Understanding the Linux File System

Once you have migrated from Windows to Linux you may notice that the file system is not what your accustomed to. Of the first things an average user needs to understand is the inner workings of the root Linux file system and Linux core directory structure.

The Linux File System - Linux Structure

To help you better understand the generic Linux structure, each directory is listed below. Followed by explanation of what it is commonly used for.

bin - contains the vital tools necessary to diagnose, repair and or get the system running.

boot - houses the boot loader programs and configuration files.

cdrom - shortcut to the CD/DVD drive.

devbootstrap - contains files generated during the install of Ubuntu.

dev - contains virtual files representing the hardware on your system.

etc - central location for configuration files.

home - where each users personal directory and files are located.

initrd.img - symbolic link to ramdisk used to boot Linux.

lib - shared system files.

lost+found - where salvaged files get saved upon improper shutdown.

media - directories that represent storage devices are found here.

mnt - temporarily mounted external filesystems are located here.

opt - optional additional software that is not a vital part of the system.

proc - contains data about your system and current status.

root - root users directory.

sbin - administration programs are stored here.

srv - network server configuration files go here.

sys - Sysfs mount point used by the Linux kernel to administer your system hardware.

tmp - temporary files are stored here.

usr - shared files and data go here.

var - constantly changing data is placed here.

vmlinuz - symbolic link to the kernel file used at boot.