Up: computer system overview

Finding Files

The Geometry Center filesystem is large and old. Consequently, it is often hard to find files, even if you know what you are looking for. Rest assured: it isn't just you. To alleviate the difficulty, people with Center accounts should be aware of the efficient tools for locating files.

Tools for locating files

Likely places to look

Finding things in the filesystem is complicated by the fact that there are a variety of different machine architectures in the Center system. Thus, a common and confusing experience is that a command that was working yesterday is nowhere to be found today because you switched machines in the meantime.

To maintain compatibility with past filesystem configuration as well as providing a manageable way of navigating the current system, there are a lot of links in the Geometry Center filesystem. The links depend on the context: if you are logged in on a NeXT, /usr/local/bin will be linked to the place where local NeXT programs are, while it will link to some place else on an SGI.

glocate will find a file no matter where it is on the system, and it will often "find" it three or four times: once at its actual physical location, and then in several other "apparent" places that are links.

If you are looking for something that ought to appear in a standard location no matter where you are logged in from (your home directory for example), try looking in /u. This is the Center shorthand for many useful links. Thus, users' home directories are linked to /u/user, much of the source code from software developed at the Center is in /u/src and so on.

One last bit of advice: look for video software while actually logged in on one of the systems in the video studio -- gauss or schottky. Similarly, look for fancy SGI software on the newer SGIs.

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Created: Fri Sep 8 11:39:00 1995 --- Last modified: Jun 18 1996