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Linux File Structure Part 1


I started from a mostly windows background. So i’ve made this chart to help myself and other understand and find certain files. This chart contains the top level file structure that most linux distro use. In windows the main files are usually located in the C: in linux all the your files are located in the root directory or “/” within / are the folder listed below.

In windows all the os files are located inside the “windows” folder created by the OS automatically. Within the windows folder all the data the OS needs is subdivided into its own folder like important Binaries and system binaries will be in the system32 folder. In linux that are at the top level in fact if a normal user access their root they will most likely be in /home/”user”/ folder. This folder is similar to Windows C:/users folder. When your attaching a HDD after boot you will usually need to mount it for its filesystem to show up in the /mnt/ folder. I’ll go into this more in a later article but this chart will help you find files in Linux.

Folder Name Purpose
/bin/ Important Binaries Vital programs (ls, ping, grep)
/boot/ Boot Data Kernel files
/dev/ Device File Drivers for hardware
/etc/ System Configuration Files for OS
/home/ User Directories Directories for all users
/lib/ Important Data Libraries Files for use by /bin/ apps
/media/ Removable Media CD, USB, DVD
/mnt/ Mounted Media sda1 , sda2
/opt/ Downloaded Apps google/chromium
/sbin/ System Binaries essential programs fdisk, ifconfig
/srv/ Service Data Data for the OS like scripts
/tmp/ Temporary File Temp files that are usually clear every reboot
/usr/ User Apps Data for applications for users
/proc/ Process Data Folder for the OS to process programs that are running