Questions dealing with Ubuntu's layout of files, permissions, and files that reside in special locations on disk.

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23
votes
8answers
48k views

Why do my gvfs mounts not show up under ~/.gvfs or /run/user/<login>/gvfs?

From what I read, when mounting a network share via nautilus or gvfs-mount the mount point should be in ~/.gvfs. This seems not to be the case for me: I tried mounting both an FTP and SMB share via ...
23
votes
3answers
6k views

What does `~/ ` mean?

I'm new to Linux and Ubuntu. People keep using ~/filename in their answers to my questions. What does ~/ mean?
23
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I modify a bash script (.sh) file while it is running?

Suppose I have a script script.sh, which takes some time to execute. I execute it, ./script.sh. While it is running in a terminal window, I modify the file script.sh. Will this have any effect on the ...
21
votes
4answers
15k views

Why is moving directories to /dev/null dangerous?

When trying to move a test_dir directory to /dev/null, I get the message mv: cannot overwrite non-directory ‘/dev/null’ with directory ‘test_dir/’ Then why do people say "Don't run the command sudo ...
21
votes
5answers
10k views

Find directories with lots of files in

So a client of mine got an email from Linode today saying their server was causing Linode's backup service to blow up. Why? Too many files. I laughed and then ran: # df -ih Filesystem Inodes ...
21
votes
3answers
60k views

Read Only usb stick that won't let me do anything to it

Somehow I messed up and accidentally made my usb stick into a read only file system. I have tried a bunch of things to delete the files, including the basic (rm -f myfile) and attempting to allow ...
20
votes
4answers
44k views

What does /dev/null mean in a shell script?

I've started learning bash scripting by using this guide: http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/abs-guide.pdf However I got stuck at the first script: cd /var/log cat /dev/null > messages cat /dev/null ...
20
votes
2answers
847 views

Is there a difference between a symbolic link via terminal or right-click make link?

I'm wondering if there is a difference between going to a terminal and typing ln -s path 'path or just right clicking on something and selecting make link.
20
votes
2answers
30k views

What filesystem for an external Harddrive (Linux/Mac/Windows) [closed]

What Filesystem should I use for an external USB harddrive (500GB), with possibility to share with a Mac and Windows systems, for example at the office. Now it is NTFS but back in the day the NTFS ...
20
votes
3answers
14k views

Where is the user's profile picture stored in Gnome 3?

In Ubuntu 11.10, I can set my profile picture through the User Accounts settings panel. I can select an existing picture and it will help me crop that picture to look nice. The final product is not ...
19
votes
7answers
20k views

How to determine where biggest files/directories on my system are stored?

I was wondering how do you know where the largest files in my system are stored. For example--- Disk Space Used: 1GB Java: 500MB Java Percentage: 50% maybe represented in a pie chart. Maybe? I know ...
19
votes
1answer
10k views

What is the role of the .ICEauthority file?

When I listed files in my home directory, there was a hidden file named .ICEauthority. What is this file, and what is its role?
18
votes
5answers
51k views

Command line option to check which filesystem I am using?

Is there a command that will show which file system (ext3, ext4, FAT32, ...) the various partitions and disks are using? Similar to how sudo fdisk -l lists information about disks and partitions?
18
votes
4answers
16k views

How to create a bookmark under “computer” in the Sidebar of the nautilus file manager in 12.04?

Somehow, I removed the Downloads bookmark in the Sidebar under "Computer". Is there any way I can make a new one? Possibly with the same icon? I still have my Downloads directory. I just don't have ...
18
votes
4answers
41k views

Convert filesystem NTFS -> EXT4?

I have 2 TB of data on an NTFS drive which I would like to convert to EXT4 filesystem. My OS runs on a (comparatively) small 60GB SSD. Is there any way to convert the filesystem, apart from backing ...
18
votes
3answers
49k views

Can I disable full-disk encryption?

I recently installed Ubuntu 12.10 and it requires a passphrase to boot up (I installed it with an encrypted file system). Do I have to reinstall to change to a standard unencrypted file system?
17
votes
3answers
13k views

Can and should UDF be used as a hard drive format?

Several time recently I've seen UDF suggested as the solution to a cross platform format for a drive used on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows XP and above. I've searched here and not found the same ...
17
votes
2answers
59k views

Where does Wine install programs in the filesystem?

I have recently installed MS Office using Wine. Can someone tell me where are the files installed. I mean like in Windows application are installed in program files folder by default, where are they ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a way I can rename Trash to Crap?

I was trying to Rename the folder Trash to Crap. I did this I first ran cd /home/username/.local/share/ Now my present working directory is /home/username/.local/share then when I typed ls I ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

What is the significance of '*' (star, asterisk) in the file listing results?

I have noticed that some of my files have an asterisk at end. Does the asterisk at the end have any particular significance? I think they are mostly executable and displayed in green by the ls ...
16
votes
5answers
11k views

Is it safe to use Btrfs?

Is it safe to use btrfs in Ubuntu 12.04? Linux kernel version: 3.2.0-24-generic Architecture: x86_64 (64-bit)
16
votes
2answers
53k views

Where is the default folder for Apps?

I am relatively new to the linux world. I use OSX at home and Windows at work. In those worlds, there is a default folder for applications (C:\Program Files, /Applications). Is there any such ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

5.25" floppies won't mount

I have received some research that is on 5. 25" floppies. My mobo supports 5. 25" disks, and, I have the disk drive. I am not trying to use this media long term, I just want the research data. Update ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

What file system do I have installed?

Is there any way to check it from command line?
15
votes
4answers
3k views
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Disk slowly filling up but no visible file size changes

df Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/vda1 30830588 22454332 6787120 77% / none 4 0 4 0% /sys/fs/cgroup udev ...
15
votes
3answers
43k views

Gtk-WARNING : Calling Inhibit failed

I was trying to use gedit, when I came across the following problem: myPC@TM77:~$ sudo gedit /etc/pm/config.d/config (gedit:12512): IBUS-WARNING **: The owner of /home/myPC/.config/ibus/bus is not ...
15
votes
3answers
8k views

Why does every directory have a size 4096 bytes (4 K)?

As the subject says; I want to know why is every directory having a size equals to 4K even if they contain files with sizes greater than 4K. Please have a look at the following:- a) b) PS: I ...
15
votes
2answers
11k views

Why can't I copy a 5G file?

I'm trying to backup my VirtualBox, but when I try to copy the .VirtualBox directory to my external hard drive I get an "File too large" error: [130 amanda@luna ~]$ cp -r .VirtualBox ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

'Installing' Applications, where to put folders? [duplicate]

I've just bought a game (Machinarium) which does not come with a deb file neither is it a ./configure, make etc type of application. I can just run it. Where is the best place to put it so i can ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

using locate on an encrypted partition

I selected /home/ to be encrypted when I was installing Ubuntu. Now, is it possible to make locate work with an encrypted partition like this?
15
votes
2answers
29k views

Is it safe to delete a lost+found folder?

I have an empty seperate partition used for my vhd/virtualbox. mounted at /mount/win7. I've deleted everything now and there's a lost+found folder left over. It takes up about 5gigs Is it safe to ...
15
votes
1answer
30k views

What represent .Xauthority file?

I had a problem wherein I couldn't get passed the login window in Ubuntu 12.04, even though I have the correct username and password, it still comes back to the login screen. I've found a solution ...
15
votes
1answer
17k views

What is /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ for?

I'm using an application that, when searching for installed dependencies, looks up some .so files in /usr/lib and /usr/local/lib/. Now I migrated on Natty and some files seem to be moved from ...
14
votes
4answers
32k views

How do I change UUID of a disk to whatever I want?

I have an unique situation where I need to change UUID of usb flash drive to previous UUID. I formatted it and obviously number changed... I've ubuntu server setup with 1TB hdd, and 4GB usb flash ...
14
votes
2answers
666 views

How to see the contents of a file with blank filename?

drwxrwxr-x 2 ubuntu ubuntu 4096 Mar 19 07:30 xxxxx -rw-rw-r-- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 580 Mar 20 07:24 -rw-rw-r-- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 27137 Mar 20 09:10 xxx.js Here there is a file on the second line but ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Broken sudo: can't open /etc/sudoers: No such file or directory

I have a live USB persistent version of Ubuntu 11.04 installed with Unetbootin. After some time I experienced some bugs while upgrading the kernel and trying to use my second screen on my laptop. ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Btrfs in 10.10 considered stable?

I'm upgrading my laptop to Maverick (10.10) and I noticed btrfs is an option for the filesystem. I read a while ago that the Ubuntu team weren't sure if it was going to be stable for Maverick. Does ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Is NTFS-3G safe for writing?

These days, I have to use the NTFS-3G driver to write to an NTFS drive (which will later be used in Windows). But I still remember the olde times of Linux ntfs driver which clearly said in the docs: ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why will Ubuntu no longer measure file size unit as byte, megabyte, gigabyte, etc?

I read on somewhere that Ubuntu will no longer use the familiar file size units we all know by now (kB, MB, GB, TB) and switch to a different IEC standard (KiB, MiB, GiB, TiB). If this is true, I ...
13
votes
4answers
60k views

Force fsck.ext4 on reboot, but really “forceful”

One of my Ubuntu 10.04 servers is giving me trouble. When I run fsck.ext4 -n /dev/sda5 it tells me there are errors in the free inode count, free block count, and more. I have tried: touch ...
13
votes
8answers
11k views

How to create an encrypted partition?

I am trying to create an encrypted partition, and while I format it I get the option to choose the partition type (fat/ext2/ext3/ext4/xfs/reiserfs/minix/ntfs). Is there any benefit of choosing one ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I stop this constant loss of free space?

I was running Ubuntu, as normal, when suddenly I got a dialog box that said I only had 1.2 GB of free space left. An hour before, I had 30 GB of free space. I deleted some stuff and brought the free ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I convert an ext4 partition to btrfs (or other file systems) without losing data?

I wish to convert my current /home partition to BTRFS (or other file systems) without losing data if possible, what steps should I take for this? is it safe?
13
votes
2answers
17k views

What is the use of /etc/hosts?

I'm very new to Ubuntu and I want to know: what is the exact use of /etc/hosts? Lets say I'm adding this into it : 127.0.x.x mydomain What does that mean?
13
votes
5answers
20k views

Solving permission problems when using external EXT4 hard disk with multiple linux installs

Hello I have a external hard drive and since I only use Ubuntu and Fedora I decide to format my hard drive to ext4 everything is fine. The problem is when i mount the drive i need to change the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to delete files when another filesystem is mounted on the path?

Having just written an answer about moving /usr to a new partition I was wondering about deleting files once a new partition has been mounted. To use the example from the question, is it possible to ...
13
votes
1answer
11k views

Reasonable size for “filesystem reserved blocks” for non-OS disks?

When creating a file system ( mkfs ...) the file system reserves 5% of the space for its own use because, according to man tune2fs: Reserving some number of filesystem blocks for use by ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

'unreachable' home folder

Occasionally, when I log into my Ubuntu server, the prompt says jon@jon-server:(unreachable)/$. Running pwd at this point returns (unreachable)/, however echo $HOME returns /home/jon as expected. If ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

Web Server Best Practices: Directory Structure & Security

I would like to utilize Ubuntu server as web server, but I want to make sure I follow best practices for setting things up. I want to ensure I set the directory up in the best location and understand ...