This is not a duplicate question about file-system hierarchy that can be answered by pointing me toward man hier, ubuntu-policy, or something. I've looked at those questions. My problem is that I need a deeper look at the directory structure.

It turns out that the answers to many questions are in the purpose of lower level directories like /usr/share/applications or /var/run/sendsigs.omit.d, which do not seem to be covered by the standard documentation that is referred to in the questions I've found. I'm sure documentation exists concerning all these directories, but since they are standard to Ubuntu, it would be nice if a hierarchy document covered all their various purposes, perhaps even with links back to the documents to their related services/applications.

The reason why I want this is because it cuts down on time and confusion spent looking through Google etc. when I encounter a problem if I already know where directories associated with some problem reside.

1 Answer 1


You can maybe start from http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/, and follow from there to the Linux standard base project, at http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/lsb.

Take into account however that each distribution decide where to put is files, so although much of them follows these standards, there are differences among them, and often even among packages in the same distribution.

  • Thank you very much. This gets me started. I realize distros vary in their structure. But I figured Ubuntu's popularity would lend itself to this sort of distro-specific documentation. It would be very helpful in trouble-shooting!
    – rockhazard
    Apr 28, 2014 at 0:00

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