General questions about (UNIX) OS architecture

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How does the Linux login work? [duplicate]

I am wondering how the login actually works. It certainly is not part of the kernel, because I can set the login to use ldap for example, or keep using /etc/passwd; but the kernel certainly is able to ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Why can the waitpid system call only be used with child processes?

The man page wait(2) states that the waitpid system call returns the ECHILD error if the specified process is not a child of the calling process. Why is this? Would waiting on a non-child process ...
1
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2answers
48 views

Meaning of hardware platform in uname command ouput

man uname -m, --machine print the machine hardware name -i, --hardware-platform print the hardware platform or "unknown" What exactly is meant by hardware platform here and ...
0
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1answer
57 views

When to use arch vs. noarch when building RPMs?

Preface By building RPMs I do not mean compiling from source code. I purely mean taking a tar or a 'zip' file with source code or binaries and repackaging it as a RPM. I've been building RPMs from ...
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2answers
118 views

Are “kernel mode” and “user mode” hardware features or software features?

I read that there are two modes called “kernel mode” and “user mode” to handle execution of processes. (Understanding the Linux Kernel, 3rd Edition.) Is that a hardware switch (kernel/user) that is ...
1
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1answer
369 views

CUPS not working correctly after Debian Wheezy -> Jessie upgrade because of a faulty libpam

I just upgraded a Debian Wheezy to Jessie, by changing the /etc/apt/sources.lst. If important: I pinned systemd to stay with sysvinit, and after the upgrade I removed the pin. If I now do apt-get ...
1
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1answer
110 views

Relation between system calls and shell commands/utilities

In POSIX, Does a system call function often but not always have a command or utility in shell? Is there some rule of thumb about what kinds of system calls have corresponding commands or utilities ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Why can X11 access the video card?

This one is maybe a bit theoretical, but... How the heck can X11 touch the video hardware? As I understand it, X11 is an unprivileged user-mode program. But only kernel-mode software can access the ...
1
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2answers
29 views

Running application compiled on another distribution

I wonder whether I can compile application on one Linux distribution and use it on another Linux distribution (same CPU architecture). If not what problems I can run into? Only problems which came to ...
12
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1answer
747 views

Why is architecture listed thrice in uname -a?

$ uname -a Linux 3.13.0-29-generic #53-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jun 4 21:00:20 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux Running ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS. Why does it have the architecture (x86_64) listed thrice?
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2answers
147 views

What are the very fundamental differences in architecture between Unix and Linux? [duplicate]

I watched a short intro to Unix from the 70s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FjX7r5icV8 3D animation starts at 1:56), at the end the general tripartite architecture of Unix was displayed as a 3D ...
2
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1answer
252 views

Easy command line method to determine specific ARM architecture string?

I'm trying to write a script which will determine actions based on the architecture of the machine. I already use uname -m to gather the architecture line, however I do not know how many ARM ...
3
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2answers
325 views

how is a keyboard shortcut given to the correct program?

in Ubuntu (or for that matter most other linux distros), I could use the shortcut ctrl+t to open a new tab (in firefox or similar), or I could use alt+tab to make unity switch highlighted window, or I ...
2
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0answers
99 views

How to determine the wordsize in Linux kernel programming? [closed]

In userspace code, the macro __WORDSIZE is used, included in <bits/wordsize.h>. However, when I do Linux kernel programming, the __WORDSIZE seems not available. If <bits/wordsize.h> is ...
1
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1answer
133 views

Compiling from source: What are the options for config script “build”?

When I am running a line like: ./configure --build=x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu --host=x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu {*shortened*} \ --with-imap-ssl=/usr/include/openssl/ --enable-ftp --enable-mbstring ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Linux packages - Separate Python's external libraries from the system

I read this articles (check What About Python CLI Tools?). Well, this is obivous, separate external Python packages from your System Python's site-packages. When doing a sudo apt-get install package ...
1
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2answers
105 views

What is the relationship between command line code and higher level language code?

I'm learning to use the terminal on my Ubuntu 14.04 and I'm running command line code in my shell (which I'm told is what is inside the terminal) to install programs. But I can also start my node.js ...
8
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3answers
805 views

A layman's explanation for “Everything is a file” — what differs from Windows?

I know that "Everything is a file" means that even devices have their filename and path in Unix and Unix-like systems, and that this allows for common tools to be used on a variety of resources ...
0
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2answers
172 views

How to catch keystrokes in Linux environment

I need a C code to be executed when some particular keys are pressed in Linux "Desktop" environment. What are the ways to register for such an event and How? Should I write ISR for that? I need an ...
3
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3answers
361 views

Where is the source code for copy-paste?

I've been working with copy paste functionality on a Linux system. I downloaded the kernel source for the first time. Where can I find the code related to copy paste functionality? My guess is that ...
50
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4answers
7k views

Why do we need to fork to create new processes?

In Unix whenever we want to create a new process, we fork the current process, creating a new child process which is exactly the same as the parent process; then we do an exec system call to replace ...
2
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1answer
49 views

How are files opened in unix?

What's the internal process of opening a file? To open a file, the system converts the pathname to inode and from the inode search the corresponding driver disk portion to look for the content of the ...
7
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3answers
1k views

What are the minimum root filesystem applications that are required to fully boot linux?

It's a question about user space applications, but hear me out! 3 'applications', so to speak, are required to boot a funcitonal distro of Linux: Bootloader - For embedded typically that's U-Boot, ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Minimizing hardware interrupts

I am using a modified Linux kernel as a soft real-time OS, on a system that has an architecture like this: CPU1 and CPU2 have 8 cores each. I have 4 processes that need to be run with minimum ...
2
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2answers
364 views

Are system calls the only way to interact with the Linux kernel from user land?

Are there any other interfaces, e.g. the /proc filesystem?
3
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1answer
97 views

Structure of graphical modules in Linux Lubuntu

I am trying to understand the layers of the Linux GUI system. I am running a netbook with Lubuntu, and I was told it's running LXDE as desktop environment. However, there are processes with 'gnome'. ...
3
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2answers
809 views

Process in user mode switch to kernel mode. Then the process will have root privileges?

According to http://www.linfo.org/kernel_mode.html in paragraph 7: When a user process runs a portion of the kernel code via a system call, the process temporarily becomes a kernel process and is ...
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1answer
92 views

Daemons fall into what category?

Above system call, there are library routines, utilities and applications. Do daemons fall into any of these categories or they have their own category?
2
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1answer
89 views

Are application layer protocols part of library routines?

Where do application layer protocols reside? Are they part of library routines of language e.g. C, C++, Java? As goldilocks says in his answer, this is about the implementation of application layer ...
16
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2answers
3k views

How are system commands like ls created?

I'm a *nux newbie and I have some doubts regarding *nix. I don't know which type of executable file is ls, whether it is .sh or .ksh or any other kind of system executable if it is, what is that? ...
3
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6answers
1k views

When does a shell get executed during the linux startup process

I do not understand when does a shell, lets say bash, get executed, which program runs bash initially first.
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3answers
130 views

Why are file handles a scarce resource?

I feel like every tutorial I read on resource management in server settings starts by asserting that file handles are a scarce resource, and we should therefore aim to keep the list of open files to a ...
4
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1answer
206 views

What is the default or most commonly used multiprocessing model in Linux? Symmetric or Asymmetric?

What the multiprocessing model for Linux? Is there a default or most commonly used model? Is it similar or very different from say BSD or even the MS Windows kernel? If SMP is used normally, can ...
27
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1answer
3k views

How do keyboard input and text output work?

Suppose I press the A key in a text editor and this inserts the character a in the document and displays it on the screen. I know the editor application isn't directly communicating with the hardware ...
5
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1answer
86 views

What are the equivalent architecture of alphanumeric numbers in Debian?

On the Debian website, I found a list of the releases of Debian associate with alphanumerical architectures. Do you know to what those architectures numbers and letters stand for?   
3
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2answers
236 views

How to check Linux kernel?

I want to install a package, and it has different versions for different OSes. The description in the package site is like this X86-64 Linux 3.0 Kernel I looked it up and found people saying to use ...
3
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1answer
617 views

Interpret the output of lstopo

I have a output from lstopo --output-format txt -v --no-io > lstopo.txt for a 8-core node in a cluster, which is https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13029929/lstopo.txt The file is a text drawing ...
1
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2answers
290 views

What is a windowing system?

Can someone provide me with a very clear and practical example of a "windowing system"? I was reading on Linux, and although I've always known that it's a kernel, I didn't really know what a kernel is ...
1
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0answers
103 views

Which Unixes support cross-device filesystem links (in particular for rename)?

Just read the following on the FreeBSD man page for the rename syscall: ... [EXDEV] The link named by to and the file named by from are on different logical devices (file systems). Note that ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Rings and run levels

The question stated below might not be technically correct(misconception) so it would be appreciable if misconception is also addressed. Which ring level do the different *nix run levels operate in? ...
2
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1answer
2k views

child process does not inherit the pending signals from the parent after a fork system call, why?

Could anybody please tell me the reason to why pending signals are not inherited by the child process? On the other hand, the child process inherits the signal handlers and signal mask from the ...
4
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1answer
3k views

How can I build a rpm for i386 target on a x86-64 machine?

I am building an rpm using rpmbuild command as: rpmbuild -bb --root <DIRECTORY> --target i386 --define "_topdir <DIRECTORY>" <specfile>.spec When I use my SLED 10 SP3 x86 machine, ...
4
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2answers
122 views

When I move a file to a different directory on the same partition, does the file's data actually move on disk?

I could see it going both ways. If the filesystem stores it's directory structure and list of files in each directory, and then points to the disk location of each of the files, it shouldn't require ...
1
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1answer
329 views

Can 32-bit and 64-bit CentOS 6.4 servers both be AD domain controllers for the same domain?

If I have two CentOS 6.4 servers, one i386 and the other x86_64, running Samba 4.0.7, will they replicate domain controller data with each other (and from a Windows Server 2003 AD DC) without any ...
11
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2answers
1k views

How signals work internally?

In general, to kill processes we generate signals like SIGKILL,SIGTSTP etc. But how is it known who ordered that particular signal, who has sent it to a particular process, and in general how do ...
3
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2answers
132 views

Why do we need two file descriptors when creating an unnamed pipe?

I've been reading about unnamed pipes and as I understood them they're implemented as a buffer in memory. When creating the pipe I need to pass an array of size two and it returns two pointers (file ...
3
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4answers
1k views

How do file permissions/attributes work? Kernel-level, FS-level or both?

A question that occurred to me earlier: are file permissions/attributes OS- (and therefore kernel-) dependent or are they filesystem-dependent? It seems to me that the second alternative is the more ...
14
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2answers
3k views

How does a Linux terminal work?

If you fire up a terminal and call an executable (assuming one thats line oriented for simplicity) you get a reply to the command from the executable. How does this get printed to you (the user) does ...
2
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3answers
1k views

How I can emulate a big endian platform on a x86?

I need to get a big endian platform to develop with gcc and g++, what is a solution for that? I know that the SPARC is one of those big endian architectures, but I have no idea what OSs can run on it ...
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2answers
311 views

Why is the UNIX kernel so crucial? [closed]

More specifically, how is the UNIX kernel treated differently from other parts of the Operating System?