Tech Chronicles

Linux File System Hierarchy

It can be a bit tricky to detect and understand the Linux file system for years using the Microsoft operating system.

Basically, the Linux/Unix operating systems include hardware resources, but the “everything” is considered a file.

For example, “/proc/partitions” specifies the partitions on the disk, whereas “/dev/eth0” specifies the connected network adapter.

The following diagram shows the file system hierarchy of a Linux operating system based on Redhat/Centos.

Now let’s try to explain the structure one by one.

  • Switch to desktop view to see the tables if you’re using mobile device.
Folder Definition
/ The root directory at the top of the hierarchy, the rest of it, branches from here.
/boot Contains the files required for the Boot process. e.g. /boot/grub/grub.conf
/etc Contains the configuration files that contain the system settings. e.g. /etc/resolv.conf
/proc It is a virtual folder and on the fly that hosts the process and kernel details.
/dev The folder where the required device files are located. e.g. Physical devices, 0 and random data generators)
/home Hosts the user’s directories. e.g. /home/user 1,/home/user 2
/root is the user directory for Root.
/var The variable is the directory where the system files reside. e.g. /var/log/messages
/usr A directory where files that are shared among system-wide users are kept.
/usr/bin Non-essential command binaries, for all users. (not required in singular user mode)
/usr/sbin Non-essential binary files. e.g. Programs for various network services
/mnt The Linux file system is a port for temporary environments. e.g. CD-ROM, USB-memory
/opt The directory where external applications are installed.
/run The run-time variable is the directory where the data is kept. e.g. Connected users, running services
/tmp The directory where temporary files are kept.

When we switch to “Shell”, which is the user interface of the Linux operating system, I will elaborate on the issues.

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