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 the average user needs to understand is the inner workings of the root file system and Linux core directory structure. To help you understand this structure, we have listed each directory explaining 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