10 Important Directories Every New Linux User Should Know

Migrating from Windows to Linux can be a tricky affair, especially where you have little to no experience with UNIX-based systems such as OS-X. The LINUX interface can seem foreign at first. If Windows is the primary basis of most of the applications you use, you’ll want to know where the C-drive, temp files, and other root directories are.

This article gives you 10 ten key locations that you should be familiar with as a Linux beginner. You can free up more time on your schedule to learn Linux by delegating your assignments to an urgent essay writing service.

Finding Your Way Around | A Lesson in Frustration

Linux by design isn’t meant to be cumbersome to work with. However, the very task of using a new and unfamiliar interface, especially one requiring a terminal at some point is a turn-off for new users. Here are 10 important directories on any Linux desktop you should be aware of.

  1. / bin

The bin folder is typically where executable programs and applications are stored on Linux regardless of the distribution. The /bin functions as a subdirectory of the root directory in UNIX-based systems. Some of the contents of /bin include cat, echo, su, the vi text editor, and kill. The ls command is useful to view the contents of any directory. In this case, you’d type in “ls/bin” in the command line to view the contents of the folder.

  • / boot

This is one of those folders you don’t want to mess with unless you have no doubts about what you are doing. It contains all the information that your OS requires to boot. For example, the /boot/config file contains configuration files for the Linux kernel. The /boot/vmlinuz file contains a kernel image with kernel variables and functions mapped to specific memory locations.

  • / dev

This folder is where all your devices live. The peculiarity of this folder is that everything appears as a separate file, following standard UNIX practice. Writing a command to /dev/dsp would, for example, write that command to your speaker. Most devices are either block devices that is, devices that store or hold data) or character devices (devices that transmit data). An example of a block device would be a USB drive, while a character device would be a printer port.

  • / etc

Conveniently shortened to ‘etc,’ meaning “et cetera” this folder seemingly stores files that don’t fit in anywhere else. More importantly, this folder now contains all system-wide configuration files for your Linux machine. For example, /etc/login.defs is the configuration file for all login informationwhile /etc/shells lists the user’s trusted shells.

  • / lib

Lib or library folders are files used to perform certain functions or run various applications. These are, in turn, required by the files in the /bin or /sbin directories. In LINUX, kernel images and shared library images are required to boot and run other commands in the root file directories. The /bin folder is where all these images are found. The subdirectory /lib/module/’kernel-version’ provides you with all kernel drivers.

  • /media and /mnt

These directories contain all your media and mounted drives, for example, floppy disks, CDROMs, and USBs. Various subdirectories can be created within these folders for specific devices. Devices can be mounted in any of these folders, although conventionally, /mnt is for permanently mounted storage.

  • /opt

This stands for the optional folder and is the folder where manually-installed software from vendors ends up. A common point of confusion for new users is the distinction between the /opt and /usrfile systems. This is because both directories are meant to hold files not native to the operating system. /usr would be conventionally a directory to contain files built by a system admin and is part of the UNIX legacy package. The /opt directory, on the other hand, holds unbundled file configurations.

  • /proc

This folder holds pseudo files that contain information on system resources and processes. These resource logs are not actual files on the system, though they are transmitted as files by the kernel but are zero-logged.

  • /root

This folder is the root user’s home folder. Root permissions are required to access and modify this folder. Note that a user may choose a different directory for their home director.

  1. /home

The /home folder, in turn, contains each user’s home folder. Each user can only access their own /home folder unless they use admin permissions. The /home folder is where you will most likely spend most of your time outside of the terminal. An advantage of Linux is that the UI on various distros is straightforward. Important documents, files, music, and other media are stored in the home directory.

Conclusion? You’ll Learn Linux Quickly by Understanding These Directories

These ten directories are the most common regardless of the distro, although other directories and subdirectories are key to learn, especially for programmers. Understanding how the Linux directory system works is a great place to start learning about the Linux interface and speeding up your workflow.