HTG Explains: The Linux Directory Structure Explained
If you’re coming from Windows, the Linux file system structure can seem particularly alien. The C:\ drive and drive letters are gone, replaced by a / and cryptic-sounding directories, most of which have three letter names.
The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) defines the structure of file systems on Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems. However, Linux file systems also contain some directories that aren’t yet defined by the standard.
/ – The Root Directory
Everything on your Linux system is located under the / directory, known as the root directory. You can think of the / directory as being similar to the C:\ directory on Windows – but this isn’t strictly true, as Linux doesn’t have drive letters. While another partition would be located at D:\ on Windows, this other partition would appear in another folder under / on Linux.
/bin – Essential User Binaries
The /bin directory contains the essential user binaries (programs) that must be present when the system is mounted in single-user mode. Applications such as Firefox are stored in /usr/bin, while important system programs and utilities such as the bash shell are located in /bin. The /usr directory may be stored on another partition – placing these files in the /bin directory ensures the system will have these important utilities even if no other file systems are mounted. The /sbin directory is similar – it contains essential system administration binaries.
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