RE: basic info on the directory structure

Subject: RE: basic info on the directory structure
From: Turnquist,Wayne (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 13:13:55 MDT

i found some information at

but have a couple of ? from what i learned

what is /opt, are these share accross all users and if so, isn't the same
has having the files in the /usr/bin

there was no reference to /usr/sbin, what is this directory for

what is /usr/local, the doc didn't make that clear. my assumtion when they
say programs you install your self means that each user would have there own
directory in this directory for own software which would be shared amoung
all users ect /usr/local/wayne
if my assumtion of it not being share amoung all users, then isn't this the
same as putting it in the /home/wayne/myprogs

any clarification would be mighty helpfull

-----Original Message-----
From: ScottP []
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2000 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: basic info on the directory structure

> does one know where there is a faq or doc on the internet that explains
> directory structure of linux. im looking for example

Hi, I'm not aware of any HOWTO's or FAQ's on the subject, one complication
to writing a faq on this is that different unix variants and different
linux distributions put things in different places. The best way I know
of to learn what's where is to dig around yourself and see what types
of files go where. A decent book on linux will help you out on this.

> where would i put the source software and the binary for linux os
> programs

In genral these are in /bin and /sbin (both for mission critical
type programs) or /usr/bin and /usr/sbin for less important (to the OS)
type programs. Unless you are developing for the OS you dont need
sources for the ones in /bin and /sbin. There are some X programs in
/usr/X11R6/bin as well.

> where would i put the source softweare and the binary for a logon
> user

Security folks would say dont put executables in user directories but
lots of people do it (especially for small scripts and user apps).
you can put them anywhere in the /home/username/ tree. Note that
you would not want to put something you want all users to be able
to use in a user directory tree. Putting binaries you want to
run under X here would be a pain.

> where would i put the source software and the binary for programs
> for both the linux os and a logon user

I assume you mean commonly used programs you want available to
everyone. If you are compiling these put the source in
/usr/src. The binaries could go different places but most
will likely end up in /usr/bin somewhere.

> are there other types of accounts in which software and binary
> should be place in other places besides the above locations

You might find programs in /usr/games and occasionally /usr/share.

Luckily you probably wont have to worry about where to put binaries.
Rpm's install happily to their favorite location and most packages
you compile yourself have a "install" feature that automatically
installs stuff where it needs to go.

> if i get this info down pat, then i think i can hammer my way through
> compiling and running programs which will be the next step

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