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Linux File System | Complete Overview

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This is a complete overview of the Linux File System. I go into each directory and breakdown what each one does. I also step inside the home directory and go over some of the hidden directory in here as well.

Linux File System Article: https://www.christitus.com/linux-file-system/

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42 thoughts on “Linux File System | Complete Overview

  1. urgent please help. cortana is ON again, the old tricks to disable it doesn't work anymore. just do control alt supr and watch it by yourself. the latest upgrade is criminal, not only i had to erase 18.3 gb of old window installation archives but had to redo certain settings in example reinstalling my music asio driver. i've done your debloating script again but doesn't really work that much anymore. i keep watching "new"on programs.

  2. Great info. I would like to know about drive/data organization. what is the best practices for disaster recovery? Such as should i isolate the different primary folders on different drives and access them using sym links? Like system, swop, home?

  3. Can you make a more detailed video on mounting devices and checking what's mounted? I have my old 3TB NTFS formatted HDD in my system and it's currently in /media with the directory called what I called the drive while I was still on windows, but it never properly mounts by itself after a boot; I usually have to open Dolphin and click on the HDD there for it to mount at which point my wallpaper shows up and the drive works in terminal.
    I also heard of people edited something in /etc/fstab to make proton have less issues with NTFS, but couldn't find my HDD there, so I think it's not mounted correctly currently. I'm on Kubuntu 19.04 and it automatically set up the drive in this seemingly weird way, if that helps to know.

  4. Too complex of an explanation, just a suggestion but limiting the file structure to what people would use in the GUI, instead of command line would be useful, for instance this is what this folder is used for here is what types of files it contains, and movie on, there is no need for advanced functions on what you would use the folder/directory for.

  5. also i cant understand why linux users always use nano or vim or sth like that… i think its just overcomplicated… why not just use gedit or any "normal" editor?
    and could you please make a video about the differences between the linux "file systems", with that i mean ext4, reiserfs and so on… and what is best for which use? because i first thought this video would be about that ^^

  6. FreeBSD (OpenBSD) is like a brother to Linux both being fathered by UNIX. The difference being BSD went for binary compatibility and Linux just went for look and feel. Both operate the same, but they are different.

    Interesting note Sony use BSD at the core of PlayStation.

    /bin are system binaries
    /usr are user files – meaning user operational files NOT a specific users files.
    /usr/bin are the executables to provide a user environment.

    You can see why people call it "user".

    Specific user executables would be a bin or .local/bin folder within $HOME (/home/{user name}).

    There's usually a /mount or /mnt folder for additional mountpoints. /media is relatively new I consider the location for removable media like floppy, CD, DVD etc.

    I run my system backup as root (high privileges required), so there is a bin folder and the scripts necessary to mount, backup and unmount the caddy I use.

    /tmp on my systems are memory storage only. It's far quicker and with 32Gb I have plenty of room. I never use it for general storage or interim file locations. Just let the system handle it.

    Simple rule, if in doubt never leave your $HOME directory.

  7. Thank you so much for this video, Chris. This video was exactly what I needed. I am even going to download a copy of it and keep it saved in my HD just in case YouTube goes the way of the Dodo. Wonderful job. Really appreciate it. Cheers.

  8. A little sidenote, you can log in as administrator by simply entering "su" instead of "sudo su", at least on Manjaro. However, there is one use-case-scenario in which "sudo su" is more convenient, when you just used sudo and it hasn't timed out yet, then entering "sudo" first spares you from typing your password one more time.

  9. Topic suggestion: find info about hardware with dmidecode (for example useful to verify that the RAM is clocked at the set frequency, motherboard often are weird with that after a BIOS-reset), lm-sensors and other tools. Clock-frequency of CPU and RAM, voltage, wattage, temperatures…
    After that of course how to manually set a fancurve (unfortunately required for many graphics cards, in the case of AMD you need to enter a Matrix in Python in a certain path), undervolt, overclock…

  10. The title of this video should be "Linux Directory Structure" instead of "Linux File Sytems". All of the directories you have shown could be in the same file system or in different file systems.

  11. The stock installations, like /var/www is just stock. You are supposed to change that in the configuration when you run it for real. /srv/ is the directory where you actually are supposed to store data for servers. So /srv/www/http://www.my-site.com/www would be a good place for the webserver virtual site https://www.my-site.com/

    (I don't run my editor with sudo(1), because the makes my home directory stored with config files own by root. I use Emacs and open this filen with Tramp using sudo (Just start emacs and type: C-x C-f /sudo:[email protected]:/etc/packman.conf ), which will open the file as root with sudo on the local machine. It I want to open a file with ssh, I open the file "sft:[email protected]:filename.txt" or "ssh:[email protected]:filename.txt")

    About removing the wrong fingerprint, you the command instead that is recommended when your ssh are stoped. As the IP-number and name usually are encrypted in the known_hosts file and not in clear text like in your command.
    It is usually better to save the hosts keys and restore them after the new installation. 🙂

  12. /lost+found is NOT a recycle bin! It's a directory where fsck (filesystem check) puts parts of recovered files when checking that filesystem after an unclean shutdown. And you seem to have some files in it.
    Then, /media and /mnt serve different purposes: the former is a place where volatile (removable) media is mounted, and the latter is where permanent media (like your 2 TB hard disk) is mounted.

  13. I used to call usr as user but I know it is called Unix System Resources thx Chris! Lol the info stored has now updated as recently like just now XD

  14. Whaaat? /sbin -> /usr/bin ? BIN? Not SBIN ? Is it systemd people trying to make Linux the same mess as Windows? Yeah, trolling I know. But seriously, where's the old compartment gone? I mean… why?

  15. I believe the collection of OS's with this type of similar filesystem layout (including the BSD's, Solaris, macOS, AIX and other Unix's, and many more) are called POSIX based OS's. Basically everything that's not Windows.. because, you know, they're special..

  16. In short,

    /bin – is where the binaries (".exe's") for your shell commands are. i.e. when you type "sudo nano…" it is really short for "/bin/sudo /bin/nano…"

    /boot – this where the real scourge of the earth, GRUB, not systemd, lives

    /dev – is where the devices are mounted as files on your computer. It is very useful in the way unix-likes work. It is particularly good for piping, as piping would allow you to print output into a device, etc.

    /mnt – you can use it for anything, but it is intended for to be used as a mount place

    /lib(64) – this is a library, if you are having a problem with not having an asset, it is most always in one of these folders–64 is the 64-bit version

    /media – I don't think all distros have this one–Pop!_OS does, I personally don't like it, I prefer /mnt, but if you need to find a USB drive, check here

    /proc – I believe is only really used with Gnome and a few other DE's–short for processes

    /root – root's home

    /tmp – for some of your temporary folders; there are other temp's too… I think there is also /var/tmp and usually a home directory or two that has /tmp

    /usr – is where things actually install; where all resources are stored. i.e. if you install a program as root, it is put here or in opt, usually, if you install it for just one user, it goes in that user's ~/.

    /var – usually, this is where logs are stored, depending on the distro, it is where configuration folders are stored

    /etc – is for everything else, but most notably, this is where your configuration files are gonna be stored

    /srv – is in Ubuntu-based distros for sure, it is intended for any assets for a service or server. Such as if you are hosting a Samba share or 10, it is intended for you to mount them in /srv/Samba/… /. To keep things out of the way of else.

    Pro-tip, in FreeBSD, /etc doesn't have a lot of the configuration files for any add-ons to the system. Most of those files are in /usr/local/etc/

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