I'm totally confused regarding Android file system and its relation to SD card.

While browsing my Asus Nexus 7 (2013) with file manager Astro from very root catalog I found directory sdcard. But there is also catalog /mnt/sdcard that points to the same location. Why do I need both of them?

I got mixed twice while browsing my rooted Samsung S4 Lollipop with external SD card. ES file Explorer. It has :

/sdcard/ with some information that is not on SD card. But why this directory is called SD scard?

Mount directory:

  /extSdCard/ with card information inside that can be visible on PC if I 
remove it from phone and put to computer.
  /sdcard/ again pseudo SD card info.

Totally confused:

  /emulated/0/ that contains /sdcard/ info
  /legacy/ the same like /emulated/0/
  /extSdCard/ linked to real SD card
  /sdcard0/ again pseudo SD card info.

What is idea of such strange file system organisation?


There are already answers for all parts of your question, so let me sum up:

If you take a closer look at /sdcard from a terminal (or via adb shell) using the ls command, you will see it is a symbolic link (the Wikipedia article explains it in detail), usually created for at least two reasons:

  • make it easier for you to find it
  • have a "canonical place" for it, regardless of where it is physically

There's of course more to it, but that would become too lengthy for an answer here :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.