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HIER(7) NetBSD Miscellaneous Information Manual HIER(7)
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hier -- layout of file systems
An outline of the file system hierarchy.
Naming is very important. The UNIX System relies on filename conventions
for much of its power as a system. The following file system layout
describes generally where things are and what they are, with references
to other man pages for more detailed documentation.
Not all files will be in every system.
/ Root directory of the system.
System copyright notice, most often put on CD-ROM distribu-
/[a-z]/ User file systems.
/altroot/ Alternate root file system, in case of disaster.
/bin/ Utilities used in both single and multi-user environments.
/boot* Second-stage boot loader(s) for some platforms; see
/cdrom/ Empty directory commonly used by system administrators as a
temporary mount point for ISO-9660 file systems on CD (or DVD)
/dev/ Block, character, and other special device files.
MAKEDEV Script for creating device files; see makedev(8).
console The computer's console device.
drum The computer's swap space device; see drum(4).
fd/ File descriptor files; see fd(4).
klog Kernel logging device; see syslog(3).
kmem Kernel virtual memory device; see mem(4).
log UNIX domain datagram log socket; see syslogd(8).
mem Kernel physical memory device; see mem(4).
null The null device; see null(4).
pts/ Mount point for the pseudo-terminal device file sys-
tem; see mount_ptyfs(8).
stdout File descriptor files; see fd(4).
tty Device pointing to each process's own controlling
terminal; see tty(4).
zero The zero device; see zero(4).
/etc/ System configuration files and scripts.
amd* Configuration files for amd(8).
changelist Files backed up by the security script.
crontab Schedule used by the cron(8) daemon.
csh.logout System-wide scripts for csh(1).
daily Script run each day by cron(8).
daily.conf Configuration file for daily; see
defaults/ Default configuration files read by various
disktab Disk description file; see disktab(5).
dm.conf Dungeon master configuration; see dm.conf(5).
dumpdates Dump history; see dump(8).
exports File system export information; see mountd(8).
fstab File system mounting table; see fstab(5) and
ftpusers Users denied ftp(1) access; see ftpd(8).
ftpwelcome ftp(1) initial message; see ftpd(8).
gettytab Terminal configuration database; see
group Group permissions file; see group(5).
hosts Host name database backup for named(8); see
hosts.equiv Trusted machines with equivalent user IDs.
hosts.lpd Trusted machines with printing privileges.
inetd.conf Internet server configuration file; see
kerberosV/ Configuration files for Kerberos version V; see
localtime Local time zone; see ctime(3).
login.conf Configuration of user classes and limits; see
mail/ Configuration files for sendmail(1).
aliases* Username alias files.
sendmail.* sendmail(1) configuration informa-
mail.rc System-wide initialization script for mail(1).
man.conf Configuration file for man(1); see man.conf(5).
master.passwd Main password file, readable only by root; see
mk.conf Optional file containing make(1) variables,
used to configure pkgsrc and the system
monthly Script run each month by cron(8).
monthly.conf Configuration file for monthly; see
motd System message of the day.
mtree/ mtree(8) configuration files.
namedb/ named(8) configuration files and databases.
netgroup Network groups; see netgroup(5).
networks Network name database; see networks(5).
passwd World readable password file generated from
master.passwd; see passwd(5), pwd_mkdb(8).
phones Remote host telephone number data base; see
printcap Printer configuration for lpr(1); see
profile System-wide scripts for sh(1).
protocols Protocol name database; see protocols(5).
pwd.db Database form of passwd file; see pwd_mkdb(8).
rc Master system startup script invoked by
init(8); see rc(8).
rc.conf Configuration file for system startup and shut-
down scripts; see rc.conf(5).
rc.d/ Directory containing per-subsystem startup and
shutdown scripts; see rc(8).
rc.local Locally editable system startup script.
rc.shutdown Master system shutdown script invoked by
shutdown(8); see rc(8).
remote Remote host description file; see remote(5).
security Daily (in)security script run by cron(8).
security.conf Configuration file for security; see
services Service name data base; see services(5).
shells List of permitted shells; see shells(5).
skel/ Sample initialization files for new user
sliphome/ SLIP login/logout scripts; see sliplogin(8).
spwd.db Database form of master.passwd file; see
syslog.conf syslogd(8) Configuration file; see
ttyaction Login hooks for specific ttys, typically used
to chown console devices. See ttyaction(5).
ttys Terminal initialization information; see
weekly Script run each week by cron(8).
weekly.conf Configuration file for weekly; see
/home/ Default location for user home directories.
/kern/ Mount point for the kern file system; see mount_kernfs(8).
/lib/ Dynamic linked libraries used by dynamically linked programs
that cannot rely upon /usr/lib/ being available, such as those
in /bin/ and /sbin/.
/libdata/ Non-executable files (such as device firmware) required at
boot time, when /usr/libdata may not be available.
/libexec/ System utilities (such as the dynamic linker) required by pro-
grams and libraries that cannot rely upon /usr/libexec/ being
/mnt/ Empty directory commonly used by system administrators as a
temporary mount point.
/net/ automounted NFS shares; see auto_master(5)
/netbsd Kernel executable image (the operating system loaded into mem-
ory at boot time).
/proc/ Mount point for the process file system; see mount_procfs(8).
/rescue/ Statically linked rescue tools, for use in system recovery.
/root/ Home directory for the super-user.
.cshrc Super-user start-up file for csh(1).
.login super-user start-up file for csh(1).
.profile super-user start-up file for sh(1).
.rhosts Super-user id mapping between machines. (Obsolete.)
/sbin/ System programs and administration utilities used in both sin-
gle-user and multi-user environments.
/stand/ Programs used in a standalone environment, that is, things
that run on bare hardware without a kernel. Currently kernel
modules are also placed here, although this remains somewhat
controversial and they may yet get moved.
/tmp/ Temporary files. The contents of /tmp are usually not pre-
served across a system reboot.
/usr/ Contains the majority of the system utilities and files.
X11R7/ X11 files (for X11 revision 7).
bin/ X11 binaries.
include/ X11 include files.
lib/ X11 libraries.
bin/ Common utilities, programming tools, and applica-
games/ The important stuff.
include/ Standard C (and extension) include files.
arpa/ Include files for Internet service pro-
atf/ Include files for the Automated Testing
Framework; see atf(7).
g++/ Include files for the GNU C++ compiler.
machine/ Machine specific include files.
net/ Miscellaneous network include files.
netatalk/ C include files for AppleTalk protocols
netinet/ Include files for Internet standard pro-
tocols; see inet(4).
netinet6/ Include files for Internet protocol ver-
sion 6; see inet6(4).
netipsec/ Include files for secret key management,
used for security protocols; see
nfs/ C include files for NFS (Network File
protocols/ C include files for Berkeley service
sys/ ``System-level'' C include files.
ufs/ C include files for several mutually
related file systems. (The `u' was
originally for UNIX.)
lib/ Archive, profiled, position independent archive, and
5.3/ Lua 5.3 modules.
libdata/ Miscellaneous utility data files.
libexec/ System daemons & system utilities (executed by other
mdec/ Boot blocks, etc.
obj/ Architecture-specific target tree produced by build-
ing the /usr/src tree; often a symbolic link or
mounted file system.
pkg/ Installed third-party software packages.
bin/ Package binaries.
etc/ Package configuration files.
include/ Package include files.
lib/ Package libraries.
libdata/ Package data files.
libexec/ Package daemons.
sbin/ Package system utilities.
pkgsrc/ Build descriptions (packaging) for the NetBSD pack-
distfiles/ Downloaded upstream source archives.
packages/ Compiled binary packages.
There are also several other subdirectories which
contain packages of a certain category, e.g.,
archivers, graphics, ...
sbin/ System daemons and system utilities (normally exe-
cuted by the super-user).
share/ Architecture-independent files, mostly text.
calendar/ A variety of calendar files; see
dict/ Word lists; see look(1) and spell(1).
words Common words.
web2 Words from Webster's Second
papers/ Reference databases; see
special/ Custom word lists; see
doc/ Miscellaneous documentation.
games/ Data files used by various games.
i18n/ internationalization databases; see
locale/ Locale databases and gettext message cat-
alogs; see setlocale(3) and gettext(3).
man/ Manual pages.
me/ Macros for use with the me(7) roff macro
misc/ Miscellaneous system-wide text files.
terminfo Terminal characteristics
database; see terminfo(5).
terminfo.cdb database form of terminfo
file; see tic(1).
mk/ Include files for make(1).
ms/ Macros for use with the ms(7) roff macro
nls/ Message catalogs; see catgets(3).
tmac/ Text processing macros; see nroff(1) and
zoneinfo/ Time zone database; see tzfile(5).
tests/ Test programs; see tests(7) for information on how
to run them.
/usr/src/ NetBSD and local source files.
bin/ Source for utilities/files in /bin.
common/ Sources shared between kernel and userland.
crypto/ Cryptographic source, which may have import or
dist/ Third-party `virgin' source code, referenced by
other parts of the source tree. (Deprecated; use
distrib/ Tools and data files for making NetBSD releases and
doc/ Documentation about the source tree (i.e., about
the tree, not about how to use the software in the
etc/ Source (usually example files) for files in /etc.
external/ Source for programs from external third parties
(where NetBSD is the not the primary maintainer),
grouped by license, and then products per license.
apache2/ Apache 2.0 license.
bsd/ BSD (or equivalent) licensed
software, possibly with the
broadcom/ Broadcom firmware license.
cddl/ Common Development and Distribu-
tion License (the Sun license
which is based on the Mozilla
Public License version 1.1).
gpl2/ GNU Public License, version 2 (or
gpl3/ GNU Public License, version 3.
historical/ Lucent's old license.
ibm-public/ IBM's public license.
intel-fw-eula/ Intel firmware license with
redistribution restricted to OEM.
intel-fw-public/ Intel firmware license permitting
redistribution with terms similar
to BSD licensed software.
intel-public/ Intel license permitting redis-
tribution with terms similar to
BSD licensed software.
lgpl3/ GNU lesser general public
license, version 3.
mit/ MIT (X11) style license.
mpl/ Mozilla Public License.
zlib/ BSD-like zlib license.
games/ Source for utilities/files in /usr/games.
include/ Source for files in /usr/include.
lib/ Source for libraries in /usr/lib.
libexec/ Source for utilities/files in /usr/libexec.
regress/ Various legacy regression tests.
rescue/ Source/makefiles for /rescue.
sbin/ Source for utilities/files in /sbin.
share/ Source for files in /usr/share.
papers/ Source for various historical tech-
nical papers (many from Berkeley).
psd/ Source for Programmer's Supplemen-
smm/ Source for System Manager's Manual.
usd/ Source for User's Supplementary Doc-
sys/ Kernel source files.
arch/ Architecture-specific support.
acorn32/ Acorn RiscPC/A7000 and
algor/ Algorithmics Ltd. MIPS
alpha/ Digital/Compaq Alpha.
amd64/ Computers with x86_64
amiga/ Commodore Amiga and
amigappc/ PowerPC based Amiga
arc/ MIPS-based machines
following the Advanced
RISC Computing spec.
arm/ ARM processor general
atari/ Atari TT030, Falcon and
bebox/ Be Inc. BeBox.
cats/ Chalice Technology's
CATS and Intel's
cesfic/ CES FIC8234 VME proces-
cobalt/ Cobalt Networks' MIPS-
dreamcast/ Sega Dreamcast game
emips/ Machines based on
evbarm/ ARM based evaluation
evbmips/ MIPS based evaluation
evbppc/ PowerPC based evalua-
tion boards and appli-
evbsh3/ SH3/SH4 based evalua-
ews4800mips/ NEC's MIPS based
9000/300 and 400
9000/700 and 9000/800
HPPA based worksta-
hpcarm/ StrongARM based WinCE
hpcmips/ MIPS based WinCE PDA
hpcsh/ Hitachi SH3/4 based
WinCE PDA machines.
hppa/ HPPA processor general
i386/ 32-bit 80x86-based IBM
PCs and clones.
ibmnws/ IBM Network Station
iyonix/ Castle Technology's
Iyonix ARM based PCs.
luna68k/ Omron Tateishi Elec-
tric's 680x0-based LUNA
m68k/ 680x0 processor general
mac68k/ Apple Macintosh with
macppc/ Apple Power Macintosh
mips/ MIPS processor general
mipsco/ MIPS Computer Systems
Inc. family of worksta-
tions and servers.
mmeye/ Brains Inc. SH3 based
mvme68k/ Motorola MVME
mvmeppc/ Motorola PowerPC VME
netwinder/ StrongARM based
news68k/ Sony's 680x0-based NEWS
newsmips/ Sony's MIPS-based NEWS
next68k/ NeXT 68k "black" hard-
ofppc/ Open Firmware PowerPC
playstation2/ SONY PlayStation 2.
pmax/ Digital MIPS-based DEC-
stations and DECsys-
powerpc/ PowerPC processor gen-
prep/ PReP (PowerPC Reference
Platform) and CHRP
(Common Hardware Refer-
sandpoint/ Motorola Sandpoint ref-
sbmips/ Broadcom/SiByte evalua-
sgimips/ Silicon Graphics' MIPS-
sh3/ SH3/SH4 processor gen-
shark/ Digital DNARD
sparc/ Sun Microsystems SPARC
(32-bit) and UltraSPARC
(in 32-bit mode).
sparc64/ Sun Microsystems Ultra-
SPARC (in native 64-bit
sun2/ Sun Microsystems
68010-based Sun 2
sun3/ Sun Microsystems
sun68k/ 680x0-based Sun archi-
tecture general sup-
vax/ Digital VAX.
x68k/ Sharp X680x0
x86/ General support for
PC/AT compatibles with
ia32 or x86_64 CPUs.
xen/ The Xen virtual machine
zaurus/ Sharp C3x00 Arm based
compat/ Kernel compatibility modules direc-
common/ Common compatibility rou-
tines, old 4BSD and NetBSD
freebsd/ Support for FreeBSD bina-
hpux/ Support for 68000 HP-UX
linux/ Support for Linux binaries;
m68k4k/ Support for 4KB page 68000
netbsd32/ Support for NetBSD 32-bit
binaries on 64 bit plat-
forms with compatible CPU
ossaudio/ Support for OSS audio.
sunos/ Support for SunOS 4.x bina-
ries; see compat_sunos(8).
ultrix/ Support for ULTRIX bina-
vax1k/ Support for older VAX bina-
ries that started on a 1 KB
conf/ Architecture independent configuration
crypto/ Cryptographic kernel source, which may
have import or export restrictions.
ddb/ In-kernel debugger.
dev/ Architecture independent device sup-
fs/ File systems. See also ufs/ and
adosfs/ AmigaDOS file-system sup-
port; see mount_ados(8).
cd9660/ Support for the ISO-9660
file system; see
filecorefs/ Support for the Acorn
RISC OS filecore file
msdosfs/ MS-DOS file system; see
ntfs/ NTFS file system support;
ptyfs/ Pseudo-terminal device
file system; see
union/ Union file system; see
gdbscripts/ Support for accessing kernel struc-
tures from within the debugger gdb(1).
kern/ Primary kernel source code.
lib/ Libraries supporting the kernel.
libkern/ C library routines used in
libsa/ Machine-independent stand-
alone library, used by boot
libz/ Compression library.
miscfs/ More file systems.
deadfs/ Kernel only dead file system.
fdesc/ File descriptor file system;
fifofs/ POSIX FIFO (named pipe) sup-
genfs/ Generic file system code that
supports other file systems.
kernfs/ Kernel namespace file system;
nullfs/ Loop back file system; see
Overlay file system; see
procfs/ Process file system; see
specfs/ Support for block and charac-
ter special files.
syncfs/ Kernel trickle sync algo-
umapfs/ User and group re-mapping
file system; see
net/ Miscellaneous networking support.
netatalk/ AppleTalk networking support.
netinet/ IP networking support.
netinet6/ IPv6 networking support.
netipsec/ Key database for IPsec networking sup-
nfs/ NFS (network file system) support,
both client and server.
stand/ Kernel standalone support.
sys/ Kernel (and system) include files.
ufs/ Still more file systems.
A FFS-based file system for use
on raw flash.
The Linux ext2 file system.
ffs/ The Berkeley Fast File System.
lfs/ The Berkeley log-structured file
mfs/ The in-memory file system.
ufs/ Shared UNIX file system support.
uvm/ UVM virtual memory system.
tests/ Source for test programs in /usr/tests.
usr.bin/ Source for utilities/files in /usr/bin.
usr.sbin/ Source for utilities/files in /usr/sbin.
/var/ Multi-purpose log, temporary, transient, and spool files.
account/ System accounting files.
acct Execution accounting file; see acct(5).
at/ Timed command scheduling files; see at(1).
backups/ Miscellaneous backup files, largely of files found
chroot/ Home directories of applications which are run in a
crash/ System (kernel) crash dumps; see savecore(8).
cron/ Scheduled commands configuration files; see cron(8)
db/ Miscellaneous automatically generated system-spe-
cific database files, and persistent files used in
the maintenance of third party software.
pkg Default location for metadata related
to third party software packages. See
pkg_add(1) for more details of the
NetBSD Packages Collection, or pkgsrc.
games/ Miscellaneous game status, log, and high score
heimdal/ Kerberos 5 KDC database; see kdc(8).
log/ Miscellaneous system log files.
amd.* amd(8) logs.
daily.out Output of the last run of the
ftp.* ftp(1) logs.
kerberos.* kerberos(8) logs.
lastlog System last-time-logged-in database;
lpd-errs.* Printer daemon error logs; see lpd(8).
maillog.* sendmail(1) and postfix(1) (and other
mail-related) log files.
messages.* General system information log.
monthly.out Output of the last run of the
secure Sensitive security information log.
sendmail.st sendmail(1) statistics.
timed.* timed(8) logs.
weekly.out Output of the last run of the
wtmp Login and logout log; see utmp(5).
wtmpx Another login and logout log; see
mail/ User e-mail inboxes.
msgs/ System messages; see msgs(1).
preserve/ Temporary home of files preserved after an acciden-
tal death of ex(1) or vi(1).
quotas/ File system quota information. (Legacy.)
run/ System information files, rebuilt after each
A dump from dmesg(8) taken at boot time.
utmp Database of currently logged in users; see
Another database of currently logged in
users; see utmpx(5).
rwho/ Rwho data files; see rwhod(8), rwho(1), and
spool/ Miscellaneous printer and mail system spooling
ftp/ Commonly ``~ftp'', the anonymous ftp root
directory; see ftpd(8).
mqueue/ Sendmail mail queue; see sendmail(1).
news/ Network news archival and spooling direc-
output/ Printer spooling directories.
postfix/ Postfix mail queue; see postfix(1).
tmp/ Temporary files that are not discarded between sys-
vi.recover/ Recovery directory for new (current)
yp/ Databases and configuration for the NIS (YP) sys-
tem; see nis(8).
apropos(1), ls(1), whatis(1), whereis(1), which(1), paths(3)
A hier manual page appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.
NetBSD 9.99 May 12, 2020 NetBSD 9.99
Modified for NetBSD
by Kimmo Suominen