The history of Unix systems and their main components.

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Why is the default choice for -I argument '{}'?

It seems you can pass in a variable name like 'file' for -I argument of xargs, but there are a plethora of examples that use {}. Is this because of the backward compatibility? Or does it help with the ...
6
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1answer
172 views

Where does this convention for quotation marks (`` …'') come from? [closed]

Frequently I get asked the question: ``K., where does this convention for quotation marks come from? You know, the one with the two grave accents introducing a quoted string and two regular ...
80
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3answers
5k views

Why not use “which”? What to use then?

When looking for the path to an executable or checking what would happen would you enter a command name in a Unix shell, there's a plethora of different utilities (which, type, command, whence, where, ...
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1answer
2k views

Were all Unix commands re-written in Linux?

I would like to know which commands were re-written for Linux and which were retained from Unix? I'm new to Linux.
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1answer
111 views

Who was James Farber and why was he important to Unix?

I've been reading papers on Plan 9 from Bell Labs. In the paper on why Plan 9's not dead yet, around page 18, the author mentions "Farber". Googling reveals this to be a James Farber, but all I can ...
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2answers
174 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 ...
1
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1answer
114 views

SSH Authentication Mechanism

Doing a personal research project and I'm wondering: Why does SSH do its own mechanism negotiation rather than use SASL? At first I thought it might be to ensure confidentiality of the whole session, ...
2
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3answers
130 views

Why are POSIX Find Parameters Different from Other Program styles?

Why is a parameter in the POSIX find command added with a single hyphen for multi-character parameter names, while most other programs use single hyphen to indicate multiple single-character flags, ...
0
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1answer
90 views

When was the threading implemented in unix?

Which is the first Unix version or Linux version which implemented threads. And in which version bound and unbound threads were implemented? I know that in current Linux version threads are unbound by ...
24
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4answers
2k 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?
23
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3answers
4k views

Why is dmesg called dmesg?

Is there any explanation/history behind the name of the command dmesg (which prints out some kernel messages)?
5
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2answers
241 views

Which was the very first music player application for Linux?

I'm writing an article about FOSS and Linux music players. What was the very first music player application for Linux? Was there ever a time when the players didn't support proprietary formats like ...
3
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3answers
640 views

Is Linus Torvalds a hacker? [closed]

Maybe wrong place for the question, but I couldn't find the answer. The wiki says he's software engineer and hacker. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds) Is it true? I must tell I haven't ...
3
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1answer
203 views

Why is resolv.conf spelled without the 'e'? [duplicate]

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 ...
20
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2answers
998 views

Why do Unix man pages use double backticks in place of double quotes?

I've noticed that man pages and other documents formatted by Unix utilities often use double backticks `` followed by double single quotes '' to wrap quoted phrases instead of the double quote ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

Expand subshell before executing it?

I often run commands using subshells, and sometimes would like to have the subshells expanded before I run something.. This way I could verify what I'm doing, and possibly edit what's about to happen ...
4
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3answers
151 views

CD into directory from HISTORY in a bash script or alias e.g. $(!!)

I often want to change into the directory of a file on my file system, but I'm not sure where the file is. I search for it like so: find -type f -name "myfile.txt" Lets say for the sake of ...
3
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1answer
87 views

how to record command which execute a programme suid

My question: Is there a way to record all commands who execute a suid programme? Like what .bash_history do, but only the setuid programmes.
6
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1answer
529 views

What are the origins of rgb.txt?

Where did the list of X11 color names come from? Every resource I've found online claims the origin is unknown, but it must be recorded somewhere. The best information I've found was in an archived ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Why is JFS so obscure?

When I first got into using Slackware years ago I quickly learned to love JFS over ext3 or reiserfs given that it was reliable and if there was an unclean shutdown, its disk checking was very very ...
6
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2answers
198 views

When was the concept of remote repositories invented?

When were remote repositories, for any package manager, invented and implemented?
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1answer
102 views

view history of opened programs Manjaro Linux

Is there a way to view a log, or history of all programs opened in Manjaro Linux?
7
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1answer
389 views

Who are these BSD Unix contributors?

I'm trying to piece together the names of the people who contributed to BSD Unix, according to the contents of the SCCS logs. (This is the version control system used at the time.) A number of names ...
24
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1answer
3k views

Why was '.' chosen to represent the current directory and '..' for parent directory?

After reading this question Design question: Why was '~' chosen to represent the home directory?, next obvious question on my mind was why '.' and '..' was used to represent current directory ...
5
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3answers
191 views

When were the first graphical app installers created for Linux distributions

Having a discussion at work with a colleague, and he is claiming graphical installers for *nix environments have only been available for the last few years, but I can't find any solid information on ...
2
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2answers
268 views

Where did Redhat derive from?

Where did Redhat derive from? Did it derive directly from Linus Torvaldis linux distro (2 years earlier) or did it have roots in BSD or System-V ?? I am just wondering how to classify Redhat in the ...
20
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1answer
1k views

What does Ritchie's 1979 PDP-11 `/usr/games/bcd` do?

I recently tried the simh emulator pdp11. The disk image I used can be found on the internet, and instructions for booting it are here. Presumably it belonged to Dennis Ritchie, as the username is ...
2
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1answer
242 views

How do you play this old unix game?

I recently tried the simh emulator, pdp11. The disk image I used can be found on the internet, and instructions for booting it are here. Presumably it belonged to Dennis Ritchie, as the username is ...
16
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0answers
490 views

How did the system settings directory on UNIX come to be named /etc? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does etc stand for? And why isn't it named /cnf or /syscf or /cfg? No one I have ever asked has been able to tell me, not that I have access to any of the minds ...
7
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3answers
260 views

When was process substitution first introduced?

I'm curios to know how long process substitution has been around. What shell first had it? When did it get added to other shells?
5
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2answers
918 views

Why there are only two user defined signals?

In the list of signals defined in a linux system, there are two signals stated as User Defined signals (SIGUSR1 and SIGUSR2). Other signals will be raised or caught in specific situations, but SIGUSRs ...
3
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1answer
184 views

Using more command

Is there any case or reason to use "more" unix command instead of "less". As far as I see "less" is "better" in all senses, so does it mean that "more" is a command which has no reason to be used when ...
513
votes
2answers
119k views

Why was '~' chosen to represent the home directory?

I have often wondered why the ~ represents the home directory of a user. Is there a reason behind this, or is it just some infrequently used character?
4
votes
5answers
770 views

If Mac OS X is UNIX, why is it that it is not open sourced and the license is proprietary?

If Mac OS X is a Unix, as answered in this question, why is it that it is not open sourced and the license is proprietary, as stated in this Wikipedia article? According the the genealogy from this ...
18
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1answer
679 views

What shells were used on early unix systems?

According to wikipedia, the Bourne shell was introduced in 1977 and C shell in 1978, but unix itself dates back to 1969. If you were using a unix system before 1977, what shell would you have been ...
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1answer
281 views

Does CentOS fall into System V family? How is it considered to be while comparing with Unix System V family?

CentOS is "derived entirely from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution" (more here). Does it fall into any UNIX System V family? Such as PDP-11 or etc? If not, where does CentOS stands ...
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1answer
137 views

History of WINE

I will be doing a talk about WINE and how it has changed the situation for new Linux users that come from Windows and how it has matured from the start till know. I have much info already about it and ...
6
votes
3answers
164 views

Did all of the Requests for Comments directly affect the design of Unix networks?

I want to know more about Linux must be one of my most enduring sentiments. But I often find that I learn the most, or perhaps just feel the most satisfied with what I have learned, when I simply ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Origin of the word cron?

Trying to settle a friendly argument. Is "cron" an acronym for something? Additionally, did it's current canonical name "cron" originate from something shortened for something like chronos or ...
8
votes
2answers
578 views

Is it true that the first version of Linux was based on parts of Unix?

Me and a friend had a discussion about Linux and Unix today and my friend kept saying that the first version of the Linux kernel was based on [parts] of the Unix kernel. This really surprised me ...
6
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3answers
362 views

Is `Tru64 UNIX` open source?

Is Tru64 UNIX an open source/free or commercial system? Does it work on 32-bit platform? and what are its features in compare with *BSD & Linux system?
4
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3answers
779 views

Why the unix bin directory named in that way?

I thought the bin directory is the place for binary files. If so, what about script files? Should they be placed somewhere else? What's the history of bin directory and where should I put script ...
2
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0answers
122 views

Why Unix is sometimes referred as UN*X or *nix? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is there a * When There is Mention of Unix Throughout the Internet? Why Unix is sometimes referred as UN*X or *nix? Asterisk usually means that some letters are ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

History of apropos command

I am writing a paper on my project, the goal of which is to write a new implementation of the apropos(1) command. While I realize that apropos was written in the early days of Unix when computing ...
20
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3answers
8k views

Why does Unix time start at 1970-01-01

Why does Unix time start at 1970-01-01? Why not 1971-01-01 or any other date?
4
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2answers
232 views

What are all the items on the cover of the “Linux Administration Handbook”?

As I mentioned in What do all the pictures on the front of the "Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook" represent? I'm fairly new to Linux and Unix. @jasonwryan provided an excellent ...
11
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1answer
727 views

What do all the pictures on the front of the “Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook” represent? [duplicate]

I'm a newcomer to Unix and Linux, and I've been trying to get up to speed on everything. One of the guides I've used is the "Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook" It's a pretty great book, ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the main differences between BSD- and linux-based operating systems?

I am a long time linux user and have recently become interested in playing about with BSD-based operating systems. What are the differences between linux and BSD-based systems. I am interested in ...
7
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2answers
390 views

Unix History: return code octal?

// EDIT: Request to move this question to unix.stackexchange.com I was thrown off guard today by gdb: Program exited with code 0146. gdb prints the return code in octal; looking into why I found: ...
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2answers
160 views

What was the paid only period in history of SuSE?

Around version 7.0 (? just guessing) SuSE became paid only distribution (i.e. you had to pay to get the copy), after several releases SuSE came back to free + paid model. Now -- the most important to ...