View the Most Wanted LQ Wiki articles.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 11-17-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 40

Rep: Reputation: 16
/bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin - why are there 4?

I don't understand the difference between /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin. Why do we need 4 different locations for binary files? I assume there's some difference?
Old 11-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2008
Location: Texas
Distribution: Fedora, RHEL, CentOS
Posts: 488

Rep: Reputation: 78
man hier
       /bin   This directory contains executable programs which are needed  in
              single user mode and to bring the system up or repair it.

       /sbin  Like /bin, this directory holds commands needed to boot the sys-
              tem, but which are usually not executed by normal users.

              This  is  the  primary  directory for executable programs.  Most
              programs executed by normal users which are not needed for boot-
              ing  or  for  repairing  the  system and which are not installed
              locally should be placed in this directory.

              This  directory contains program binaries for system administra-
              tion which are not essential for the boot process, for  mounting
              /usr, or for system repair.
Old 11-17-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
Posts: 4,170

Rep: Reputation: 345Reputation: 345Reputation: 345Reputation: 345
And, to avoid a possible confusion, I believe that the "usr" is short for "Unix System Resources," not "user." So, while both /bin and /usr/bin are in user's $PATH, they do not, normally, have "write" access to those resource directories.
Old 11-18-2008, 09:59 PM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: N. E. England
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, Debian
Posts: 16,298

Rep: Reputation: 74
Take a look at the FHS and hopefully that'll help answer your questions.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
making files available in /usr/local/bin and /usr/sbin reakinator Linux - Newbie 1 10-14-2006 05:09 PM
path in services wrong for clamav updated frm 0.75 to 0.80 usr/bin vs usr/local/bin Emmanuel_uk Linux - Newbie 3 04-22-2005 01:02 AM
Is it ok to create links between /usr/sbin and /bin binaries? johnnygun Slackware 5 07-14-2004 02:09 AM
/usr/sbin and /sbin world read/executable... why? lazlow69 Slackware 3 04-29-2004 05:06 PM
list of programs in /usr/bin, /sbin, etc. punt Linux - General 1 07-31-2001 04:19 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:36 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration