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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0answers
115 views

The history of ../ [duplicate]

I was wondering if there's a known reason behind the use of .. to represent the parent of the current directory in most operating systems. The reason I ask this question is because I think that the ...
3
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1answer
287 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 ...
2
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3answers
773 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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3answers
161 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, ...
2
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2answers
589 views

What is the difference between X and XFree?

Why are there two programs for that?
2
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2answers
97 views

Why is $ the default symbol for a user shell and # the default symbol for a root shell?

Operating a standard bash shell on a server, the PS1 prompt defaults to ending in a $ for non-root users, and # for root. IE: ubuntu@server:~$ sudo su root@server:/home/ubuntu# Why is this?
2
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2answers
471 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 ...
2
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2answers
91 views

Why are certain naming conventions so inconsistent in Linux? [closed]

It seems like the general pool of logging, changelog, readme, and config files in Linux is very inconsistently named. It always makes me wonder, why didn't *nix devs decide on a common file name ...
2
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1answer
383 views

What is “Charlie &” in the gecos field on OpenBSD for root?

Question: what is "Charlie &" for the root user? I didn't gave "Charlie &" for gecos field, I think I didn't gave any at all. ps.: the "/sbin/nologin" doesn't matters, I just tested ...
2
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2answers
274 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 ...
2
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1answer
78 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
105 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 ...
2
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1answer
122 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
votes
1answer
296 views

sudo ls not showing hidden files on Linux

Today I discovered that sudo ls shows hidden files (that is, those that have names starting with .) on OS X. This surprised me so much that I asked a question about this behaviour, which I still find ...
2
votes
1answer
271 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
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
2
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1answer
50 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Why is vdir still around?

After installing Debian 8, I started poking around /bin (as I'm always wont to do), and I noticed that ls and vdir share, not only the same manpage (except for the whatis line), but the exact same ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

what is the original command to create a file? [closed]

we can create a file by a lot of commands: cat > foo.txt echo 'This is a test' > foo.txt touch foo.txt vi foo.txt (or any text-editor) my questions are: What is the original command to ...
2
votes
1answer
697 views

Is the Linux implementation of the system configuration “variable” ARG_MAX different from other system variables and is it POSIX compliant?

In the shell, as explained in this this Q&A in the context of expansion, depending on the system, the maximum length of a command's argument is initially constrained by the kernel setup. The ...
2
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
46 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 ...
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 ...
2
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0answers
49 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 ...
2
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0answers
152 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 skipped ...
2
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2answers
155 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
354 views

Where is 'kernel panic' used?

Is the name kernel panic being used outside of Linux-based systems?
1
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2answers
407 views

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

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
65 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
314 views

Why has '-' been chosen as the backup file suffix for certain Unix system files?

Example: /etc/group-, /etc/passwd- Is there any motivation behind choice of the - sign (e.g. easier to recognize, process, etc.)?
1
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1answer
542 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
61 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? ...
1
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1answer
119 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 ...
1
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1answer
50 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Autocomplete hostnames when using SSH within history file

I'm looking for a feature that help me to autocomplete the servers I "sshed" in sometime and are in my .bash_history file without messing with known_hosts file or /etc/bash_completition, just grab ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

why isn't there a historical pretty log of your upgrades, downgrades and package purges in Debian?

I wanted to lookup history of my recent updates/upgrades, package purges and found out that other than aptitude and ugly dpkg.log, there doesn't seem to be anything else which does the same. See ...
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2answers
89 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
vote
1answer
66 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?
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2answers
105 views

Why are user account on remote server called shell account

Why are user accounts on a remote server called shell account , remote account sounds like a more intuitive name what is the reason behind this very unintuitive name ???
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2answers
176 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
20 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
37 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
vote
1answer
199 views

Use case for /usr/bin/lessecho

I can not come up with an example of how I could/would use lessecho. The description in the man page is fairly straight forward but is not helping me come up with a use case: DESCRIPTION ...
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1answer
139 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?
1
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1answer
58 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
vote
1answer
71 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
vote
1answer
210 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?
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What are the oldest irc clients I can still use on linux ?

I have a weakness for nostalgia and some interest in Unix history, therefore I would like to know which are the oldest still usable irc clients that can be run on Linux. In this context I value age ...
1
vote
1answer
271 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 ...