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HIER(7)			   Linux Programmer's Manual		       HIER(7)

       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

       /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

       /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

       /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.

	      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

	      (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.

	      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 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.

	      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 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.

	      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 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)

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

       This  page  is  part of release 3.65 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting  bugs,  can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux				  2012-08-05			       HIER(7)

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