General questions about (UNIX) OS architecture

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44
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
31
votes
12answers
12k views

Object-oriented shell for *nix

Preface: I love bash and have no intention of starting any sort of argument or holy-war, and hopefully this is not an extremely naive question. This question is somewhat related to this post on ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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, ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

How are directories implemented in Unix filesystems?

My question is how directories are implemented? I can believe a data structure like a variable e.g. table, array or similar. Since UNIX is Open Source I can look in the source what the program does ...
3
votes
6answers
2k 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.
7
votes
3answers
605 views

login and su internals

I am trying to understand how user permissions work in Linux. The kernel boots and starts init as root, right? Init then runs startup scripts and runs getty (agetty), again as root. Agetty just reads ...
63
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
45
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is rm allowed to delete a file under ownership of a different user?

From the post Why can rm remove read-only files? I understand that rm just needs write permission on directory to remove the file. But I find it hard to digest the behaviour where we can easily delete ...
2
votes
2answers
670 views

Resources to learn linux architecture in detail? [closed]

I want to learn the Linux file hierarchy and how the OS works at a deeper level. Are there any ebooks or webpages to learn that?
36
votes
3answers
10k views

Why doesn't cp have a progress bar like wget?

Please note that I don't ask how. I already know options like pv and rsync -P. I want to ask why doesn't cp implement a progress bar, at least as a flag ?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference between /etc/rc.d/rc*.d and /etc/rc*.d

I know that rc*.d directories are used at startup, or reboot, or so on time, for starting or stopping programs. Can anybody explain me what's the difference between the rc*.d folders placed under the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Removing zombie process from the process table

Can somebody please explain when parent process receives the exit status of a dead child process via wait, who actually reallocates the memory of the child process and removes it from the process ...
0
votes
2answers
262 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How to understand pipes

When I just used pipe in bash, I didn't think more about this. But when I read some C code example using system call pipe() together with fork(), I wonder how to understand pipes, including both ...
16
votes
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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to determine bitness of hardware and OS?

Output of uname -a on my RHEL 5.4 machine is: Linux <machine name> 2.6.18-164.el5 #1 SMP Tue Aug 18 15:51:48 EDT 2009 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux Does it mean that hardware is 64 bit ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
754 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?
1
vote
1answer
124 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?