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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real)
 9  Chapter 5: The Linux Operating System
      9  The Major Components and Interfaces of Linux and Their Functions

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Linux Path Names and File Names
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Disk Partitions and Key System Directories

The concept of different disk drives being referenced as a separate drive is unique to Windows. In Linux a separate disk partition or a partition on a different drive is mounted on or within a directory within the current file system and is merely referenced as being within a directory where it is mounted. So the path name to files within this partition would be prefixed with the directory(s) wherein this file system is mounted.

Table 9 contains a list of the most essential Linux system directories.


Table 9: Key Linux System Directories

System directory

Description

/bin

major commands (binaries and scripts) for use by all users

/boot

files used by the boot loader including the kernel

/dev

device files

/etc

system configuration files

/home

user home directories

/lib

shared program libraries used by kernel modules and commands in /bin and /sbin

/mnt

removable media files systems are usually mounted here

/opt

additional or optional system programs and components, many distributions do not use this directory

/proc

process and kernel information stored here, the contents of this directory are created at boot time and as process information changes

/root

root’s home directory

/sbin

system binary commands used principally by the system administrator

/tmp

temporary files created by programs

/usr

contains additional system commands, utilities and user application programs including these directories:

/usr/bin - additional user binary commands and scripts
/usr/include - C-program header files
/usr/lib - libraries
/usr/local - local programs
/usr/sbin - additional system binary commands
/usr/share -
/usr/src - source code
/usr/X11 - the X-Windows system

/var

files that frequently change including log files, spooler files, web server files, ftp server files, database files


Most Linux distributions use a similar set of basic names for major directories found within the root directory. If the reader wants additional information about these directories after reading this section, the specification for these directories can be found at http://www.pathname.com/fhs/. The Linux Documentation Project also has an excellent discussion paper at http://www.tldp.org/LDP/fhs/fhs6.pdf.

Now let’s take a more detailed look at what each of these directories contains.


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