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Linux Configuration Directories

Linux Configuration Directories


The /boot directory contains all files needed to boot the computer. These files don't change very often. On Linux systems you typically find the /boot/grub directory here. /boot/grub contains /boot/grub/grub.cfg (older systems may still have /boot/grub/grub.conf) which defines the boot menu that is displayed before the kernel starts.


All of the machine-specific configuration files should be located in /etc. Historically /etc stood for etcetera, today people often use the Editable Text Configuration backronym.
Many times the name of a configuration files is the same as the application, daemon, or protocol with .conf added as the extension.

There is much more to be found in /etc

» /etc/init.d/ : A lot of Unix/Linux distributions have an /etc/init.d directory that contains scripts to start and stop daemons. This directory could disappear as Linux migrates to systems that replace the old init way of starting all daemons.
» /etc/X11/ : The graphical display (aka X Window System or just X) is driven by software from the foundation. The configuration file for your graphical display is /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
» /etc/skel/ : The skeleton directory /etc/skel is copied to the home directory of a newly created user. It usually contains hidden files like a .bashrc script.
» /etc/sysconfig/ : This directory, which is not mentioned in the FHS, contains a lot of Red Hat Enterprise Linux configuration files. We will discuss some of them in greater detail. The screenshot below is the /etc/sysconfig directory from RHELv4u4 with everything installed.