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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17
votes
6answers
13k views

Can we get compiler information from an elf binary?

Is there some chance to know how a binary was built, under Linux? (and or other Unix) Compiler, version, time, flags etc... I looked at readelf and couldn't find much, but there might be other ways ...
17
votes
7answers
61k views

Show top five CPU consuming processes with `ps`

How to show top five CPU consuming processes with ps?
17
votes
9answers
81k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
22k views

How to determine which sd* is usb? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to know if /dev/sdX is a connected USB or HDD? The output of ls /dev/sd* on my system is - sda sda1 sda2 sda3 sda4 sda5 sda6 sda7 sdb sdc sdc1 sdc2 ...
17
votes
6answers
15k views

How can I see dmesg output as it changes?

I'm writing a device driver that prints error message into ring buffer dmesg output. I want to see the output of dmesg as it changes. How can I do this?
17
votes
3answers
7k 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
5answers
11k views

Using different versions of Python

Background: Since I develop python programs that must run on different python versions, I have installed different versions of python on my computer. I am using FC 13 so it came with python 2.6 ...
17
votes
3answers
7k views

Understanding /dev and its subdirs and files

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 ...
17
votes
4answers
55k views

Why the default eth0 interface is down by default on CentOS?

I am already a little bit familiar with Linux distros like Debian or Ubuntu (yeah, very similar) but I wanted to try Red Hat based - CentOS 6.2 . I have installed it on my Windows 7 host in virtualBox ...
17
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
8k views

Linux: What is a tainted kernel?

Under certain conditions, the Linux kernel may become tainted. For example, loading a proprietary video driver into the kernel taints the kernel. This condition may be visible in system logs, kernel ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Linux: Kill process based on arguments

How can I kill a process based on its command line arguments? killall, pgrep, and pkill seem to only work based on the process name. I need this to be able to differentiate between a number of ...
17
votes
6answers
27k views

How to see disk details like manufacturer in Linux

With sfdisk -s I can see the disk capacity as follows: $ sfdisk -s /dev/cciss/c0d0: 143338560 total: 143338560 blocks How do I see disk details like disk manufacturer? I tried hdparm, but got an ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

Corruption-proof SD card filesystem for embedded Linux?

Recently we had a rather unpleasant situation with our customer - Raspberry Pi based "kiosk" used to display remote sensing data (nothing more fancy than a kiosk mode browser displaying a ...
17
votes
1answer
14k views

What is meant by mounting a device in Linux?

I've heard the term "mounting" when referring to devices in Linux. What is its actual meaning? How it handling now unlike older versions? I haven't done that manually via the command-line. Can you ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

Difference between UUID from blkid and mdadm?

Can someone explain the difference between the UUID's reported by blkid and mdadm? On one of our CentOS systems, for example: [root@server ~]# blkid | grep /dev/md1 /dev/md1: ...
17
votes
3answers
31k 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?
17
votes
5answers
4k views

How to start a new Linux distro?

Some of my friends and I are interested in starting a new Linux distro. How do we do that? What do we need to plan? Backstory I represent a community of Linux sysadmins/implementors whose special ...
17
votes
1answer
8k views

What is maximum RAM supportable by Linux?

What is the maximum supportable RAM by Linux? Assume that hardware is/supports 64-bit. Among all Linux distros. Does it go up to 16 exabytes, or is it limited like with Windows which I believe is 192 ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Who creates /etc/{group,gshadow,passwd,shadow}-?

In any linux system I have access to (a couple of Archlinuxes, an Ubuntu, a Debian Sid and a Gentoo) there are the following 4 files in /etc/, all ending with a dash: /etc/group- /etc/gshadow- ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Why not always use rsync?

I wanted to ask is there any reason not to use rsync for everything and abandon cp? I wasn't aware of rsync and now I don't know why cp is ever needed.
16
votes
2answers
50k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
44k views

Finding the PID of the process using a specific port?

I am installing hadoop on my Ubuntu system. When I start it, it reports that port 9000 is busy. I used netstat -nlp|grep 9000 to see if such a port exists and I got this: tcp 0 0 ...
16
votes
3answers
897 views

How much does the Linux kernel change in one year?

How can I get statistics about how much (in percents) the Linux kernel source code changes in one year?
16
votes
4answers
17k views

sending text input to a detached screen

I'm trying to run a minecraft server on my unRAID server. The server will run in the shell, and then sit there waiting for input. To stop it, I need to type 'stop' and press enter, and then it'll ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How is the linux graphics stack organised?

Can anybody explain(hopefully with a picture), how is the linux graphics stack organised? I hear all the time about X/GTK/GNOME/KDE etc., but I really don't have any idea what they actually do and how ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why writing to /dev/random does not make parallel reading from /dev/random faster?

Typically reading from /dev/random produces 100-500 bytes and blocks, waiting for an entropy to be collected. Why doesn't writing information to /dev/random by other processes speed up reading? ...
16
votes
5answers
35k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

Can I watch the progress of a `sync` operation?

I've copied a large file to a USB disk mounted on a Linux system with async. This returns to a command prompt relatively quickly, but when I type sync, of course, it all has to go to disk, and that ...
16
votes
5answers
4k 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
3answers
17k views

Linux network troubleshooting and debugging

From time to time Linux and Unix users faced with various network problems. Many of these problems are presented here and at some others troubleshooting forums, but the are very concrete and contains ...
16
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the proper sudoers syntax to add a user?

According to the comments in /etc/sudoers (Fedora 13): ## Syntax: ## ## user MACHINE=COMMANDS ## ## The COMMANDS section may have other options added to it. My two related questions: What ...
16
votes
5answers
17k views

How to find which process is regularly writing to disk?

How can I find which process is constantly writing to disk? I like my workstation to be close to silent and I just build a new system (P8B75-M + Core i5 3450s -- the 's' because it has a lower max ...
16
votes
3answers
28k views

Yum: How can I view variables like $releasever, $basearch & $YUM0?

I am setting up a yum repository, and need to debug some of the URLs in the yum.conf file. I need to know why is Scientific Linux trying to grab this URL, when I was expecting it to grab another URL: ...
16
votes
3answers
68k views

Timezone setting in Linux [closed]

I'm setting the timezone to GMT+6 on my Linux machine by copying the zoneinfo file to /etc/localtime, but the date command is still showing the time as UTCtime-6. Can any one explain to me this ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is Linux NFS server implemented in the kernel as opposed to userspace?

I was just wondering why the Linux NFS server is implemented in the kernel as opposed to a userspace application? I know a userspace NFS daemon exists, but it's not the standard method for providing ...
16
votes
3answers
754 views

Fork vs Clone on 2.6 Kernel Linux

I have some confusion regarding fork and clone. I have seen that: fork is for processes and clone is for threads fork just calls clone, clone is used for all processes and threads Are either of ...
16
votes
1answer
567 views

How is new hardware support added to the linux kernel?

Imagine there's a company A that releases a new graphics adapter. Who manages the process that results in this new graphics adapter being supported by the Linux kernel in the future? How does that ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Can ps display only non kernel processes on Linux?

How can I ask ps to display only user processes and not kernel threads? See this question to see what I mean...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

What is Linux doing differently that allows me to remove/replace files where Windows would complain the file is currently in use?

The example I have is Minecraft. When running Bukkit on Linux I can remove or update the .jar files in the /plugins folder and simply run the 'reload' command. In Windows, I have to take the whole ...
16
votes
2answers
10k views

why there are six getty processes running on my desktop?

My desktop system is: $ uname -a Linux xmachine 3.0.0-13-generic #22-Ubuntu SMP Wed Nov 2 13:25:36 UTC 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux By running ps a | grep getty, I get this output: 900 tty4 ...
16
votes
1answer
29k views

How to use command line to change volume?

I am trying to control the volume using my programming script. How can I do the following in Fedora 15, Ubuntu linux? Mute/ Unmute Volume up and volume down Note: Please note that I use a web USB ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

init process: ancestor of all processes?

I have always learned that the init process is the ancestor of all processes. Why does process 2 have a PPID of 0? $ ps -ef | head -n 3 UID PID PPID C STIME TTY TIME CMD root ...
16
votes
4answers
952 views

Linux adoption path for a .NET developer [closed]

I am a .NET C# programmer, I love the .NET stack. I have tried Linux several times but every time I got put off as I could not do anything on it .. (like program for it or on it). Ever since Mono was ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does high disk I/O reduce system responsiveness/performance?

I never quite understood why high disk I/O slowed the system so much. It's strange to me because I would expect the slow-down to affect only those processes dependent on the hard/optical drive data, ...
16
votes
1answer
21k views

How can I set up logrotate to rotate logs hourly?

According the the Unix and Linux Administration Handbook and man, logrotate has options for daily, weekly, and monthly, but is there a way to add an hourly option? This blog post mentions you can set ...
15
votes
10answers
5k views

What is the smallest possible Linux implementation?

What are the bare minimum components for a Linux OS to be functional, and that I can use as a base to expand and improve as I learn Linux and my understanding and needs grow?
15
votes
5answers
26k views

Linux ls to show only filename date and size

How can I use ls in linux to get a listing of filenames date and size only. I don't need to see the other info such as owner or permission. Is this possible?