The history of Unix systems and their main components.

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Is `cal` broken? What happened in September 1752?

If you look at the output of cal 9 1752 you will see this strange output: September 1752 S M Tu W Th F S 1 2 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 The following story ...
9
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3answers
704 views

Why does the “she-bang” begin with a “#!”?

Why does the "she-bang" begin with a #!, like #!/bin/bash? I have always accepted that this how it is done, but is there a reason behind it? Why start with #; isn't that usually a comment? Or is it ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a socket?

Could someone explain to me what a socket is? I see it in many acronyms in context of SSL, etc. Also, why is it called a socket? Is it purely because it was what a name they invented? Or was it the ...
12
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4answers
1k views

How did they manage to drive a Unix computer before mice and copy & paste?

Since Unix is 40 years old, Unix is older than the invention of the computer mouse. (actually only 3 years if Unix is from 1969 and the mouse from 1972) How in the world did a new user do anything ...
16
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2answers
1k views

What is Unix now?

As I read in Wikipedia, Unix started as a revolutionary operating system written mostly in C allowing it to be ported and used on different hardware. Descendants of Unix is mentioned next, mostly BSD. ...
4
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1answer
253 views

General questions about OpenBSD source code and release dates

Looking into doing analysis of the lifespan of a line of code, and via another question on stackexchange I was pointed to a research paper on OpenBSD that I've got a few questions about. That being: ...
12
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3answers
589 views

Why do we need the reboot function in different binaries?

Why do we need the reboot function in different binaries? shutdown -r and reboot Or do they differ in something?
5
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2answers
219 views

Is there a archive of old man pages? specifically for the features available for grep in early 'ed'

This is just a bit of history rummaging... I'd like to know how different today's grep is to the original implementation, introduced by Ken Thompson in ed. which evolved to ex, which then became vi... ...
9
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3answers
3k views

What is the point of the 'operator' user?

Many un*x systems ship with a user account named 'operator'. What is the purpose of this account? Do some systems actually make use of this account, or is this more of a historical legacy? Have you ...
1
vote
1answer
305 views

What is the difference between UNIX and UNIX Like? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is Linux a Unix? I have heard Linux was not UNIX (I guess it still isn't) but that it was UNIX Like. Some people will just say "Linux is UNIX" or say "Linux, Solaris, ...
3
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1answer
422 views

Does research unix have any binary editor?

I cannot find any binary editor in v7 unix by reading volumn 1 of the manual. Is there any?
36
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2answers
7k views

Why is 'umount' not spelled 'unmount'?

I am wondering if there is any historical or practical reason why the umount command is not unmount.
7
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2answers
390 views

Why are UNIX logins often formed with the first letter of the first name followed by the first seven letters of the name?

I have seen in many places (especially universities) logins formed in the following way: First letter of the first name: John Smithsonian → j First seven letters of the name: John Smithsonian → ...
27
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5answers
5k views

Why do /usr and /tmp directories for Linux miss vowels in their spellings?

I have often started to think about this but never found a good answer. Why are these two Unix directories not /user and /temp instead? All the other directories under root seem to be exactly what ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

What aspects of Plan 9 have made their way into Unix?

Plan 9 was developed by Bell Labs as a successor to Unix. Although for various reasons it never quite materialized as such, a fair amount of development still went into Plan 9. My question is, what ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Origin of 'root' account

What's the origin of root account? Where did it come from and why is it called root anyway? (Originally asked by @lizztheblizz on Twitter.)
3
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2answers
279 views

“Linux supports the dynamic loading of kernel modules. ”

I read in a book written by Robert Love that: Linux supports the dynamic loading of kernel modules. He said this is the difference between Linux and Unix, but I seem to recall there is also KLD ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Expansion of the word UNIX?

Is UNIX an acronym? What does it stand for?
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2answers
1k views

Who wrote the “Linux kernel” (Linus Torvalds and his team)?

Who are the authors of the pure Linux kernel from scratch, which was integrated with GNU tools and formed the full GNU/Linux Operating system in the 1990s? I have read some wiki articles but I haven't ...
12
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2answers
11k views

What is the concept behind “tty” in linux?

Where did the terminology "tty" come from in Linux?
11
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1answer
472 views

What is the difference between shared memory in early unix systems vs modern unix systems?

How could processes share memory in early versions of UNIX version modern implementations of shared memory?
6
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3answers
714 views

zsync vs. jigdo

What's the difference between zsync and jigdo? Their core functionality seems the same, so I'm curious on things like performance, file size, and ease-of-use. Would also be interesting to know why one ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Why did Debian create the DFSG?

I'm curious why Debian created the DFSG when the FSD already existed. There are some differences (conflicts) of course, but was that the main motivation?
2
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1answer
714 views

What killed Beagle? [closed]

Beagle was all the rage some years ago, and then it just died... silently. Anyone knows why?
2
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2answers
320 views

Where is 'kernel panic' used?

Is the name kernel panic being used outside of Linux-based systems?
2
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2answers
350 views

What is the difference between X and XFree?

Why are there two programs for that?
90
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5answers
20k views

Is Linux a Unix?

So, there are lots of different versions of Unix out there: HP-UX, AIX, BSD, etc. Linux is considered a Unix clone rather than an implementation of Unix. Are all the "real" Unices actual descendants ...
91
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3answers
13k views

What does “rc” in .bashrc stand for?

Is it "resource configuration", by any chance?
10
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4answers
3k views

Evolution of Operating systems from Unix

Can you explain the evolution hierarchy of operating systems (Linux and Windows) from Unix?
5
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1answer
597 views

Resources System V vs BSD

I'm searching for some detailed resources about the differences of System V and BSD concepts. For example: Interprocess Communication Sockets vs TLI ... Some sort of pro/cons discussion with ...
36
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5answers
3k views

Why is there a * When There is Mention of Unix Throughout the Internet?

I've noticed that throughout the Internet, within forums and blog posts, Unix always has a * in the word, whether it is *nix or Un*x, as I noticed at the welcoming banner at the Unix StackExchange ...
5
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1answer
544 views

Anyone know the meaning of yy?

Since history questions are considered on topic, I figured I'd ask one that's been bugging me for quite some time and no one I know seems to know the answer. Does anyone know what the historical ...
10
votes
4answers
514 views

The future of OpenSolaris

since OpenSolaris is more or less abandoned by Oracle, is there a nice alternative that implements the unique features of OSOL? ZFS is one thing, but I liked the image creation system, that let you ...
80
votes
6answers
23k views

Where did the “wheel” group get its name?

The wheel group on *nix computers typically refers to the group with some sort of root-like access. I've heard that on some *nixes it's the group of users with the right to run su, but on Linux that ...
14
votes
4answers
785 views

How was the shift to 64 bits handled on Linux

How was the transition to 64 bits handled on Linux/Unix? The Windows world still seems to have issues with it and I'm curious how it was handled in the *nix world.
28
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3answers
6k views

What did Ken Thompson mean when he said, “I'd spell create with an 'e'.”

Ken Thompson, the creator of Unix, was once asked what he'd do if he had it to do over again. He said, "I'd spell create with an 'e'." What is Ken referring to? Is there a "creat" command?