Echoing path in ubuntu returns following colon separated paths,


In these paths at some places there is local while at others .local is used what is the difference between both?

  • local is a folder; .local is a hidden folder.
    – user692175
    Nov 21, 2017 at 5:56
  • Hey thanks, and are they same folders, hidden in one case and visible in other? Or they are completely different? What is the reason for hiding local in later case? Nov 21, 2017 at 6:35
  • Obviously not the same folders. Example: /home/stack/.local and /usr/local The reason for hiding is because typically those folders are at your home but aren't for you to use, just to store configs and such.
    – user692175
    Nov 21, 2017 at 6:45
  • For more info about local folders in general, see What is /usr/local/bin?
    – wjandrea
    Nov 21, 2017 at 6:51

3 Answers 3


Note that the .local is used in only one place: inside your home directory. The others are all /usr/local. /usr/local is where programs installed outside of the package manager are supposed to add things, so various folders in it are added to PATH by default.

~/.local is analogous to /usr/local, but for programs installing (or otherwise writing data) to your home directory (for example, pip), so .local/bin is also added to PATH. The directory structure in .local is similar to that of /usr/local, which in turn is like that of /usr.

For more information, see:


in this particular case, local is a visible directory, and .local is a hidden directory. you can see list of all hidden directory and/or files in a certain directory using ls -a or ls .* command.


Files and directories with a preceding . are hidden items.

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