41

The ~/.local directories is 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 they rebased to bash 4.3 they did have it in bash 4.2. It is a bug, and a patch has been sitting in the Debian system for a bit now. This bug is the reason ...


35

I'll answer your questions out of order: the release team chooses code names (see their task description), two releases ahead; the next three releases are Buster (Debian 10, scheduled for the second quarter of 2019), Bullseye (Debian 11), and Bookworm (Debian 12); and I don't think we're worried about running out of names yet... As pointed out by eyoung100, ...


30

/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, the latter is installed only as /bin/sh. Interix (the second POSIX subsystem for Windows NT) does not have /bin/sh as a symlink. A single binary of the ...


30

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 company which among many things provides UNIX certification: "UNIX®, an open standard owned and managed by The Open Group, is an enabler of key technologies and ...


27

The answer is/isn't sexy, depending on your point of view. Perl is very useful. Lots of the system utilities are written in or depend on perl. Most systems won't operate properly if Perl is uninstalled. A few years ago FreeBSD went through a lot of effort to remove Perl as a dependency for the base system. It wasn't an easy task.


24

In Larry Wall's original Perl v1.0 posting to the comp.sources.misc newsgroup on December 18, 1987, he said: If you have a problem that would ordinarily use sed or awk or sh, but it exceeds their capabilities or must run a little faster, and you don't want to write the silly thing in C, then perl may be for you. In a much later exposition, ...


23

If the lines in your sources.list say "wheezy", you will stay with Wheezy even when Jessie is released. If you change those lines to say "stable" instead, apt will upgrade you to Jessie when it's released, because "stable" will become an alias for "jessie" instead of "wheezy". (And if you change those lines to say "jessie", you'll upgrade to Jessie now, ...


22

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 some of their management tools and scripts have been written in it. On those systems python is a requirement.


21

You already have a good answer for most of it. But for interest I thought I would play into the math of running out of names: It has been 19 years since the first codenamed release (Buzz 1996). So far 13 character names are used. Toy Story has 40ish potential names, assuming no more movies. If we assume that names continue being used at the same rate -- I ...


20

Zack had a great diagram explaining it on his UDS-P Talk Slides Basically, Every Ubuntu cycle, until Debian Import Freeze, source packages that aren't modified in Ubuntu are copied from Debian into Ubuntu, daily (the 74% branch). Packages that have been modified in both Debian & Ubuntu get manually merged (the Patch branch), usually by the developer who ...


20

Answer to my question, from Qualys: During our testing, we developed a proof-of-concept in which we send a specially created e-mail to a mail server and can get a remote shell to the Linux machine. This bypasses all existing protections (like ASLR, PIE and NX) on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. My compiled research below for anyone else looking: ...


19

Ubuntu uses the same packaging management system (deb and apt) and with each development cycle pulls in the latest packages from Debian and then adapts them to Ubuntu specifics and adds more features and patches where necessary. They also push changes back to Debian and often developers are Ubuntu and Debian developers. Mint in turn does the same with ...


18

Unix was originally a product, first developed in AT&T's Bell Labs. But today, the word “Unix”, except in historical context, means a family of operating systems, not a single product (similarly to “Linux” meaning a family of distributions, not a single product). This family has a somewhat complex history (see also Evolution of Operating systems from ...


17

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 list; I'm sure there are other possible reasons. For purposes of this discussion, "upstream" refers to the original source code from the official developers ...


17

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 distributions, if their core tools (package managers etc.) are written in Python; other interpreters are required without anyone making a fuss about it (Perl for ...


15

Minimal init hello world program step-by-step Compile a hello world without any dependencies that ends in an infinite loop. init.S: .global _start _start: mov $1, %rax mov $1, %rdi mov $message, %rsi mov $message_len, %rdx syscall jmp . message: .ascii "FOOBAR FOOBAR FOOBAR FOOBAR FOOBAR FOOBAR FOOBAR\n" .equ message_len, . -...


14

It depends on the distribution and the original ('upstream') source. With most autoconf- and automake-using packages, it is possible to specify the directory where the configuration files will be looked for using the --sysconfdir parameter. Other build systems (e.g., CMake) have similar options. If the source package uses one of those build systems, then ...


14

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.


14

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-release is installed in all cases). According to the specification, all fields are optional, and some have defaults ("Linux" for NAME and PRETTY_NAME). You’ll find ...


13

Package Managers & Dependencies Most Linux distributions use package managers for software installation and removal. Package managers provide some benefits such as the possibility of using a central repository from which (almost) any piece of software can be downloaded, the organization of pieces of software into bundles that can be installed as one ...


13

Debian is probably one of the easiest to upgrade - even across major releases. From the Debian FAQ, Chapter 9, Keeping your Debian system up-to-date there is this statement, A Debian goal is to provide a consistent upgrade path and a secure upgrade process. We always do our best to make upgrading to new releases a smooth procedure. Opinion: I have just ...


13

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 version 2.10e and the program is dated 2000-01-01. A perl script, which was distributed with Perl as an example program. The Debian changelog records it being ...


12

There are a number of things that define a distribution, apart from the name. Packaging system (deb, rpm, ...), standard environment (eg. the kind of "init" used as a standard), and a number of other things, like scheduling policy, main target users, etc. Notice that sharing certain core tools don't make two distributions "siblings". See the case for Red-Hat ...


12

The Free Software Foundation argues that the majority of Linux distributions are in fact GNU systems, which happen to use a Linux kernel. They base this claim on the fact that GNU was a longstanding project to develop a free operating system before Linux came along, and that the kernel was only the last missing piece. They are right in that practically all ...


10

No, the upgrade won't be automatic, you have to manually replace every instance of wheezy by jessie in your /etc/apt/sources.list. Alternatively, you could replace them with stable and then, the upgrade will be automatic once Jessie is released. Note that I wouldn't recommend the latter if you use unattended-upgrades, because your system may end up being a ...


10

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 embedded JQuery, but Debian has a libjs-jquery package providing it. Often upstream mingles security patches and backward incompatible changes, e.g. depends on newer ...


9

Two things: Long term commercial support, underpinned with (legal) contracts. For an enterprise it is extremely important to be able to convince clients that in case of outage all precautions reasonably possible were taken to prevent or at least minimize impact. If not you will probably be held responsible for losses (which can be huge), if necessary ...


9

The history of the GNU/Linux terminology goes back to the early 1990s. In 1991 Linus Torvalds began the Linux kernel project out of his bedroom in Helsinki. Not long afterwards the Linux kernel began to gain substantial traction, aided by the rise of the Internet. Richard Stallman's GNU project was at the time still planning to use the HURD microkernel as ...


8

I always liked this little picture about linux distributions and their relations. :) http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Gldt.svg


8

Debian and derivatives (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, …) The configuration for the kernel /boot/vmlinuz-VERSION is stored in /boot/config-VERSION. The two files ship in the same package, linux-VERSION or kernel-VERSION. Arch Linux, Gentoo (if enabled) The configuration for the running kernel is stored in the kernel binary and can be retrieved with zcat /proc/config....


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