Linux Directory Structure simplified

Linux Basic Directory Structure hierarchy starts from root (/) at the same time the administrator name also termed root , both are conceptually isolated ones

/ – File System root

The Entire Directory Structure Starts From here , and no files are usually saved it contains only directories, ie. sub directories


This is where linux saves its boot information. Linux kernel(vmlinuz) like files are saved here,

a typical /boot listing is as below

root@server2 [/boot]# ls
./ config-2.6.18-128.el5 lost+found/ symvers-2.6.18-128.el5.gz
../ grub/ message
aquota.user initrd-2.6.18-128.el5.img quota.user vmlinuz-2.6.18-128.el5
root@server2 [/boot]#


The most important thing in linux is that it treats devices as files. we can read and write to devices as they are files., all devices compatible for kernel is located in /dev

Eg. cdrom is located in /dev/cdrom


Every storage device in a linux system shoud attach to a directory before it is accessed, this process of attachment is called mounting, /mnt directory contains maount points for various storage devices,

ie. /mnt/cdrom for cdrom


This is the configuration files master directory , to which sub directories may be created for separate services

Some common configuration files are

/etc/fstab : File System Related Configurations, say if we want to mount windows FAT Drives in linux , we can configure lines here

/etc/passwd : User security settings can be configure from here

/etc/inittab : Initial System Startup configurations

/bin, /usr/bin

Executables located here, /bin contains frequently used commands like ls,pwd, etc .. where /usr/bin stores application binaries like vim,mix

/sbin, /usr/sbin

System Administration Commands and Application binaries


This is the largest Directory in Linux Structure where users and system saved files

Documents of users.

Source code for applications and kernel

General Include files

Files for X window System


If our System is in Network /usr directory may physically in other machine for easy file sharing and management, then we need local files in /usr/local

even if our system is in standalone mode applications from third parties can be kept here for maintaining our file structure neat and tidy


Library files sharing between programs kept here



This is the directory for Newly created users , ie. if we create a user named User1 there will create a directory /home/User1 aganist this user and this will be User1 s Home directory


This is the Administrator Home Directory


This contains Variable data in the System running like logs,mails etc..


Application, , service and error logs fall here


Incoming Mails stored here


Queued process files stored here temporarily like in case of printing


is the directory for temporary Files


This is actually a virtual directory , it contains entries corresponding to various services running on the system.


Here is the system stores files on a system crash. ie like a restore point


abhilash, is a programmer by profession and a technology addict with a passion towards browsing , shopping and imaging . My views may be biased on reviews. all images and videos are copyrighted to respective owners.

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