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What is etc?

Last Updated May 3rd 2022, 12:41:16 am

Description

The /etc folder is a central location for all configuration files of a Linux/Unix machine.[1]

Background

In most UNIX OS environments there is a folder designated for each type of data. For example, a /bin folder for all executable binaries, a /boot folder for all booting related information, and a /dev folder for all hardware devices attached to the machine.[1:1]

The /etc folder was originally designated for storing a mixture of config files, data files, socket files, and other files; therefore it was named /etc which is the abbreviated form of the latin expression, “et cetera.”[1:2]

As time passed the meaning of this folder has changed but not the name /etc.[1:3]

/etc folder contents

The contents of the /etc folder can be divided into the following groups.[2]

Configuration tables (tab like crontab, fstab, mtab etc)

crontab

crypttab

fstab

mtab

rwtab

statetab

quotatab

Running Configurations (rc like rc.local, rc1.d, bashrc, wgetrc etc)

Configuration files (conf/cfg like pam.conf, ntp.conf etc)

Deny/Allow files()

Other directories

Other Files


  1. https://www.linux.com/training-tutorials/linux-directory-structure-explainedetc-folder/ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. https://www.linuxnix.com/linux-directory-structure-explainedetc-folder/ ↩︎