The File System

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Introduction The terms "filesystem" and "file system" are used interchangeably in Linux to refer to several different but related concepts. They can refer to the way that data is actually structured, the methods that manage the files within the partitions, or the overall organization of files in a system. Only this last meaning is discussed here.

One of the first things people coming from Windows notice about Linux is the different way the drives, directory structure and files are ordered/displayed. Both operating systems use what is called a hierarchical directory structure. All this means is that files are arranged in a tree-like structure with directories containing subdirectories and files, subdirectories containing subdirectories and files, branching downward into more complexity like an upside-down tree. In Linux, all drives are mounted in one common tree.

Click on the filenames below or read on to learn about the Linux system;

                                            /
                                            |                                                
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------       
|       |     |     |      |      |      |    |     |     |       |        |         |      |                                   
/bin  /boot  /dev  /etc  /home  /lib /media /mnt  /opt /proc /root    /sbin     /tmp    /usr  /var                                  
                    |      |             |    +                                      |      |
   ------------------      |             +    |      --------------------------------|      |
   |             ----------|             |    -      |            -------------------|      |
   |             |         |             -    |      |            |      ------------|      |
   |             |         |             |    +      |            |      |           |      |         
   |             |         |             +    |      |            |      |           |      |         
/etc/init.d  /home/usera  /home/userb    |    -      /usr/bin  /usr/include  /usr/share  /usr/src  /var/run  
                           |             |    |                          |
                           |             -    |                          |
        -------------------|             |    +            --------------|
        |                  |             +    |            |             |
        |                  |             |    |            |             |
home/userb/pictures  home/userb/Desktop  |    -     /usr/share/doc   /usr/share/man 
                                         -    | 
                                         |    +
                                         |    |
                                      Floppy Help
                                      Flash devices                                  
                                      Camera Help 

Basics

One of the major things that people must get used to when switching to Linux is where it stores programs. Windows tends to store most programs in C:/Program Files, and people have a hard time finding their installed programs in Linux because it stores them in many places. These can be grouped into two main groups:
1. The first group contains the system and normal user binary folders. Most applications store their executable binary (similar to a Windows .exe binary) in one of these folders. They are /bin , /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin.
2. The second group is where the "administration" applications are stored. You typically need super user (root) permissions to execute one of these executables. These directories are /sbin and /usr/sbin.
3. Finally, some users prefer to install software and add-on packages that are not part of the default installation into the /opt directory.


References;

http://tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy/html/c23.html

http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html

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