This standard enables:
Software to predict the location of installed files and directories, and
Users to predict the location of installed files and directories.
We do this by:
Specifying guiding principles for each area of the filesystem,
Specifying the minimum files and directories required,
Enumerating exceptions to the principles, and
Enumerating specific cases where there has been historical conflict.
The FHS document is used by:
Independent software suppliers to create applications which are FHS compliant, and work with distributions which are FHS compliant,
OS creators to provide systems which are FHS compliant, and
Users to understand and maintain the FHS compliance of a system.
The FHS document has a limited scope:
Local placement of local files is a local issue, so FHS does not attempt to usurp system administrators.
FHS addresses issues where file placements need to be coordinated between multiple parties such as local sites, distributions, applications, documentation, etc.