[TUHS] The origin of /home

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Fri Sep 28 01:33:53 AEST 2018

    > From: Dan Cross

    > particular in sites with lots of users like universities and
    > production-focused corporate groups

The existence of /usr, /usr/bin, /etc, /lib, etc dates back to the Research
group at Bell, so I don't think we can look to these other environments for an

    > "Hmm. Well, we've got space in /usr: create /usr/bin

I seem to recall reading (don't recall where, OTTOMY) an explanation for the
creation of /usr/bin, and I think it was performance related; IIRC the issue
was that they wanted to keep the directory size down (both for disk block
caching, and search time, reasons). Or maybe that was later on, and it was
originally created for 'user-maintained' ancillary programs (another vague

    > The more intriguing possibility from the antiquarian point of view is
    > whether someone coined "/home" and then THAT led to the rise of the "home
    > directory" nomenclature.

My memory is that the term "home directory" predates /home - perhaps on other
OS's such as TOPS-20, but I don't have time to research that. (I did look
quickly in the Multics docs, and it has 'working directory', i.e. current dir
- but it refers to the home dir as 'original WD', i.e. the WD at the time of


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