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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 con‐
          figuration files should go to /sbin and /etc.  The operating system kernel (initrd for example) 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  configuration 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 directory, directly or not.  The structure of this directory  depends  on
          local administration 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<qual>
          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/usb[1-9]
          USB drive (optional).

   /mnt   This directory is a mount point for a temporarily mounted filesystem.  In some distributions, /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  formal‐
          ism 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 shareable, 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 symbolic 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  ver‐
          sion, 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<qual>
          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<qual>/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<qual>
          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/<locale>/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 <locale> 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 compatibility 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>
          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>
          Editor backup files and state (optional).

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

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

   /var/lib/<pkgtool>
          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..<device> where <device> 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  new‐
          line 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 system 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), file-hierarchy(7), mount(8)

   The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

COLOPHON
This page is part of release 4.16 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 https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux 2017-11-26 HIER(7)