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

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

       /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

       /dev   Special or device files, which refer to physical  devices.   See

       /etc   Contains  configuration  files  which  are local to the machine.
              Some larger software packages, like X11, can have their own sub-
              directories  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

              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 nec-
              essary to boot the system and to run the commands  in  the  root

       /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

       /sbin  Like /bin, this directory holds commands needed to boot the sys-
              tem, 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 Linux.

              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 boot-
              ing 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 /usr/etc.
              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

              (Note  that  one  should have include files there that work cor-
              rectly 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  sys-
              tems don't do this and use headers from a known good kernel ver-
              sion, provided in the libc*-dev package.)

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

              Object libraries, including dynamic libraries,  plus  some  exe-
              cutables  which  usually are not invoked directly.  More compli-
              cated programs may have whole subdirectories there.

              The usual place for data files associated with X  programs,  and
              configuration  files for the X system itself.  On Linux, it usu-
              ally is a symbolic link to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11.

              contains executables and include files for the GNU  C  compiler,

              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.

              Man pages associated with locally installed programs.

              Locally installed programs for system administration.

              Local application data that can be shared among different archi-
              tectures of the same OS.

              Source code for locally installed software.

              Replaced by /usr/share/man.

              This directory contains program binaries for system  administra-
              tion  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

              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  architec-
              tures of the same OS.

              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 dis-
              tributions put here the source for the default kernel they ship.
              You should probably use another directory when building your own

              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 files.

              This  directory  is  superseded by /var/log and should be a sym-
              bolic 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.

              Reserved for historical reasons.

              Run-time variable files, like files holding process  identifiers
              (PIDs) and logged user information (utmp).  Files in this direc-
              tory 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 <http://www.pathname.com

       This list is not exhaustive; different systems may be  configured  dif-

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