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

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108
votes
6answers
38k 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 ...
65
votes
10answers
116k 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.
25
votes
8answers
273k 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 - ...
42
votes
4answers
47k 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 ...
66
votes
5answers
31k views

Why is defragmentation unnecessary?

Why is defragmenting unnecessary in Ubuntu?
67
votes
11answers
103k 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 ...
61
votes
4answers
131k 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 ...
24
votes
11answers
24k 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)
28
votes
1answer
34k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
33
votes
4answers
281k 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 ...
75
votes
9answers
219k 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 ...
127
votes
5answers
124k 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?
38
votes
3answers
72k 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 ...
57
votes
8answers
44k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
64k 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?
12
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
30k 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?
7
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why has Ubuntu moved the default mount points?

Why has Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions moved the default mount points from /media to /media/$USER Example I plug in a USB drive and it's name is EXT4-250GB-USB it used to show up in ...
4
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
82
votes
1answer
57k 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 ...
46
votes
3answers
319k 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. ...
28
votes
4answers
41k 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?
25
votes
3answers
18k 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?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Which book should I buy to learn file system in Ubuntu? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to understand the Ubuntu file system layout? I am very new to Ubuntu and Linux and looking to learn Ubuntu/Linux. Which book should I buy to learn file system in ...
8
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
23k 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.
53
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
170k views

How to fix “sudo: unable to open … Read-only file system”?

The title might not be as descriptive as I would like it to be but couldn't come up with a better one. My server's file system went into Read-only. And I don't understand why it does so and how to ...
16
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
5k views

What does `~/ ` mean?

I'm new to Linux and Ubuntu. People keep using ~/filename in their answers to my questions. What does ~/ mean?
8
votes
1answer
739 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

How well is the HFS+ filesystem supported?

How well does Ubuntu support HFS+ (i.e. Mac formatted) filesystems? Can it read and write to them, and are there any potential problems to watch out for?
2
votes
3answers
396 views

Retrieving files from broken wubi installation

My wubi installation of Ubuntu 12.04 is stuck in an infinite login screen loop. I have tried following the advice on other posts but nothing has worked so now I'm trying to retrieve a few files from ...
17
votes
4answers
16k views

Where can I find the application executables in the filesystem?

Where are executables for programs stored in Ubuntu? An application (Komodo Edit) is asking me to identify an application to be used as a web browser. I've become used to just entering the ...
3
votes
3answers
11k 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: ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

How to disable cryptswap?

How can I disable cryptswap? I would like an unencrypted swap like before. This is on an ubuntu 9.10 system.
7
votes
4answers
30k views

Why has my file-system turned read-only after updates?

I'm running 11.10 and I applied some updates. After that whenever I use my computer, I can, but only for about 2 or 3 minutes before it becomes read-only. Any sudo command entered gives me the ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

New ext4 partition and used space

I have fresh ext4 partition, which means I just formated it with mkfs.ext4 -m 0.1 /dev/mapper/abak-home, and there's already 27G space used. Setting reserved root space (-m) to 0 didn't have any ...
7
votes
2answers
28k views

filesystem types for partitions [closed]

I am going to dual-boot install Ubuntu1 10.04 on my laptop with Windows 7. I was wondering what filesystem types (such as ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS and whatever might come into mind) are ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Using a folder on an ntfs partition as /home

I use wubi to install Ubuntu 10.10 on my ntfs partition. So I want to change the home folder to a folder on the ntfs partition. I could keep the personal configuration, software and so on after ...
8
votes
4answers
14k views

Very slow boot due to mounting filesytem

I just installed Ubuntu 11.04 over an older version of Ubuntu, and am dual-booting with Windows 7. Most things seem to be working well (i.e. wifi, sound, etc.) but boot time is problematically long. ...
33
votes
3answers
28k 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. ...
21
votes
8answers
38k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
19k 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 ...