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Questions tagged [history]

The history of Unix systems and their main components. Please DO NOT USE this tag for shell-related questions; use "command-history" instead.

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4 votes
0 answers
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Why is a loop device called a "loop" device?

As far as I understand, a loop device is a regular file that acts as a block device. It's used for various things like isolation in snap packages and installing ISOs over an existing filesystem. But ...
raul's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
103 views

Will writing to /dev/pts allow me to source ~/.bashrc?

I have several terminal windows already open; I just made a change to ~/.bashrc, and I'd like to run source ~/.bashrc in each of the open terminals. It seems to me that if I just source ~/.bashrc | ...
Radoslav Ivanov's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
385 views

How to place my own code snippets on command line à la history?

I have hundreds of tested and tried commands and snipets saved in various text files. When I need to re-use one, I find and copy/paste to the command line. Though reliable this is a clumsy method. ...
dhm's user avatar
  • 1,624
1 vote
1 answer
32 views

Why doesn't my sqlite3 history work after I run a dotnet core web app?

Over the past year or two I've been using sqlite3 a lot for web development projects. Invariably I would stumble upon a problem where suddenly, the history of commands would no longer work (when ...
raddevus's user avatar
  • 123
4 votes
2 answers
968 views

Does any implementation of `which` output "no" when executable cannot be found?

I am reading the source code of the Maven wrapper written for the Bourne shell. I came across these lines: if [ -z "$JAVA_HOME" ]; then javaExecutable="$(which javac)" if [ ...
Stefan van den Akker's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Who is the original author of GNU ld?

Author information can be difficult to find for projects whose histories go back long before their git repositories. According to Wikipedia, Richard Stallman wrote gcc, and Dean Elsner wrote GNU as. ...
clarkep's user avatar
  • 109
3 votes
1 answer
298 views

How to save the ssh commands history to a file

I'm going to allow a server administrator freelancer to access my server to do some tasks for me, so I want to save all the SSH commands that will be used in a file so I can access this file later and ...
Ahmed's user avatar
  • 133
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Since when it is possible to open multiple DE/WM in different consoles?

I remember some time ago I couldn't start X in two consoles at the same time. What I mean, if I had i3 running on tty7, I could do Ctrl+Alt+F6 to go to tty6, I could log in, but I couldn't start ...
Enlico's user avatar
  • 1,656
0 votes
0 answers
20 views

Apper does not show the installation history anymore

I think the installation history of the GUI Apper is very useful: it shows a history of package installs and removals with timestamps and I think it should also show installations made via the command-...
mYnDstrEAm's user avatar
  • 4,340
0 votes
2 answers
70 views

Linux/Debian History: what Debian version became able to download and install packages from the Internet (with apt commands)?

For my Linux culture: what was the first version of Debian to become able to install packages from the Internet by the mean of the apt commands?
Marc Le Bihan's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
85 views

ZSH not showing/keeping history even though I have the various history settings

I have the following in my .zshrc: # history HISTSIZE=50000 SAVEHIST=100000 HISTFILE=~/.cache/zsh/.histfile # plugins plugins=(git zsh-autosuggestions zsh-syntax-highlighting) # user configuration ...
J86's user avatar
  • 383
-4 votes
1 answer
422 views

Is there a way to know who executed a command?

we are using redhat and we would to know if there is a way to show the session id or username who executes a rm command line, recently, someone from other teams delete a .jar file and me and my team ...
Think Different's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
286 views

Why is debug flag in GCC abbreviated "g"?

In GCC the debug flag is "-g". I have not been able to find why "g" was chosen for this. Does anyone know?
BipedalJoe's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the state of the art of splitting a binary file by size?

Some background you can happily skip Twenty years ago or so, when navigating the web costed a lot, when I was a Windows-only user, and when CDs/DVDs were a large storage means, and when sharing video ...
Enlico's user avatar
  • 1,656
-1 votes
1 answer
77 views

Why no one thought of the concept of joins before the 70s? [closed]

So, let me see if I have my history right: In 1976, the first system sold as an RDBMS was Multics Relational Data Store. I don't know if it had JOIN, but let's assume it did. The UNIX command join ...
Sebastian Carlos's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
332 views

Is there a difference between file permissions and mode?

The terms "file permission" and "file mode" are often used interchangeably. However, some tools exclusively use one term or the other. Interestingly, the venerable chmod tool ...
lonix's user avatar
  • 1,773
0 votes
0 answers
71 views

Historical reasons for the IRC #channel prefix?

IRC channels have a prefix (most commonly #, but occasionally others like & or +). This # has become a feature of many messaging apps that came after IRC (discord, slack, etc). I'm curious if this ...
Kaia's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
1 answer
108 views

How was a shell like when operating systems didn't had a GUI? [closed]

I understand the concepts of terminal, console, shell and their differences. I know a shell today is an interpreter that communicates with the OS kernel to perform some actions and does it through ...
GerardoAGL96's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
845 views

Why does < exist to redirect to stdin? [closed]

Question Why do shells implement alternative means like <<<, < <(command) and < /dev/fd/* to redirect something to stdin when pipes do exist? Example The | way (classic pipes) echo '...
Semnodime's user avatar
  • 367
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Why can GNU cal (the CLI calendar utility) send email messages?

The GNU cal utility has an option to send an email message to someone with its output: --mail[=address] Send Gcal’s output via mail program to the given address, e.g.: [email protected] If no ...
karolba's user avatar
  • 226
-2 votes
1 answer
162 views

Was `esac` intentionally `case` just in reverse? [duplicate]

I just realized that in shell scripting esac, the closing statement for case is just case reversed. This may be a stupid question but does esac actually mean something (ie an abbreviation) or was it ...
Kaiden Prince's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
110 views

RPG influenced names in Linux/Unix? [closed]

I have been reading about Linux and its resources recently and I have been seeing a RPG motif on a number of Linux utilities, for example Linux executables are called ELF files, the Linux manual is ...
user556477's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
195 views

Why XKB shift levels are 1 (none), 2 (Shift), 3 (AltGr), 5, and not 0, 1, 2, 4?

XKB uses the following scheme for shift levels (as can be seen in various /usr/share/X11/xkb/ files): level_name[Level1] = "Base"; level_name[Level2] = "Shift"; level_name[Level3] ...
Kelly Roadkill's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
77 views

Why <sys/uio.h> called 'UIO' instead of 'VIO' [closed]

As The Open Group doc says, the <sys/uio.h> header defines the iovec structure, so why we call it Berkeley UIO.h rather than V(ector)IO.h?
ccmywish's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
496 views

What is the history of /etc/mtab and what updated it?

I updated an old linux boot disk with new utilities and shared libraries. It still had an empty /etc/mtab to start with, on the old disk the /etc/mtab was updated, on the new one /etc/mtab stayed ...
user3161924's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
224 views

Has the linux kernel introduced incompatible changes to its "public API"?

I am trying to learn about Semantic Versioning, which states that the major version number should be bumped when an incompatible "public API" change occurs. My thought experiment is to try ...
qwr's user avatar
  • 741
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Which software emits dates in this format between dollar signs when exporting?

Sometimes I see dates enclosed in between two $ (dollar) signs, eg. $Date: 2018/11/11 10:05:10 $ or $Date: Tuesday 06 April 2004 - 14:10:05$. I've seen this mostly on personal homepages, most probably ...
永劫回帰's user avatar
26 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does `dd` use `=` in its parameters?

Why does dd use parameters with a = (if=/dev/zero) and not the more common approach of something like -i /dev/zero? I'm just curious if someone knows the historical reason or what the pros and cons ...
Jan Wiesemann's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
83 views

Why is `-W` reserved for vendor extensions?

Why does the POSIX standard reserve the -W option for vendor extensions of the system utilities? I do not understand why the letter ‘W’ is used. ‘V’ (for vendor) could make more sense. Maybe this ...
jiwopene's user avatar
  • 1,071
0 votes
2 answers
521 views

Did Unix have a package manager?

I've looked online but couldn't get a straight answer. Plus, there are no mentions of package managers on the Unix books that I've read. One would imagine that someone/something needed to manage the ...
Peter Petigru's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
238 views

History : For what technical reason(s) GNOME was forced to remove its icons from the desktop by default?

I'm asking a question about GNOME History. I've red on few websites that GNOME developers where forced to remove the ability to put icons on desktop by default, for some technical reasons that I can't ...
Marc Le Bihan's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is `/dev/sda0`? Is it a standard thing?

While trying to understand this other question, I encountered /dev/sda0 being mentioned. I have some experience in Linux and I'm used to this scheme where sda, sdb, … are devices and sda1, sda2, … , ...
Kamil Maciorowski's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
48 views

HISTTIMEFORMAT messed up adb

I set up earlier this month HISTTIMEFORMAT cause I needed to see the time on some of the commands I previously used. However, I most likely messed something up with those commands, because every time ...
G. Rann's user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Why does the option --add_extra_groups in adduser contain underscore rather than hyphen word delimiters?

Premise Most of the long-form options in the various *nix tools use hyphens as word separators. Examples from man tr: --squeeze-repeats --truncate-set1 from man sudo: --preserve-env --set-home --...
enharmonic's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

Why is /bin merged into /usr/bin rather than the other way around? [duplicate]

I'm reading this document about the move towards merging /bin into /usr/bin: The historical justification for a /bin, /sbin and /lib separate from /usr no longer applies today. (More on the ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 9,595
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Why is the prompt shown at the top of the terminal, rather than at the bottom?

Why am I asking this? As you can guess, it's mostly for curiosity. But why did the curiosity spring up in my mind? Well, there's been a moment when I noticed that I was not happy that after I'd run ...
Enlico's user avatar
  • 1,656
23 votes
3 answers
6k views

Has Linux always separated User and Kernel space?

I was thinking back to my introduction to programming recently and remembered writing a C++ program that deliberately read and wrote to memory addresses at random. I did this to see what would happen....
MetaFight's user avatar
  • 341
5 votes
1 answer
323 views

/usr/bin/startx : has anyone ever fullfilled the urgency ? How?

I, as I can believe anyone around, have been firing /usr/bin/startx for decades experiencing nothing but 100% satisfaction for the job it serves. If it works… don't fix it ! The author of the script ...
MC68020's user avatar
  • 8,211
6 votes
0 answers
2k views

Why is unistd.h named the way it is?

Similar in spirit to this question about the etymology of linux commands, I'm curious about the origin of the name of unistd.h. Does anyone know for certain what unistd.h stands for? If unistd.h was ...
Lukas Velikov's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

When was NSS (Name Service Switch) introduced in Solaris?

I was not able to find a date or a Solaris release number... Also, beside Ultrix's svc.conf system (mentionned in NSS's Wikipedia article), did other comparable systems exist in other Unices, before ...
Eusebius's user avatar
  • 184
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

History expansion with a string containing whitespace

I've been using unix for awhile and haven't like to use !, which, for as long as I've used unix, I've interpreted as find the last command that begins with the string following !, but it seems to not ...
anonuser01's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
61 views

why no examples of video output in early computers (before desktop era) [closed]

Moved to https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/23930/ (Retrocomputing community). Why was the serial terminal the dominant modality for interactive computer input and output up until the ...
brainchild's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
625 views

Origin of date command default US format

date seems to have a very odd default format in the US locale: Thu Jul 9 17:00:00 EDT 2020 using a space-padded day-of-month and putting the (24-hour!) time in the middle, between the month+day and ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 181
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Were there any programs besides editors that relied on on the O_NDELAY file status flag (predecessor to O_NONBLOCK)

Recently, I've been researching on the O_NONBLOCK feature specified in the standard. From what I've seen so far, the predecessor of this flag - O_NDELAY had existed all the way back to UNIX System III....
DannyNiu's user avatar
  • 620
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Single Unix Specification version 4 (Issue 7) moved bunch of Real-Time APIs to Base, What Next?

While reading the standard, I noticed that bunch of APIs were, Introduced in Issue 5 for alignment with POSIX realtime APIs, Marked for option group membership in Issue 6, and Moved to Base in ...
DannyNiu's user avatar
  • 620
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the bsdutils package on Debian? What is a "BSD-style Unix system"?

I stumbled upon the bsdutils package in Debian. The description says: This package contains the bare minimum of BSD utilities needed for a Debian system: logger, renice, script, scriptlive, ...
A.L - say no to AI's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Story about a complex solution vs letting it fail [closed]

I'm looking for a reference. It's a story about a team that solved a problem in a pretty complex way and the other simply let it fail, than the client would crash (or something like that) and it ...
Jp_'s user avatar
  • 127
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

how to place a text in the command line

I have a script that reads a line from a file into variable foo. The line is in fact a long command that I often use as a template. I am trying to edit and re-use this long command. How can I place $...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why does apt say "selecting previously unselected package"?

One of the most recognizable phrases of Debian-based GNU/Linux distributions is: Selecting previously unselected package pkg. It appears in the output of apt install pkg. Why? What is the benefit of ...
Jaap Joris Vens's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
159 views

Any UNIX system that allow to move a file to a directory, rename file in the directory with +rw -x permission?

I'm trying to better understand how UNIX/LINUX file system works. file system-on-linux Compared to an inode, a directory structure contains a limited amount of information about a file. It only holds ...
Martian2020's user avatar
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