291
votes
7answers
25k views

How can I find the implementations of Linux kernel system calls?

I am trying to understand how a function, say mkdir, works by looking at the kernel source. This is an attempt to understand the kernel internals and navigate between various functions. I know mkdir ...
130
votes
3answers
66k views

How to unfreeze after accidentally pressing Ctrl-S in a terminal?

It's a situation that has happened quite often to me: after I press (with a different intention) Ctrl-S in a terminal, the interaction (input or output) with it is frozen. It's probably a kind of ...
80
votes
2answers
12k views

Why do we use su - and not just su?

I don't understand why su - is preferred over su to login as root.
51
votes
6answers
2k views

Resources for portable shell programming

What resources exist for portable shell programming? The ultimate answer is to test on all targeted platforms, but that's rarely practical. The POSIX / Single UNIX specification is a start, but it ...
50
votes
8answers
22k views

How can I move files and view the progress (e.g. with a progress bar)?

When moving large directories using mv, is there a way to view the progress (%)? The cp command on gentoo had a -g switch that showed the progress.
49
votes
5answers
35k views

What is a Superblock, Inode, Dentry and a File?

From the article Anatomy of Linux File Systems by Tim Jones, I read that Linux views all the file systems from the perspective of a common set of objects and these objects are superblock, inode, ...
62
votes
12answers
21k views

How to grep a specific line _and_ the first line of a file?

Assuming a simple grep such as: $ psa aux | grep someApp 1000 11634 51.2 0.1 32824 9112 pts/1 SN+ 13:24 7:49 someApp This provides much information, but as the first line of the ps ...
57
votes
6answers
23k views

Can I create a user-specific hosts file to complement /etc/hosts?

Is it possible to add a list of hosts that are only specific to a certain user? Perhaps a user-specific hosts file? This mechanism should also complement the entries in the /etc/hosts file.
29
votes
11answers
16k views

How can I reliably get the operating system's name?

Say I am logged into a remote system, how can I know what it's running? On most modern Linuxes (Linuces?), you have the lsb_release command: $ lsb_release -ic Distributor ID: LinuxMint Codename: ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Reattach to lost X11 session

I'm using X11 forwarding over ssh to run Linux apps on my Windows box, and when the network drops it loses everything that was running. Is there anything similar to screen for X11?
10
votes
2answers
49k views

Can I resize the root partition without uninstalling and reinstalling Linux (or losing data)?

I have started using a machine that has both Debian and Windows 7 installed. However, after installing some programs I started getting a message that there is not enough space. I knew that the system ...
23
votes
3answers
21k views

Installing Grub 2 on a USB flash drive

MultiBootISOs is a tool that let you install Grub on a USB flash drive. I really like it because it lets me boot from ISO files and let me put a bunch of ISOs on my USB and choose which one to boot. ...
14
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Can one PC be used by two users at the same time via dual-monitor?

Since modern PCs can use two screens at the same time I wonder if it is possible to plug in two keyboards and mouses as well to have the two screens run two (more or less) independent X-sessions at ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

The merits of a partitionless filesystem

I ran into something a couple of weeks ago that I'd never seen before: A filesystem (ext3 I believe) installed to a storage device without a partition. In essence /dev/sdb was the entire filesystem. I ...
13
votes
2answers
8k views

Debian based system, only one gui program, nothing else

I would like to make a debian system where you can only open one GUI program at boot, no other graphical interface, no minimize, or any X apart from that program, is there a way to do it on debian if ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

How to find out which (not installed) package a file belongs to?

On Debian systems (and derivatives): $ dpkg --search /bin/ls coreutils: /bin/ls That is, the file /bin/ls belongs to the Debian package named coreutils. But this only works if the package is ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

ssh port forward to access my home machine from anywhere

http://serverfault.com/questions/303937/how-to-make-freebsd-box-accessible-from-internet I want to understand this whole process of port forwarding. I read so many things but failing to understand ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Find filesystem of an unmounted partition from a script

I'm writing a custom automated install using AIF (Arch Installation Framework), and I need to find the filesystem on a partition given a partition. So far I have this: grok_partitions () { local ...
8
votes
3answers
12k views

Extracting a regex matched with 'sed' without printing the surrounding characters

To all the 'sed' doctors out there: I have a seemingly trivial 'sed' question to which I have not been able to find a solution. How can you get 'sed' to exctract a regular expression it has matched ...
6
votes
8answers
24k views

Changing extension to multiple files

I would like to change file extension from *.txt file to *.text file, tried using the basename command, but I am having trouble on changing more than 1 file, I am getting a basename: too many ...
33
votes
3answers
4k views

What does size of a directory mean in output of 'ls -l' command?

What does size of a directory mean in output of ls -l command?
14
votes
6answers
912 views

How can I cleanly add to $PATH?

I'd like a way to add things to $PATH, system-wide or for an individual user, without potentially adding the same path multiple times. One reason to want to do this is so that additions can be made ...
7
votes
3answers
860 views

Linux Bulk/Remote Administration

Beside our internal IT infrastructure, we've got around 500 Linux machines hosting our services for the on-line world. They are grouped in a bunch of clusters like Database A-n, Product A-n, NFS, ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Reading a filesystem from a whole disk image

I ran these commands: VBoxManage clonehd d6b9f0a5-98df-48ca-83c8-91a0809ec349 --format RAW Debian.raw sudo dd if=~/.VirtualBox/HardDisks/Debian.raw of=/dev/sda5 When I try to mount the partition, I ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Using Awesome window manager on CentOS 7

Awesome works fine on Fedora 19, so it should work on CentOS 7, right? Well, I tried and failed to get it to work. After a long time, I managed to compile it from source and set GDM to boot from an ...
4
votes
2answers
973 views

undelete files from local fileserver

I have a NAS (mybook world white light) in my living room where all my music and stuff is stored. I've mounted the music folder of the nas in the local music folder of my home directory on my desktop ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Rename All Files with a Certain Name

I'm trying to find certain files with the name "stringx" and replace the name (but not the extension) with "stringy". So basically for stringx.txt and stingx.cs, I'd want stringy.txt and stringy.cs. ...
129
votes
4answers
22k views

/usr/bin vs /usr/local/bin on Linux

Why are there so many places to put a binary in Linux? There are atleast these five: /bin/ /sbin/ /usr/bin/ /usr/local/bin/ /usr/local/sbin/ And on my office box, I do not have write permissions ...
85
votes
1answer
96k views

How to set default file permissions for all folders/files in a directory?

I want to set a folder such that anything created within it (directories, files) inherit default permissions and group. Lets call the group "media". And also, the folders/files created within the ...
174
votes
23answers
108k views

Repeat a Unix command every x seconds forever

There's a builtin Unix command repeat whose first argument is the number of times to repeat a command, where the command (with any arguments) is specified by the remaining arguments to repeat. For ...
80
votes
8answers
10k views

Why *not* parse `ls`?

I consistently see answers quoting this link stating definitively "Don't parse ls!" This bothers me for a couple of reasons: It seems the information in that link has been accepted wholesale with ...
87
votes
7answers
12k views

Which is the safest way to get root privileges: sudo, su or login?

I would like to have the root account in safety even if my unprivileged user is compromised. On Ubuntu you can only use sudo for "security reasons" by default. However I am not sure it is any safer ...
43
votes
11answers
18k views

Recommended reading to better understand Unix/Linux internals [closed]

I've worked on *nix environments for the last four years as a application developer (mostly in C). Please suggest some books/blogs etc. for improving my *nix internals knowledge.
33
votes
10answers
18k views

Correct locking in shell scripts?

Sometimes you have to make sure that only one instance of a shell script is running at the same time. For example a cron job which is executed via crond that does not provide locking on its own (e.g. ...
70
votes
2answers
42k views

Getting 256 colors to work in tmux

I have 256 colors working just fine in konsole,. I thought I'd give tmux a try because, unlike screen, it seems to support vi mode. However I find that the colors of my prompt show up and this is ...
34
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is using a shell loop to process text considered bad practice?

Is using a while loop to process text generally considered bad practice in POSIX shells? As Stéphane Chazelas pointed out, some of the reasons for not using shell loop are conceptual, reliability, ...
30
votes
2answers
19k views

Do the parent directory's permissions matter when accessing a subdirectory?

If I have a root folder with some restrictive permission, let's say 600, and if the child folders/files have 777 permission will everybody be able to read/write/execute the child file even though the ...
40
votes
5answers
16k views

How to check if a shell is login/interactive/batch

I think I understand the differences between an interactive, a login and a batch shell. See the following links for more help: What is the difference between a 'Login' and an 'Interactive' bash ...
42
votes
6answers
8k views

The result of ls * , ls ** and ls ***

I know using the command ls will list all the directories. But what does the ls * command do ? I used it and it just lists the directories. Is the star in front of ls means how deep it can list the ...
44
votes
4answers
5k views

In what order do piped commands run?

I've never really thought about how the shell actually executes piped commands. I've always been told that the "stdout of one program gets piped into the stdin of another," as a way of thinking about ...
40
votes
4answers
41k views

How big is the pipe buffer?

As a comment in I'm confused as to why "| true" in a makefile has the same effect as "|| true" user cjm wrote: Another reason to avoid | true is that if the command ...
30
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do hard links exist?

I know what hard links are, but why would I use them? What is the utility of a hard link?
27
votes
7answers
31k views

Correctly determining memory usage in Linux

I'm a bit confused on some of the results I am seeing from "ps" and "free". On my server, this is the result of "free -m" [root@server ~]# free -m total used free shared ...
22
votes
6answers
21k views

Lightweight outgoing SMTP server

What do you use as a lightweight SMTP for outgoing e-mails only? I am running an app that sends e-mails via SMTP when events occur once in a while, and I don't need a fully featured e-mail server. ...
32
votes
5answers
24k views

How to speed my too-slow ssh login?

Running ssh user@hostname takes ~30s. Here's the scenario: this is a VM on the local LAN Windows and Mac machines get instant login am using Debian and I could reproduce with an Ubuntu machine ...
26
votes
7answers
7k views

What Unix commands can be used as a semaphore/lock?

I want to run multiple Bash shell scripts in parallel. However, I want to avoid race conditions. What Unix commands are truly atomic that I could use for this purpose, and how can I use them?
9
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I handle switches in a shell script?

Are there some built-in tools that will recognize -x and --xxxx as switches, and not arguments, or do you have to go through all the input variables, test for dashes, and then parse the arguments ...
14
votes
3answers
12k 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.
16
votes
2answers
24k views

How can I kill a <defunct> process whose parent is init?

Transmission is intermittently hanging on my NAS. If I send SIGTERM, it doesn't disappear from the process list and a <defunct> label appears next to it. If I send a SIGKILL, it still doesn't ...

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