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

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142
votes
6answers
56k views

How to understand the Ubuntu file system layout?

In Windows there’re perhaps only a couple of important folders (by important I mean important in my logical picture of the Windows file system) in the installation drive (in my case C:\). Namely ...
88
votes
10answers
178k views

What is the equivalent to the Windows “Program Files” folder? (Where do things go when I install them?)

What is the Ubuntu equivalent to the Windows C:\Program Files folder? This is where Windows stores the system wide data for applications.
54
votes
5answers
64k views

How do I avoid the “S to Skip” message on boot?

After upgrading my laptop from karmic to lucid, my fat32 partition won't mount automatically. I get the message: The disk drive for /osshare is not ready yet or not present Continue to wait; or Press ...
77
votes
5answers
44k views

Why is defragmentation unnecessary?

Why is defragmenting unnecessary in Ubuntu?
106
votes
12answers
161k views

How can I securely erase a hard drive?

I'm planning on selling a USB external hard drive that currently contains an old Ubuntu installation with stored passwords and banking information. How can I securely erase the drive before selling ...
98
votes
4answers
202k views

How to get a drive formatted with exfat working?

In Ubuntu 13.04 there was an option to use the PPA by Relan in order to get ExFat functionality. Seeing that in Ubuntu this functionality is now available from the repositories without the PPA I tried ...
36
votes
8answers
372k views

“No root file system defined” error while installing ubuntu

I am new to linux/ ubuntu and just downloaded the v11 of ubuntu to learn linux. I faced this "No root file system is defined" error while trying to install it. This is how I was proceeding - ...
35
votes
3answers
29k views

How to move Ubuntu to an SSD

My current situation is: One hard disk Dual boot Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7. Partitions: 100MB Windows System thingy 144GB Main Windows 160GB Ubuntu 4GB Swap 12GB System Restore stuff Now I want ...
110
votes
9answers
352k views

How do I view all available HDD's/partitions?

I found a 6 GB IDE HDD in my basement. I want to plug it in and see what might be on it. The drive seems to be recognized in BIOS. I can't find it in Ubuntu to view files, and Ubuntu is the only OS ...
56
votes
3answers
111k views

How do I change file system in recovery mode to read-write mode?

I have messed up my sudoers file and I want to change the permission on it. When I login in recovery mode, I cannot run the command chmod as it is read-only option. I tried mount -o remount,rw / in ...
73
votes
8answers
68k views

How to find (and delete) duplicate files

I have a largish music collection and there are some duplicates in there. Is there any way to find duplicate files. At a minimum by doing a hash and seeing if two files have the same hash. Bonus ...
12
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I clean up my harddrive?

Not to long ago I was using only 35% of my HD. Just recently it shot up to 54% and my diskspace is 16gb so that's more then 3gigs that have been taken. From what I remember I failed to build mysql, I ...
12
votes
3answers
10k views

Accessing files in a directory without x-permission?

I am having a bit of trouble understanding what the execute permission means for directories. Do I understand it correctly that anything in a directory for which a user does not have x-rights is ...
186
votes
6answers
173k views

How is the /tmp directory cleaned up?

How is the /tmp directory cleaned up? Is it automatic? If so, how frequently is it cleaned up?
28
votes
11answers
32k views

How to hide a(n) (NTFS) partition from ubuntu

I need to hide an NTFS partition from listing in the nautilus. How can I achieve that? Is there any tool to do that? And how can I hide files in ubuntu (except . operator)
45
votes
4answers
387k views

How to make read-only file system writable?

I am not sure since when the filesystem on my digital audio player has been changed to be read-only. I cannot copy files into it or remove files on it. Are there some possible reasons for the player'...
28
votes
1answer
42k views

Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10: Filesystem check or mount failed

I attempted to upgrade from Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10 today, and mid upgrade the system started flaking out, and eventually locked up entirely. I was forced to restart the computer, and am now unable to ...
31
votes
4answers
7k views

Importance of Swap Partition

What is the purpose of a swap partition? How do I know I have just enough swap partition? Not too much/little. My Ubuntu PC is used for typical stuff: Web (email, facebook, etc.) Some movies ...
16
votes
5answers
49k views

Where can I find the location of folders for installed programs?

I'm new to Ubuntu and would like to know where I can find the location of program files for programs installed from the Ubuntu Software Center or the Terminal.
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
35k views

Not enough space on /tmp

Im not being able to run update manager as I get the error saying that there is not enough free space in the /tmp directory. I've practically cleaned out the tmp directory but the error persists. Any ...
8
votes
3answers
13k views

ext4 partition size / free space discrepancies

While creating a 250GiB backup partition for my data, I have noticed lots of discrepancies between reported partition size and free space in Nautilus, gParted, df, tune2fs, etc. At first I thought it ...
18
votes
4answers
42k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to mount an internal HDD on start-up?

I have a 500GB internal HDD where I store all my music and photos but it is annoying to manually mount it after a restart and I was wondering how to mount it automatically and make it available to ...
138
votes
1answer
95k views

Differences between /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/sbin [duplicate]

I'm running an Ubuntu Server 13.04, but I see the same on a 12.04: I have six directories with command files. These are: /bin /sbin /usr/bin /usr/sbin /usr/local/bin /usr/local/sbin What are the ...
73
votes
4answers
473k views

How do I remount a filesystem as read/write?

I'm trying to mount an hfsplus filesystem in a Xubuntu 12.04 VM (kernel version 3.2.0-23-generic) but when I type mount -o remount, rw /dev/sdb3 in command line it returns not mounted or bad option. ...
69
votes
5answers
25k views

Why have both /mnt and /media?

It seems to me that having both /mnt and /media is a little redundant. Is there any tangible difference between the two that I'm not aware of? Is there a standard that most people follow for where to ...
27
votes
3answers
22k views

Is there a simple way to add exFAT support? [duplicate]

When I insert a USB stick or camera flash card I get the following error: unknown filesystem type 'exfat' Is there a simple way to add exFAT support to Ubuntu without kernel patching?
21
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
52k 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?
11
votes
2answers
29k views

GRUB: “invalid arch independent ELF magic” after install on SSD [duplicate]

I've got a brand new laptop with a 128GB SSD drive. I read that aligning the partitions to match the Erase Block Size of the SSD is important. I followed William Scott's guide SSD Tweaks in Linux and ...
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Very large log files, what should I do?

(This question deals with a similar issue, but it talks about a rotated log file.) Today I got a system message regarding very low /var space. As usual I executed the commands in the line of sudo ...
40
votes
3answers
58k views

How do I use OverlayFS?

This answer and email message indicate that something called "OverlayFS" is available in Ubuntu 11.10 and will forcefully replace aufs in Ubuntu 12.04. How do I use it? Where is its documentation?
28
votes
3answers
12k views

How to find the creation time of a file?

I need to find the creation time of a file, when I read some article about this issue, all mentioned that there is no solution like Site1, Site2. When I tried stat command it state Birth: - So how ...
34
votes
2answers
87k views

How do I install and mount an exFAT partition? [duplicate]

I have searched around here and with Google, and none of the instructions I have found work with Oneric. How do install exFAT and mount an exFAT partition in the latest release of Kubuntu?
19
votes
7answers
22k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
33k views

How to mount HFS+ drive and ignore permissions

I installed Ubuntu and Windows on my MacBook and Ubuntu is my primary OS; however, all of my media stays on my OSX partition. I want to be able to access it (at least my OSX user's home folder) from ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

'sudo' not working after changing the permissions of '/usr' directory

Recently I had to change the folder permissions of /usr folder. Now the whole sudo is not working. If I try to update my system using this command: sudo apt-get update I get the following message: ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

Can I change personal folder locations?

I did this in Windows 7. My Documents, Videos, Music and other personal folders are in D:\ because it is my media disk. In case of a system failure, I will always have access to these files when I ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What file size units do applications on Ubuntu use?

I have noticed that different applications use different units, or mean different things by them. For example, I have come across kB, KB, KiB, Kb and K. How many bytes do each of these units ...
388
votes
9answers
360k views

How do I determine the total size of a directory (folder) from the command line?

Is there a simple command to display the total aggregate size (disk usage) of all files in a directory (folder)? I have tried these, and they don't do what I want: ls -l, which only displays the ...
39
votes
3answers
40k views

Use of /opt and /usr/local directories in the context of a PC

What is the difference between /opt and /usr/local directories and what kind of programs should be installed to them? I referred to Linux File-system Hierarchy but the explanation is not that clear. ...
24
votes
8answers
50k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
19k views

Why does Ubuntu refuse to execute files from an NTFS partition?

I mount an NTFS partition (where I've got some Linux binaries and scripts alongside with Win32 and data files) with the following fstab line: /dev/sda5 /mnt/dat ntfs-3g rw,dev,exec,auto,async,users,...
5
votes
6answers
27k views

How to partition my hard drive for Ubuntu use?

Till now I was windows user. From now on I want to use only Linux. I have 500Gb HDD. How do I partition it properly? I read that there is no right or wrong way, but still, I am confused. I did ...
137
votes
3answers
84k views

What is the difference between /etc/init/ and /etc/init.d/?

What is the difference between /etc/init/ and /etc/init.d/? More generally, what meaning does the .d suffix convey to a directory?
99
votes
2answers
80k views

Mount unknown filesystem exfat

When trying to mount an exfat filesystem, I get the following error: Error mounting /dev/sda6 at /media/gkp/Backup: Command-line `mount -t "exfat" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid" "/dev/sda6" "/...
37
votes
3answers
28k views

How to open Nautilus at current command line directory?

I was wondering if anybody knew a command that would allow me to open a Nautilus (if that's the right name for the Ubuntu 12.04 graphic/window explorer) window from the command line at the current ...
42
votes
4answers
7k views

Accidentally created directory named “~” (tilde)

I managed to make a directory literally named ~. (Apparently, Python's os.mkdir('~/something') does this.) How do I remove it without nuking my home? Also, if it helps, I have my real /home on a ...
11
votes
1answer
31k views

What do I do when my root filesystem is full?

My / folder is reading as full and I can't update software or do anything. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here. $ df -h Results: Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/sda1 ...