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

NAME
       hier - description of the filesystem 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  holds  only  the  files
              which  are  needed  during  the  boot process.  The map installer and configuration
              files should go to /sbin and /etc.  The operating system kernel (initrd  for  exam‐
              ple) must be located in either / or /boot.

       /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  con‐
              figuration  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 (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).

       /etc/xml
              This directory contains the configuration files for XML (optional).

       /home  On machines with home directories for users, these are usually beneath this  direc‐
              tory,  directly  or not.  The structure of this directory depends on local adminis‐
              tration decisions (optional).

       /lib   This directory should hold those shared libraries that are necessary  to  boot  the
              system and to run the commands in the root filesystem.

       /lib
              These directories are variants of /lib on system which support more than one binary
              format requiring separate libraries (optional).

       /lib/modules
              Loadable kernel modules (optional).

       /lost+found
              This directory contains items lost in the  filesystem.   These  items  are  usually
              chunks of files mangled as a consequence of a faulty disk or a system crash.

       /media This  directory  contains mount points for removable media such as CD and DVD disks
              or USB sticks.  On systems where more than one device exists for mounting a certain
              type of media, mount directories can be created by appending a digit to the name of
              those available above starting with '0', but the unqualified name must also exist.

       /media/floppy[1-9]
              Floppy drive (optional).

       /media/cdrom[1-9]
              CD-ROM drive (optional).

       /media/cdrecorder[1-9]
              CD writer (optional).

       /media/zip[1-9]
              Zip drive (optional).

       /media/usp[1-9]
              USB drive (optional).

       /mnt   This directory is a mount point for a temporarily mounted filesystem.  In some dis‐
              tributions,  /mnt  contains  subdirectories intended to be used as mount points for
              several temporary filesystems.

       /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 (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.

       /sys   This  is  a  mount point for the sysfs filesystem, which provides information about
              the kernel like /proc, but better structured, following the  formalism  of  kobject
              infrastructure.

       /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/mh
              Commands for the MH mail handling system (optional).

       /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/bsd
              BSD compatibility include files (optional).

       /usr/include/X11
              Include  files  for the C compiler and the X-Window system.  This is usually a sym‐
              bolic 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 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
              These directories are variants of /usr/lib on system which support  more  than  one
              binary   format  requiring  separate  libraries,  except  that  the  symbolic  link
              /usr/lib/X11 is not required (optional).

       /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/lib
              These directories are variants of /usr/local/lib on system which support more  than
              one binary format requiring separate libraries (optional).

       /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 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 (optional).

       /usr/share/dict/words
              List of English words (optional).

       /usr/share/doc
              Documentation about installed programs (optional).

       /usr/share/games
              Static data files for games in /usr/games (optional).

       /usr/share/info
              Info pages go here (optional).

       /usr/share/locale
              Locale information goes here (optional).

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

       /usr/share/man//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
               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 (optional).

       /usr/share/sgml
              Files for SGML (optional).

       /usr/share/sgml/docbook
              DocBook DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/sgml/tei
              TEI DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/sgml/html
              HTML DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/sgml/mathtml
              MathML DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/terminfo
              The database for terminfo (optional).

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

       /usr/share/xml
              Files for XML (optional).

       /usr/share/xml/docbook
              DocBook DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/xml/xhtml
              XHTML DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/xml/mathml
              MathML DTD (optional).

       /usr/share/zoneinfo
              Files for timezone information (optional).

       /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 (optional).

       /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 com‐
              patibility reasons and shouldn't be used.

       /var   This directory contains files which may change in  size,  such  as  spool  and  log
              files.

       /var/account
              Process accounting logs (optional).

       /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/cache/fonts
              Locally-generated fonts (optional).

       /var/cache/man
              Locally-formatted man pages (optional).

       /var/cache/www
              WWW proxy or cache data (optional).

       /var/cache/
              Package specific cache data (optional).

       /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/crash
              System crash dumps (optional).

       /var/cron
              Reserved for historical reasons.

       /var/games
              Variable game data (optional).

       /var/lib
              Variable state information for programs.

       /var/lib/hwclock
              State directory for hwclock (optional).

       /var/lib/misc
              Miscellaneous state data.

       /var/lib/xdm
              X display manager variable data (optional).

       /var/lib/
              Editor backup files and state (optional).

       /var/lib/
              These directories must be used for all distribution packaging support.

       /var/lib/
              State data for packages and subsystems (optional).

       /var/lib/
              Packaging support files (optional).

       /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.. where  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.

       /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 sys‐
              tem 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 (optional).

       /var/spool/lpd/printer
              Spools for a specific printer (optional).

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

       /var/spool/mqueue
              Queued outgoing mail (optional).

       /var/spool/news
              Spool directory for news (optional).

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

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

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

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

       /var/yp
              Database files for NIS, formerly known as the Sun Yellow Pages (YP).

CONFORMING TO
       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, Version 2.3 ⟨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 4.04 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of  this  page,  can  be
       found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux                                       2015-03-29                                    HIER(7)

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