Questions specifically about Linux but not specific to a particular distribution. If the question could apply to any Unix-like system, specify your Linux distribution in the body of your question but do not use the /linux tag.

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32
votes
7answers
10k views

Block network access of a process?

Is it possible to block the (outgoing) network access of a single process?
31
votes
4answers
96k views

SSH login with clear text password as a parameter? [duplicate]

I need to login to a user that I've created on a remote host running Ubuntu. I can't use an ssh key because the ssh login will happen from a bash script ran within a server that I won't have access to ...
31
votes
2answers
8k views

Will Linux start killing my processes without asking me if memory gets short?

I was running a shell script with commands to run several memory-intensive programs (2-5 GB) back-to-back. When I went back to check on the progress of my script I was surprised to discover that some ...
31
votes
7answers
38k views

Linux: allowing an user to listen to a port below 1024

I need to allow an user (different from root) to run a server listening on port 80. Is there any way to do this?
31
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a bash script be hooked to a file?

I want a script to sleep unless a certain file is modifed/deleted (or a file created in a certain directory, or ...). Can this be achieved in some elegant way? The simplest thing that comes to my mind ...
31
votes
2answers
81k views

What user should apache and PHP be running as? What permissions should /var/www files have?

I just spun up an Ubuntu 11.10 box and then ran apt-get install apache2 php5 to install apache2 and PHP 5 on the box. Now it is functioning as a "web server" and it loads the "It Works!" page. Now I'm ...
31
votes
1answer
2k views

Oldest binary working on Linux?

In a discussion on backwards-compatibility in Linux kernel and GUI ABIs, Alan Cox notes that "my 3.6rc kernel will still run a Rogue binary built in 1992. X is back compatible to apps far older than ...
30
votes
3answers
3k views

Does grep use a cache to speed up the searches?

I have noticed that subsequent runs of grep on the same query (and also a different query, but on the same file) are much faster than the first run (the effect is easily noticeable when searching ...
30
votes
4answers
35k views

How to attach terminal to detached process?

I have detached a process from my terminal, like this: $ process & That terminal is now long closed, but process is still running and I want to send some commands to that process's stdin. Is ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Can TCP provide more than 65535 ports?

Is it possible to setup a Linux system so that it provides more than 65,535 ports? The intent would be to have more than 65k daemons listening on a given system. Clearly there are ports being used ...
30
votes
5answers
27k views

Why does Linux allow ‘init=/bin/bash’?

I recently found out that if I edit GRUB before booting and I add rw init=/bin/bash I end up with a root shell. Being in a condition that I want to understand everything I would like to know why this ...
30
votes
4answers
113k views

ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host (not using hosts.deny)

I'm not using hosts.allow or hosts.deny, further more SSH works from my windows-machine (same laptop, different hard drive) but not my Linux machine. ssh -vvv root@host -p port gives: OpenSSH_6.6, ...
29
votes
5answers
62k views

How can I find the hardware model in Linux?

I used a system information utility to take the model number of a system, and also of the motherboard. DMI System Manufacturer LENOVO DMI System Product 2306CTO DMI System Version ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

What exactly does init do?

I am creating a linux distro and now I need an init program. I can code in c really well and I know quite a bit about linux (not much but I've been using arch linux for development for 4 years), so I ...
29
votes
3answers
51k views

Linux: How to find the device driver used for a device?

If my target has one device connected and many drivers for that device loaded, how can I understand what device is using which driver?
28
votes
2answers
89k views

How to show the filesystem type via the terminal? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to tell what type of filesystem you’re on? Find filesystem of an unmounted partition from a script How can I quickly check the filesystem of the partition? Can I ...
28
votes
3answers
26k views

What is stored in /dev/pts files and can we open them?

According to my knowledge, /dev/pts files are created for ssh or telnet sessions.
28
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do some Linux distributions still have /dev/ttyS0, ttyS1, etc., even though newer computers don't have such a serial port?

Many new laptop and desktop computers do not have 9-pin/25-pin serial ports. Why do many Linux distributions still contain /dev/ttyS0, dev/ttyS1 device files? Since udev can create the device files ...
28
votes
2answers
24k views

What is difference between User space and Kernel space?

Is Kernel space used when Kernel is executing on the behalf of the user program i.e. System Call? Or is it the address space for all the Kernel threads (for example scheduler)? If it is the first ...
28
votes
1answer
25k views

Getting information about a process' memory usage from /proc/pid/smaps

For a given process in /proc/<pid>/smaps, for a given mapping entry what are: Shared_Clean Shared_Dirty Private_Clean Private_Dirty Is Shared_Clean + Shared_Dirty the amount of memory that ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

Execution of possibly harmful program on Linux

I'm writing a program that will test programs written by students. I'm afraid that I can't trust them and I need to make sure that it won't end up badly for the computer running it. I was thinking ...
28
votes
7answers
8k views

Force directory to always be in cache

I've been testing out different methods to improve the time it takes to compile my entire c++ project. Currently it takes ~5 minutes. I experimented with distcc, ccache, and others. Recently, I ...
28
votes
3answers
17k views

How much RAM does the kernel use?

This question is motivated by my shock when I discovered that Mac OS X kernel uses 750MB of RAM. I have been using Linux for 20 years, and I always "knew" that the kernel RAM usage is dwarfed by X ...
28
votes
3answers
47k views

Can I connect to Windows machine from Linux shell?

I can connect to Linux machines from Windows using PuTTY/SSH. I want to do the other way round - connect to a Windows machine from Linux. Is this possible?
28
votes
1answer
9k views

What are ConsoleKit and PolicyKit? How do they work?

I've seen that recent GNU/Linux are using ConsoleKit and PolicyKit. What are they for? How do they work? The best answer should explain what kind of problem each one tries to solve, and how they ...
27
votes
9answers
6k views

Uninstalling programs on Linux

I've been using Windows and Mac OS for the past 5 years and now I'm considering to use Linux on a daily basis. I've installed Ubuntu on a virtual machine and trying to understand how I can use Linux ...
27
votes
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.
27
votes
10answers
138k views

How to remove all the files in a directory?

I am trying to remove all files and subdirectories in a directory. I used rm -r to remove all files, but I want to remove all files and subdirectories, excluding the top directory itself. For ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

Why isn't there a truly unified package manager for Linux?

Why isn't there a unified package manager that acts as an interface between the end-user and the underlying low-level package manager (apt, yast, pacman, etc.)? Is it hard to do and therefore not ...
27
votes
2answers
35k views

Get the chmod numerical value for a file

In FreeBSD and also in Linux, how can I get the numerical chmod value of a file? For example, 644 instead of -rw-r--r--? I need an automatic way for a Bash script.
27
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does a software package run just fine even when it is being upgraded?

Say I am running a software, and then I run package manager to upgrade the software, I notice that Linux does not bring down the running process for package upgrade - it is still running fine. How ...
27
votes
1answer
18k views

Linux LXC vs FreeBSD jail

Are there any notable differences between LXC (Linux containers) and FreeBSD's jails in terms of security, stability & performance? On first look, both approaches look very similar.
27
votes
4answers
17k views

Resume transfer of a single file by rsync

In Ubuntu, I want to copy a big file from my hard drive to a removable drive by rsync. For some other reason, the operation cannot complete in a single run. So I am trying to figure out how to use ...
27
votes
4answers
10k views

How to find the driver (module) associated with a device on Linux?

On Linux, given: a device, for example /dev/sda, and its major and minor numbers, for example 8, 0, how can I know which module / driver is "driving" it? Can I dig into /sys or /proc to ...
27
votes
3answers
46k views

How to use GoToMeeting in Linux

My employer wants me and the team of developers to communicate with them using gotomeeting.com service. Is it possible to use GoToMeeting in Debian? I know that officially GoToMeeting supports only ...
27
votes
12answers
3k views

How can I tweak my Linux desktop to be more responsive?

I have the experience that Linux works fine until the physical memory is exhausted. As soon as swap space is used the performance is severely degraded and the GUI becomes unresponsive. This problem ...
27
votes
2answers
21k views

how to check rx ring, max_backlog, and max_syn_backlog size

Quite often in the course of troubleshooting and tuning things I find myself thinking about the following Linux kernel settings: net.core.netdev_max_backlog net.ipv4.tcp_max_syn_backlog ...
26
votes
5answers
6k views

Understanding UNIX permissions and their attributes

I've never really got how chmod worked up until today. I followed a tutorial that explained a big deal to me. For example, I've read that you've got three different permission groups: owner (u) ...
26
votes
9answers
94k views

Show top five CPU consuming processes with `ps`

How to show top five CPU consuming processes with ps?
26
votes
2answers
28k views

how can I recursively delete empty directories in my home directory? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to remove all empty directories in a subtree? I create directories very often, scattered over my home directory, and I find it very hard to locate and delete them. ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between these commands for bringing down a Linux server?

Reading "What is the difference between Halt and Shutdown commands?" , I generally have an idea what does the command shutdown does, with or without -h/-r options. The "halt" command performs ...
26
votes
6answers
20k views

How do I correlate /dev/sd devices to the hardware they represent?

A drive is beginning to fail and I only know the device by its /dev/sdb device file designation. What are the ways that I can use to correlate that device file to an actual hardware device to know ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

Official list of programs to be included in Linux?

Is there a standard that I can refer to for the list of programs (e.g. cat, ls) that must be included in Linux?
26
votes
2answers
13k views

What mount points exist on a typical Linux system?

I have 2 questions. During Linux installation we specify memory space for 2 mount points - root and swap. Are there any other mount points created without the users notice? Is this statement ...
26
votes
6answers
112k views

How to move all files and folders via mv command

How can I move all files and folders from one directory to another via mv command?
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Why isn't a straightforward 1/5/15 minute moving average used in Linux load calculation?

Until recently i thought the load average (as shown for example in top) was a moving average on the n last values of the number of process in state "runnable" or "running". And n would have been ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

How frequently is the proc file system updated on Linux?

How frequently is the proc file system updated on Linux? Is it 20 milliseconds (time quantum)?
25
votes
3answers
10k views

When should I use a trailing slash on a directory? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How linux handles multiple path separators (/home////username///file) Most commands I use in linux behave exactly the same whether I include the trailing slash / ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

How does Linux differentiate between real and unexisting (eg: device) files?

This is a rather low-level question, and I understand that it might not be the best place to ask. But, it seemed more appropriate than any other SE site, so here goes. I know that on the Linux ...
25
votes
5answers
8k views

Where does uname get its information from?

Where does uname really get its information from? I figure this is something that should be straightforward. Unfortunately, I can't find any header containing just that information. Say someone ...