to their man page
              section.  (The use of preformatted manual pages is deprecated.)

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Variable state information for programs.

              Variable data for /usr/local.

              Lock files are placed in this directory.  The naming  convention  for  device  lock
              files  is LCK..<device> where <device> is the device's name in the filesystem.  The
              format used is that of HDU UUCP lock files, that is, lock files contain a PID as  a
              10-byte ASCII decimal number, followed by a newline character.

              Miscellaneous log files.

              Variable data for /opt.

              Users' mailboxes.  Replaces /var/spool/mail.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Run-time  variable  files, like files holding process identifiers (PIDs) and logged
              user information (utmp).  Files in this directory  are  usually  cleared  when  the
              system boots.

              Spooled (or queued) files for various programs.

              Spooled jobs for at(1).

              Spooled jobs for cron(8).

              Spooled files for printing.

              Replaced by /var/mail.

              Queued outgoing mail.

              Spool directory for news.

              Spooled files for rwhod(8).

              Spooled files for the smail(1) mail delivery program.

              Spooled files for uucp(1).

              Like /tmp, this directory holds temporary files stored for an unspecified duration.

              Database files for NIS.


       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, Version 2.2 ⟨⟩.


       This list is not exhaustive; different systems may be configured differently.


       find(1), ln(1), proc(5), mount(8)

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard


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