Directories and File Systems

Linux and Unix file systems are organised in a hierarchical, tree-like structure. The highest level of the file system is the / or root directory. In the Unix and Linux design philosophy, everything is considered a file - including hard disks, partitions and removable media. This means that all other files and directories (including other disks and partitions) exist under the root directory.

For example, /home/jebediah/cheeses.odt shows the correct full path to the cheeses.odt file that exists in the jebediah directory which is under the home directory, which in turn, is under the root (/) directory.

Underneath the root (/) directory, there is a set of important system directories that are common across most Linux distributions that are used. The following is a listing of common directories that are directly under the root (/) directory: