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In a UNIX-based Operating System, /usr is a directory for storing most of the common binaries (and supporting files).

There is a big misconception that the /usr directory stands for "user", when instead it stands for "Unix System Resources" (at least as of base System V and up). If any directory is worthy of the title "user", it would be /home.

Note: ariels made a good point that earlier *NIX-based systems contained the user accounts within the /usr directory, so it is possible to associate "users" (not "user") with /usr. At least until /home was established as a common partition/directory.

The average structure of /usr is as follows. This can be anywhere from slighty to greatly different, depending on a *NIX-distribution:

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