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I saw reference to a bash command, cd /home, in a multiple choice quiz about navigating within Terminal. I tried it, expecting -bash: cd: /home: No such file or directory, but to my surprise it took me to a top level directory /home. I don't know if it just created the directory or if it was already there, or if it's a temporary thing or what.

I've googled around for info on the hidden top level directories (/var, /usr, /private, /etc, ...) but none mention a /home directory. Using ls -al from / yields (omitting all but the relevant line):

dr-xr-xr-x   2 root  wheel        1 Sep  6 15:57 home

and a ls -al from within /home yields

total 2
dr-xr-xr-x   2 root  wheel     1 Sep  6 15:57 .
drwxr-xr-x  30 root  wheel  1088 Aug 17 17:17 ..

I was surprised at how hard it was to track down a comprehensive (or even partial) directory tree showing what/where stuff is (beyond what shows up in Finder).

Can anyone help me out?

share|improve this question
I did some research into what /home is for on OS X here: (scroll down to my answer; it doesn't seem to jump there automatically) – zigg Sep 6 '13 at 20:53
@zigg Thanks! It's good to know it's supposed to be there. I'd mark your comment as an answer if I could. – ivan Sep 6 '13 at 21:18
Yeah, /home is there -- like it or not -- I actually don't like it being there. I'll read up on the answer above. I do want to mention that now I like to see all of the hiddent files and folders by issuing the following command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE Once you issue this command, you can see all kinds of Unixy things in the Finder. – Kaydell Sep 7 '13 at 2:31

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