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Linux Magazine: A Tour of the Linux Filesystem: Part II

Sep 23, 2000, 17:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lou Grinzo)

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"Last month we started talking about the "big picture" differences between the Linux filesystem and the Windows filesystem. Aside from the high-level differences, there are also major differences in the directory structure under Linux and Windows. If you remember from last time, we discussed the fact that the filesystem is actually organized as a "tree" with a "root" directory at the top level symbolized by a forward slash (/) under Linux, and a back slash (\) under Windows... So, with that starting place in mind, let's take a look at the directories hanging off of the root directory under Linux and comparing them to their Windows counterparts."

"The /bin and /sbin directories serve as the home for a lot of small executable programs that most people think of as part of the operating system itself, but they really aren't. ... The "bin" part of the name is yet another example of Linux/ Unix style shorthand. It stands for "binaries," which is what übergeeks sometimes call programs. Under Windows these files are both stored in C:\WINDOWS and C:\WINDOWS\ SYSTEM (and its subdirectories)."

"/boot is where the Linux kernel is stored. People often use the term "operating system" to refer to the entire operating system environment, but that is not really correct. Strictly speaking, the kernel is the operating system itself. It is the program that controls access to all the hardware and devices your computer supports and allows multiple programs to run concurrently and share that hardware. Most of the other programs that are a part of the operating system environment are stored in /bin or /sbin (as we just mentioned). The closest thing to this under Windows is a combination of the DOS boot image in C:\ and a bunch of DLLs stored in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM."

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