by March 15, 2002 0 comments



bin Here’s where most of the executable files of applications are found. An executable file in Linux does not have an .exe extension. When you move the mouse cursor over a file that is executable, the Konqueror file manager will depict that in the status bar. You can also find this by right clicking on the file and selecting Properties. This directory can be said to be similar to Program Files directory in Windows where most of the applications are installed. 

boot This is the place where the files needed for booting Linux are placed. In Windows such files–command.com, io.sys and msdos.sys–are placed in the c:\ directory.

dev This directory is specific to Linux and contains files representing devices like hard disk and floppy drives. See the item Drives in Linux . It can, somewhat vaguely, be thought of as the ‘system’, ‘system32’ or ‘system32/drivers’ directory, which contain driver files for such devices. 

etc This directory houses the configuration files for various applications and system daemons (similar to services in Win NT/2000/XP). In Linux, conventionally, to configure the applications or services you have to manually edit these configuration files (usually plain text files). In Windows, this is done through the GUI, so you may never locate and use the configuration files, though many of them do exist. In Windows, such configuration files may be found in Program files, Windows or the directory where the application is installed. 

home This directory contains the home directories of the users. A user with login as shekhar will be assigned a subdirectory named shekhar in the home directory. The home directory is the same as Documents and Settings directory in Windows. Note that the root (administrator) home directory is not located within home. The root’s home directory is /root, a subdirectory named root within the ROOT (/) directory. 

lib The lib directory in Linux contains modules (similar to DLLs in Windows). Similar to system or system32 directory in Windows. 

lost+found This is where unidentified and deleted fragments of files are stored. This directory can be used for undeleting deleted files.

mnt This directory contains the mount points. They represent CD and floppy drives. (See A:, B:, C:,…in Windows. What in
Linux?

opt This directory is used or can be used by third-party applications (not of the same distribution) as their installation directory. This is somewhat similar to Program files. It’s not very commonly used as most such applications install themselves (by default) in the usr directory (see usr on next page). 

proc This directory contains files to interface with the Linux kernel. You may not care too much of its presence. 
root Refer to ‘home’ directory above.

sbin Linux segregates applications or commands used by the system administrator in this directory. Hence, files in this directory will be accessible only to the root user.

tmp Similar to windows\temp, the directory used for storing temporary files. 

usr Most Linux applications usually get installed in this directory. So this is akin to the Program files directory in Windows.

var This directory is used for storing printer spools, log files, cache files etc. This is similar to logfiles and spool subdirectories of system or system32 directory. In PCQLinux, this directory also contains the document root directory named www\html for the Apache Web server. This is similar to c:\inpetpub\wwwroot for IIS webserver in Windows.

Working on the KDE GUI we will be concerned only with our home directory most of the
time.

Shekhar Govindarajan

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