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When I installed Ubuntu 10.04 and BackTrack 5, I didn't create any directories for either operating system BUT the root directory (i.e., /). I assume the root was mandatory because I couldn't proceed with the install unless I did.

I've been trying to install some software applications in Ubuntu and have been unsuccessful. Now, this may be due to my lack of knowledge as I don't have much experience with Linux OS, or my other assumption is that I neglected to create proper directories during the install of the OS.

Now, my question is this: why do most tutorials recommend creating "home," "swap," and other directories when installing Linux operating systems when, as I looked under my directory tree, I see they were all created (well, not swap, but home was)? See the following screenshot from Ubuntu:

enter image description here

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

"Swap" is created in its own disk partition, separate from the rest of the filesystem. Swap cannot be just a directory for security and performance reasons.

The Ubuntu installation creates all the necessary directories for you, including a home directory for your username under /home, once you have specified which partition should hold root, /.

Can you provide any links to such tutorials that provide such information? Perhaps you misunderstood their directives. Sometimes people install certain directories (such as /home or /opt) in (logical) disk partitions separate from the rest of the root filesystem. This can simplify backups & recovery and/or provide disk space management (e.g. strict quotas).

The easy way to install application software is to use the Ubuntu Software Center (from Applications toolbar) or the Synaptic Package Manager (from System/Administration toolbar). Last resort is "sudo apt-get" from the shell.

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