I have been learning Java. And still after a prolonged time I don't know why the name of the folder is "bin" where one find all the tools for java?

Is there is any logical reason behind that?

I have also noticed the same in .Net framework also.

  • 21
    bin is short for binary. It's the location of binary (or executable) files. – ChrisF May 17 '12 at 14:51
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    bin as an abbreviation for binaries existed long before Java or .NET. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 17 '12 at 14:55
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    bin is where you put trash. JOKE! JOKE! JOKE! Our local waste paper bins used to have /usr/local/bin printed on them. I miss those days. – Peter K. May 17 '12 at 15:05
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    Reading a question like this sometimes makes me feel rather long in the tooth. I need to remind myself of this constantly – Gary Rowe May 18 '12 at 8:40
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    hmm, that makes me young (or ignorant (or ignorant and young)) ... I had always assumed it was bin as in container, ex: trash bin... >_> – Drew May 22 '12 at 5:38

bin is short for binary. It generally refers to the built applications (also know as binaries) that do something for a specific system.

To quote from ChrisF's answer on Stack Overflow:

You usually put all the binary files for a program in the bin directory. This would be the executable itself and any dlls (dynamic link libraries) that the program uses.


bin is a standard directory name in typical UNIX/UNIX-like systems. It goes back to the early days of UNIX. /bin, /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin are directories where executable binaries are stored on most UNIX or UNIX-like systems. Java simply used this conventional name to designate where executables are stored within the Java home directory.

  • What did Multics do? Was it a convention that predated Unix, or was it something that the original Unix hackers invented? – Donal Fellows May 21 '12 at 20:06

As you know every language finally converted into machine code, I mean the code which a machine can understand and machine only understand either 0 or 1 (you also can say either on or off).this 0 and 1 form of data representation is called binary data representation. Hence every language create binary code so that machine can understand and process it.so the folder where all these machine code reside is called as bin(binary).

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