file-hierarchy - Linux


file-hierarchy is a command-line utility designed to display the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) in a user-friendly format. The FHS is a set of guidelines that define the directory structure and file naming conventions for Unix-like operating systems, ensuring consistency across different distributions and versions.


file-hierarchy [OPTIONS]


  • -v, –version: Prints the file-hierarchy version.
  • -h, –help: Displays the help message.
  • -m, –machine-readable: Outputs the FHS in a machine-readable format.
  • -f, –file=FILE: Reads the FHS from a specified file instead of the default location.


Display the FHS in a tree view:


Output the FHS in a machine-readable format:

file-hierarchy -m

Parse a custom FHS file:

file-hierarchy -f /path/to/custom_fhs.txt

Common Issues

  • Error opening FHS file: Ensure the specified FHS file exists and has the correct permissions.
  • FHS file not found: The default FHS file may be missing or corrupted. Try reinstalling the package that provides it.


  • grep: Use grep to search for specific directories or files in the FHS.
  • sed: Utilize sed to modify or extract data from the FHS.
  • Bash scripting: Integrate file-hierarchy into Bash scripts to programmatically interact with the FHS.

Related Commands

  • fhs-standard (5): The official FHS specification document.
  • du (1): Displays disk usage, which can be useful for analyzing the hierarchy of directories.
  • find (1): Searches for files and directories, allowing you to navigate the FHS.