Meaning of directories on Unix and Unix like systems

Posted by Luke on Server Fault See other posts from Server Fault or by Luke
Published on 2009-06-12T05:11:57Z Indexed on 2014/06/01 21:36 UTC
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I've been using Linux for a couple of years now but I still haven't figured out what the origin or meaning of some the directory names are on Unix and Unix like systems. E.g. what does etc stand for or var? Where does the opt name come from?

And while we're on the topic anyway. Can someone give a clear explanation of what directory is best used for what. I sometimes get confused where certain software is installed or what the most appropriate directory is to install software into.

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