GNU Project is a free software, mass collaboration project. The founding goal of the project was, in the words of its initial announcement, to develop "a sufficient body of free software [...] to get along without any software that is not free.

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4
votes
1answer
827 views

Install only a few GNU coreutils?

Is there a way to build and install only a few of the GNU coreutils? The README in coreutils-8.19.tar.xz lists 100-odd, but the INSTALL doesn't say how to install only a few, and the Makefile is (to ...
6
votes
3answers
150 views

What do the “features enabled” in GNU find mean?

When I use find --version with GNU find, I get something like this: find (GNU findutils) 4.5.9 [license text] Features enabled: D_TYPE O_NOFOLLOW(enabled) LEAF_OPTIMISATION FTS(FTS_CWDFD) ...
28
votes
4answers
3k views

What is GNU Info for?

I understand what GNU Info is and how to use it, but what is it for? Why does it exist in parallel to the man pages? Why not write detailed man pages rather than provide a separate utility?
1
vote
0answers
25 views

What types of regex DO support (e.g.) negative lookbehind?

Bash on GNU: I am using a collection of find commands, most of which employ -regex to do their matching. Each time I try a different feature in my regex I have to cycle through the values for ...
83
votes
5answers
15k views

Why isn't Linux embraced as the official GNU kernel?

While I knew for quite some time the existence of Hurd, and its mission as the official GNU Operating System kernel, I was wondering how come Linux is not embraced as the official GNU kernel over the ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why doesn't tar ask before overwriting existing files?

I lost a couple hundred lines of a Vim plugin I wrote and continue back up every so often because I extracted a tar file containing an older version. I decided not to use source control management ...
8
votes
2answers
597 views

How is the order in which tar works on files determined?

$ touch dir/{{1..8},{a..p}} $ tar cJvf file.tar.xz dir/ dir/ dir/o dir/k dir/b dir/3 dir/1 dir/i dir/7 dir/4 dir/e dir/a dir/g dir/2 dir/d dir/5 dir/8 dir/c dir/n dir/f dir/h dir/6 dir/l dir/m dir/j ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

bash: What is the difference between these two script variants?

(Note: Both of these examples may require GNU or BSD find and may not work as-is with the POSIX "edition" of find). Both of the scriptlets below must be understood as excerpts from way more complex ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

gtags for cygwin

This might be a silly question, and hopefully it's not off-topic, but I can't figure out where else to ask. Is gtags available for cygwin? I'm using ctags but it'd be nice to have all the extra ...
5
votes
1answer
909 views

Check ping statistics without stopping

Is there a way to tell ping to show its usual termination statistics without stopping the execution? For instance, I'd like to quickly view: --- 8.8.8.8 ping statistics --- 2410 packets transmitted, ...
2
votes
3answers
54 views

Buffering (named) pipe in GNU OS

In the GNU OS a process can only write data to a pipe if another process reads the same data (from the same pipe) at the same time. Is there something like a pipe which lets the 1st process write and ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Portable wrappers for GNU, BSD, etc. versions of tools

Is there any script that provides a compatibility layer to a subset (a rich subset would be best of course) of BSD and GNU commands? As an example, possible cases handled could include: dd and its ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

Scripting multi-volume (GNU) `tar` with pre-defined number of volumes

I've wrote me a little script to test (or extract) a very big multi-volume tar archive (note: created with GNU tar), each of which 00x.tar chunk will fit onto a standard DVD: #!/bin/bash d=$(dirname ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Why does GNU head/tail read the whole file? [duplicate]

I have a huge file and want to see its beginning and end. However, when I use head and tail, it apparently tries to read the whole file. Since the file is larger than a terabyte, this takes a very ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

difference between gnu tar and tar package in fedora repositories

man page of tar in fedora (and also man page of tar on die.net) mentions the --acls and --xattrs and --selinux options but they are not mentioned in tar manual in GNU website Why? do this mean ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the differences between bsdtar and GNU tar?

I've always used GNU tar. However, all GNU/Linux distributions that I've seen ship bsdtar in their repositories. I've even seen it installed by default in some, IIRC. I know for sure that Arch ...
-1
votes
2answers
95 views

How similar are Linux and Unix exactly? [duplicate]

I am a computer science minor and I do appreciate *nix a lot more since i started to delve into computer science. I used to be a windows fan boy and now i own two macs (as well as my PC which has ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

How to set-up a Gnu/Linux distro for kids? [closed]

I will have to repair a computer, which will be used by kids (9-12 years). This computer had Vista, but I will install a Gnu/Linux distro, for security/pedagogic reasons. I just come here to ask if ...
9
votes
1answer
149 views

Why didn't GNU Info succeed man?

As per my knowledge/understanding both help and man came at the same time or have very little time difference between them. Then GNU Info came in and from what I have seen is much more verbose, much ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Where is using @ before a date string for seconds since the epoch documented?

GNU date and touch commands (and presumably others) use @date to define a date string as seconds since the epoch. For example: $ TZ=UTC date -d@10 Thu Jan 1 00:00:10 UTC 1970 I was answering a ...
0
votes
0answers
119 views

GNU Guix usb-install freezes at GRUB after boot

I wanted to try out the GNU usb install that was released with Guix 0.7. The problem is that when I try to boot from the USB, it freezes, with the word GRUB and a flashing type line. I followed the ...
-2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between Unix, Linux, BSD and GNU? [closed]

What is the very fundamental difference between Unix, Linux, BSD and GNU? Unix was the earliest OS, so the term 'Unix like' is understandable, since they have kernel, file system structure, most of ...
1
vote
2answers
196 views

Is the GNU Coreutils copied from Unix?

Linux itself is not a copy of Unix because one can argue it simply conforms to the POSIX standard. However, how about the GNU Coreutils which contains utilities like ls, cd and rm, etc...? Is there ...
22
votes
1answer
574 views

When and how was the double-dash (--) introduced as an end of options delimiter in Unix/Linux?

I don't think the shell/utilities in historical Unix nor in something as "recent" as 4.4BSD supported using a double-dash(or two consecutive hyphens) as an end of options delimiter. With FreeBSD, you ...
1
vote
0answers
216 views

Building HDF5 with GCC 4.7 and OpenMPI

I am trying to install hdf5 with GCC 4.7 from binary, because I do not have root permissions, using following script on a machine using CentOS release 5.6(AMD64bit): module purge module unload ...
1
vote
2answers
471 views

What is the relationship between GNU and GNOME?

Is there any relation between GNU and GNOME? And further related license GPL?
2
votes
0answers
97 views

Corrupt files after extracting with Cygwin's GNU tar

I have a bunch of tarball backups which I just restored onto my new Windows 8.1 + Cygwin system using GNU tar: zsh$ for file in **/*.tgz; do tar xvzf $file; done To my surprise a lot of these ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

`sort` disregards question mark [duplicate]

I need to sort a file based on names in the first column. Some of the names end in a question mark. sort persistently ignores this question mark during sorting: sort -k 1 -t , <<TEST a?,1 a,2 ...
3
votes
2answers
405 views

Merging /usr/bin and /usr/sbin into /bin (GNU/Linux)

I've read quite a number of discussions about people wanting to merge /bin and /sbin into /usr/bin. The same cannot be said for doing it the other way around. Is there any technical reason why one ...
7
votes
3answers
181 views

In shell config scripts, how can I account for differences between coreutils on BSD compared to GNU?

Up until this month, my shell configs have been pretty simple (just a .bashrc or .bash_profile with some aliases mainly), but I have been refactoring it so I can get different behavior depending on ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Building GNU part of GNU/Linux [closed]

I have successfully built the Linux Kernel 3.13.6 and ran it in QEMU. Since it is just the kernel, it will eventually complain that it cannot find init or sh, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to ...
0
votes
0answers
208 views

How to install libevent tmux?

I've been trying to install libevent / ncurses / tmux into '$HOME/local', but am having an issue running .configure for tmux. What I am trying to do is install it as follows: TMUX_VERSION=1.8 ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

Has the GNU coreutils stat tool changed?

Has the GNU coreutils (8.6) version of stat changed? After a recent update, some scripts I wrote that call stat are not working as expected; in particular, I had been making use of stat -c %Y ...
1
vote
3answers
69 views

My grep (GNU grep) 2.5.1 does not obey backslash character and special expression

I'm trying to follow a section in The GNU Grep Manual but my expression isn't working. Is it my grep version? Red Hat 5.5. $ rm file $ echo 'hello world' > file $ grep 'hello world' file hello ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the `[` program that resides in my system's /bin?

I was recently browsing my Fedora's /bin folder and noticed a binary named [. I did try to search the internet for more information on that, but I couldn't find anything useful. Running it through ...
3
votes
5answers
403 views

What makes a distribution GNU and are there Linux distributions, that are not GNU? [duplicate]

So GNU/Linux is an operation system, consisting of several programs at a minimum: Linux kenel, gcc, gnu-binutils, Gnome desktop, etc. What makes a Linux distribution GNU? Is it the tools, with which ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

less command runs out of memory

When searching for string (no regex etc.) in large file less filename and less -b 1 filename quits or prints it cannot allocate memory. top shows less using roughly about 5% of memory before it dies ...
2
votes
2answers
938 views

How to create a gnu tarball that can be extracted by solaris tar

I am maintaining a legacy cygwin (with GNU tar v1.21) system and a legacy Solaris 9 system. The configuration of the Solaris 9 system is fixed and cannot be upgraded (i.e. I can't install gnu tar for ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Common flag designations and standards for shell scripts and functions

I have been adjusting to using GETOPT and GETOPTS in my shell scripts and custom functions to enable me to use the functions that I create more flexibly. After using a number of UNIX functions I have ...
7
votes
2answers
67 views

texinfo: Can I write non-english info files? Such as Chinese, and how?

Most gnu manual files use info, write a texinfo then makeinfo produces info files, it's great. Can texinfo contain non-English characters then produce non-English infos or pdfs? How can I write ...
1
vote
1answer
801 views

How to recover grub after Windows installation

Usually when we install Windows after installing GNU/Linux, we usually lose the Grub. Which is the best way to recover grub when we lost grub or what are the possible different ways.
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Translate GNU ps flags to standard flags

I'm using oh-my-zsh and its ssh-agent plugin on OSX, but lately somebody upstream decided to use ps x. I'm not entirely sure what that even does, since I haven't used a GNU userland in something close ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Disable GNU Indent backup files

I am using GNU Indent to format C code in my project. By default backup files are created ending with a ~. I don't want to have any backup files created, is there a way to disable it?
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Parallelize a Bash FOR Loop

I have been trying to parallelize the following script, specifically each of the three FOR loop instances, using GNU Parallel but haven't been able to. The 4 commands contained within the FOR loop run ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Ideal Hardware for GNU/Linux Laptop

What's the best way to find a laptop with hardware that is amenable to installing and running GNU/Linux? I'm looking for something that will ideally work with GPL'd drivers and/or firmware. I took a ...
2
votes
5answers
217 views

Can the GNU Project be seen as a distribution of Linux? [closed]

When Linus Torvalds was asked in the documentary Revolution OS whether the name "GNU/Linux" was justified, he replied: Well, I think it's justified, but it's justified if you actually make a ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What kernel for ARM architechture, Linux or BSD? [closed]

I'm a computer sciences student and recently started a project with the engineering department that involves an onboard ARM processor, the question is what sort of operating system, kernel and ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

How to interpret the explicit references to GNU in the LSB specifications?

The LSB is a specification, and as such, should be provider neutral. But it contains many “hard‑coded” reference to GNU at many places. Ex. the ELF Linux's specific entries PT_GNU_STACK, PT_GNU_RELRO ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

What are the numbers after program names in Linux/GNU documentation? [duplicate]

I see numbers in parentheses after program names and it confuses me. For example, perldoc mentions that perl grep is "similar in spirit to, but not the same as, grep(1) and its relatives." What does ...
12
votes
2answers
533 views

Is it possible to run pure GNU?

On the GNU Project webpage, there's a subsection called "All GNU packages" which lists the various software in the GNU project. Are there any GNU distributions which use only these packages -- i.e. a ...