Continuing Caldera Directories

Continuing Caldera Directories

We’re digging through the directory structure of Caldera OpenLinux this week, taking a look at the similarities and dissimilarities to other Linux distributions. Today, we’re looking at three more directories, all of which are standard in Linux.

/etc. The /etc directory in Caldera is a standard directory for all Linux distributions, though others may use it a bit differently. This is the home of configuration files for you system. All types of tasks can be configured from files in this directory and its subdirectories. If you don’t take the time to search through and familiarize yourself any other directory in Linux, you should do so with the /etc directory.

/home. This is, as you might guess, the home directory for each user on the system. Nestled inside this top-level directory is a subdirectory chock full of files and user-specific configurations. If, for example, your user name is “ted,” you’ll find a /home/ted subdirectory with files relating to ted only.

/initrd. This directory is the home of the [init]ial [R]AM [d]isk, where required by your configuration. The initial RAM disk is critical, especially in systems that use loadable modules for key devices. For example, the initial RAM disk may load the modules necessary to operate a SCSI hard drive. Once all modules in the inital RAM disk are loaded, control of the system is passed to the kernel, and the /initrd directory is unmounted.

We’re starting to see some logic to the directory layout in Linux. At first blush, it appears to be a mish-mash of file references that make no sense whatsoever. However, once you begin to understand the contents of each directory, you also start to see the efficient logic of the Linux directory layout. There’s a home for everything.