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The Linux File system 

  • The Linux file system has a tree like structure. 
  • The tree like structure is also referred to as  the Directory tree  
  • When we draw the Linux file system on a paper , we see a tree like structure developing. That's  why it is called the directory tree. 
  •  A folder is a location that stores multiple files  
  • Windows users usually use the word folder instead of a directory, however , in Linux terminology we  always say a directory instead of a folder.

The Directory Tree

 Here are some facts about the directory tree

  •  Each directory (or file) has exactly one parent
  •  The first directory (top most) in our directory  tree is called the root directory .It is  represented by a forward slash /
  • The root directory contains files and  subdirectories, which contain more files and  subdirectories and so on.
Comman Directories
/The root directory , Where everything begins
/etcThis directory contains system configuration files 
/bin

This directory contains the commands and utilities that  you on a daily basis (All the users have access to it) 

/sbinThis directory contains programs that performs vital system tasks (Network management , Disk  partitioning).Only the superuser has access to these  programs.
/home

Each user is given a directory under the home  directory .A user can store anything in his home  directory Ex:Music files,Pictures, ...etc 

/opt

This directory contains optional commercial software  products that are not installed by default on the  system (Ex: Google Earth)

/tmpThis directory contains temporary files created by  various programs. Generally cleared on reboot 
/varContains variable data (Ex: databases, spool files, user mail, etc. are located here. )

Two special Directories 

Under each directory , we have two special  directories (1) The current directory represented as .  

(2) The parent directory represented as ..  

and so one dot refers to the current directory and two dots refers to the parent (Previous)  directory.

Shell vs Terminal

The Shell

  • Before starting to learn about the Linux  command line, we have to know some  terminology and facts. 
  • The shell is the command line interpreter,  meaning that it takes the commands that you  enter and sends them to the operating system  to perform (execute). 
  •  And so to make things clear, The shell is  what actually handles the commands.
  • The shell is the default interface to Linux 

The Terminal

 On the other hand, The Terminal is just a graphical interface to the shell. In other  words, We access the shell through our terminal in a GUI (Graphical User Interface)  environment.

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