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  1. Introduction

    Files and File Structure

  2. File Structure
  3. Configuration Files
  4. File Formats


  5. Filesystem Management
  6. File Management and Viewing
  7. Help, Job and Process Management
  8. Network Management
  9. System Management
  10. User Management
  11. Printing and Programming
  12. Document Preparation
  13. Miscellaneous
  14. Credits

Linux Configuration Files

profileSystem wide environment and startup script program.
/dev/MAKEDEVThe /dev/MAKEDEV file is a script written by the system administrator that creates local only device files or links such as device files for a non-standard device driver.
/etc/aliasesWhere the user's name is matched to a nickname for e-mail.
/etc/bootptabThe configuration for the BOOTP server daemon.
/etc/crontabLists commands and times to run them for the cron deamon.
/etc/dhcpd.confThe configuration file for the DHCP server daemon.
/etc/ethersFile for RARP mapping from hardware addresses to IP addresses. See the man page ethers(5).
/etc/exportsThe file describing exported filesystems for NFS services.
/etc/fdprm The floppy disk parameter table. Describes the formats of different floppy disks. Used by setfdprm.
/etc/filesystemsCan be used to set the filesystem probe order when filesystems are mounted with the auto option. The nodev parameter is specified for filesystems that are not really locally mounted systems such as proc, devpts, and nfs systems.
/etc/fstabLists the filesystems mounted automatically at startup by the mount -a command (in /etc/rc or equivalent startup file).
/etc/groupSimilar to /etc/passwd but for groups rather than users.
/etc/groupsMay contain passwords that let a user join a group.
/etc/gshadowUsed to hold the group password and group administrator password information for shadow passwords.
/etc/host.confSpecifies how host names are resolved.
/etc/hostsList hosts for name lookup use that are locally required.
/etc/HOSTNAMEShows the host name of this host. Used for support of older programs since the hostname is stored in the /etc/sysconfig/network file.
/etc/inittabConfiguration file for init, controls startup run levels, determines scripts to start with.
/etc/inetd.confSets up the services that run under the inetd daemon.
/etc/issueOutput by getty before the login prompt. Description or welcoming message.
/etc/issue.netOutput for network logins with LINUX version
/etc/ file for, the run time linker.
/etc/lilo.confConfiguration file for LILO.
/etc/limitsLimits users resources when a system has shadow passwords installed.
/etc/localtimeIn Debian the system time zone is determined by this link.
/etc/login.defsSets user login features on systems with shadow passwords.
/etc/logrotate.confConfigures the logrotate program used for managing logfiles.
/etc/magicThe configuration file for file types. Contains the descriptions of various file formats for the file command.
/etc/motdThe message of the day, automatically output by a successful login.
/etc/mtabA list of currently mounted file systems. Setup by boot scripts and updated by the mount command.
/etc/named.confUsed for domain name servers.
/etc/networksLists names and addresses of your own and other networks, used by the route command.
/etc/nologinIf this file exists, non-root logins are disabled. Typically it is created when the system is shutting down.
/etc/nsswitch.confName service switch configuration file.
/etc/passwdThe user database with fields giving the username, real name, home directory, encrypted password and other information about each user.
/etc/printcapA configuration file for printers.
/etc/profile, /etc/cshlogin,
Files executed at login or startup time by the Bourne or C shells. These allow the system administrator to set global defaults for all users.
/etc/protocolsDescribes DARPA internet protocols available from the TCP/IP subsystem. Maps protocol ID numbers to protocol names.
/etc/rc or /etc/rc.d or /etc/rc?.dScripts or directories of scripts to run at startup or when changing run level.
/etc/rc.d/rc0.dContains files used to control run level 0. Usually these files are softlink files.
/etc/rc.d/rc1.dContains files to control run level 1. Scripts beginning with an S are for start, K for kill.
/etc/rc.d/rc.sysinitInit runs this when it starts.
/etc/resolv.confConfigures the name resolver, specifying the address of your name server and your domain name.
/etc/securettyIdentifies secure terminals from which root is allowed to log in.
/etc/servicesLists the network services that the system supports.
/etc/shadowShadow password file on systems with shadow password software installed. Shadow passwords move the encrypted password files from /etc/passwd to /etc/shadow which can only be read by root.
/etc/shadow.groupSystems with shadow passwords may have this file.
/etc/shellsLists trusted shells. The chsh command allows users to change their login shell to shells listed only in this file.
/etc/skel/.profileCan be used by administrator to set the editor environment variable to some editor that is friendly to new users.
/etc/sudoersA list of users with special privileges along with the commands they can execute.
/etc/smb.confThe configuration file for setting up Samba services.
/etc/sysconfig/amdUsed to configure the auto mount daemon.
/etc/sysconfig/clockUsed to configure the system clock to Universal or local time and set some other clock parameters.
/etc/sysconfig/i18nControls the system font settings.
/etc/sysconfig/initThis file is used to set some terminal characteristics and environment variables.
/etc/sysconfig/keyboardUsed to configure the keyboard.
/etc/sysconfig/mouseThis file is used to configure the mouse.
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-interfaceDefines a network interface.
/etc/sysconfig/pcmciaUsed to configure pcmcia network cards.
/etc/sysconfig//routed Sets up dynamic routing policies.
/etc/sysconfig/static-routesConfigures static routes on a network.
/etc/sysconfig/tapeUsed for backup tape device configuration.
/etc/X11/XF86ConfigThe configuration file for the X server.
/etc/syslog.confConfiguration file for the syslogd daemon.
/etc/termcapThe terminal capability database. Describes by what "escape sequences" various terminals can be controlled. See terminfo, termcap, curs_termcap man pages.
/etc/terminfoDetails for terminal I/O.
/etc/userttyThis file is used to impose special access restrictions on users.
$HOME/.bashrcUser aliases, path modifier, and functions.
$HOME/.bash_profileUsers environment stuff and startup programs.
$HOME/.bash_logout User actions to be done at logout.
$HOME/.hushloginWhen this file exists in the user's home directory, it will prevent check for mail, printing of the last login time, and the message of the day when the user logs in.
$HOME/.inputrcContains keybindings and other bits.
$HOME/Xrootenv.0Has networking and environment info.
/proc/cpuinfoInformation about the processor such as its type, make and performance.
/proc/devicesA list of devices configured into the currently running kernel.
/proc/dmaShows which DMA channels are being used at the moment.
/proc/filesystemsFilesystems that are configured into the kernel. The file used to detect filesystems if the /etc/filesystems does not exist.
/proc/ioportsShows which I/O ports are in use at the moment.
/proc/interruptsShows which interrupts are in use and how many of each there have been.
/proc/kcoreAn image of the physical memory of the system.
/proc/kmsgMessages output by the kernel. These are also routed to syslog.
/proc/ksymsSymbol table for the kernel.
/proc/loadavgThe load average of the system.
/proc/meminfoInformation about memory usage, both physical and swap.
/proc/modulesWhich kernel modules are currently loaded.
/proc/mountsContains information on filesystems currently mounted, similar to /etc/mtab
/proc/netContains status information about network protocols.
/proc/selfA symbolic link to the process directory of the program that is looking at /proc. When 2 process look at proc, they get different links.
/proc/statVarious statistics about the system such as the number of page faults since the system was booted.
/proc/uptimeThe time the system has been up.
/proc/versionThe kernel version.
/tmp/fvwmrca01339FVWM-M4 defines. Contains networking, Xwindows, other setup info.
/usr/lib/zoneinfoTime zone datafiles are stored here on the Debian system
/var/log/lastlogUsed by finger to tell when a user was last logged in.
/var/log/wtmpBinary info on users that have been logged on. The last command uses this info.
/var/run/utmpContains information about users currently logged in. Who and w commands use this file.
/var/named/root.hintsUsed for domain name server. Placed here optionally, but this is the normal location.
/var/named/*Files used by domain name server. Placed here optionally, but this is the normal location.
/var/log/btmpUsed to store information about failed logins. This file must be first created to activate it.
/var/log/lastlogContains information about the last time a login was done on the system. Works with lastb(1).
/var/log/maillogThe normal system mail log file.
/var/log/messagesThe main system message log file.
var/log/secureSystem tracking of user logins. Check this file periodically.
/var/spool/mailWhere mailboxes are usually stored.