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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
94 votes
Accepted

Which distributions have $HOME/.local/bin in $PATH?

The ~/.local directories are part of the systemd file-hierarchy spec and is an extension of the xdg-user-dirs spec. It can be confusing as Debian-derived packages for bash lost the ~/.local path when ...
gdahlm's user avatar
  • 1,261
56 votes
Accepted

What does it mean for a Linux distribution to be stable and how much does it matter for casual users?

In the context of Debian specifically, and more generally when many distributions describe themselves, stability isn’t about day-to-day lack of crashes, it’s about the stability of the interfaces ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
38 votes

Is there such a thing as a self-maintaining Linux which doesn't cost money?

The short answer is no. Pin your packages to a specific version that you consider stable and feature-complete, but then also enable automatic updates so you can still receive backported security ...
dcwaters's user avatar
  • 451
36 votes
Accepted

Is macOS a Unix distribution?

What is UNIX at all ? Short answer: UNIX is a specification/standard nowadays. At the time of writing, to quote the official sources, "UNIX® is a registered trademark of The Open Group", the ...
Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

Are there still systems around with a /bin/sh binary?

/bin/sh is not always a symlink NetBSD is one system where /bin/sh is not a symlink. The default install includes three shells: the Korn shell, the C shell, and a modified Almquist shell. Of these, ...
28 votes

Is there a tool/website to compare package status in different Linux distributions?

You can use the Repology website. Repology monitors a huge number of package repositories and other sources comparing packages versions across them and gathering other information. Repology shows you ...
Spooky's user avatar
  • 395
24 votes
Accepted

Does Linux require Python?

Python is not mandatory for Linux, and there are plenty of small "embedded" Linux systems that don't have it. However, many distributions require it. So RHEL may have a dependency on Python because ...
Stephen Harris's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

On what Linux distributions can I rely on the presence of /etc/os-release?

Any system running systemd should have /etc/os-release, which is specified as part of systemd. Some systems without systemd might have it too (e.g. Debian 8 where systemd is optional but /etc/os-...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
20 votes

Does Linux require Python?

Python isn’t necessary, and it’s easy to prove: a basic Debian installation can get on the network etc. but doesn’t have Python. Python is an interpreter like any other. It can be required in some ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Why do different Linux distributions need to patch packages?

It took a few tries, but I think I comprehend what you're asking now. There are several possible reasons for a distribution to patch given software before packaging. I'll try and give a non-exclusive ...
Shadur-don't-feed-the-AI's user avatar
14 votes

Are there still systems around with a /bin/sh binary?

Solaris 10 still has the legacy Bourne shell binary as /bin/sh, and this is definitely not a POSIX compatible shell. Hopefully, Solaris 11 broke this annoying tradition by providing ksh93 as /bin/sh.
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 61.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Why is the rename utility on Debian/Ubuntu different than the one on other distributions, like CentOS?

History. There are two historical lines of a rename command, with the same basic purpose but completely different syntax and capabilities: The rename command in the util-linux package. It appeared in ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
12 votes

How to determine which Ubuntu flavor I'm on?

Sometimes it is useful to know what variant you are using, in order to freshly reinstall from disc/USB media (e.g. match the iso version or x86/x64 arch). these are the findings or hints that I know: $...
Tomofumi's user avatar
  • 261
11 votes

Is there such a thing as a self-maintaining Linux which doesn't cost money?

Others have already answered whether there is "such a thing". Let's try to cover this part as well: If this is still not available, what exactly is the reason for this, other than "we ...
Alex D's user avatar
  • 731
10 votes

Identifying the system package manager

I opted to go this route after reviewing the others. This came up for me when running many docker containers and needing curl / jq and not being able to rely on what was available from job to job. ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 201
10 votes

Why do different Linux distributions need to patch packages?

From the top of my head, in addition to @Shadur's answer: Some distributions discourage using embedding libraries or files provided by another package. For example, a lot of software contains ...
Edheldil's user avatar
  • 1,195
10 votes
Accepted

Do GUIX and NixOS differ architecturally?

Basically, there aren't any architectural differences between the two distributions, except for the way they handle the init system: Guix System uses GNU Sheperd while NixOS uses System D. To the best ...
Loïc Reynier's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How to determine which Ubuntu flavor I'm on?

As a general rule, you should not be writing software that cares what 'flavor' of Ubuntu you're on. The only difference between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and most of the other upstream supported ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

apt complains about change of Suite from testing to stable

Congratulations! You've "stuck" with a testing release of your distribution (in your case, Devuan) all the way, and now it's become the stable release version! This is not a problem. You ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 9,615
9 votes

What does it mean for a Linux distribution to be stable and how much does it matter for casual users?

What exactly is a "stable" Linux distribution Stable Linux distribution is the distribution that provides packages that went through a development process of testing and patching. Packages ...
BlueManCZ's user avatar
  • 1,743
9 votes

What does it mean for a Linux distribution to be stable and how much does it matter for casual users?

What exactly is a "stable" Linux distribution and what are the (practical) consequences of using an "unstable" distribution? Using debian Wiki to answer this question. Debian ...
GAD3R's user avatar
  • 67.2k
8 votes

Which distributions have $HOME/.local/bin in $PATH?

On RPM based distributions, the situation seems to look like this: RHEL 7 - does add it to the end of PATH when you use a login shell. It will work with sudo su -l johndoe but it will not work if you ...
sorin's user avatar
  • 1,259
8 votes

Migrate from Ubuntu to Debian and take the application data along

Late to the party, but this is something definitely doable. Pick Debian stable or testing release close to the Ubuntu release you are upgrading from. Add debian and debian-security (and perhaps debian-...
eudoxos's user avatar
  • 841
8 votes
Accepted

How can I make a shell to show up in my own distro (linux)?

Hmm. This should not be complicated to achieve, but it's also very complex :) You can simply do what Alexander suggested (init=/bin/bash), and you'll do fine. The init process is what the kernel ...
Zlatko's user avatar
  • 518
8 votes

Can't find /etc/default/grub

Your observation is correct. Raspberry Pi does not use GRUB at all. GRUB is not universal in the Linux world, but a bootloader for some specific hardware architectures: 32- and 64-bit x86 PCs, using ...
telcoM's user avatar
  • 98.1k
8 votes

Output colored text in all major distros without using non-word color codes (like \033[0;31m)

You can use tput. I'm not sure [that tput is] shipped with all major distros It's part of ncurses, and packaged with it on all three of those operating systems and more. Debian list of files in ...
JdeBP's user avatar
  • 69.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Are there any up-to-date blind-accessible Linux distros?

As noted in the question, there have been several Linux distributions aimed at blind and visually impaired users, many of which were neglected for a long time or even abandoned. In early 2017, Vinux ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 828
7 votes
Accepted

Name of a distro

The CD set you're thinking of were the "Infomagic Linux Developer CDs". Infomagic was a company that sold many different CD sets (BSD, Linux, DOS, etc). The Linux ones typically had 4 or more ...
Stephen Harris's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How do I usefully report a bug

In increasing order of helpfulness: if you identify a bug, report it with as much relevant information as possible (to make it easy for the maintainers to reproduce and then fix). If you can read ...
jasonwryan's user avatar
  • 73.3k
7 votes
Accepted

When wouldn't you want to install GRUB bootloader?

When would you not want to install the GRUB bootloader? Possible reasons: You plan to boot Linux using the bootloader of another installed OS, such as Windows. You plan to boot the Linux you're ...
DepressedDaniel's user avatar

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