The Root Folders of Linux

folder-linux-iconEver wonder what the purpose of each folder is at the root level on a Linux operation system?
Well, here’s a short description to most of the folders you will find at the bottom of the file structure.

 

 

 

/
Root directory that forms the base of the file system. All files and directories are logically contained inside the root directory regardless of their physical locations.

 

/bin
Contains the executable programs that are part of the Linux operating system. Many Linux commands, such as cat, cp, ls, more, and tar, are locate in /bin

 

/boot
Contains the Linux kernel and other files needed by LILO and GRUB boot managers.

 

/dev
Contains all device files. Linux treats each device as a special file. All such files are located in /dev.

 

/etc
Contains most system configuration files and the initialization scripts in /etc/rc.d sub directory.

 

/home
Home directory is the parent to the home directories of users.

 

/lib
Contains library files, including loadable driver modules needed to boot the system.

 

/lost+found
Directory for lost files. Every disk partition has a lost+found directory.

 

/media
Directory for mounting files systems on removable media like Optical drives, floppy disks, etc. (not USB, as these are located in /mnt)

 

/mnt
A directory for temporarily mounted filesystems.

 

/opt
Optional software packages copy/install files here.

 

/proc
A special directory in a virtual filesystem. It contains the information about various aspects of a Linux system.

 

/root
Home directory of the root user.

Linux Folder

 

/sbin
Contains administrative binary files. Commands such as mount, shutdown, umount, reside here.

 

/srv
Contains data for services (HTTP, FTP, etc.) offered by the system.

 

/sys
A special directory that contains information about the devices, as seen by the Linux kernel.

 

/tmp
Temporary directory which can be used as a scratch directory (storage for temporary files). The contents of this directory are cleared each time the system boots.

 

/usr
Contains sub directories for many programs such as the X Window System.

 

/usr/bin
Contains executable files for many Linux commands. It is not part of the core Linux operating system.

 

/usr/include
Contains header files for C and C++ programming languages

 

/usr/lib
Contains libraries for C and C++ programming languages.

 

/usr/local
Contains local files. It has a similar directories as /usr contains.

 

/usr/sbin
Contains administrative commands.

 

/usr/share
Contains files that are shared, like, default configuration files, images, documentation, etc.

 

/usr/src
Contains the source code for the Linux kernel.

 

/var
Contains various system files such as log, mail directories, print spool, etc. which tend to change in numbers and size over time.

 

/var/cache
Storage area for cached data for applications.

 

/var/lib
Contains information relating to the current state of applications. Programs modify this when they run.

 

/var/lock
Contains lock files which are checked by applications so that a resource can be used by one application only.

 

/var/log
Contains log files for different applications.

 

/var/mail
Contains users’ emails.

 

/var/opt
Contains variable data for packages stored in /opt directory.

 

/var/run
Contains data describing the system since it was booted.

 

/var/spool
Contains data that is waiting for some kind of processing.

 

/var/tmp
Contains temporary files preserved between system reboots.

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