The root directory on a Linux system, which is represented by the
/ character, is the parent path to all files on the installation’s partition. All operating systems have a root directory. If you are familiar with Windows systems, they use the
C:\ path as their root directory.
You will see references to the root directory all of the time. Even when looking at the absolute path to a random file, such as
/home/linuxconfig/example.txt, you can see the
/ at the very beginning of the file path, which indicates the root directory. From this path, we can also derive that
home is directly inside of the root directory
The term “root directory” can sometimes also be confused with the home directory for the root user account. This is typically located at
/root, and resides one directory deep within the root directory
/root path is treated as any typical user’s home directory, and does not serve a similar purpose to that of the root directory
In this tutorial, you will learn how to navigate to the root directory on a Linux system. This means both the top most directory in the file system,
/, and the root user’s home directory
/root. Read on to learn how.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to navigate to the root directory on Linux
- How to navigate to the root user’s home directory
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|System||Any Linux distro|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
How to go to the root directory in Linux
You can navigate to the root directory on a Linux system by using the
cd(change directory) command. As mentioned earlier, the root directory is represented with a forward slash
/, so the command would be:
$ cd /
cdcommand is one of the most essential commands on Linux and you will be using it constantly in order to navigate to different directories via the command line on your Linux system. See our tutorial on cd command in Linux with examples for more information about the command.
To navigate to the root user’s home directory,
/root, execute the following command:
$ cd /root
If you are already logged into the root user account, then just typing the following commands would also take you to the root user directory:
# cd OR # cd ~
In this tutorial, we saw how to go to the root directory on a Linux system. The root directory is the top most directory in the Linux file system hierarchy, and should not be confused with the root user’s home directory. From the root directory, you can find all of the files that belong to your Linux installation’s partition, although files could possibly be buried dozens of sub directories deep.