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Old 06-12-2004, 09:37 AM   #1
Stevetgn
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Where files/folders live? Linux is a mess!


As a newbie I'm getting to really love Linux now. Especially Mandrake 10 which rocks.

However, I find the Linux/Unix file/directory system a mess! There's bits and bats everywhere!!! var, etc, usr, bins, sbins within bins & bin in etc & usr...WHAT?!?

In Windows XP my C drive ("root directory!") has 3 folders Almost all of Windows itself sits in one, Programs go in another and your "home" sits in Documents and Settings. There seems to be crap everywhere in Linux and I'm finding in very hard to find stuff, where are my programs, where are all the sounds, where does stuff go when I install it, how do I find the exe. file and icons to the program to create a shortcut/link after installation????

Can anyone offer any help on the messy directory structure?

Many thanks in advance

Steve
 
Old 06-12-2004, 09:59 AM   #2
blueCow
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Its really not as bad as it looks at first..

/ would be the equivilent of c:\
/home is like My Documents
/etc is your config files
/usr hosts all your executable files (kinda)
/var is where you will find logs
/bin is like program files. where all the programs are stored.

Now this is just what I've gathered. You will find out more once you jump out of the gui and into the cli.

Any of you gurus out there, feel free to correct me where I am wrong.
 
Old 06-12-2004, 10:03 AM   #3
Scruff
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I can try. I remember when I got started with Linux I felt the same way. But now, having used it for a few years it makes even more sense than Windows.

Here's few commands to help you find stuff:

'find /home/username mozilla' would recursively search through your home dir for a file or directory named mozilla. With the find command, you have to put the search path first, then the filename. So 'find / vim' would search through the entire filesystem for vim. find is extremely useful, so be sure to check out the find man page to see the tons of options you can use with it.

'locate filename' will show the exact path to a particular file. ex:
Code:
 
scruff@genbox scruff $ locate Pulp Fiction.avi
 /data/movies/Pulp Fiction.avi
Locate uses a database that keeps a running list of filenames. The database is usually updated periodically depending on your distro, but if you want to locate a file recently added you might want to update it manually with 'updatedb' (as root).

Finally 'which xmms' will display the path to the xmms executable or any other executable program you need. However, if the executable is not in your PATH it wont show it. As user, most all dir's with programs in it are in your path anyway.

As far as getting the hang of the filesystem, here is a great link with probably more info than you need that explains all:
http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-...l#INTRODUCTION

Last edited by Scruff; 06-12-2004 at 10:05 AM.
 
Old 06-12-2004, 11:34 AM   #4
Artimus
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I used to think the filesystem heirarchy was terrible also. You'll get used to it and eventually find it to be logical. For example, ever try to track down a configuration file in Windows?

Let's see, if they're running Windows 9x, its probabl burried in the C:\Program Files\WhateverApp\ directory. If they're running Windows XP or 2000, it could be in C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\ or just in its own folder in C:\Documents and Settings\User. Not there? Well, you get to go looking through the registry.

In Linux? /etc for system wide settings, ~/.something for user specific settings
 
Old 06-12-2004, 12:25 PM   #5
linmix
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Scruff : great post! and the link you provided clears a lot of my doubts.
 
Old 06-12-2004, 03:48 PM   #6
Scruff
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Cool! I am glad it helped. Linux has a steep learning curve, but one you get past the initial shock, everything starts to make perfect sense and the learning comes easier
 
Old 06-12-2004, 03:57 PM   #7
Tinkster
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Re: Where files/folders live? Linux is a mess!

Quote:
Originally posted by Stevetgn
In Windows XP my C drive ("root directory!") has 3 folders
And now you can also certainly tell me where for example
Windows' equivalent of Linux' /etc/services lives without
having to use the search-function of exploder?

The fact that MS hides their messes in 2 or 3 directories
on the base level doesn't make the mess any smaller.

And putting all configuration data into a single file doesn't
make the mess smaller, either, it's not exactly my favourite
past-time to clean out a 60MB registry.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 06-12-2004, 04:07 PM   #8
david_ross
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There is also an article on the LQ Wiki about this:
http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Directory
 
  


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