The history of Unix systems and their main components. Please DO NOT USE this tag for shell-related questions; use "command-history" instead.

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2answers
401 views

Why are HTTP operations usually written in all caps? [on hold]

I'm looking for the history of this. Why do we usually write HTTP POST or OPTIONS operations in all caps?
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4answers
60 views

Why is it find dir -name file and not find -n dir file?

I've searched around for this but I couldn't find anything on it. I've always wanted to know, why is it that most other built in bash commands have the format of command -flag arg1 arg2, i.e. cp -r ...
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3answers
48 views

Comparing integers: arithmetic expression or conditional expression

In Bash, two integers can be compared using conditional expression arg1 OP arg2 OP is one of ‘-eq’, ‘-ne’, ‘-lt’, ‘-le’, ‘-gt’, or ‘-ge’. These arithmetic binary operators return true if ...
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1answer
76 views

Why does GNU say it is “Not Unix”? [closed]

I use Fedora. Today I found GNU (on the web) about which I didn't know till yesterday. I knew that GNU is a Unix-like operating system that is free software but I didn't get why they say GNU's "Not ...
2
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3answers
728 views

Why can't Korn Shell do ctrl-r?

If I use PC-BSD with the default shell (Korn) then Ctrl+r doesn't work. Why won't it work? Ctrl-r was introduced to search your history in the late 1970s or early 80s and my BSD still can't do it ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Unix vs OS360 (History)

I read the history of Unix operating system and also read the original Unix paper by Thompson and Ritchie. In their paper they mention some key features which Unix uses. Some terminologies including ...
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2answers
131 views

What is the name of an animal used as a logo by the GNU Project? [closed]

What is the name of an animal used as a logo by the GNU Project (gnu.org)? And why was this animal chosen to represent the project?
7
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1answer
85 views

What is the historical origin of CTRL + P for up and CTRL + N for down?

I am a moderately experienced vim user, who is now beginning to use GNU emacs. At about the same time as I learned that Ctrl-p and Ctrl-n are the default for up and down in emacs, I also learned they ...
0
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1answer
14 views

What was xhbin?

I've googled, searched Unix & Linux Stack Exchange, and... well, there's not really much else I can do, is there? I was browsing some quines in various shell languages, and I came upon the ...
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1answer
28 views

Behold System V; what about systems I-IV?

System V (by AT&T) is the ancestral Unix, and I have used it. But I have never read or heard anything about systems I-IV, other than they existed once upon a time in the dim past. How effective ...
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2answers
56 views

Why was shar written if tar already existed?

According to the BSD man pages, tar first appeared in Version 7 UNIX in 1979, but shar first appeared in 4.4BSD, which was released in 1994. What were the perceived advantages to shar at the time? ...
2
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0answers
44 views

put string to commandline

I am making a bashfunction that show a menu binded to pgdown to browse through a a window which list my history (like 4dos/4nt etcetera). I have made so one line is always highlighted. $pos is ...
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1answer
55 views

'revert' bash to searching correct history file [closed]

I hope this makes sense as I explain it, so please bear with me! I recently decided it would be a good idea to start backing up my history, and did so with the following added to .bashrc: export ...
1
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2answers
66 views

Why doesn't unix filesystem store creation time of a file? [duplicate]

Is there any historic reason? Stat stores last accessed time, last modified time and last changed time , but not the creation time! Isn't that important information. I can't understand why the ...
1
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1answer
48 views

Why is uninterruptible sleep indicated by 'D'?

From "man ps": R = Running or Runnable S = interruptable Sleep T = sTopped Z = Zombie D = uninterruptible sleep (usually IO) Where does this D come from?
10
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1answer
142 views

Why is the circumflex/caret character used as a symbol for Ctrl?

I started using the Linux console a long time ago but I never questioned myself about the circumflex aka caret character (^). I'd like to ask why it's used as a replacement for the word Ctrl. I ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Why is the xargs -i option deprecated?

I was reading the Linux man page for xargs recently, and it appears that the -i option is deprecated. To quote from the documentation: -i[replace-str], --replace[=replace-str] This ...
26
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4answers
2k views

Does vi silently add a newline (LF) at the end of file?

I have trouble understanding a weird behavior: vi seems to add a newline (ASCII: LF, as it is a Unix (AIX) system) at the end of the file, when I did NOT specifically type it. I edit the file as such ...
0
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3answers
86 views

get IP address who modified a file

I am looking a way to to get the history of a file, like the modification date, who modified this file (ip address or username), the changed lines Is there a way to get the IP address or username of ...
4
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1answer
104 views

Origin of /etc/termcap linux entry

Why is there a type of $TERM called linux described in /etc/termcap? Why and when was it created and what's the point of it? Couldn't we just stay with vt-generic? Is linux just a customary name and a ...
4
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2answers
76 views

Purpose of find command's default size unit 512 bytes

The find command allows you to search by size, which you can specify using units spelled out in the man page: File uses n units of space. The following suffixes can be used: `b' for 512-byte ...
74
votes
9answers
5k views

On what systems is //foo/bar different from /foo/bar?

Throughout the POSIX specification, there's provision (1, 2, 3...) to allow implementations to treat a path starting with two / specially. A POSIX application (an application written to the POSIX ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Save history to separate file with time-stamp and who did the action

I'm looking for a solution to capture all Linux commands to some file, there are many solutions but I prefer to capture all History to some file. I want it to include : "time-stamp" "Server-name" ...
1
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1answer
106 views

History of UNIX not including current directory in $PATH

In the UNIX world, it's well understood that you need to prefix binaries in the current directory with ./ in order to run them: . is not in $PATH by default. This is to avoid evil binaries overriding ...
0
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4answers
140 views

How to run Unix?

I always wanted to try Unix but I can't seem to find an ISO file or somewhere to buy it. Is Unix published for the whole wide world to use or is it a special OS only for high-class servers, mainframes ...
11
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2answers
685 views

Is there a reason why the first element of a Zsh array is indexed by 1 instead of 0?

From my experience with modern programming and scripting languages, I believe most programmers are generally accustomed to referring to the first element of an array by 0 as index. Are there any ...
48
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6answers
3k views

Is there any reason to have a shebang pointing at /bin/sh rather than /bin/bash?

In most shell scripts I've seen (besides ones I haven't written myself), I noticed that the shebang is set to #!/bin/sh. This doesn't really surprise me on older scripts, but it's there on fairly new ...
0
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1answer
78 views

What can be considered as operating system? [closed]

I am talking about GNU/Linux but not about GNU or Linux! I know that Kernel is the core component in operating system but I want to know what defines the "operating system" (What can be considered as ...
37
votes
4answers
5k views

Is the shell ksh93 dead?

On 10/1/2013 Glenn Fowler posted this to the ast-users mailing list: As has been pointed out several times on the AST and UWIN lists, AT&T gives very little support to OpenSouce software, ...
0
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1answer
112 views

What really is bash? (or any linux shell) [duplicate]

I understand bash as a window where I can type commands to linux. Reading the wikipedia, I've learned that there were various shell applications throughout the history. First, I understood bash as ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Why does a '.' work in chown?

Why does GNU chown user.group work? The docs say nothing of the syntax being supported. Is there a juicy story behind it?
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Why do GNU tools use non-matching ` and ' to quote errors?

GNU tools often output error and warning messages with parts of the line (e.g. filenames, syntax errors, invalid dates, etc) quoted with non-matching quotes: ` and ' e.g. From the GNU coreutils FAQ: ...
2
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2answers
102 views

Was 'diff' included in the first version of Linux

What is the list of programs that were available in the first public version of Linux distribution (not just kernel)? I am specially concerned when this distribution was released and if diff utility ...
7
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1answer
93 views

Why does 8250 UART driver not wake up TTY if more than 256 characters are pending?

What is the motivation of this if-condition in void serial8250_tx_chars(struct uart_8250_port *up)? if (uart_circ_chars_pending(xmit) < WAKEUP_CHARS) uart_write_wakeup(port); It has been ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Relation between emacs and bash terminal shortcuts [closed]

I would like to know what is the relation between emacs and bash terminal shortcuts.
1
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1answer
46 views

Zeller's congruence and cal command

According to Zeller's Congruence, the day of 29 Feb, 1600 is Tuesday. However, the cal command shows it as Friday.Is there a bug in cal's code or a limit on the range of years which Zeller's ...
29
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5answers
2k views

What is the point of mv -f?

The GNU Coreutils manual for mv says: -f --force Do not prompt the user before removing a destination file. However, this already seems to be the default behaviour for mv, so the -f option appears ...
20
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3answers
924 views

The Linux kernel: breaking user space

I started thinking about this issue in the context of etiquette on the Linux Kernel Mailing list. As the world's best known and arguably most successful and important free software project, the Linux ...
2
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0answers
39 views

What is the background of the program segmentation?

Each program is separated into several segments like: code segment data segment stack segment heap segment But who was responsible for that progression? The compiler and linker has to support that ...
1
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1answer
120 views

Why does xargs -I imply -L 1

I've seen Why does 'find -exec cmd {} +' need to end in '{} +'? which explains why {} + has to be at the end of the -exec cmd(*), and now I'd like to know why GNU xargs reverts to one ...
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0answers
26 views

Etymology of “descriptor” in “file descriptor”

The choice of the word descriptor has always struct me as odd. "Index" or "id" seem like more obvious alternatives. Is there a known rationale for the choosing the word "descriptor"? I guess ...
1
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1answer
162 views

Where did the default GTK2 theme (raleigh) theme come from?

Who made the theme? When was the theme made? Was it made originally for a specific distro? Does the theme have anything to do with the city of Raleigh?
18
votes
2answers
400 views

Why does niceness range from -20 to 19?

The nice command allows you to adjust the scheduling priority ("niceness") of a program. On all Unix-like systems I've used, niceness is specified by a range of integers, where -20 is the most ...
4
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3answers
160 views

Historically why is umask the way it is?

umask has always tripped me up. Logically I would prefer to have a 'setmask' instead that takes chmod-style arguments. Anyone know why it is the way it is?
2
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0answers
41 views

Where does the name of i3 (the WM) come from?

I was thinking about this, so I searched the i3 website, but did not find anything. I was alarmed by the thought, that the name was ie (internet explorer) in leetspeak. It might also be a weird ...
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 ...
0
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2answers
814 views

Where does the word GNU come from?

GNU is a Unix-like operating system. That means it is a collection of many programs: applications, libraries, developer tools, even games. The development of GNU, started in January 1984, is known ...
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1answer
292 views

How can I find out the IP address from which a user logged in?

We have two RHEL 6.4 64-bit boxes in our environment. They are accessed remotely via putty. The password of user ABC on one RHEL box is shared by multiple users. User ABC logged into server from ...
2
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1answer
81 views

What is the meaning of the mode mask names from stat(2) and chmod(2)?

The stat calls have a series of symbolic names for the various bits in the mode field. From the stat(2) manual page: The following mask values are defined for the file mode component of the st_mode ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Why is the Intel HD Graphics driver called i915?

The only references to i915 I can find are indeed to the linux kernel driver for the intel chips. Intel just seems to call them HD graphics whatever. Intel 915 seems to refer to some Pentium 4 ...