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HIER(7) FreeBSD Miscellaneous Information Manual HIER(7)
hier – layout of file systems
An overview of the file system hierarchy.
/ root directory
/bin/ user utilities that are fundamental to single-user and multi-user modes
/boot/ programs and configuration files used during bootstrap of the operating system
defaults/ default bootstrap configuration files; see loader.conf(5)
dtb/ compiled flattened device tree (FDT) files; see fdt(4) and dtc(1)
efi/ mount point for the EFI System Partition (ESP) on UEFI systems
firmware/ loadable kernel modules containing binary firmware, for hardware to which firmware must be downloaded
kernel/ pure kernel executable (the operating system loaded into memory at boot time) and kernel modules
modules/ third-party loadable kernel modules, such as those associated with ports(7)
overlays/ compiled flattened device tree (FDT) overlays; see fdt(4) and dtc(1)
zfs/ zfs(8) pool cache files
/compat/ normally a link to /usr/compat. If not, then the /usr/compat comments apply
/dev/ the normal mount point for devfs(5)
fd/ file descriptor files; see fd(4)
/etc/ system configuration files and scripts
bluetooth/ bluetooth configuration files
defaults/ default system configuration files; see rc(8)
localtime local timezone information; see ctime(3)
mail/ sendmail(8) control files
mtree/ mtree(8) configuration files
pam.d/ configuration files for the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) library; see pam(3)
periodic/ scripts that are run daily, weekly, or monthly by cron(8); see periodic(8)
ppp/ PPP configuration files; see ppp(8)
rc.d/ system and daemon startup/control scripts; see rc(8)
security/ OpenBSM audit configuration files; see audit(8)
ssh/ OpenSSH configuration files; see ssh(1)
ssl/ OpenSSL configuration files
/home/ users' home directories; whilst the layout is not standardized, the typical home for an interactive user beastie would be /home/beastie/
/lib/ system libraries that are critial to binaries in /bin and /sbin
casper/ service-specific libcasper(3) Capsicum support libraries
geom/ class-specific libraries for the geom(8) utility
nvmecontrol/ vendor-specific libraries to extend the nvmecontrol(8) utility
/libexec/ system utilities that are critial to binaries in /bin and /sbin
/media/ contains subdirectories that are mount points for removable media such as USB drives, CDs and DVDs
/mnt/ empty directory commonly used by system administrators as a temporary mount point
/net/ automounted NFS shares; see auto_master(5)
a non-existent directory; conventionally, a home directory for special user accounts that do not require a home directory. See also /var/empty/
/proc/ process file system; see procfs(5)
/rescue/ statically-linked programs for emergency recovery; see rescue(8)
/root/ home directory of the root user
/sbin/ system programs and administration utilities that are fundamental to single-user and multi-user modes
/tmp/ temporary files that may be removed by rc(8); see the
variable of rc.conf(5)
/usr/ contains the majority of user utilities and applications
bin/ common utilities, programming tools, and applications
compat/ files needed to support binary compatibility with other operating systems; see linux(4)
freebsd-dist/ distribution files (like base.txz; see) release(7) and bsdinstall(8)
include/ standard C include files
lib/ shared and archive ar(1)-type libraries
compat/ shared libraries for compatibility
debug/ standalone debug data for the kernel and base system libraries and binaries
dtrace/ DTrace library scripts
engines/ OpenSSL (Cryptography/SSL toolkit) dynamically loadable engines
libdata/ miscellaneous utility data files
gcc/ GCC configuration data
ldscripts/ linker scripts; see ld(1)
pkgconfig/ pc(5) (ports/devel/pkgconf) files; collections of compiler flags, linker flags, and other information relevant to library use
libexec/ system daemons and system utilities that are executed by other programs
aout/ utilities to manipulate a.out executables
elf/ utilities to manipulate ELF executables
lpr/ utilities and filters for LP print system; see lpr(1)
sendmail/ the sendmail(8) binary; see mailwrapper(8)
sm.bin/ restricted shell for sendmail(8); see smrsh(8)
local/ local executables, libraries, etc. Also used as the default destination for the ports(7) framework. Within local/, the general layout sketched out by hier for /usr should be used. Exceptions are the ports documentation (in share/doc/<port>/), and /usr/local/etc (mimics /etc).
obj/ architecture-specific target tree produced by building FreeBSD from source; see build(7)
ports/ FreeBSD ports collection; see ports(7)
sbin/ system daemons and system utilities that are executed by users
share/ architecture-independent files
calendar/ system-wide calendar files; see calendar(1)
dict/ word lists; see look(1)
freebsd FreeBSD-specific terms, proper names, and jargon
web2 words from Webster's Second International
doc/ miscellaneous documentation
examples/ various examples for users and programmers
firmware/ firmware images loaded by userland programs
games/ used by various games
keys/ known trusted and revoked keys
pkg/ fingerprints for pkg(7) and pkg(8)
locale/ localization files; see setlocale(3)
man/ manual pages
misc/ miscellaneous system-wide files
termcap terminal characteristics database; see termcap(5)
mk/ templates for make; see make(1)
nls/ national language support files
security/ data files for security policies such as mac_lomac(4)
sendmail/ sendmail(8) configuration files
skel/ example . (dot) files for new accounts
snmp/ MIBs, example files and tree definitions for the SNMP daemon
defs/ tree definition files for use with gensnmptree(1)
mibs/ MIB files
syscons/ syscons(4) files
fonts/ console fonts; see vidcontrol(1) and vidfont(1)
keymaps/ console keyboard maps; see kbdcontrol(1) and kbdmap(1)
scrnmaps/ console screen maps
sysroot/ files necessary for the -sysroot compiler/linker argument to build non-native binaries
VERSION/ files for FreeBSD release VERSION. By convention, “VERSION” matches uname(1) -r.
represent the binary ABI for these files. “MACHINE” matches uname(1) -m. “MACHINE_ARCH” matches uname(1) -p.
tabset/ tab description files for a variety of terminals; used in the termcap file; see termcap(5)
vi/ localization support and utilities for vi(1)
vt/ vt(4) files
fonts/ console fonts; see vidcontrol(1) and vidfont(1)
keymaps/ console keyboard maps; see kbdcontrol(1) and kbdmap(1)
zoneinfo/ timezone configuration information; see tzfile(5)
src/ FreeBSD source code; see development(7). The layout of the source tree is described by the top-level file.
tests/ the FreeBSD test suite; see tests(7)
/var/ 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)
jobs/ job files
spool/ output spool files
backups/ miscellaneous backup files
cache/ miscellaneous cache files
pkg/ cached packages for pkg(8)
crash/ default directory for kernel crash dumps; see crash(8) and savecore(8)
cron/ cron(8) files
tabs/ crontab(5) files
db/ miscellaneous automatically-generated system-specific database files
freebsd-update/ temporary files and downloads for freebsd-update(8)
empty/ for use by programs that require an empty directory. Uses include privilege separation by sshd(8)
games/ miscellaneous game status and score files
heimdal/ Kerberos server databases; see kdc(8)
log/ miscellaneous system log files
utx.lastlogin last login log; see getutxent(3)
utx.log login/logout log; see getutxent(3)
mail/ user mailbox files
msgs/ system messages database; see msgs(1)
preserve/ unused, present for historical reasons
quotas/ file system quota information files
run/ files containing information about the operating system since it was booted
bhyve/ bhyve(8) virtual machine unix(4)-domain sockets
ppp/ writable by the “network” group for command connection sockets; see ppp(8) database of current users; see getutxent(3)
rwho/ rwho data files; see rwhod(8), rwho(1), and ruptime(1)
spool/ miscellaneous printer and mail system spooling directories
clientmqueue/ undelivered submission mail queue; see sendmail(8)
ftp/ ftp root directory; see ftpd(8)
mqueue/ undelivered mail queue; see sendmail(8)
output/ line printer spooling directories
tmp/ temporary files that are not removed by rc(8)
vi.recover/ vi(1) recovery files
yp/ the NIS maps; see yp(8)
This manual page documents the default FreeBSD file system layout. The actual hierarchy on a given system is defined at the system administrator's discretion. A well-maintained installation will include a customized version of this document.
apropos(1), find(1), grep(1), ls(1), whereis(1), which(1)
A hier manual page appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.
FreeBSD 14.0-CURRENT June 10, 2023 FreeBSD 14.0-CURRENT

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