Chapter 3. About files and the file system

Table of Contents
3.1. General overview of the Linux file system
3.1.1. Files
3.1.2. About partitioning
3.1.3. More file system layout
3.2. Orientation in the file system
3.2.1. The path
3.2.2. Absolute and relative paths
3.2.3. The most important files and directories
3.2.4. The most important configuration files
3.2.5. The most common devices
3.2.6. The most common variable files
3.3. Manipulating files
3.3.1. Viewing file properties
3.3.2. Creating and deleting files and directories
3.3.3. Finding files
3.3.4. More ways to view file content
3.3.5. Linking files
3.4. File security
3.4.1. Access rights: Linux's first line of defense
3.4.2. The tools
3.5. Summary
3.6. Exercises
3.6.1. Partitions
3.6.2. Paths
3.6.3. Tour of the system
3.6.4. Manipulating files
3.6.5. File permissions

After the initial exploration in Chapter 2, we are ready to discuss the files and directories on a Linux system in more detail. Many users have difficulties with Linux because they lack an overview of what kind of data is kept in which locations. We will try to shine some light on the organization of files in the file system.

We will also list the most important files and directories and use different methods of viewing the content of those files, and learn how files and directories can be created, moved and deleted.

After completion of the exercises in this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe the layout of a Linux file system

  • Display and set paths

  • Describe the most important files, including kernel and shell

  • Find lost and hidden files

  • Create, move and delete files and directories

  • Display contents of files

  • Understand and use different link types

  • Find out about file properties and change file permissions