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Manual Pages  — HIER


hier – layout of file systems



A sketch of the file system hierarchy.
/ root directory of the file system
/bin/ user utilities fundamental to both single-user and multi-user environments
/boot/ programs and configuration files used during operating system bootstrap

  default bootstrapping configuration files; see loader.conf(5)
dtb/ Compiled flattened device tree (FDT) files; see fdt(4) and dtc(1)
  loadable kernel modules containing binary firmware for hardware that needs firmware downloaded to it to function
kernel/ pure kernel executable (the operating system loaded into memory at boot time) and kernel modules
modules/ third-party loadable kernel modules; see kldstat(8)
  Compiled flattened device tree (FDT) overlays; see fdt(4) and dtc(1)
zfs/ zfs(8) zpool cache files
/cdrom/ default mount point for CD-ROM drives
/compat/ normally a link to /usr/compat. If not, then the /usr/compat comments apply
/dev/ device special files managed by devfs(5)

fd/ file descriptor files; see fd(4)
/etc/ system configuration files and scripts

defaults/ default system configuration files; see rc(8)
  bluetooth configuration files
localtime local timezone information; see ctime(3)
mail/ Sendmail control files
mtree/ mtree configuration files; see mtree(8)
pam.d/ configuration files for the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) library
periodic/ scripts that are run daily, weekly, and monthly, via cron(8); see periodic(8)
rc.d/ system and daemon startup/control scripts; see rc(8)
security/ OpenBSM audit configuration files; see audit(8)
ppp/ ppp configuration files; see ppp(8)
ssh/ OpenSSH configuration files; see ssh(1)
ssl/ OpenSSL configuration files
/lib/ critical system libraries needed for binaries in /bin and /sbin

geom/ class-specific libraries for the geom(8) utility
  critical system utilities needed for binaries in /bin and /sbin
  contains subdirectories to be used as mount points for removable media such as CDs, USB drives, and floppy disks
/mnt/ empty directory commonly used by system administrators as a temporary mount point
/net/ automounted NFS shares; see auto_master(5)
  process file system; see procfs(5)
  statically linked programs for emergency recovery; see rescue(8)
  root's HOME directory
  system programs and administration utilities fundamental to both single-user and multi-user environments
/tmp/ temporary files that are not guaranteed to persist across system reboots
/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, such as Linux
  standard C include files

arpa/ C include files for Internet service protocols
bsnmp/ C include files for the SNMP daemon
c++/ C++ include files
cam/ C include files for the Common Access Methods Layer
scsi/ SCSI device on top of CAM
dev/ C include files for programming various FreeBSD devices
ic/ various header files describing driver- and bus-independent hardware circuits
ofw/ Open Firmware support
pbio/ 8255 PPI cards; see pbio(4)
ppbus/ parallel port bus; see ppbus(4)
usb/ USB subsystem
utopia/ physical chip driver for ATM interfaces; see utopia(4)
wi/ wi(4) WaveLAN driver
fdescfs/ per-process file descriptors file system
msdosfs/ MS-DOS file system
nfs/ C include files for NFS (Network File System) version 2, 3 and 4
nullfs/ loopback file system
procfs/ process file system
smbfs/ SMB/CIFS file system
udf/ UDF file system
unionfs union file system
geom/ GEOM framework
concat/ CONCAT GEOM class
gate/ GATE GEOM class
mirror/ MIRROR GEOM class
nop/ NOP GEOM class
raid3/ RAID3 GEOM class
stripe/ STRIPE GEOM class

  C include files for libmilter, the sendmail(8) mail filter API
machine/ machine-specific C include files
net/ miscellaneous network C include files
altq/ C include files for alternate queueing
  C include files for 802.11 wireless networking; see net80211(4)
  C include files for Internet standard protocols; see inet(4)
  C include files for Internet protocol version 6; see inet6(4)
  kernel key-management service; see ipsec(4)
  NATM include files; see natm(4)
api/ include files for the signalling API
msg/ include files that describe signalling messages and declare associated functions
saal/ include files for the signalling AAL layer
sig/ include files for the UNI signalling protocol
netsmb/ SMB/CIFS requester
nfs/ C include files for NFS (Network File System) version 2 and 3 (legacy)
openssl/ OpenSSL (Cryptography/SSL toolkit) headers
  C include files for Berkeley service protocols
readline/ get a line from a user, with editing; see readline(3)
rpc/ remote procedure calls; see rpc(3)
rpcsvc/ definition of RPC service structures; see rpc(3)
security/ PAM; see pam(8)
sys/ system C include files (kernel data structures)
ufs/ C include files for UFS (The U-word File System)
ffs/ Fast file system
ufs/ UFS file system
vm/ virtual memory; see vmstat(8)

lib/ shared and archive ar(1)-type libraries
aout/ a.out archive libraries
  shared libraries for compatibility
aout/ a.out backward compatibility libraries
  standalone debug data for the kernel and base system libraries and binaries
  DTrace library scripts
  OpenSSL (Cryptography/SSL toolkit) dynamically loadable engines

  miscellaneous utility data files
gcc/ gcc(1) configuration data
  linker scripts; see ld(1)
lint/ various prebuilt lint libraries; see lint(1)

  system daemons & system utilities (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)
  the sendmail(8) binary; see mailwrapper(8)
  restricted shell for sendmail(8); see smrsh(8)

  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 man directory (directly under local/ rather than under local/share/), ports documentation (in share/doc/<port>/), and /usr/local/etc (mimics /etc).
obj/ architecture-specific target tree produced by building the /usr/src tree
  ports(7), the FreeBSD ports collection.
sbin/ system daemons & system utilities (executed by users)
  architecture-independent files

  a variety of pre-fab calendar files; see calendar(1)
dict/ word lists; see look(1)

  FreeBSD Ns -specific terms, proper names, and jargon
web2 words from Webster's 2nd International

doc/ miscellaneous documentation; source for most of the printed BSD manuals (available from the USENIX association)
FAQ/ Frequently Asked Questions
IPv6/ implementation notes for IPv6
es/ Spanish translations of documents in /usr/share/doc
  FreeBSD Handbook
ja/ Japanese translations of documents in /usr/share/doc
  License files for vendor supplied firmwares
  HTML documents pertaining to ncurses; see ncurses(3)
ntp/ HTML documents pertaining to the Network Time Protocol
  UNIX Papers
psd/ UNIX Programmer's Supplementary Documents
ru/ Russian translations of documents in /usr/share/doc
smm/ UNIX System Manager's Manual
  FreeBSD tutorials
usd/ UNIX User's Supplementary Documents
zh/ Chinese translations of documents in /usr/share/doc

  various examples for users and programmers
  firmware images loaded by userland programs
  ASCII text files used by various games
  device description file for device name
keys/ known trusted and revoked keys.
pkg/ fingerprints for pkg(7) and pkg(8)

  localization files; see setlocale(3)
man/ manual pages
me/ macros for use with the me macro package; see me(7)
misc/ miscellaneous system-wide ASCII text files
  terminal characteristics database; see termcap(5)
mk/ templates for make; see make(1)
nls/ national language support files; see mklocale(1)
  data files for security policies such as mac_lomac(4)
  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
  files used by syscons; see syscons(4)
fonts/ console fonts; see vidcontrol(1) and vidfont(1)
keymaps/ console keyboard maps; see kbdcontrol(1) and kbdmap(1)
  console screen maps
tabset/ tab description files for a variety of terminals; used in the termcap file; see termcap(5)
tmac/ text processing macros; see nroff(1) and troff(1)
vi/ localization support and utilities for vi(1)
vt/ files used by vt; see vt(4)
fonts/ console fonts; see vidcontrol(1) and vidfont(1)
keymaps/ console keyboard maps; see kbdcontrol(1) and kbdmap(1)
  timezone configuration information; see tzfile(5)
src/ BSD , third-party, and/or local source files

bin/ source code for files in /bin
cddl/ utilities covered by the Common Development and Distribution License
contrib/ source code for contributed software
crypto/ source code for contributed cryptography software
etc/ source code for files in /etc
gnu/ utilities covered by the GNU General Public License
include/ source code for files in /usr/include
  build infrastructure for kerberos version 5
lib/ source code for files in /lib and /usr/lib
libexec/ source code for files in /usr/libexec
release/ files required to produce a FreeBSD release
rescue/ source code for files in /rescue
sbin/ source code for files in /sbin
secure/ build directory for files in /usr/src/crypto
share/ source for files in /usr/share
stand/ boot loader source code
sys/ kernel source code
amd64/ AMD64 architecture support
arm/ ARM architecture support
arm64/ ARMv8 architecture support
boot/ bootloader code
cam/ cam(4) and ctl(4)
cddl/ CDDL-licensed optional sources, including ZFS and DTrace
ddb/ ddb(4)
fs/ most filesystems
dev/ device drivers
geom/ geom(4)
i386/ i386 (32 bit) architecture support
kern/ main part of the kernel
mips/ MIPS architecture support
net80211/ net80211(4)
netgraph/ netgraph(4)
netinet/ inet(4)
netinet6/ inet6(4)
netipsec/ ipsec(4)
netpfil/ ipfw(4) and pf(4)
powerpc/ PowerPC/POWER architecture support
riscv/ RISC-V architecture support
security/ audit(4) and mac(4)
sparc64/ SPARC64 architecture support
sys/ kernel headers
ufs/ Unix File System
x86/ code shared by AMD64 and i386 architectures
targets/ support for experimental DIRDEPS_BUILD
tests/ source code for files in /usr/tests
tools/ tools used for maintenance and testing of FreeBSD
usr.bin/ source code for files in /usr/bin
usr.sbin/ source code for files in /usr/sbin

tests/ The FreeBSD test suite. See tests(7) for more details.
/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)
jobs/ directory containing job files
spool/ directory containing output spool files

backups/ miscellaneous backup files
cache/ miscellaneous cached files
pkg/ cached packages for pkg(8)

  default directory to store kernel crash dumps; see crash(8) and savecore(8)
cron/ files used by cron; see cron(8)
tabs/ crontab files; see crontab(5)

db/ miscellaneous automatically generated system-specific database files
empty/ empty directory for use by programs that need a specifically empty directory. Used for instance by sshd(8) for privilege separation.
games/ miscellaneous game status and score files
heimdal/ kerberos server databases; see kdc(8)
log/ miscellaneous system log files

  last login log; see getutxent(3)
  login/logout log; see getutxent(3)

mail/ user mailbox files
msgs/ system messages database; see msgs(1)
  temporary home of files preserved after an accidental death of an editor; see ex(1)
  file system quota information files
run/ system information files describing various info about system since it was booted

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)
  miscellaneous printer and mail system spooling directories

  undelivered submission mail queue; see sendmail(8)
ftp/ commonly ~ftp; the anonymous ftp root directory
  undelivered mail queue; see sendmail(8)
  line printer spooling directories

tmp/ temporary files that are kept between system reboots
  the directory where recovery files are stored
yp/ the NIS maps


This manual page documents the default FreeBSD file system layout, but 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), finger(1), grep(1), ls(1), whatis(1), whereis(1), which(1), fd(4), devfs(5), fsck(8)


A hier manual page appeared in AT&T v7 .

HIER (7) February 11, 2018

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