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Newbie Question:  What do the different directories mean?

Posted on 2001-06-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I'm very new to Linux and want to find out more information regarding what the different directories mean such as:

/bin/
/var/
/etc/

I know there are more out there but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Thanks,
KABOOM!
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Question by:KABOOM
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by:bassque
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newmang earned 25 total points
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There used to be a de-facto standard for directories under UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems, over the years this has been blurred with various different implementations placing files in non-"standard" places but generally the directory usage is somewhat like this...

/bin - applications that can be executed by all users
/sbin - applications that can be executed by root users only
/etc - config files, startup files (/etc/rc.d/...) and so forth
/var - files which change constantly - such as log files (/var/log/message...)
/lib - Libraries
/home - user home files (can also be under /export/home)
/dev - file-like representation of system hardware devices
/proc - file-like representation of software processes
/opt - optional software (/opt/bin, /opt/etc, /opt/lib etc)
/usr - usually user installed software (/usr/local/bin, /usr/local/sbin)

As I said, often files are in other places but most seem to conform to these standards more or less.

Cheers - Gavin
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