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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,376

    UNIX Filesystem Etymology

    Isn't this how all college students spend winter break?

    I wonder about where some of the names used in traditional UNIX (or Linux) filesystems come from...

    For example, /bin is obviously binaries.

    I assume /usr is "user" created (versus standard on the install), although really only /usr/local/* and /usr/bin/local/* are non-standard these days.

    /etc probably got its start as "etcetera" and has since evolved to be where all the config files live.

    /tmp and /home are pretty obvious.

    But what about...
    /var -- variable? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, though

    /opt -- this is the one that I can't even guess. Where did /opt come from, and what does it mean? I don't even understand why some programs insist on using /opt instead of installing themselves normally.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga, USA
    Posts
    35
    http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html

    Quote Originally Posted by fog View Post
    Isn't this how all college students spend winter break?

    I wonder about where some of the names used in traditional UNIX (or Linux) filesystems come from...

    For example, /bin is obviously binaries.

    I assume /usr is "user" created (versus standard on the install), although really only /usr/local/* and /usr/bin/local/* are non-standard these days.

    /etc probably got its start as "etcetera" and has since evolved to be where all the config files live.

    /tmp and /home are pretty obvious.

    But what about...
    /var -- variable? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, though

    /opt -- this is the one that I can't even guess. Where did /opt come from, and what does it mean? I don't even understand why some programs insist on using /opt instead of installing themselves normally.
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