Linux File System

  1. Introduction to Linux
  2. Getting Started with Linux
  3. Linux File System
  4. Users, Groups, and Permissions
  5. Linux Processes and Services
  6. Package Management in Linux
  7. Text Editors in Linux
  8. Shell Scripting Basics
  9. Linux Networking Fundamentals
  10. File and Data Backup
  11. System Administration Tasks
  12. Security in Linux
  13. Advanced Linux Shell Scripting
  14. Advanced Linux Networking
  15. Linux Server Administration
  16. Linux Virtualization and Containers
  17. Linux Cloud Services and Hosting
  18. Linux in DevOps: Empowering Modern Development Practices
  19. Mastering Linux Troubleshooting: Solving Common Challenges
  20. Mastering Linux: Advanced Tips and Tricks for Ultimate Productivity


Welcome to the third installment of the “Linux Fundamentals” series! In the previous articles, you learned how to get started with Linux, exploring its installation, desktop environments, and essential commands. In this article, we’ll delve into the heart of Linux: the file system. We’ll discuss the File System Hierarchy, explore file and directory permissions, discover how to navigate the file system, master essential file manipulation commands, and dive into advanced topics like symbolic links and file ownership.

Understanding the File System Hierarchy

Linux organizes its file system in a hierarchical structure, with the root directory (`/`) at the top. Understanding this hierarchy is crucial for effective system administration and organization. Here are some key directories and their purposes:

– `/bin`: Essential system binaries.
– `/etc`: Configuration files.
– `/home`: User home directories.
– `/var`: Variable data (logs, databases, etc.).
– `/tmp`: Temporary files.
– `/usr`: User programs and data.
– `/opt`: Optional software packages.
– `/lib`: Shared libraries.
– `/mnt` and `/media`: Mount points for external devices.
– `/srv`: Service data.

This hierarchy helps maintain system organization and separation of concerns, enabling efficient management of resources.

File and Directory Permissions

Linux uses a robust permission system to control access to files and directories. Permissions are divided into three categories: owner, group, and others. Each category has three permission types: read (`r`), write (`w`), and execute (`x`). For example, `rwxr-xr–` represents read, write, and execute permissions for the owner, read and execute for the group, and read-only for others.

Here’s how to view and modify permissions:

– View Permissions:

ls -l filename

– Change Permissions:

chmod permissions filename

Replace `permissions` with a code like `755` or `u+rwx,g+rx,o-r` and `filename` with the file or directory you want to modify.

– Change Ownership:

chown owner:group filename

This command allows you to change the owner and group of a file or directory.

Navigating the File System

To navigate the file system, you’ll use the `cd` command to change directories and `pwd` to check your current location.

– Change Directory:

cd /path/to/directory

– Check Current Location:


Use `.` to refer to the current directory and `..` to refer to the parent directory. For instance, `cd ..` will move you up one directory level.

File Manipulation Commands

Linux offers powerful commands for working with files and directories. Here are a few essential ones:

– Copying Files (cp):

cp source_file destination

– Moving or Renaming Files (mv):

mv source destination

– Creating Directories (mkdir):

mkdir directory_name

– Removing Files (rm):

To remove a file:

rm filename

To remove a directory and its contents recursively:

rm -r directory_name

– Listing Files and Directories (ls):

Use various options like `-l` for long format, `-a` to show hidden files, and `-h` for human-readable sizes.

ls -lha

– Viewing File Contents (cat):

cat filename

– Editing Files (nano):

nano filename

Advanced Topics

In future articles, we’ll explore advanced topics such as symbolic links, which are pointers to files or directories, and how to manage them effectively. We’ll also delve deeper into file ownership, group management, and advanced permission settings.


In this article, we’ve explored the Linux file system, including its hierarchical structure, file and directory permissions, navigation commands, and essential file manipulation commands. Understanding these fundamentals is crucial as you continue your Linux journey. Stay tuned for more articles in the “Linux Fundamentals” series, where we’ll cover advanced topics to further enhance your Linux skills and knowledge.