Learning the Mac OS X Terminal: Part 1
Subject:   /etc vs. /private/etc?
Date:   2002-04-04 10:19:39
From:   chris_stone
Response to: /etc vs. /private/etc?

Good question...

/etc is actually a symbolic link, (similar to a Mac alias) to the actual directory /private/etc.

You can see this with the ls -l command on the root directory, and looking at the line for /etc:

[localhost:~] chris% ls -l /

lrwxrwxr-t 1 root admin 11 Apr 3 04:44 etc -> private/etc

The first "l" in the line signifies a link. And the reference of that link follows the arrow at the end of the line.

Apple has done this with /etc and a few other directories normally found in the root directory of other Unix systems to provide compatiblity with OS X's own layout of /private/etc. Why does Apple use /private? Well, that's another story, but it started with NeXT.



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  1. /etc vs. /private/etc?
    2008-01-22 02:05:44  frank143 [View]

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