I am trying to adjust to Linux terms after many years of DOS and Windows. I have been wanting to switch from Windows to Linux for years now, but couldn't decide on a flavor. Today I got fed up with Windows 7 and just picked one--Ubuntu.

I know Linux has different terms and the file system is a little different. Right now I am trying to find the Linux equivalent of the root directory. My external drives all have their proper names, but the C: drive's name apparently was changed. I would like to change it back, if possible.

Is there a glossary or something that can be used?

  • 2
    Before other answers will swarm in, YOUR files are in your HOME folder. /home/username. THAT'S WHERE YOU PUT EVERYTHING. The others are non important for now.
    – Apache
    Dec 1, 2013 at 22:59

3 Answers 3


Windows and Linux have very different partition naming conventions.

First C: Drive is not a whole disk drive but just one partition. In Linux, drives are often referred to as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb etc. The partitions inside the drives are indicated by the numbered suffix, such as /dev/sda1. /dev/sda2 etc.

Second, the partitioned need to be mounted before they can be used in Linux. The place where they are mounted are called mount points. A special mount point is /, or the root of the file system. This mount point is reserved for Ubuntu system partition, the rough equivalent of Windows C:\

Third, other non-system partitions can be mounted anywhere as in a folder or sub-folder. For example, if you have a partition for music files, you could mount it in your home folder like /home/[userID]/Music.

Fourth, if your C:\ partition has a name, Ubuntu will try to use that name to mount that partition. If not, you can make Ubuntu mount it folder that you name. For example, you can create a folder /media/OldStinkyC_Drive and mount your C:\ partition there! Note, unlike Windows everything in Ubuntu is case sensitive.

Here is a reference of DOS to Linux commands:


Hope this helps


I've found these DOS-to-Linux Terminal cheat sheets, hope they help!:

In order to better understand how the Terminal syntax works, I recommend this page:

Just a curiosity: if you eventually get used to the Linux commands and see yourself in a situation where you're using both DOS and Linux, you might want to find out how to run the Linux terminal on Windows before you start smashing keyboards. Take a look at this Q&A:


Ubuntu's root directory is FileSystem marked (/) you can see it and access your file system when you click on your Home Folder in building list tree you can see FileSystem it will be your ex C: that you used to have in your Windows, when you click the properties you'll see that it equals to your ex C: hdd size that you used to have. For renaming/changing partitions use GParted you can download it at Ubuntu Software Center or using Synaptic Manager. More details about Ubuntu's partitions you can find over here

  • How do you uninstall a program and install a program from a unix archive?
    – Rod
    Dec 1, 2013 at 23:00
  • Oh no. Ubuntu has the administrator/owner nonsense too. Nuts. This is one of the things I hated about Windows 7.
    – Rod
    Dec 1, 2013 at 23:11
  • read this post also you can install it with Ubuntu Software Center right click on a file and choose. To uninstall you can use Synaptic Manager again or commands in Terminal (Ctrl Alt T) sudo apt-get remove NAME or/and sudo apt-get purge NAME to remove including config files
    – user211076
    Dec 1, 2013 at 23:17
  • The programs I want to install are not listed in the USC. It is on one of my external drives in a folder containing Linux versions of my more useful Windows programs.
    – Rod
    Dec 1, 2013 at 23:56
  • @Rod this is not a forum, not meant for discussions. If you have new facts add them to your question, if you have additional questions ask them in a separate post.
    – guntbert
    Dec 2, 2013 at 21:05

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