System data versus user data

Data is defined as programs or text and for this discussion is broken down into two classes:

  • System data, which makes up the operating system and its extensions. This data is always to be kept in the system file systems, namely / (root), /usr, /tmp, /var, and so on.
  • User data is typically local data that individuals need to complete their specific tasks. This data is to be kept in the /home file system or in file systems that are created specifically for user data.

User programs and text are not to be placed in file systems designed to contain system data. For example, a system manager might create a new file system and mount it over/local. An exception is /tmp, which is used for temporary storage of system and user data.