Please explain the usage of /etc directory and UNIX? Can we have comman setting defined for all users in this directory?

  • This question is not programming related. I.e. , you aren't asking how to progrmatically read or manipulate configurations in /etc. This question would be better answered on superuser.com
    – Tim Post
    Oct 30, 2009 at 7:05

4 Answers 4


Here's the "official" answer: http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html#ETCHOSTSPECIFICSYSTEMCONFIGURATION

It's similar to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive of the Windows registry: It contains system-wide settings for software (as opposed to per-user settings).


Please read this: http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html#ETCHOSTSPECIFICSYSTEMCONFIGURATION


Please find the links given below:

File System

Article on /etc


Generally only root/wheel write access into /etc/ Common settings application wide, possible, but I still prefer applications to store their configurations in their own filesystem structure. We needn't muddy the filesystem by going about shoving non-system application configs in there, let us not repeat the registry ills.

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