POSIX is an acronym for "Portable Operating System Interface", a family of standards specified by the IEEE for maintaining compatibility between operating systems.

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Where is $_ defined by POSIX?

In the comments to the accepted answer to this Unix & Linux StackExchange question, it is stated that $_ is "one of only some 7 special parameters defined by POSIX". I can't find that definition ...
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Is it OK to use “.” to run files instead of source - in .bashrc in Ubuntu and OS X?

OK, so source runs the script in the current shell and . separately, as detailed in running script with ". " and with "source " for example, but, specifically, in my .bashrc file, ...
2
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2answers
395 views

Is the double dash still the posix standard for long switches?

I've read several question about double dash: Single dashes - for single-character options, but double dashes -- for words? What does -- (double-dash) mean? (also known as “bare double dash”) ...
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5answers
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What is meant by “a system call” if not the implementation in the programing language?

I would like to understand the term "system call". I am familiar that system calls are used to get kernel services from a userspace application. The part i need clarification with is the difference ...
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2answers
358 views

Which is the most portable of sed, awk, perl and sh?

Can someone put these tools in order of portability? Which of these is certain to be found on even the most minimal *nix systems? Is any of them 100% sure to be present? My guess is that the order is ...
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3answers
428 views

Are there “esoteric” (weird) but standards-compliant C compilers or runtimes?

As we know, the C standard does not specify a lot of details of the implementation, for example value of NULL pointer, order of bits and bytes (endiannes), alignment in structs and of stack ...
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4answers
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Is the shell permitted to optimize out useless terminating commands?

If a shell is asked to perform a probably useless (or partially useless) command known to terminate, such as cat hugeregularfile.txt > /dev/null, can it skip that command's execution (or execute a ...
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1answer
386 views

Plain vi (not vim): Can't delete a line in insert mode: Is this behavior required by POSIX?

In the non-vim implementations of vi I've worked with, it's not possible to delete a line while in insert mode. vim does allows it—but it's my understanding that vim is not POSIX-compliant in ...
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1answer
708 views

Awk regular expression syntax with number of repetition - different handling between gawk 3 and gawk 4

I am having trouble understanding or explaining why the following expression fails in gawk 3.1.x and yet works in gawk 4.1.x: (Minimum working example) echo ";#ADCDE#" | awk '/#.{5}#$/' -> produces ...
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2answers
205 views

What does the `set $variable` do?

I know that set is used to manipulate environment variables, but I want to make myself sure - these alterations are not permanent, right? I mean once I close shell and reopen it, no changes will be ...
3
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1answer
393 views

Using shell's read command with live editing functionality (readline like)

Is there a standard (POSIX) way of asking the user some data from within a shell script, with read for example, while allowing live edition of the text being typed (what readline does)? I know bash ...
2
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1answer
265 views

indirect variable expansion in POSIX as done in bash? [closed]

Is it possible, or is there some elegant hack to do indirect variable expansion in POSIX as can be done in Bash? For context, I'm trying to do the following: for key in ${!map_*} do # do ...
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2answers
64 views

How can we obtain a temporary filename in a standard-conforming IEEE 1003.1 script?

How can we obtain a temporary file name in a standard-conforming shell script (using no commands or extensions which are not described the 2013 edition of IEEE 1003.1). There doesn't appear to be any ...
2
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1answer
405 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Reverse id command, I want the User/Group Name from the uid or gid

I know some uid and gids that I dont know who they belong to and they are not in /etc/passwd (could be LDAP or from another system). How do I get Id info from only uid or gid preferably without using ...
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2answers
39 views

Can I use `type` to check whether an arbitrary name is a valid command name?

The bash built-in type can be used for this purpose by checking its exit status: Exit Status: Returns success if all of the NAMEs are found; fails if any are not found. How portable is it? The ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Common flag designations and standards for shell scripts and functions

I have been adjusting to using GETOPT and GETOPTS in my shell scripts and custom functions to enable me to use the functions that I create more flexibly. After using a number of UNIX functions I have ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Are “mostly POSIX-compliant” systems still considered POSIX systems?

Irix and OS X are POSIX systems because they are fully-POSIX-compliant. However, operating systems like FreeBSD, Haiku, and GNU/Linux, for example, are "mostly-POSIX-compliant". Can people still ...
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2answers
163 views

Nested POSIX groups in Linux [duplicate]

If I want to add all of the members who belong to the supplemental group web_users to the apache group (as an additional supplemental group) can I just add web_users group to the apache group? Or do ...
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3answers
530 views

POSIX compliant way to work with a list of filenames possibly with whitespace

I have seen Bash scripting guides suggesting the use of array for working with filenames containing whitespace. DashAsBinSh however suggests that arrays are not portable so I am looking for a POSIX ...
4
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3answers
352 views

OS X/Linux one-liner/script to find the largest recurring group of lines in a text file?

I have a log containing an execution trace where there is infinite recursion eventually terminating when the stack is too deep. There are enough lines and valid included recursion within the larger ...
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4answers
182 views

Is it shell portable to run a command on the same line after variable assignment?

Is there any standard that covers the portability of running a command after variable assignment on the same line? APPLE="cider" echo hi How portable is something like that? Where will it work and ...
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2answers
1k views

Replace a pattern in a file with a long string

I'm writing a little shell script to generate a directory listing. To make the output easily customizable, the script just builds a HTML-table and than should replace a specific token in a template ...
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3answers
821 views

shellcheck is advising not to use basename: why?

I am trying out shellcheck. I have something like that basename "${OPENSSL}" and I get the following suggestion Use parameter expansion instead, such as ${var##*/}. From the practical point of ...
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2answers
177 views

Shell-independent way to cp dotfiles from a folder to another [duplicate]

I have two existing directories : foo: directory with dotfiles in it foo2: empty directory I would like to have a solution to copy all dotfiles in foo to foo2. I would like a solution that is not ...
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1answer
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Does 'rm .*' ever delete the parent directory?

The expression .* is expanded by bash to include the current and parent directories: $ ls -la total 2600 drwxrwxrwx 2 terdon terdon 2162688 Sep 10 16:22 . drwxr-xr-x 142 terdon terdon 491520 Sep ...
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0answers
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Is there a standard POSIX way of doing `tac` [duplicate]

Looks like at least IBM AIX and HP-UX don't have the tac command by default. Is there a way to do this using just basic posix standard shell utilities available on all UNIX systems? Furthermore, is ...
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1answer
42 views

Is there such a scheduler and is it feasible?

I read about a scheduling algorithm called EDD which always works on the next deadline and that is feasible. Would it also be feasible to within each time windows or slice, work on all processor or ...
3
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1answer
4k views

How does umask affect ACLs?

Can someone explain to me how umask affects the default mask of newly created files if ACLs are activated? Is there some documentation about this? Example: $ mkdir test_dir && cd test_dir $ ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

How to negate a regex inside another regex

That is, given a POSIX regex X, what POSIX regex is the complementary of X? (in a more detailed way: how to get regex X' that matches all strings that are not matched by X, but doesn't match any ...
5
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2answers
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POSIX find all local files

I'm trying to write a cross-platform command line that will find all local files on a file system. My intention is to use the find command, using only POSIX parameters. Is there a way to skip ...
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3answers
153 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, ...
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3answers
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Should a serious student of *nix choose a distribution that is POSIX-compliant to learn standard features well?

I want to learn Unix or Linux as a serious student, and specifically want to learn the basics well so that I can have proper understanding and so I can move between platforms and distributions without ...
3
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1answer
255 views

POSIX head and tail not feature equivalent

The documentation for POSIX tail's -n option says that The origin for counting shall be 1; that is, -n +1 represents the first line of the file, -n -1 the last. So tail -n 10 (used later on the ...
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2answers
284 views

How to monitor the last PID assigned by the kernel?

To monitor process creation I'd like to periodically write the last PID assigned by the kernel to any process on the system (not just processes created by the PID-monitoring program) with a time stamp ...
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1answer
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Why is brk(0) called?

On a first shell I run the command tail with no argument. On a second shell I kill the first tail using strace to monitor the system calls. qdii@nomada ~ $ strace kill 1713 execve("/bin/kill", ...
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4answers
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difference between “function foo() {}” and “foo() {}”

I can define bash functions using or omitting the function keyword. Is there any difference? #!/bin/bash function foo() { echo "foo" } bar() { echo "bar" } foo bar Both calls to functions ...
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3answers
9k views

linux command to check POSIX message queue

We can check the details of system V message queue with the help of ipcscommand. Is there any command to check POSIX message queue in Linux?
3
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1answer
2k views

Obtain device name and mount point if partition label is known

How to obtain the partition device name and mount point when the file system label is known? There are several possibilities: Linux File system label to device name The device name can be obtained ...
5
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2answers
987 views

What would break if the C locale was UTF-8 instead of ASCII?

The C locale is defined to use the ASCII charset and POSIX does not provide a way to use a charset without changing the locale as well. What would happen if the encoding of C were switched to UTF-8 ...
5
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1answer
43 views

IO and other shell commands when a program is not started by a terminal

I have several launchers on my desktop for various programs, and there is a "run in a terminal" setting for those launchers. When I check that setting, the program runs from a terminal, and logs its ...
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2answers
165 views

what happens when a window manager is put to background

I am trying to understand the situation why .xsession file expects the last process to be in foreground otherwise it is supposed to stop X11 session. I have a small stand-alone script. when I run ...
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2answers
88 views

Read umask for a user

Plenty of examples on how to set umask for a user... but how do you read (or uncover) the default umask for a given user (say the logged in user)
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0answers
261 views

How do you write test cases for a web server that uses posix sockets? [closed]

I know how to test it experimentally by running the program, but ideally I would like to test each function I write as I write it. Usually I can't test my functions until I write a whole bunch of ...
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1answer
571 views

What is difference between POSIX and bash and other shell scripts?

While going through many answers on Unix.SE, I come across many of them writing their contents w.r.t to Posix or Bash or some other standard. I know of some differences like some have arrays and some ...
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174 views

POSIX test and -a

I checked a script of mine with checkbashisms and I got the following warnings: possible bashism in check_ssl_cert line 821 (test -a/-o): if [ -n "${ALTNAMES}" -a -n "${COMMON_NAME}" ] ; then In ...
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2answers
216 views

Is it better to archive/move mail based on mtime or ctime?

I have been using a perl script to archive mail found here The script uses ctime to process and decide which month sub folder to place mail. In most cases this is fine since the ctime = mtime and ...
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4answers
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sed on OSX insert at a certain line

So I've been using 'sed' on linux for a while, but have had a bit of difficulty trying to use it on OSX since 'POSIX sed' and 'GNU sed' have so many little differences. Currently I'm struggling with ...
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2answers
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What is the point of the `cd` external command?

As referenced in this fine answer, POSIX systems have an external binary cd in addition to the shell builtin. On OS X 10.8 it's /usr/bin/cd. You can't use it like the builtin cd since it exits ...
3
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1answer
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the return built-in

According to the Open Group, [t]he return utility shall cause the shell to stop executing the current function or dot script. If the shell is not currently executing a function or dot script, ...