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System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems
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Default Solaris File Systems

The Solaris UFS file system is hierarchical, starting with the root directory (/) and continuing downwards through a number of directories. The Solaris installation process enables you to install a default set of directories and uses a set of conventions to group similar types of files together.

For a description of the contents of Solaris file systems and directories, see filesystem(5).

The following table provides a summary of the default Solaris file systems.

Table 17-2 The Default Solaris File Systems

File System or Directory

File System Type


root (/)


The top of the hierarchical file tree. The root (/) directory contains the directories and files that are critical for system operation, such as the kernel, the device drivers, and the programs used to boot the system. The root (/) directory also contains the mount point directories where local and remote file systems can be attached to the file tree.



System files and directories that can be shared with other users. Files that run only on certain types of systems are in the /usr file system (for example, SPARC executables). Files that can be used on all types of systems, such as the man pages, are in the /usr/share directory.

/export/home or /home


The mount point for user home directories, which store user work files. By default, the /home directory is an automounted file system. On stand-alone systems, the /home directory might be a UFS file system on a local disk slice.



System files and directories that are likely to change or grow over the life of the local system. These include system logs, vi and ex backup files, and uucp files.



Optional mount point for third-party software. On some systems, the /opt directory might be a UFS file system on a local disk slice.



Temporary files, which are removed each time the system is booted or the /tmp file system is unmounted.



A list of active processes, by process number.



A virtual file system that provides read-only access to the table of mounted file systems for the local system.



A memory-based file system for storing temporary files that are not needed after the system is booted.



A virtual file system that maintains contract information.



A virtual file system that is used by debuggers to access information about kernel symbols without having to access the kernel directly.

The root (/) and /usr file systems are required to run a system. Some of the most basic commands in the /usr file system (like mount) are also included in the root (/) file system. As such, they are available when the system boots or is in single-user mode, and /usr is not mounted. For more detailed information on the default directories for the root (/) and /usr file systems, see Chapter 23, UFS File System (Reference).

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