Exploring the file system


The file system is the collection of files and the hierarchy of directories on a system. I will now escort you around the file system. Open the terminal and change to “cd /” root directory, and then enter ls -F to display a listing of its contents. Among the list I will tell you about the following directories: bin, dev, etc, home and, usr. Now lets take a look at each of these directories.

/bin: /bin is short for “binaries”, or executables, where many essential system programs reside. When you “ls /bin” you will see that the cp, ls, mv etc are here. So when you are doing the ls command actually you are executing the /bin/ls file.

/dev: /dev is where the device files live. Device files are actually system devices like modem, screen, mouse, keyboard etc. And when you move your mouse, it actually writes in these files and the system reads from these files.

/etc: This directory contains essential miscellaneous system programs and configuration files.

/home: Home is where the heart is. Home is the place where all users and their configurations reside. If you ls to /home you will find the directories named after all available users except root.

/usr: All information and essential configuration files that are user specific are kept in this directories. They are not necessary for the system to work but are important coz without them all large softwares and graphical features won’t work. Computer will be boring without this folder.