Important Linux Directories to Know for Your Raspberry Pi

By Richard Wentk

After you can use the Linux commands cd and ls, you can go exploring around your Raspberry Pi. There’s a lot to see, although much of it won’t make sense yet.

The following table lists the most important directories at the top of the file tree. Linux is very organized, so there’s a place for everything, and everything has a place.

You don’t need to remember this list now — or maybe ever. But it’s good to get an idea where everything goes. As you do more with your Pi, you’ll be working inside some of these directories.

What All Those Linux Directories Do
Directory What It’s For
/bin Standard Linux system apps
/sbin Standard Linux system apps for the superuser
/etc Setup and configuration files (similar to preferences)
/var Live information, including log files
/var/log Log files left by running apps so that you can see
what they’ve been doing and fix problems after
something goes wrong
/var/www After you set up a web server, files for web pages go
here (before you set up a web server, this directory
doesn’t exist)
/home All the home directories for every user (there’s only
one user on the Pi, so there’s not much to see here)
/home/pi The Pi user’s home directory
/root Files useful to the superuser (usually empty)
/usr Files useful to all users
/usr/bin Standard useful apps for all users
/usr/sbin Standard apps for users pretending to be the
superuser
/usr/local Apps and other information that are only available on
this computer and not on other Linux computers
/dev Hardware settings (be careful!)
/lib Software add-ons and special options
/proc Information about apps that are running
/sys Live hardware (be even more careful!)