Chapter 6. Getting to Know the Linux Filesystem

In This Chapter

  • Discovering your way around the filesystem

  • Adding removable media to the filesystem

  • Understanding filesystem permissions


I have an existential map. It has "You are here" written all over it.

 --Steven Wright

One of the most frustrating things about mastering a new operating system can be figuring out where it keeps files. Instead of keeping all the important system files in a single directory (such as the C:\Windows directory in Microsoft Windows), Linux follows the lead of its UNIX cousins and spreads things out a bit more. Although the Linux and Windows setups involve different methods, they are both logical, although it may not feel that way until you get a handle on where to look.

Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle

It helps to understand the lingo before getting started. A lot of this may be familiar to you from other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, but you need to get used to some differences. To start, the word filesystem is actually used in more than one way. The general use (and what we typically refer to throughout the book) means "the files and directories (or folders) you have access to right now," instead of referring to the method used to store data on the hard drive (such as the ext3 filesystem discussed in Chapter 3).

Here's what you need to know about filesystems:

  • Linux uses a forward slash (/) between directories, not the backslash (\) that Windows uses. So, the file yum.conf in the directory ...

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