Archives For linux

The Linux File System Structure

September 18, 2010

If you’re like me and, well, most people, you probably aren’t using Linux on your personal computer. Yes, many technical people are using Linux and love it, but the fact of the matter is that the market for Linux as a desktop system still isn’t that big (and that’s not a reflection of how great Linux is, because it’s pretty great). But if you do a lot of Web development, like I do, you probably interact with Linux servers all the time. If you work with a Linux system from a command-line interface (or any Unix system, really), you may not have the vaguest idea what the /etc directory is, or /dev. For that matter, the difference between /bin and /sbin or /usr/bin may be lost on you. I recently StumbledUpon this article that explains the Linux file system. It’s a short and simple, yet excellent, discussion of the topic.

A while back I stumbled upon (using the sweet Firefox plug-in, StumbleUpon), this discussion of the 20 things you should do, or the applications you should install, after performing a fresh install of Ubuntu Linux. Now, I’m primarily a Mac person, but if I need to use Linux for basic or desktop needs, Ubuntu is by far the distribution of choice (for a Linux server, I’m currently using CentOS). I like Ubuntu because:

  • You can test it by running it from a CD on your computer, without doing an actual install.
  • If you do want to install it, that’s quite easy.
  • It just plain works.

I’m not trying to start a debate as to which version of Linux is best, or as to whether you should use Linux at all, I’m just saying that I think Ubuntu Linux is sweet. (Although I’ll add as an aside, that I occasionally see messages from people new to Linux claiming that it’s the greatest thing ever and they wonder why everyone doesn’t use Linux; I do wonder if such people are still using Linux so religiously six months later.)

Anyway, some of the things mentioned in the article are eye candy (which doesn’t make them irrelevant) and others are quite useful, like installing the core Microsoft fonts (Times New Roman et al.). Another product, Wine, will let you run some Windows applications in Ubuntu, if you have that need. Then there’s a few links to multimedia utilities, from browser plug-ins to video and audio players.

A nice article, a good site, worth a read if you’re using Ubuntu or even thinking about it.