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



NAME
       hier - Description of the file system hierarchy

DESCRIPTION
       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 only
              holds 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 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.

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

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

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

       /etc/X11
              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
              file system.

       /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  file
              system.   In  some  distributions,  /mnt contains subdirectories
              intended to be used as mount points for several  temporary  file
              systems.

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

       /proc  This is a mount point for the proc file system,  which  provides
              information  about  running  processes  and  the  kernel.   This
              pseudo-file system 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 sys-
              tem, but which are usually not executed by normal users.

       /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.

       /usr/X11R6
              The X-Window system, version 11 release 6 (optional).

       /usr/X11R6/bin
              Binaries  which belong to the X-Window system; often, there is a
              symbolic link from the more traditional /usr/bin/X11 to here.

       /usr/X11R6/lib
              Data files associated with the X-Window system.

       /usr/X11R6/lib/X11
              These contain miscellaneous files needed to run X;  Often, there
              is a symbolic link from /usr/lib/X11 to this directory.

       /usr/X11R6/include/X11
              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.

       /usr/bin
              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.

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

       /usr/dict
              Replaced by /usr/share/dict.

       /usr/doc
              Replaced by /usr/share/doc.

       /usr/etc
              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.

       /usr/games
              Binaries for games and educational programs (optional).

       /usr/include
              Include files for the C compiler.

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

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

       /usr/include/linux
              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  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.)

       /usr/include/g++
              Include files to use with the GNU C++ compiler.

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

       /usr/lib/X11
              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.

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

       /usr/lib/groff
              Files for the GNU groff document formatting system.

       /usr/lib/uucp
              Files for uucp(1).

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

       /usr/local/bin
              Binaries for programs local to the site.

       /usr/local/doc
              Local documentation.

       /usr/local/etc
              Configuration files associated with locally installed programs.

       /usr/local/games
              Binaries for locally installed games.

       /usr/local/lib
              Files associated with locally installed programs.

       /usr/local/include
              Header files for the local C compiler.

       /usr/local/info
              Info pages associated with locally installed programs.

       /usr/local/man
              Man pages associated with locally installed programs.

       /usr/local/sbin
              Locally installed programs for system administration.

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

       /usr/local/src
              Source code for locally installed software.

       /usr/man
              Replaced by /usr/share/man.

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

       /usr/share
              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.

       /usr/share/dict
              Contains the word lists used by spell checkers.

       /usr/share/doc
              Documentation about installed programs.

       /usr/share/games
              Static data files for games in /usr/games.

       /usr/share/info
              Info pages go here.

       /usr/share/locale
              Locale information goes here.

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

       /usr/share/man/<locale>/man[1-9]
              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.

       /usr/share/misc
              Miscellaneous  data that can be shared among different architec-
              tures of the same OS.

       /usr/share/nls
              The message catalogs for native language support go here.

       /usr/share/sgml
              Files for SGML and XML.

       /usr/share/terminfo
              The database for terminfo.

       /usr/share/tmac
              Troff macros that are not distributed with groff.

       /usr/share/zoneinfo
              Files for timezone information.

       /usr/src
              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.

       /usr/src/linux
              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
              kernel.

       /usr/tmp
              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.

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

       /var/backups
              Reserved for historical reasons.

       /var/cache
              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.)

       /var/cron
              Reserved for historical reasons.

       /var/lib
              Variable state information for programs.

       /var/local
              Variable data for /usr/local.

       /var/lock
              Lock  files are placed in this directory.  The naming convention
              for device lock files is LCK..&lt;device&gt;  where  &lt;device&gt;  is  the
              device's  name  in  the file system.  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.

       /var/log
              Miscellaneous log files.

       /var/opt
              Variable data for /opt.

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

       /var/msgs
              Reserved for historical reasons.

       /var/preserve
              Reserved for historical reasons.

       /var/run
              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.

       /var/spool
              Spooled (or queued) files for various programs.

       /var/spool/at
              Spooled jobs for at(1).

       /var/spool/cron
              Spooled jobs for cron(8).

       /var/spool/lpd
              Spooled files for printing.

       /var/spool/mail
              Replaced by /var/mail.

       /var/spool/mqueue
              Queued outgoing mail.

       /var/spool/news
              Spool directory for news.

       /var/spool/rwho
              Spooled files for rwhod(8).

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

       /var/spool/uucp
              Spooled files for uucp(1).

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

       /var/yp
              Database files for NIS.

CONFORMING TO
       The  Filesystem  Hierarchy  Standard,  Version  2.2   <http://www.path-
       name.com/fhs/>.

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

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

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.05 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                             2001-09-07                           HIER(7)