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The Linux Files System: Part 1

The first thing that you will find out is that there is NO 'c' drive, or 'a' or 'd' drive in Linux. That is NOT to say that they have disappeared... the hard drive is still there. The 'c' drive can be called anything in Linux... even 'c-drive' if you wish.

Secondly, you can see your complete Windows system from your Linux set up. However, you can't see your Linux system from the Windows side unless you have a piece of software installed.

Thirdly, Linux software can READ and WRITE data/programs to your Windows (FAT 32 and now to NTFS) file system with NO PROBLEMS. You can make new directories and read and write and delete files/directories to your heart's content.

One thing most people are told about Linux, is that EVERTHING is a FILE. This is an easy concept and makes everything seem pretty logical in Linux.

Another thing that's different in Linux is the LOGGING IN and OUT. If you have been on a server at work then this is the same concept except you may be the only user on your computer. Windows XP can also be set up to use this concept. To understand this concept better, we should look at how the Linux files system is set up.

In Windows the file system is set up as, c drive with a bunch of folders or directories in it. Usually in Windows there are some preassigned folders:

MS Windows


c: drive

/ (root drive)

My Documents


My Files
My Music


Program Files




(other named folders)










Of course, you can add NEW folders as you wish.

Most folders are added inside the above

In Linux, there is ALWAYS the MAIN USER or administrator; the administrator is also called ROOT. At first this is a little confusing since the main file system 
(/) is also called. Root is so important that it has its own directory... called ROOT (seen above). Only the administrator or ROOT user can see what's in the ROOT directory and change files in all of the above directories. That is why, you really don't want to be ROOT all the time ! You can do a lot of damage as ROOT so there is a warning on a lot of Linux distributions.
What threw me at the first was this TRIPLE meaning for ROOT. ROOT:root= '/' the main partitionroot = a directoryroot = the main user or administrator When you set your system up, you will should always have a ROOT person and a USER. Some distributions like Ubuntu give root permissions to the named user. The main user of the computer can take on this role of administrator but Linux will ask for the user's passward when it does so. Each user will have a DIFFERENT password. If there are more people using the computer, these USERS will have different names. For example:ROOT password: dominator67user (tom) password: z2468puser (nancy) password: orange5 Only the Root can change passwords, so DON'T FORGET this password if you are NOT the root. The users have folders/directories in the main HOME folder as follows:/home /Tom /desktop /documents /tmp /Nancy /desktop /documents /tmp These folders(desktop, documents and tmp) are often generated automatically by your Linux distro, but sometimes not. Sometimes there are more folders too. They constitute each persons personal work space. Each person can't access another person's work space. Only the administrator (Root) can do this. To find out what the other Linux Folders do, go to More on Linux File System