namespace – structure of conventional file name space




After a user’s profile has run, the file name space should adhere to a number of conventions if the system is to behave normally. This manual page documents those conventions by traversing the file hierarchy and describing the points of interest. It also serves as a guide to where things reside in the file system proper. The traversal is far from exhaustive.

First, here is the appearance of the file server as it appears before any mounts or bindings.


The root directory.  


The administration directory for the file server.  


List of users known to the file server; see users(6).  


Authentication keys for users.  


SecureNet keys for users; see securenet(8).  


Directory of timezone files; see ctime(2).  


Time zone description for Eastern Time. Other such files are in this directory too.  


Time zone description for the local time zone; a copy of one of the other files in this directory.  


















All empty unwritable directories, place holders for mounted services and directories.  


A directory containing mount points for applications.  


A directory containing mount points for file trees imported from remote systems.  
















Each CPU architecture supported by Plan 9 has a directory in the root containing architecture-specific files, to be selected according to $objtype or $cputype (see 2c(1) and init(8)). Here we list only those for /386.  


The initialization program used during bootstrapping; see init(8).  


Directory containing binaries for the Intel x86 architecture.  






Subdirectories of /386/bin containing auxiliary tools and collecting related programs.  


Directory of object code libraries as used by 8l (see 2l(1)).  


Directory of x86-specific C include files.  


The files in /386 beginning with a 9 are binaries of the operating system or its bootstrap loader.  


Selected by mk(1) when $objtype is 386, this file configures mk to compile for the Intel x86 architecture.  


Isomorphic to the architecture-dependent directories, this holds executables and libraries for the shell, rc(1).  


Directory of shell executable files.  


Directory of shell libraries.  


Startup code for rc(1).  


Site local startup code for rc(1).  


Collections of data, generally not parts of programs.  








The network database used by the networking software; see ndb(6) and ndb(8).  


The file used by newns (see auth(2)) to establish the default name space; see namespace(6).  


Bitmap font files.  


TrueType font files.  


Directory of Internet ‘Requests For Comments’, ranging from trivia to specifications.  


Maintains RFC collection; usually run from cron (see auth(8)).  


System software.  


Directory of machine-independent C include files.  


Pieces of programs not easily held in the various bins.  


Directory of acid(1) load modules.  


Software used to assemble the distribution’s installation floppy.  


Directory of troff(1) font tables and macros.  


The yacc(1) parser.  


The manual.  


Other system documentation.  


Log files created by various system services.  


Top-level directory of system sources.  


Source to the commands in the bin directories.  


Source to the operating system for terminals and CPU servers.  


Source to the operating system for file servers.  


Source to the libraries.  


A directory containing home directories of users.  


Directory of electronic mail; see mail(1).  


Directory of users’ mail box files.  


Directory of alias files, etc.  


Directory of tools for acme(1).  


Directory of files for cron(8).  


System-specific files, often addenda to their namesakes, notably cpurc, termrc, namespace, and consoledb.  

The following files and directories are modified in the standard name space, as defined by /lib/namespace (see namespace(6)).


The root of the name space. It is a kernel device, root(3), serving a number of local mount points such as /bin and /dev as well as the bootstrap program /boot. Unioned with / is the root of the main file server.  


Compiled into the operating system kernel, this file establishes the connection to the main file server and starts init; see boot(8) and init(8).  


Mounted here is a union directory composed of /$objtype/bin, /rc/bin, $home/bin/$objtype, $home/bin/rc, etc., so /bin is always the directory containing the appropriate executables for the current architecture.  


Mounted here is a union directory containing I/O devices such as the console (cons(3)), the interface to the raster display (draw(3)), etc. The window system, rio(1), prefixes this directory with its own version, overriding many device files with its own, multiplexed simulations of them.  


Mounted here is the environment device, env(3), which holds environment variables such as $cputype.  


Mounted here is a union directory formed of all the network devices available.  


The communications point for the connection server, ndb/cs (see ndb(8)).  


The communications point for the Domain Name Server, ndb/dns (see ndb(8)).  




Directories holding the IP protocol devices (see ip(3)).  


Mounted here is the process device, proc(3), which provides debugging access to active processes.  


Mounted here is the dup device, dup(3), which holds pseudonyms for open file descriptors.  


Mounted here is the global mountpoint device, shr(3), which holds mounted filesystems visible in all namespaces.  


Mounted here is the service registry, srv(3), which holds connections to file servers.  


The communication channel to the main file server for the machine.  


Mount point for the window system.  


Mount point for the terminal’s name space as seen by the CPU server after a cpu(1) command.  


A place where machine kremvax’s name space may be mounted.  


Mounted here is each user’s private tmp, $home/tmp.  


intro(1), namespace(6)