HIER(7) Miscellaneous Information Manual HIER(7)

hierlayout of filesystems

A historical sketch of the filesystem hierarchy. The modern OS X filesystem is documented in the “File System Programming Guide” available on Apple Developer.

root directory of the filesystem
user utilities fundamental to both single-user and multi-user environments
block and character device files

file descriptor files; see fd(4)
system configuration files and scripts
kernel executable (the operating system loaded into memory at boot time).
system programs and administration utilities fundamental to both single-user and multi-user environments
temporary files
contains the majority of user utilities and applications

common utilities, programming tools, and applications
standard C include files

C include files for Internet service protocols
C include files for HFS
machine specific C include files
misc network C include files
C include files for Internet standard protocols; see inet(4)
C include files for NFS (Network File System)
C include files for Objective-C
C include files for Berkeley service protocols
system C include files (kernel data structures)
C include files for UFS

archive libraries
system daemons & system utilities (executed by other programs)
executables, libraries, etc. not included by the basic operating system
system daemons & system utilities (executed by users)
architecture-independent data files

a variety of pre-fab calendar files; see calendar(1)
word lists; see look(1)

words from Webster's 2nd International
common words

manual pages
misc system-wide ascii text files
templates for make; see make(1)
example . (dot) files for new accounts
tab description files for a variety of terminals; used in the termcap file; see termcap(5)
timezone configuration information; see tzfile(5)
multi-purpose log, temporary, transient, and spool files

timed command scheduling files; see at(1)
misc. backup files
misc. automatically generated system-specific database files
misc. system log files

user mailbox files
system information files describing various info about system since it was booted

database of current users; see utmpx(5)

misc. printer and mail system spooling directories

undelivered mail queue; see sendmail(8)

temporary files that are kept between system reboots
per-user temporary files and caches

ls(1), apropos(1), whatis(1), whereis(1), finger(1), which(1), find(1), grep(1), fsck(8)

A hier manual page appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

July 23, 2007 macOS 14.4