Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS)

This article was first written in January 2006 for the BeezNest technical
website (

The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) is meant to be a reference on how to manage a Unix filesystem or directory hierarchy.

It enables:

  • software to predict the location of installed files and directories, and
  • users to predict the location of installed files and directories.

Achieving this by:

  • specifying guiding principles for each area of the filesystem,
  • specifying the minimum files and directories required,
  • enumerating exceptions to the principles, and
  • enumerating specific cases where there has been historical conflict.
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