Volume Names

From MorphOS Library

Author: Dave Crawford

MorphOS Directory Assignments

This volume intents to convey the most basic of “Assigns” and their uses to those intrested in where different things reside within a MorphOS based computer. An “Assign” in MorphOS is a named virtual volume that is in effect a “shortcut” to important directories. A further purpose of these assigns is for those documenting applications, since users may name their system partition as they so desire. The assigns alluded to in this document are those that are used by the MorphOS system itself.


Actual Location: The partition the system was booted from, usually DH1: and by default this is “System:”

Purpose: A shortcut that allows loads, saves, and installs to operate more efficiantly. This includes calling libraries and devices when other assigns are lost or corrupted. Consider that SYS: is the most basic of assigned names due to the fact that this and most other documents utilize “SYS:” as standard nomenclature for the system partition.


Actual Location: RAM:ENV

Purpose: Location where active preference settings are used along with Global Envoronment variables. During startup the contents of ENVARC: are copied here. When considering the “Save” versus “Use” buttons from a preference window, “Use” will only change the value in ENV, while “Save” changes the values in both “ENV:” and ENVARC:”.


Actual Location: SYS:Prefs/ENV-Archive.

Purpose: The actual save location for most preferences and default icons. Default preference save files are usually named with the “.prefs” format and within this directory.


Actual Location: RAM:T

Purpose: A temporary directory used by scripts, applications, and other processes to store working temporary files. For example, a shell script using the list command may save a temporary output here for futher processing before displaying an output. For programmers: it is considered bad form to leave your temporary files in T:, so please make sure that all temporary files are cleaned out upon exit.


Actual Location: RAM:Clipboards

Purpose: Storage of “Cut” and “Copy” file information used through “Copy and Paste” operations.


Actual Location: SYS:Libs

Purpose: Consider this as the central library of a MorphOS system, as most software library files are stored here. These library files contain re-used software routines for many applications and most system functions.


Actual Location: SYS:S

Purpose: Storage of Startup scripts, applications, and other scripts. The User-Startup is stored in this location as an example.


Actual Location: SYS:L

Purpose: Device handler storage. These handlers act as a go-between for MorphOS and physical devices. An example of this is the Port-Handler, which interfaces the Parallel, Serial, and Printer devices, and are named “SER:”, “PAR”, and “PRT” respectfully.


Actual Location: SYS:Locale

Purpose: Storage of country and language files that allow the display of text in a number of languages. The included information in country and language files are monetary symbols the names of weekdays, and other information. A subdirectory of Locale:, Catalogs holds subdirectories for the actual available languages.


Actual Location: SYS:Locale/Help

Purpose: Contains text files or guide files, and are stored in subdirectories named for the language that the help file is written. In some instances, help files are stored under a directory structure: HELP:<language>/SYS/<filename>.


Actual Location: SYS:Classes

Purpose: Storage of datatypes, gadgets, and other object-oriented componants of Ambient. The individual files are usually stored in subdirectories of CLASSES:.


Actual Location: SYS:Fonts

Purpose: Storage of bitmapped and outline font information. By default this directory is empty due to the use of truetype fonts by MorphOS.


Actual Location: SYS:Devs

Purpose: Storage of device drivers and datatypes. An example of a datatype stored here would be ILBM, which allows for the use of interleaved bitmap images. Third party datatypes may be installed here. For users with a PC background, a corrolation would be the use of CODECS from other systems.


Actual Location: SYS:MorphOS

Purpose: While using a redundant directory structure as SYS:, MOSSYS: provides a different location for specific PowerPC based builds of system and third party software. This differentation allows for installation of legacy software which may contain componants installed to the SYS: assign that have the same filenames as default PowerPC based componants. This, combined with the MorphOS order of library and device loading, should protect the user from antiquated system files. WARNING: Moving, renaming, deleting, or replacing of files within the MOSSYS: assign is dangerous and could render the system unable to boot.