Questions specifically about Linux, as opposed to Unix-like systems in general, or to questions about a specific distribution or program.

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19
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3answers
812 views

Which are the standard commands available in every Linux based distribution?

I would like to know which are the standard commands available in every Linux system. For example if you get a debian/ubuntu/redhat/suse/arch/slackware etc, you will always find there commands like: ...
19
votes
4answers
44k views

Can I set up system mail to use an external SMTP server?

Is it possible to set up system mail on a linux box to be sent via a different smtp server - maybe even with authentication? If so, how do I do this? If that's unclear, let give an example. If I'm at ...
19
votes
2answers
11k views

How to colorize output of ls ?

I'm running CentOS in Linux text mode. When I run the command ls /usr/, the output is too hard to read (dark blue on black). How can I change the text coloring?
19
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the vm.swappiness parameter really control?

Per the kernel documentation: This control is used to define how aggressive the kernel will swap memory pages. Higher values will increase aggressiveness, lower values decrease the amount of swap. ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

What happens to the output of a process that has been disowned and lost its terminal?

If I close the virtual terminal, where some process was started, does the output just go straight to /dev/null, or can it pollute memory somehow? Can I anyhow grab the output to continue reading it at ...
19
votes
1answer
4k views

Why doesn't Linux use the IANA Ephemeral port range?

According to Wikipedia The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) suggests the range 49152 to 65535 for dynamic or private ports. Many Linux kernels use the port range 32768 to 61000. Even ...
19
votes
4answers
19k views

How to record Skype video calls on Linux?

I'd like to conduct recorded video interviews with Skype and am looking for a reliable tool to accomplish that. Is there anything out there that's not slow or buggy? I'm running (K)Ubuntu.
18
votes
10answers
16k views

Linux replacement for Apple Keynote software?

Sorry for my ignorance, this is a newbie question: I am trying to migrate from Mac OS X to a Linux distribution, maybe/probably Ubuntu. One of my favorite applications for the Mac was Apple Keynote, ...
18
votes
1answer
12k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
11k views

What are pseudo terminals (pty/tty)?

This might be really basic question but I want to understand it thoroughly. What is a pseudo terminal? (tty/pty) Why do we need them? How they got introduced and what was the need for it? Are they ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Run a command for a specified time and then abort if time exceeds

I want know how I can run a command for a specified time say, one minute and if it doesn't complete execution then I should be able to stop it.
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a way to limit overall CPU consumption?

My laptop (an HP with an i3 chip) overheats like crazy every time I run a resource heavy process (like a large compilation, extracting large tarballs or ... playing Flash). I am currently looking ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Kernel Hacking Environment

I have been working in embedded OS like uCOS, ThreadX. While I have coded apps in Linux, now I’m planning to start learning Linux Kernel. I have few questions regarding the environment. Which is ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What's the most “correct” mount point for a permanent NTFS partition?

I have an NTFS partition (containing a Windows installation from which I dual boot) that I would like to permanently mount from my Linux installation. Problem is, I can't figure out what the ...
18
votes
2answers
15k 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?
18
votes
2answers
35k views

How to recover a crashed Linux md RAID5 array?

Some time ago I had a RAID5 system at home. One of the 4 disks failed but after removing and putting it back it seemed to be OK so I started a resync. When it finished I realized, to my horror, that 3 ...
17
votes
5answers
29k views

Uploading directories with sftp?

I'm having some trouble uploading directories(which contain other directories a few levels deep) by sftp. I realize I could work around this by gzipping, but I don't see why that's necessary. Anyway, ...
17
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

The most universal scripting language for Linux is?

We are writing scripts for Linux systems, there has been some debate over what would be the most universally Linux present scripting language to use. Bash, SH, Posix? What?
17
votes
1answer
20k views

recursive mkdir

Is there a linux command that I'm overlooking that makes it possible to do something along the lines of: (pseudo) $ mkdir -R foo/bar/zoo/andsoforth Or is there no alternative but to make the ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Standard and/or common directories on Unix/Linux OSes

Coming from the Windows world, I have found the majority of the folder directory names to be quite intuitive: \Program Files contains files used by programs (surprise!) \Program Files (x86) contains ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does dd from /dev/random give different file sizes?

I am running the following command on an ubuntu system: dd if=/dev/random of=rand bs=1K count=2 However, every time I run it, I end up with a file of a different size. Why is this? How can I ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does Linux scale so well to different hardware platforms?

Why does Linux run well on so many different types of machines - desktops, laptops, servers, embedded devices, mobile phones, etc? Is it mainly because the system is open, so any part of it can be ...
17
votes
3answers
4k 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 / ...
17
votes
4answers
17k views

What is a spinlock in Linux?

I would like to know about spinlocks in detail? Could someone explain that to me?
17
votes
2answers
887 views

Why does `kill -l` not list signal numbers of 32 and 33?

Executing kill -l on linux gives: 1) SIGHUP 2) SIGINT 3) SIGQUIT 4) SIGILL 5) SIGTRAP 6) SIGABRT 7) SIGBUS 8) SIGFPE 9) SIGKILL 10) SIGUSR1 11) SIGSEGV ...
17
votes
6answers
18k 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?
17
votes
7answers
5k views

Linux equivalent to ReadyBoost?

Is there a kernel module or some other patch or something similar to Windows' ReadyBoost? Basically I'm looking for something that allows disk reads to be cached on a Flash drive.
17
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the most high-performance Linux filesystem for storing a lot of small files (HDD, not SSD)?

I have a directory tree that contains many small files, and a small number of larger files. The average size of a file is about 1 kilobyte. There are 210158 files and directories in the tree (this ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does the 'bin' user need a login shell?

During an audit of /var/log/auth.log on one of my public webservers, I found this: Jan 10 03:38:11 Bucksnort sshd[3571]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 ...
17
votes
2answers
57k views

How to get the complete and exact list of mounted filesystems in Linux?

I usually use mount to check which filesystems are mounted. I also know there is some connection between mount and /etc/mtab but I'm not sure about the details. After reading How to check if /proc/ is ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

How does sudo remember you already entered root's password?

When using sudo on Linux, it asks for root password, but only the first time you run it. If you run another sudo command, it remember you already entered the password previously and doesn't ask for ...
17
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
128 views

Can I achieve functionality similar to interrupts in Linux userspace?

One of functionalities I miss the most from "small embedded" in Embedded Linux is the interrupts. A signal appears on a specific pin, or other interrupt source is triggered and whatever was done ...
17
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
16k views

How do I make multiple directories at once in a directory?

I know with mkdir I can do mkdir A B C D E F to create each directory. How do I create directories A-Z or 1-100 with out typing in each letter or number?
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How Does Linux deal with shell scripts?

For this question, let's consider a bash shell script, though this question must be applicable to all types of shell script. When someone executes a shell script, does Linux load all the script at ...
16
votes
4answers
28k views

linux: How can I view all UUIDs for all available disks on my system?

My /etc/fstab contains this: # / was on /dev/sda1 during installation UUID=77d8da74-a690-481a-86d5-9beab5a8e842 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1 There are several other disks on ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What happens if you edit a script during execution?

I have a general question, which might be a result of misunderstanding of how processes are handled in Linux. For my purposes I am going to define a 'script' as a snippet of bash code saved to a text ...
16
votes
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

File system compatible with all OSes?

I use Linux and Mac OS X on a regular basis, and sometimes I have to use Windows. I need to use a flash drive on all three, and I need a filesystem that will work well on all of them. None of the ...
16
votes
1answer
761 views

How to automate Linux server configuration?

Is there any way to automate Linux server configuration? I'm working on setting up a couple of new build servers, as well as an FTP server, and would like to automate as much of the process as ...
16
votes
5answers
964 views

What constitudes a 'field' for the cut command?

For example, the cut command can take a parameter -f, which according to man select only these fields; also print any line that contains no delimiter character, unless the -s ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Block Particular Command in Linux for Specific user

How to block command, let say mkdir for specific user ? What I did just created read-only function and store in users profile ~/.bashrc /bin/mkdir() { echo "mkdir command not allow for you" ...
16
votes
5answers
19k views

How to list all files in the size order

I would like to list all files in the order of big to small in size and the files could be present anywhere in a certain folder.
16
votes
1answer
22k views

How is a message queue implemented in the Linux kernel?

I would like to know how Message Queues are implemented in the Linux Kernel.
16
votes
4answers
17k views

How is an Interrupt handled in Linux?

I just know that Interrupt is a hardware signal assertion caused in a processor pin. But I would like to know how Linux OS handles it. What all are the things that happen when an interrupt occurs?
16
votes
3answers
14k views

Where can I see a list of kernel killed processes?

Is there some way I can check which of my processes the kernel has killed? Sometimes I log onto my server and find that something that should've run all night just stopped 8 hours in and I'm unsure if ...