The /root Directory

The /root directory is the home directory of the root account. It is also referred to as the root user's home directory (and not as the root directory).

A home directory, also called a login directory, is a directory on a Unix-like operating system that serves as the repository for a user's personal files (including configuration files), directories and programs. It is also the directory that a user is first in after logging into the system.

The root account (which is also referred to as the root user, the administrative user, the system administrator, the superuser or just root) is the user name or account that has access to all commands and files on a Unix-like operating system.

/root is a standard first-tier directory in the root directory (as are /bin, /boot, /dev, /etc, /home, /mnt, /sbin and /usr). The root directory is the top level directory on any Unix-like operating system, i.e., the directory that contains all other directories and their subdirectories. It is designated by a forward slash ( / ). As is the case with all other first tier directories in the root directory, /root's name always begins with a forward slash.

/root contains configuration files for the root account, just as each ordinary user's home directory (which is by default a subdirectory of the /home directory) contains configuration and other files for that user. It is created automatically when the operating system is installed in order to avoid cluttering the root directory with the root user's configuration files. If /root does not exist for some reason, most Linux distributions will utilize the root directory for this purpose instead.

Created August 30, 2005.
Copyright © 2005 The Linux Information Project. All Rights Reserved.