mintCast Episode 20: Linux Directory Structure

In this episode

Google Voice

Ten ways to smooth the switch to Linux

Linux directory structure

About files and the file system

Getting Started with Linux – Lesson 4

Web site of the week

The Helios Project
Blog of Helios




IPKall Signup

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8 Replies to “mintCast Episode 20: Linux Directory Structure”

  1. Fifoxtasy

    about the annoying meta-package problem: a workaround woud be the following. remove the package (eg firefox 3) – mint-meta-gnome will get uninstalled as well, leaving a whole bunch of programs to be marked for auto removal. in synaptic just click the ‘Status’ filter, then ‘Installed (auto remove)’ (if i remember the exact name correctly) select all packages that you don’t want remove. then hit ‘Package’ and uncheck ‘Automatically Installed’. obviously it helps to make a cleanup before you remove the package so you can just select all packages shown under the filter ‘installed (auto remove)’.
    it’s not perfect because if you remove further packages their dependencies won’t be automatically uninstalled as you now marked them not automatically installed.
    another workaround is leaving the package installed – this is what i did. it’s only temporary anyway in a few months we’ll get a update to the next version of mint where only 3.5 will be included.
    i’d like to know a more elegant solution to this, not for this particular case, it’s only one program after all. but it would be good to know for some other distributions, like linuxmint KDE CE. it comes with A LOT of programs installed.

    i think it’s really stupid to make it that complicated to update to firefox 3.5. it is a security update after all as well. at least they tell you to upgrade to 3.5 on the mozilla homepage everytime you make a 3.0.x update. why not replace firefox 3 with firefox 3.5. who wants to keep ff3? since when are mozilla packages considered unstable? it doesn’t break anything, you don’t lose anything. i think this should definitely be a normal update. but this is probably the wrong place to complain. sorry

    a comment concerning mark “cyking”(?): (by the way shouldn’t you include a link to his webpage in the post)
    i read about having one home partition for several distros installed on one computer, it was somewhere one the ubuntuforums can’t remember where exactly. well somebody asked precisely that question and everybody told him that it was a bad idea as the configuration files could get skrewed up by some distro rendering the others useless. rothgar also mentions in this podcast that backing up your whole home directory to another distro could be problematic if it doesn’t have compiz installed for example.
    do you have any experience with this mark? i haven’t tried myself, but maybe you shouldn’t recommend it for that use.
    apart from that very good submission. i have my /home on a separate partition as well 🙂 another reason to do it for me was security for my data. in case of a complete failure of your operating system partition, where you have to format your root partition (i had a lot of those when i was still running windows) you still have your data on a seperate partition. 😉

    /opt folder: from your link:
    /opt Typically contains extra and third party software.
    this is what i read before but i wanted to add something:
    when i installed the thunderbird 3 beta, which can be downloaded as a .tar.gz from i didn’t know where to correctly install this program to. i just unpacked it, of course it would run from anywhere, but i still wanted to tidy up and put it into the right folder. i googled a bit and found out that i should put it into the /opt folder (please someone correct me if there is a better solution). i did and it works fine except that the /opt folder is read only for users. so copying it there needed root privileges – piece of cake in mint thanks to nautilus action ‘Open as root’. but the included update feature was disabled (greyed out in ‘Help’ ‘Check for updates’) so i set my /opt/thunderbird folder to be owned by my user account. now all that was left was to correct the menu entry in mintmenu to point to the right folder.
    would be interesting to know if that was standard linux procedure or if i missed the point completely.

    /mnt & /media
    in ubuntu and mint i found out that you get icons on your desktop for everything you mount under /media but if you mount it under /mnt you don’t. also i don’t think /mnt is included in nautilus’ computer:/// but i haven’t really tried.
    one of the coolest thing in linux is that you can mount anything anywhere. you can mount files (as long as they contain a FS –> image files) as drives under /media or as any other folder. you don’t have to use /mnt & /media. if all your stuff doesn’t fit onto one drive just mount your second hard drive as a folder in your /home/user
    you can also mount drives several times at different places.

    wow this post got long 😛

  2. Lejoni

    A clarification of what /proc is.
    You can see /proc as the kernels home/work folder or playground. Or even as a pressentation of the kernels “mind”.
    system tools like lspci, lsmod and alike draws there information from proc.
    Proc is not actual files on the HDD, it’s a virtual filesystem created by the kernel at runtime.

    a few examples:
    goin in to a terminal and typing:
    lspci will give an abridged version of the info in /proc/pci
    so insted typing “cat /proc/pci” at the terminal will essentialy be the same thing.
    Same for “lsmod” and “cat /proc/modules”

    As this is a representation of the kernels “mind” it can also be used to manipulate runtime settings in the kernel. This however is best not to try by yourself if your unsure of what your doin.

    Also to clarify what a library is (/lib, /lib32, /lib64):
    These folders contains linked runtime librarys that in turn contains shared functions that many applications need. This is a way to save disk space, much more efficiant than having all applications having a separate copy of common functions, like how to manipulate the filesystem.
    There should never be any executables here.

    Lastly thanx for your podcast, despite beeing a living linux fosile I realy enjoy it 🙂

  3. Anthony

    Again another interesting podcast, keep up the good work.

    Now for the shocker, I have reverted to Windows XP on my netbook. The main reason for me reverting is the Intel video issues on my hardware. I will try the next version of Mint with a later kernel etc.

    It’s not all bad news though, mint is still installed on my wife’s laptop and the childrens desktop – I am the only traitor to the cause.

  4. Marc

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the props on the Gizmo stuff. It does do video like Skype does. My problem with that is I can’t get Linux Mint to recognize my web cam. It seems many people have issues with the older web cams. I have yet to get a web cam to work with Linux Mint. If you could elaborate on web cam compatibility in a future episode that’d be cool.

    About your question for a windows mobile app for Gizmo… Check out an app called SJphone ( I have it running on Windows mobile 6. It’s a free app for an SIP client. I have it installed on an old dell axim pocket pc and it works great as long as I have a wifi connection. I understand you could use it with a 3g connection too and ditch your cell phone minutes.

    Another great show
    Viva La Mint!

  5. SiKing

    Just remembered one more: there is an easy way to figure out which flash video from Youtube (or whatever media) you have just downloaded, In FF, press Ctrl-I, select the “Media” tab. It lists everything on the current page, and notice the Save As button in the corner! 😉

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