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GNULinux.com: Linux Filesystem Tour for Complete Newbies

May 26, 2000, 21:03 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tommie Giles)

[ Thanks to BeOpen for this link. ]

"The Linux filesystem is rather confusing to new users. We'll try to remove a little of the mystery, showing you the logic of Linux and help you become more accustomed to accessing files and mount points. This document will be updated from time to time, and I will keep a running list of FAQ's at the bottom of the page for easy reference."

"A few conventions before we go on:"

"Everything in Linux is considered either a file or a directory Linux sees everything as a text file and can be opened as such--generally, it means you get a screen full of garbage, but many of the files are human-readable and you can edit them as you see fit. You can check into a few examples of the file theme in the /dev (devices) and the /proc (process) directories. The /dev is the location for devices attached to your system (i.e., hardware) and /proc is literally what is in your system's memory, from IRQ's and PCI channels, to temp files. It's never a good idea to edit the things in /dev or /proc, but looking in those directories will help with Linux concept that everything is a file in one way or another."

"It's been this way for 30 years. Yep, the Unices (UN*X-like operating systems, which includes Linux) have a long and deep history, stretching back to the dawn of computing, and the filesystem has stayed pretty much intact. Sure, there have been changes along the way, but as a whole, it's the same structure. A working knowledge of the filesystem makes you a good user and a good administrator, able to circumvent problems by going to the source every time."

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