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|The Linux System Administrator's Guide: Version 0.7
|Chapter 4. Overview of the Directory Tree
/usr filesystem is often
large, since all programs are installed there. All files
/usr usually come from a Linux
distribution; locally installed programs and other stuff goes
/usr/local. This makes it possible
to update the system from a new version of the distribution,
or even a completely new distribution, without having to
install all programs again. Some of the subdirectories of
/usr are listed below (some of the less
important directories have been dropped; see the FSSTND for
The X Window System, all files. To simplify the development and installation of X, the X files have not been integrated into the rest of the system. There is a directory tree below
/usr/X11R6similar to that below
Almost all user commands. Some commands are in
System administration commands that are not needed on the root filesystem, e.g., most server programs.
Manual pages, GNU Info documents, and miscellaneous other documentation files, respectively.
Header files for the C programming language. This should actually be below
/usr/libfor consistency, but the tradition is overwhelmingly in support for this name.
Unchanging data files for programs and subsystems, including some site-wide configuration files. The name
libcomes from library; originally libraries of programming subroutines were stored in
The place for locally installed software and other files. Distributions may not install anything in here. It is reserved solely for the use of the local administrator. This way he can be absolutely certain that no updates or upgrades to his distribution will overwrite any extra software he has installed locally.