I've recently had some questions about how to organize my files, e.g., file-hierarchy- or file-system-type questions. I kind of feel like Stack Overflow is dedicated to code, and there may be a better site on Stack Exchange where I can ask questions like that.

I'm basically wondering things like, what is the best way to organize the files in the program I am developing, and where can I read about the different ways people organize their files.

  • Don't know if this is conceptual enough that it would fit on Programmers. Nov 22, 2012 at 3:40
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn I have some links and stuff. They have this FHS: pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html. It hasn't been updated since 2004, though. I feel like there might be a better system in place, now. Also, I'm hoping someone can take a look at what I have and make corrections. Nov 22, 2012 at 3:48
  • @Wolfpack'08: if that type of standard changed every year, it'd be useless.
    – Mat
    Nov 22, 2012 at 6:13
  • @mat True man, true. I'm creating a new software, though. I want to account for all the current variables. Also, my system isn't nearly as verbose. Nov 22, 2012 at 6:19
  • possible duplicate of Which computer science / programming Stack Exchange do I post in?
    – jmort253
    Nov 23, 2012 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


For Unix-like operating systems, Unix & Linux has a few questions on that topic. Look in the directory-structure tag. The site caters mostly to end-users and administrators, but these people can advise you, as a programmer, how you should lay out your packages so that they can be installed and managed easily.

Having read the FHS, you already know the most important things. Please search for existing questions, too, as many subjects have come up already.

Not every question is suitable for Stack Exchange, of course. Examples:

  • In <this environment>, should I have my program installed in /usr or /usr/local? → good
  • Should I put a file with <these characteristics> in lib or share? → good
  • Should I call my package foo or bar → bad, only you can know
  • What's the best way to organize my files? → bad, too vague and broad

Programmers would be the more suitable site, however it seems that the question you have in mind wouldn't be very constructive (in the Stack Exchange sense). I'd say go ahead and ask it on Programmers, but:

  1. Make it as specific as possible, tell us exactly what your project's requirements are,
  2. Avoid polling for people's opinions (concentrate on technical/conceptual merits, instead of "the different ways people organize their files"), and
  3. Be prepared for close and/or down votes*.

Some light reading:

* Subjective questions are tough and can go either way. If you go ahead and ask, and your question gets closed, feel free to ask on Meta Programmers on how to improve and re-open it.

  • Yes, I've found that project requirements are very important to the file hierarchy. I don't think that anyone should ever be prepared for closes and down votes, though. Nov 22, 2012 at 22:14

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