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The /var directory tree is very important. Though it sometimes holds temporary files, its purpose is to keep "variable" files; those that change often. For example, on Ubuntu, apache, the web server, keeps web pages in /var/www. /var/lib holds scratch files for many programs; internal data those programs use when they run.

/var/log holds various logs. /var/run holds files for each daemon including the PIDS for each that are running on the system. It also holds the utmp file which shows who is currently logged in. The wtmp shows you who has logged in and then out. The who command looks at /var/run/utmp and the lastlog command looks through wtmp.

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Page last modified on March 31, 2012, at 04:28 AM