Linux Filesystem Reference (PAL Series)

Update: These were written for my students while my role was a PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) Leader for my course, I intended to keep all the basic/intermediate commands necessary for terminal use in one place to ease the students into using Linux efficiently. I’ve kept them up just in case they’re of use to someone.

Explanation of the Linux file system (PAL Series)

It is important that you understand the basics of where Linux stores certain directories, especially when dealing with the terminal.

Filepath Description
/ Root directory (equivalent to C:\ on Windows)
/root Home directory of the root user
/home The location of all personal user account files
/home/<username> Your home directory, contains your personal files ( /home/tom, /home/i7245143, etc )
/bin, /usr/bin, usr/local/bin, /opt Contains most executable files/tools, in-depth explanation. These directories (and others) are often referenced in the PATH variable.
/lib, /usr/lib Contains system libraries
/net Network drives are mounted here on the NCCA (Bournemouth University) Linux machines (e.g. /net/w32305/transfer to access the transfer drive of lab machine 05 in room w323 )
/tmp Stores temporary files, these are cleared on every single boot (by default)
/var Contains variable contents that the operating system always expects to be writable, such as log files, cache, etc
/mnt Where devices get mounted (such as memory sticks or external drives)
/dev Devices can be accessed from here (Everything is a file)
/proc Contains kernel information like hardware temperatures (this is a virtual filesystem)