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Old 11-17-2005, 07:39 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2005
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General question about directory structure....

Been hesitantly messing around with this linux thing for a little while, and what still confuses me slightly is what all the directories in / are for. I've got (and i assume most distros have):

bin/ dev/ initrd/ lost+found/ opt/ root/ sys/ usr/
boot/ etc/ home/ lib/ mnt/ proc/ sbin/ tmp/ var/

I've worked out that mnt/ is where all the mountable devices go, root/ is root's home folder, essentially, lib/ is for libraries and home/ is where user's home directories are stored.

But i've no idea what's supposed to be in the others. For example, under windows i knew if i let all the defaults go, i'd find the working folder in c:/program files/.
But RPMs magically install into somewhere unspecified....

What's the bin/ dev/ initrd/ sys/ usr/ etc/ proc/ sbin/ tmp/ var/ and especially lost+found/ for?

Old 11-17-2005, 07:51 PM   #2
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Try google
Old 11-17-2005, 07:58 PM   #3
Registered: May 2004
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What distribution do you have?
I have never heard of lost+found. For real descriptions you
should see the Linux Standard.
bin/ - Binaries - like the mount command
dev/ - Where the Kernel makes links to devices
initrd/ - this is usually inside /etc but I imaine this is startup and shutdon scripts
sys/ - Kernel stuff - I have no idea about this one.
usr/ - Starts getting vague here
etc/ - most configuration files are here
proc/ - Kernel's interface with the Processor
sbin/ - more binaries, deamons are typically here
tmp/ - temporary files
var/ - Logs and things

In linux programs are compiled from source, and an RPM is basically
a standard way of gettin a precompiled source code to everyone
(saves time).
In any most program there will be configuration stuff going to /etc
some special libraries in /lib or /usr/lib
some usr-files in /home etc etc...

so when you are compiling a program and you do "make"
that compiles the program, and "make install" tends to be the part
when all the compiled bits get put in the right place.

Given than any program may want to use any other program's libraries, it is
quite clever to keep them together - so this way all the same
sorts of things are kept together,
but the programs are spilt up (as an end result).

Hope I was helpful
Old 11-17-2005, 08:06 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2005
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Originally posted by Riddick
I have never heard of lost+found.
You'll only see those with ext2.
Old 11-17-2005, 08:07 PM   #5
Registered: May 2004
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ahh right, thanks for that!
Old 11-19-2005, 05:38 PM   #6
Registered: May 2005
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lost+found is a directory in the top of a filesystem that's use to hold "lost" (and found) files that have become detached from the directory structure. fsck does this business. It's created with a fair sized directory by default (or should be) since if your filesystem is broken, the last thing you want to be doing is allocating data blocks when you're fixing things up.

The files (if they're like UNIX) are all named for the inode of the file, prefixed with a '#' character (so beware how you refer to them and don't just start a shell comment!). The idea is to examine the content of the found files and then rename them to their original name (assuming you can figure it out from that content). They've saved my life on a number of occasions.

Last edited by eddiebaby1023; 11-19-2005 at 05:39 PM.
Old 11-20-2005, 03:57 AM   #8
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Originally posted by eerok
You'll only see those with ext2.
I am sure I've seen these on FC using ext3.


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