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Home directory

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The home directory is the top-level disk folder of a user on a POSIX-compliant computer system.It is where a user's focus is located upon login in a shell. It is home for all of the user's data, as well as the user's preferred settings and configuration of any software he uses and might have tailored to his liking: web navigator bookmarks, favorite desktop wallpaper and desktop theme, passwords to any external services used by a given software, and so on.

The content of one user's home directory is unavailable to the other users of the system; it is private property, protected by a mechanism of file permissions. Note that the super user, the system administrator, has authority to access any protected location on the filesystem.

The system administrator will often choose to keep separate the users' data from the computer's software files, by isolating all home directories in a disk partition (or "disk slice") of its own, mounted at filesystem "point" /home.

Shell command prompt syntax usually provide a shortcut for relocation/refocus to the home directory with the tilde character ("~"). Hence, ~/.Trash may point to the contents of the user's "trash can" on his desktop (which, in turn, is often ~/Desktop (so how come it's not ~/Desktop/.Trash/ ?)), whereas the full path of the same file is /home/theusernamehere/.Trash

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