hier(7) — Linux manual page

NAME | DESCRIPTION | CONFORMING TO | BUGS | SEE ALSO | COLOPHON

HIER(7)                 Linux Programmer's Manual                HIER(7)

NAME         top

       hier - description of the filesystem hierarchy

DESCRIPTION         top

       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 configuration 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).

       /run   This directory contains information which describes the
              system since it was booted.  Once this purpose was served
              by /var/run and programs may continue to use it.

       /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 formalism 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 (present in FHS
              2.3, removed in FHS 3.0).

       /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 version,
              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/libexec
              Directory contains binaries for internal use only and they
              are not meant to be executed directly by users shell or
              scripts.

       /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/color
              Contains color management information, like International
              Color Consortium (ICC) Color profiles (optional).

       /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/ppd
              Postscript Printer Definition (PPD) files (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/color
              Variable files containing color management information
              (optional).

       /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 newline 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         top

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), Version 3.0, published
       March 19, 2015 ⟨https://refspecs.linuxfoundation.org/fhs.shtml⟩.

BUGS         top

       This list is not exhaustive; different distributions and systems
       may be configured differently.

SEE ALSO         top

       find(1), ln(1), proc(5), file-hierarchy(7), mount(8)

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of release 5.11 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                          2021-03-22                        HIER(7)

Pages that refer to this page: proc(5)file-hierarchy(7)