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Old 12-19-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Why do some files end in .d?

Hello. I am curious about why some files end in .d. I noticed that most (if not all) exist in /etc. Is there a reason behind this? I did some Googling but haven't found a satisfactory answer.

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

Old 12-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #2
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That's 'd' for daemon.

You can always find out what a file is by typing:
$ file <filename>

Hope that clears things up for you.
Old 12-19-2008, 11:31 AM   #3
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Ahh! Thank you for clearing that up!

Old 12-19-2008, 12:07 PM   #4
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On many systems the *.d "files" are "directories" containing files related to the * part of the name. Do a ls -l (or, if you're using a GUI, look at the icon) to distinguish between "files" and "directories." (Of course, on Linux system a "directory" - like almost everything else - is just a file with defined contents. But that's a different topic.)

Of course the file command will also show that.

Here's an example (the "d" at the start of the output line means "directory"):
$ ls -ld /etc/*.d
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 2008-12-14 07:55 /etc/bash_completion.d
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 2008-10-29 08:32 /etc/chkconfig.d
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 2008-12-07 14:50 /etc/cron.d
$ file /etc/cron.d
/etc/cron.d: directory
Old 12-19-2008, 12:22 PM   #5
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Hi -

Eco is correct. The ".d" convention originally, long-ago meant "Unix startup daemon" (for example, the "cron.d", as PTentholme pointed out).

You can read further details here (see Section 9.3):

You can also read details about all the standard Linux directories (the standard Linux "FHS") here:


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