- Root directory
To use the example of a physical file cabinet, if the separate drawers in the file cabinet are represented as the highest level of sub-directories in the file system or system prompt, then the room the file cabinet is in, may be represented as the root directory. That is, the other directories may be inside it, but the root directory cannot go in any other directories, at least in that file system. In most operating systems, files can be placed inside the root directory, as well in its sub-directories. One may envision this as placing paper files anywhere in the room, or into any file cabinet within the room.
Multiple root directories
Unix abstracts the nature of this tree hierarchy entirely, and in Unix and Unix-like systems, the root directory is denoted
/. Though the root directory is conventionally referred to as
/, the directory entry itself has no name — its name is the "empty" part before the initial directory separator character (
/). All filesystem entries, including mounted partitions are "branches" of this root.
Under DOS and Microsoft Windows, each partition has a drive letter assignment (labeled
C:\for a particular partition C) and there is no common root directory above that. DOS and Windows do support more abstract hierarchies, with partitions mountable within a directory of another drive, though this is rarely seen. This has been possible in DOS through the command
JOINsince it first was added to DOS, and can be achieved in all Windows versions as well. In some contexts, it is also possible to refer to a root directory containing all mounted drives, although it cannot contain files directly as it does not exist on any file system. For instance, when linking to a local file using the "file:" URI scheme, the syntax is of the form "
file:///C:/...", where "
file://" is the standard prefix, and the third '
/' represents the root of the local system.
In UNIX-like operating systems, each process has its own idea of what the root directory is. For most processes this is the same as the system's actual root directory, but it can be changed by calling the chroot system call. This is typically done for security purposes to restrict which files a process may access to just a subset of the file hierarchy.
On many Unixes, there is also a directory which is named /root. Confusingly, it is not a root directory in the sense of this article, but rather the home directory of the Superuser (conventionally known as "root").
In the VMS operating system, the term "root directory" is used to refer to the directory in which all the user's files are stored, which is what Unix calls the "home directory". The equivalent of a MSDOS per-disk "root directory" in VMS is referred to as a "Master File Directory" and is specified as 
- Root Directory Definition - by The Linux Information Project (LINFO)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
root directory — noun (computing) The highest level of directory in a directory structure • • • Main Entry: ↑root * * * ˈroot directory 7 [root directory] noun (computing … Useful english dictionary
Root Directory — [engl.], Stammverzeichnis … Universal-Lexikon
root directory — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms root directory : singular root directory plural root directories computing the main directory (= place where files are stored) that contains all the other directories in a system of organizing information … English dictionary
root directory — In a hierarchical directory structure, such as that used in Unix and many other operating systems, the directory from which all other directories must branch. You cannot delete the root directory. See also parent directory; period and… … Dictionary of networking
root directory — šakninis katalogas statusas T sritis informatika apibrėžtis Hierarchinės failų sistemos ↑katalogas, neįeinantis į jokį kitą katalogą. Nuo jo prasideda visi ↑keliai į ↑pakatalogius ir ↑failus. Dar vartojama pagrindinis katalogas. atitikmenys: angl … Enciklopedinis kompiuterijos žodynas
root directory — root di,rectory noun count COMPUTING the main DIRECTORY (=place where files are stored) that contains all the other directories in a system of organizing information … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
root directory — main directory, main section of a hard disk or diskette from which all other directories branch out … English contemporary dictionary
Root Directory — Dt. Stammverzeichnis , Hauptverzeichnis … SEO Wörterbuch
Root — (englisch für „Wurzel“) steht für: Root Konto – ein spezielles Benutzerkonto bei Computer Betriebssystemen Wurzelverzeichnis (englisch root directory) – ein spezielles Verzeichnis in einem Dateisystem, siehe Stammverzeichnis ROOT – ein… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Root (computing) — Root or root can mean:*superuser *root directory, the base of a filesystem s directory structure *in a tree data type, the node in the tree which has no parent node … Wikipedia