Open Source

How to find and use the Linux home directory

If you're new to Linux, the home directory might confound you a bit. Jack Wallen explains where this directory is and what it's all about.

The Linux directory structure is a bit different than what you're used to. To some, it can get kind of confusing. First off, everything resides on what is called the root directory, which is denoted by a single forward slash. Within that directory is a number of system directories, such as bin, boot, etc, media, proc, sys, usr, as well as a unique directory, called home. Home is often referred to in the shorthand ~/. Inside this you'll find directories for each standard user account on the system. Those directories are what is commonly referred to as the user's home, or just home. Within each user's home, you will find common directories, such as Documents, Music, Video, etc. These directories are where user data is stored. Also housed in home are the user configuration files for the apps they use.

Now, when someone mentions either the root or your home directory, you know where to go.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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