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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 subdirectories 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 necessary 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 con-
              tains 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 system, 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.

       /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 booting 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  sym-
              bolic link to /usr/src/linux/include/linux to get at operating system specific information.

              (Note  that  one  should  have include files there that work correctly 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 systems don't do this and
              use headers from a known good kernel version, 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 executables which usually are not invoked
              directly.  More complicated 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 usually 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 architectures 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 administration 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  differ-
              ent  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 architectures 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 distributions 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 symbolic 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..<device>
              where <device> 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 directory 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.pathname.com/fhs/>;.

BUGS
       This list is not exhaustive; different systems may be configured differently.

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

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

COLOPHON
       This  page  is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project, and informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                             2009-03-30                           HIER(7)