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Locating the Home Folder in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 1

In Ubuntu, as with other Linux distributions, each user has a specific directory that’s designated for their personal use. This directory is called the “home” directory. In this article, we will delve into how to locate the home folder in Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

The home folder in Ubuntu can be located using the terminal by typing the command "echo $HOME". This will display the absolute path of the user’s home directory, which is typically located at /home/<username>. The $HOME environment variable can also be used in commands to refer to the home directory without specifying the full path.

Understanding the Home Folder

The home folder is a personal space for each user on an Ubuntu system where they can store their files, create directories, and set user-specific settings. The home directory for a user is usually located at /home/<username>, where <username> is the actual username of the user.

The home directory is represented by the $HOME environment variable in the terminal. An environment variable is a dynamic-named value that can affect the way running processes will behave on a computer.

Locating the Home Folder Using Terminal

You can locate the home folder using the terminal in Ubuntu. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the terminal. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard.
  2. In the terminal, type the following command and press Enter:
echo $HOME

The echo command is used to display a line of text/string that is passed as an argument. In this case, $HOME is the argument. The $ symbol is used to indicate that a variable is being referenced. Here, $HOME is an environment variable that holds the path to the user’s home directory.

After running the command, the terminal will display the path to your home directory.

Understanding the Output

The output of the echo $HOME command will be the absolute path of your home directory. For example, if your username is john, the output will be:


This means that the home directory for the user john is located at /home/john.

Other Uses of $HOME

The $HOME variable is not only used to locate the home directory, but it’s also used in commands or scripts to refer to the home directory without explicitly specifying the full path.

For instance, if you want to navigate to the Desktop directory within your home directory, you can use the following command:

cd $HOME/Desktop

This command will change the current directory to the Desktop directory in your home directory.


In Ubuntu, the home directory is a crucial part of the user environment. It’s where users store their personal files and directories. By understanding how to locate and use the home directory, you can navigate your Ubuntu system more efficiently.

For more information on the topic, you can refer to the Bash Reference Manual.

How can I access the home folder in Ubuntu?

To access the home folder in Ubuntu, you can open the terminal and type cd ~ or cd $HOME. Both commands will take you to your home folder.

Can I change the location of my home folder in Ubuntu?

It is not recommended to change the location of your home folder in Ubuntu as it can cause issues with system functionality and software compatibility. It is best to keep the home folder in its default location.

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