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This chapter is from the book

Ordinary Files and Directory Files

Ordinary files, or simply files, are files that can hold documents, pictures, programs, and other kinds of data. Directory files, also referred to as directories or folders, can hold ordinary files and other directory files. For more information refer to “Ordinary Files and Directory Files” on page 185.

The Working Directory

lpi1.jpg pwd

While you are logged in on a character-based interface to a Linux system, you are always associated with a directory. The directory you are associated with is called the working directory or current directory. Sometimes this association is referred to in a physical sense: “You are in (or working in) the zach directory.” The pwd (print working directory) builtin displays the pathname of the working directory.

login: max
Last login: Wed Oct 20 11:14:21 from
$ pwd

Your Home Directory


When you first log in on a Linux system or start a terminal emulator window, the working directory is your home directory. To display the pathname of your home directory, use pwd just after you log in.

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