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HIER(7)                Miscellaneous Information Manual                HIER(7)

     hier -- layout of filesystems

     An outline of the filesystem 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

     /[a-z]/    user filesystems

     /altroot/  alternate root filesystem, 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 CD devices for ISO-9660 file systems

     /dev/      block, character and other special device files

                MAKEDEV  script for creating device files; see makedev(8)
                console  the computer's console device
                drum     system swap space; 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
                         system; see mount_ptyfs(8)
                stdout   file descriptor files; see fd(4)
                tty      process' controlling terminal device; 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 daily.conf(5)
                defaults/      default configuration files read by various
                               /etc/*.conf files
                disktab        disk description file, see disktab(5)
                dm.conf        dungeon master configuration; see dm.conf(5)
                dumpdates      dump history; see dump(8)
                exports        filesystem export information; see mountd(8)
                fstab          filesystem information; 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 ID's
                hosts.lpd      trusted machines with printing privileges
                inetd.conf     Internet server configuration file; see
                kerberosV/     configuration files for the kerberos version V;
                               see kerberos(8)
                localtime      local timezone information; see ctime(3)
                mail/          configuration files for sendmail(1)

                               aliases*    name alias files
                               sendmail.*  sendmail(1) configuration
                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,
                               read by pkgsrc and the system sources.
                monthly        script run each month by cron(8)
                monthly.conf   configuration file for monthly; see
                motd           system message of the day
                mtree/         mtree configuration files; see mtree(8)
                namedb/        named configuration files and databases; see
                netgroup       network groups; see netgroup(5)
                netstart       network startup script
                networks       network name data base; see networks(5)
                passwd         World readable password file generated from
                               master.passwd; see passwd(5), pwd_mkdb(8)
                phones         remote host phone number data base; see
                printcap       system printer configuration; see printcap(5)
                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
                               shutdown 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)
                sliphome/      SLIP login/logout scripts; see sliplogin(8)
                spwd.db        database form of master.passwd file; see
                syslog.conf    syslogd(8) configuration file; see
                ttys           terminal initialization information; see
                weekly         script run each week by cron(8)
                weekly.conf    configuration file for weekly; see

     /home/     mount point for the automounter; see amd(8)

     /kern/     mount point for the kern file system; see mount_kernfs(8)

     /lib/      dynamic linked libraries used by dynamic linked programs (such
                as those in /bin/ and /sbin/) that cannot rely upon /usr/lib/
                being available.

     /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
                programs and libraries that cannot rely upon /usr/libexec/
                being available.

     /mnt/      empty directory commonly used by system administrators as a
                temporary mount point

     /netbsd    pure kernel executable (the operating system loaded into
                memory 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
                .login    super-user start-up file
                .profile  super-user start-up file
                .rhosts   super-user id mapping between machines

     /sbin/     system programs and administration utilities used in both
                single-user and multi-user environments

     /stand/    programs used in a standalone environment

     /tmp/      temporary files, usually a mfs(8) memory-based filesystem (the
                contents of /tmp are usually not preserved across a system

     /usr/      contains the majority of the system utilities and files

                X11R6/    X11 files
                X11R7/    X11 files

                          bin/      X11 binaries
                          include/  X11 include files
                          lib/      X11 libraries

                bin/      common utilities, programming tools, and
                games/    the important stuff
                include/  standard C include files

                          arpa/       include files for Internet service
                          atf/        include files for the Automated Testing
                                      Framework; see atf(7)
                          g++/        include files for the C++ compiler
                          machine/    machine specific include files
                          netatalk/   C include files for AppleTalk protocols
                                      miscellaneous network include files; see
                          netinet/    include files for Internet standard
                                      protocols; see inet(4)
                          netinet6/   include files for Internet protocol
                                      version 6; see inet6(4)
                          netkey/     include files for secret key management,
                                      used for security protocols; see
                          netnatm/    C include files for native mode ATM
                          nfs/        C include files for NFS (Network File
                          protocols/  C include files for Berkeley service
                          sys/        system C include files (kernel data
                          ufs/        C include files for UFS (The U-word File

                lib/      archive, profiled, position independent archive, and
                          shared libraries

                                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
                          building the /usr/src tree; normally a symbolic link
                          or mounted filesystem
                pkg/      packages maintained by groups other than the NetBSD

                          bin/      contributed binaries
                          include/  contributed include files
                          lib/      contributed libraries
                          libdata/  contributed data files
                          libexec/  contributed daemons
                          sbin/     contributed system utilities

                pkgsrc/   build descriptions ("packages") for the NetBSD
                          packages system.

                          distfiles/  Where unchanged source archives are
                                      fetched to/stored
                          packages/   Where compiled binary packages are

                          There are also several other subdirectories which
                          contain packages of a certain category, e.g.,
                          archivers, graphics, ...

                sbin/     system daemons and system utilities (normally
                          executed by the super-user)
                share/    architecture-independent text files

                          calendar/  a variety of calendar files; see
                          dict/      word lists; see look(1) and spell(1)

                                     words     common words
                                     web2      words of Webster's 2nd
                                     papers/   reference databases; see
                                     special/  custom word lists; see spell(1)

                          doc/       miscellaneous documentation; source for
                                     most of the printed 4.3BSD manuals
                                     (available from the USENIX association)
                          games/     text files used by various games
                          i18n/      internationalization databases; see
                          locale/    locale databases and gettext message
                                     catalogs; see setlocale(3) and gettext(3)
                          man/       formatted manual pages
                          me/        macros for use with the me(7) 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) macro
                          nls/       message catalogs; see catgets(3)
                          skel/      sample initialization files for new user
                          tmac/      text processing macros; see nroff(1) and
                          zoneinfo/  timezone configuration information; see
                tests/    test programs; see atf-run(1) 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
                           export restrictions
                dist/      third-party `virgin' source code, referenced by
                           other parts of the source tree (deprecated, use
                           external/ instead)
                distrib/   tools and data-files for making distributions
                doc/       documentation about the source tree (i.e., about
                           the tree, not about how to use the built software.)
                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
                                             ``advertising clause''.
                           cddl/             Common Development and
                                             Distribution License (the Sun
                                             license which is based on the
                                             Mozilla Public License version
                           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
                                             redistribution with terms similar
                                             to BSD licensed software.
                           mit/              MIT (X11) style license.
                           zlib/             BSD-like zlib license.

                games/     source for utilities/files in /usr/games
                gnu/       source for programs covered by the GNU license (or
                           similar) (deprecated; use external/gpl2/ or
                           external/gpl3/ as appropriate)
                include/   source for files in /usr/include
                lib/       source for libraries in /usr/lib
                libexec/   source for utilities/files in /usr/libexec
                regress/   various 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 Berkeley
                                          technical papers
                                 psd/     source for Programmer's
                                          Supplementary Documents
                                 smm/     source for System Manager's Manual
                                 usd/     source for User's Supplementary

                sys/       kernel source files

                           arch/        architecture-specific support

                                        acorn26/       Acorn Archimedes, A-
                                                       series and R-series
                                        acorn32/       Acorn RiscPC/A7000 and
                                                       VLSI RC7500
                                        algor/         Algorithmics Ltd. MIPS
                                                       evaluations boards
                                        alpha/         Digital/Compaq Alpha
                                        amd64/         Computers with x86_64
                                                       capable CPUs
                                        amiga/         Commodore Amiga and
                                                       MacroSystem DraCo
                                        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
                                                       EBSA-285 evaluation
                                        cesfic/        CES FIC8234 VME
                                                       processor board
                                        cobalt/        Cobalt Networks' MIPS-
                                                       based Microserver
                                        dreamcast/     Sega Dreamcast game
                                        emips/         Machines based on
                                                       Extensible MIPS
                                        evbarm/        ARM based evaluation
                                        evbmips/       MIPS based evaluation
                                        evbppc/        PowerPC based
                                                       evaluation boards and
                                        evbsh3/        SH3/SH4 based
                                                       evaluation boards
                                        ews4800mips/   NEC's MIPS based
                                                       EWS4800 workstations
                                        hp300/         Hewlett-Packard
                                                       9000/300 and 400
                                        hppa/          Hewlett-Packard
                                                       9000/700 and 9000/800
                                                       HPPA based workstations
                                        hpcarm/        StrongARM based WinCE
                                                       PDA machines
                                        hpcmips/       MIPS based WinCE PDA
                                        hpcsh/         Hitachi SH3/4 based
                                                       WinCE PDA machines
                                        hppa/          HPPA processor general
                                        i386/          80x86-based IBM PCs and
                                        ibmnws/        IBM Network Station
                                        iyonix/        Castle Technology's
                                                       Iyonix ARM based PCs
                                        luna68k/       Omron Tateishi
                                                       Electric's 680x0-based
                                                       LUNA workstations
                                        m68k/          680x0 processor general
                                        mac68k/        Apple Macintosh with
                                                       68k CPU
                                        macppc/        Apple Power Macintosh
                                                       and clones
                                        mips/          MIPS processor general
                                        mipsco/        MIPS Computer Systems
                                                       Inc. family of
                                                       workstations and
                                        mmeye/         Brains Inc. SH3 based
                                                       mmEye multimedia server
                                        mvme68k/       Motorola MVME
                                                       680x0-based SBCs
                                        mvmeppc/       Motorola PowerPC VME
                                        netwinder/     StrongARM based
                                                       NetWinder machines
                                        news68k/       Sony's 680x0-based NEWS
                                        newsmips/      Sony's MIPS-based NEWS
                                        next68k/       NeXT 68k "black"
                                        ofppc/         Open Firmware PowerPC
                                        playstation2/  SONY PlayStation 2
                                        pmax/          Digital MIPS-based
                                                       DECstations and
                                        powerpc/       PowerPC processor
                                        prep/          PReP (PowerPC Reference
                                                       Platform) and CHRP
                                        sandpoint/     Motorola Sandpoint
                                                       reference platform
                                        sbmips/        Broadcom/SiByte
                                                       evaluation boards
                                        sgimips/       Silicon Graphics' MIPS-
                                                       based workstations
                                        sh3/           SH3/SH4 processor
                                                       general support
                                        shark/         Digital DNARD ("Shark")
                                        sparc/         Sun Microsystems SPARC
                                                       (32-bit) and UltraSPARC
                                                       (in 32-bit mode)
                                        sparc64/       Sun Microsystems
                                                       UltraSPARC (in native
                                                       64-bit mode)
                                        sun2/          Sun Microsystems
                                                       68010-based Sun 2
                                        sun3/          Sun Microsystems
                                                       68020/68030-based Sun
                                                       3/3x architecture
                                        sun68k/        680x0-based Sun
                                                       architecture general
                                        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 directory

                                        common/    common compatibility
                                                   routines, old 4BSD and
                                                   NetBSD routines.
                                        freebsd/   support for FreeBSD
                                                   binaries; see
                                        hpux/      support for 68000 HP-UX
                                        ibcs2/     support for Intel Binary
                                        linux/     support for Linux binaries;
                                                   see compat_linux(8)
                                        m68k4k/    support for 4KB page 68000
                                        netbsd32/  support for NetBSD 32-bit
                                                   binaries on 64 bit
                                                   platforms with compatible
                                                   CPU families
                                        osf1/      support for Digital UNIX
                                                   (formerly OSF/1) binaries
                                        ossaudio/  support for OSS audio
                                        sunos/     support for SunOS 4.x
                                                   binaries; see
                                        svr4/      support for System V
                                                   Release 4 binaries; see
                                        ultrix/    support for ULTRIX binaries
                                        vax1k/     support for older VAX
                                                   binaries that started on a
                                                   1 KB boundary

                           conf/        architecture independent configuration
                           crypto/      cryptographic kernel source, which may
                                        have import or export restrictions
                           ddb/         in kernel debugger
                           dev/         architecture independent device
                           fs/          miscellaneous file systems
                                        adosfs/      AmigaDOS file-system
                                                     support; see
                                        cd9660/      support for the ISO-9660
                                                     filesystem; see
                                        filecorefs/  support for the Acorn
                                                     RISC OS filecore
                                                     filesystem; see
                                        msdosfs/     MS-DOS file system; see
                                        ntfs/        NTFS filesystem support;
                                                     see mount_ntfs(8)
                                        ptyfs/       pseudo-terminal device
                                                     filesystem; see
                                        smbfs/       SMB/CIFS filesystem
                                                     support; see
                                        union/       union file system; see
                           gdbscripts/  support for accessing kernel
                                        structures from within the debugger
                           ipkdb/       support for kernel debugging over the

                           kern/        support for the high kernel (system
                           lib/         kernel libraries

                                        libkern/  C library routines used in
                                                  the kernel
                                        libsa/    machine independent stand
                                                  alone kernel library
                                        libz/     compression library

                           miscfs/      miscellaneous file systems

                                        deadfs/  kernel only dead file system
                                        fdesc/   file descriptor file system;
                                                 see mount_fdesc(8)
                                        fifofs/  POSIX FIFO support
                                        genfs/   kernel only generic file
                                        kernfs/  kernel namespace file system;
                                                 see mount_kernfs(8)
                                        nullfs/  loop back file system; see
                                                 overlay file system; see
                                        procfs/  process file system; see
                                        specfs/  kernel only special file
                                        syncfs/  kernel trickle sync algorithm
                                        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
                           netkey/      Key database for IPsec networking
                           netnatm/     ATM networking support
                           nfs/         NFS support
                           stand/       kernel standalone support
                           sys/         kernel (and system) include files
                           ufs/         local filesystem support

                                        ffs/  the Berkeley Fast File System
                                        lfs/  the log-structured file system
                                        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
                           in /etc
                chroot/    home directories of applications which are run in a
                           chroot(8) ``cage''.
                crash/     system crash dumps; see savecore(8)
                cron/      scheduled commands configuration files; see cron(8)
                db/        miscellaneous automatically generated system-
                           specific 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 and log files
                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
                                        /etc/daily script
                           ftp.*        ftp(1) logs
                           kerberos.*   kerberos(8) logs
                           lastlog      system last time logged in log; see
                           lpd-errs.*   printer daemon error logs; see lpd(8)
                           maillog.*    sendmail(1) log files
                           messages.*   general system information log
                           monthly.out  output of the last run of the
                                        /etc/monthly script
                           secure       sensitive security information log
                           sendmail.st  sendmail(1) statistics
                           timed.*      timed(8) logs
                           weekly.out   output of the last run of the
                                        /etc/weekly script
                           wtmp         login/logout log; see utmp(5)

                mail/      user system mailboxes
                msgs/      system messages; see msgs(1)
                preserve/  temporary home of files preserved after an
                           accidental death of ex(1) or vi(1)
                quotas/    filesystem quota information
                run/       system information files, rebuilt after each reboot

                           utmp  database of current users; see utmp(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
                           output/   printer spooling directories
                           postfix/  postfix mail queue; see postfix(1)

                tmp/       temporary files that are not discarded between
                           system reboots

                           vi.recover/  recovery directory for new vi(1)

                yp/        Databases and configuration for the NIS (YP)
                           system; 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 7.1.2                     May 25, 2015                     NetBSD 7.1.2