Solaris Directory Structure (File System Structure) Explained with Examples

by SathiyaMoorthy on November 24, 2010

Earlier we discussed about Linux Directory Structure. This article is similar, but for Solaris.

1. / – Root

  • Every single file and directory starts from the root directory.
  • Only root user has write privilege under this directory.
  • / is also the root account home directory.

2. /dev – Device files.

  • Contains device files.
  • These include terminal devices, usb, or any device attached to the system.
  • For example: /dev/tty1, /dev/usbmon0

3. /etc – Configuration files

  • Contains configuration files required by all programs.
  • This also contains startup and shutdown shell scripts used to start/stop individual programs.
  • For example: /etc/services, /etc/resolv.conf, /etc/inetd.conf

4. /home – Home Directories

  • Home directories for all users to store their personal files.
  • For example: /home/john, /home/nikita

5. /kernel – Kernel Components

  • Contains kernel components common to all platforms within a particular instruction set that are needed for booting the system.

6. /sbin – System Binaries

  • Just like /bin, /sbin also contains binary executables.
  • But, the commands located under this directory are used typically by system administrator, for system maintenance purpose.
  • For example: fdisk, mount, swapadd

7. /bin – User Binaries

  • this points to /usr/bin
  • All binaries are located under /usr/bin.

8. /lib – System Libraries

  • Contains library files that supports the binaries located under /bin and /sbin
  • Library filenames are lib*.so.*
  • For example: libmtsk.so, libncurses.so.5.7

9. /mnt – Mount Directory

  • Empty folder generally used for mounting file systems.

10. /opt – Optional add-on Applications

  • opt stands for optional.
  • Contains add-on applications from individual vendors.
  • add-on applications should be installed under either /opt/ or /opt/ sub-directory.

11. /platform – Platform Definition files

  • Contains platform definition files.
  • For example: /platform/SUNW,SPARC-Enterprise-T3120, /platform/SUNW,Sun-Blade-T6340

12. /proc – Process Information

  • Contains information about system process.
  • This is a pseudo filesystem contains information about running process. For example: /proc/{pid} directory contains information about the process with that particular pid.
  • This is a virtual filesystem with text information about system resources. For example: /proc/uptime

13. /tmp – Temporary files

  • Directory that contains temporary files created by system and users.
  • Files under this directory are deleted when system is rebooted.

14. /usr – User Programs

  • Contains /usr/bin which is been linked from /bin.
  • Contains certain other links such as spool, news, man, mail.

15. /var – Variable files

  • var stands for variable files.
  • Content of the files that are expected to grow can be found under this directory.
  • This includes system log files (/var/log); packages and database files (/var/lib); emails (/var/mail); print queues (/var/spool); temp files needed across reboots (/var/tmp);

16. /vol – Volumes directory

  • Disk volumes mounted under this directory.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kiranjith November 24, 2010 at 3:42 am

can verify again the default home directory in Solaris…
is shud be /export/home

2 winky December 6, 2010 at 6:53 am

i can confirm this. there is no /home in solaris, unless you link it to /export/home.

3 kiranjith December 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

its must a typo..
We shuld really appreciate Ramesh for his effort..
Keep it up the good work.. :)
I Luv u r blog

4 L M Jennings July 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

What about the /system directory?

5 Laxmi November 8, 2011 at 12:17 am

The Article was seriously nice….want to know if really in solaris the /home directory does not exist…and is there any link between /export/home an /home.Please help.

6 Perry Shelton May 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Thank youi for posting this material concerning the breakdown of the Solaris 10 OS Directory Hierarchy. That was so cool! Again, thank you for the work that you have done for us all.

Please keep up the good work that you done!

7 andresvia March 12, 2014 at 6:58 am

Exactly what is /vol ?

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