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A curiosity question which google has been unable to answer for me:

Why is 'resolv.conf' spelled without the trailing 'e'? I'm sure there's a valid historical reason going back to the early days of BSD DNS resolver library.

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marked as duplicate by Michael Mrozek Apr 29 '13 at 23:06

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The easy answer is because it's a configuration file for libresolv, but of course that just leads to the question of why libresolv is called libresolv. To me it sounds like one of those legacy 6-character limits — the same reason why strcmp & co. are all named with 6 characters. –  Celada Apr 29 '13 at 22:33
Which implementation had a 6-character limit? libresolv is more than 6-chars, which suggests it's not a filesystem naming limit. And resolv isn't a C function name like strcmp. –  Flimzy Apr 29 '13 at 22:37
@Flimzy With the .c or .h it's 8 characters, which was the limit. In this case there's a resolv.h in the kernel, so it's probably the same reason –  Michael Mrozek Apr 29 '13 at 23:07
This question also appears to be a duplicate: Why do /usr and /tmp directories for Linux miss vowels in their spellings? –  slm Apr 29 '13 at 23:25

1 Answer 1

I'm going to guess that to ensure things could be typed fast (and more importantly, spelt out loud quickly), everything was limited to six characters - as mentioned above. This wouldn't have been a filesystem limitation, just common convention. 'lib' could be added to the beginning of a name to indicate it was a library, and other appendages could also be added to specify its type and so on.

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