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Understanding The File System Tree

Like Windows, a Unix-like operating system such as Linux organizes its files in what is called a hierarchical directory structure. This means that they are organized in a tree-like pattern of directories (sometimes called folders in other systems), which may contain files and other directories. The first directory in the file system is called the root direc- tory. The root directory contains files and subdirectories, which contain more files and subdirectories and so on and so on.

Note that unlike Windows, which has a separate file system tree for each storage device, Unix-like systems such as Linux always have a single file system tree, regardless of how many drives or storage devices are attached to the computer. Storage devices are attached (or more correctly, mounted) at various points on the tree according to the whims of the system administrator, the person (or persons) responsible for the maintenance of the sys- tem.

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