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Mainly Linux. See also GUI, etc.



See also Distros




See also Distros#BSD

Research UNIX

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Unix - a term used to refer to versions of the Unix operating system for DEC PDP-7, PDP-11, VAX and Interdata 7/32 and 8/32 computers, developed in the Bell Labs Computing Science Research Center (frequently referred to as Department 1127).

The term Research Unix first appeared in the Bell System Technical Journal (Vol. 57, No. 6, Pt. 2 Jul/Aug 1978) to distinguish it from other versions internal to Bell Labs (such as PWB/UNIX and MERT) whose code-base had diverged from the primary CSRC version. However, that term was little-used until Version 8 Unix, but has been retroactively applied to earlier versions as well. Prior to V8, the operating system was most commonly called simply UNIX (in caps) or the UNIX Time-Sharing System.

AT&T licensed Version 5 to educational institutions, and Version 6 also to commercial sites. Schools paid $200 and others $20,000, discouraging most commercial use, but Version 6 was the most widely used version into the 1980s. Research Unix versions are often referred to by the edition of the manual that describes them, because early versions and the last few were never officially released outside of Bell Labs, and grew organically. So, the first Research Unix would be the First Edition, and the last the Tenth Edition. Another common way of referring to them is Version x (or Vx) Unix, where x is the manual edition. All modern editions of Unix—excepting Unix-like implementations such as Coherent, Minix, and Linux—derive from the 7th Edition.

Starting with the 8th Edition, versions of Research Unix had a close relationship to BSD. This began by using 4.1cBSD as the basis for the 8th Edition. In a Usenet post from 2000, Dennis Ritchie described these later versions of Research Unix as being closer to BSD than they were to UNIX System V, which also included some BSD code.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-Environment_Real-Time - was a hybrid time-sharing/real-time operating system developed in the 1970s at Bell Labs for use in embedded minicomputers (in particular PDP-11s). It was later renamed UNIX Real-Time (UNIX-RT). A version called Duplex Multi Environment Real Time (DMERT) was the operating system for the AT&T 3B20D telephone switching minicomputer, designed for high availability; DMERT was later renamed Unix RTR (Real-Time Reliable).

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Version_6_Unix - also called Version 6 Unix or just V6, was the first version of the Unix operating system to see wide release outside Bell Labs. It was released in May 1975 and, like its direct predecessor, targeted the DEC PDP-11 family of minicomputers. It was superseded by Version 7 Unix in 1978/1979, although V6 systems remained in regular operation until at least 1985.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/xv6 - xv6 is a modern reimplementation of Sixth Edition Unix in ANSI C for multiprocessor x86 systems. It is used for pedagogical purposes in MIT's Operating Systems Engineering (6.828) course.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PWB/UNIX - an early, now discontinued, version of the Unix operating system created in the Bell Labs Computer Science Research Group of AT&T. Its stated goal was to provide a time-sharing working environment for large groups of programmers, writing software for larger batch processing computers. Two major releases of Programmer's Workbench were produced. PWB/UNIX 1.0, released July 1, 1977 was based on Version 6 Unix; PWB 2.0 was based on Version 7 Unix. The operating system was advertised by Bell System Software as late as 1981 and edition 1.0 was still on an AT&T price list for educational institutions in 1984. Most of PWB/UNIX was later incorporated in the commercial UNIX System III and UNIX System V releases.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Version_7_Unix - an important early release of the Unix operating system. V7, released in 1979, was the last Bell Laboratories release to see widespread distribution before the commercialization of Unix by AT&T Corporation in the early 1980s. V7 was originally developed for Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-11 minicomputers and was later ported to other platforms.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIX/32V - an early version of the Unix operating system from Bell Laboratories, released in June 1979. 32V was a direct port of the Seventh Edition Unix to the DEC VAX architecture.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_UNIX - a term coined by Santa Cruz Operation,[citation needed] to describe early releases of the Unix code base released prior to Unix System III, particularly the Research Unix releases prior to and including Version 7 (the base for UNIX/32V as well as later developments of AT&T Unix).

System III / V

AT&T announced System III in late 1981, and it was first released outside of Bell Labs in 1982. UNIX System III was a mix of various AT&T Unixes: PWB/UNIX 2.0, CB UNIX 3.0, UNIX/TS 3.0.1 and UNIX/32V. System III supported the DEC PDP-11 and VAX computers.

The system was apparently called System III because it was considered the outside release of UNIX/TS 3.0.1 and CB UNIX 3 which were internally supported Bell Labs Unices; its manual refers to it as UNIX Release 3.0 and there were no Unix versions called System I or System II. There was no official release of UNIX/TS 4.0 (which would have been System IV) either, so System III was succeeded by System V, based on UNIX/TS 5.0.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIX_System_V - pronounced: "System Five", is one of the first commercial versions of the Unix operating system. It was originally developed by AT&T and first released in 1983. Four major versions of System V were released, numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4. System V Release 4, or SVR4, was commercially the most successful version, being the result of an effort, marketed as "Unix System Unification", which solicited the collaboration of the major Unix vendors. It was the source of several common commercial Unix features. System V is sometimes abbreviated to SysV.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution - a Unix operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1977 to 1995. Today the term "BSD" is often used non-specifically to refer to any of the BSD descendants which together form a branch of the family of Unix-like operating systems. Operating systems derived from the original BSD code remain actively developed and widely used.

In the 1980s, BSD was widely adopted by vendors of workstation-class systems in the form of proprietary Unix variants such as DEC ULTRIX and Sun Microsystems SunOS. Although these proprietary BSD derivatives were largely superseded by the UNIX System V Release 4 and OSF/1 systems in the 1990s (both of which incorporated BSD code and are the basis of other modern Unix systems), later BSD releases provided a basis for several open source development projects that are ongoing, e.g., FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin, and TrueOS. These, in turn, have been incorporated in whole or in part in modern proprietary operating systems, e.g., the TCP/IP networking code in Windows NT 3.1 and most of the foundation of Apple's macOS and iOS.

to sort

  • unix-jun72 - Restoration of 1st Edition UNIX kernel sources from pdf document.

  • Ulix - Literate Unix, is a Unix-like operating system that was developed at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. We used Donald E. Knuth's concept of Literate Programming for the implementation and documentation. The intention was to create a fully working system which can be used in operating system courses to show students how OS concepts (such as paging and scheduling) can be implemented. Literate programs are very accessible because they can be read like a book; the order of presentation is not enforced by program logic or compiler restrictions, but instead is guided by the implementer's creative process. Ulix was written in C and Assembler for the Intel x86 architecture; for literate programming we used Norman Ramsey's noweb tool.


  • POSIX, an acronym for "Portable Operating System Interface", is a family of standards specified by the IEEE for maintaining compatibility between operating systems. POSIX defines the application programming interface (API), along with command line shells and utility interfaces, for software compatibility with variants of Unix and other operating systems.
  • UniForum - In 1981, the Unix platform was just emerging and there were no centralized resources in place to support this growth environment. UniForum was founded by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs who sought to provide a forum for individuals and companies interested in Unix and open systems. UniForum was born in 1980 as /usr/group, with the distinct mission to make Unix a standardized operating system that industry would adopt and use, within an open competitive framework. Later, /usr/group evolved into UniForum as a reflection of what we had become: a thriving community of open systems professionals. In March 1997, UniForum merged its operations and staff with The Open Group.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification - the collective name of a family of standards for computer operating systems, compliance with which is required to qualify for to use the "UNIX" trademark. The core specifications of the SUS are developed and maintained by the Austin Group, which is a joint working group of IEEE, ISO JTC 1 SC22 and The Open Group.
  • POSIX.1-2008 (IEEE Std 1003.1™-2008 / The Open Group Technical Standard Base Specifications, Issue 7). The 2013 edition incorporates Technical Corrigendum 1 addressing problems discovered since the approval of the 2008 edition.

POSIX.1-2008 defines a standard operating system interface and environment, including a command interpreter (or “shell”), and common utility programs to support applications portability at the source code level. POSIX.1-2008 is intended to be used by both application developers and system implementors and comprises four major components (each in an associated volume):

  • General terms, concepts, and interfaces common to all volumes of this standard, including utility conventions and C-language header definitions, are included in the Base Definitions volume.
  • Definitions for system service functions and subroutines, language-specific system services for the C programming language, function issues, including portability, error handling, and error recovery, are included in the System Interfaces volume.
  • Definitions for a standard source code-level interface to command interpretation services (a “shell”) and common utility programs for application programs are included in the Shell and Utilities volume.
  • Extended rationale that did not fit well into the rest of the document structure, which contains historical information concerning the contents of POSIX.1-2008 and why features were included or discarded by the standard developers, is included in the Rationale (Informative) volume.

The following areas are outside the scope of POSIX.1-2008:

  • Graphics interfaces
  • Database management system interfaces
  • Record I/O considerations
  • Object or binary code portability
  • System configuration and resource availability


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINIX - a POSIX-compliant (since version 2.0), Unix-like computer operating system based on a microkernel architecture. MINIX was first released in 1987, with its complete source code made available to universities for study in courses and research. It has been free and open-source software since it was re-licensed under the BSD license in April 2000.[


  • Linux/README - These are the release notes for Linux version 4. Read them carefully, as they tell you what this is all about, explain how to install the kernel, and what to do if something goes wrong.

Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance. It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, and multistack networking including IPv4 and IPv6. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License - see the accompanying COPYING file for more details.


  • LWN.net - a reader-supported news site dedicated to producing the best coverage from within the Linux and free software development communities.




  • The Linux Kernel Archives - Linux Kernel Organization is a California Public Benefit Corporation established in 2002 to distribute the Linux kernel and other Open Source software to the public without charge. The Linux Kernel Organization is managed by The Linux Foundation, which provides full technical, financial and staffing support for running and maintaining the kernel.org infrastructure.

  • linux-insides - A series of posts about the linux kernel and its insides.

  • Gittup - This is an entire(-ish) linux distribution in git. Everything is built with tup. That's why it's called gittup. You get the whole development history (where applicable) as part of the standard distribution.

  • The Cathedral and the Bazaar - Eric S. Raymond anatomizes a successful open-source project, fetchmail, that was run as a deliberate test of the surprising theories about software engineering suggested by the history of Linux. I discuss these theories in terms of two fundamentally different development styles, the ``cathedral model of most of the commercial world versus the ``bazaar model of the Linux world. I show that these models derive from opposing assumptions about the nature of the software-debugging task. I then make a sustained argument from the Linux experience for the proposition that ``Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow, suggest productive analogies with other self-correcting systems of selfish agents, and conclude with some exploration of the implications of this insight for the future of software. [28]

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System.map - a symbol table used by the kernel. A symbol table is a look-up between symbol names and their addresses in memory. A symbol name may be the name of a variable or the name of a function. The System.map is required when the address of a symbol name, or the symbol name of an address, is needed. It is especially useful for debugging kernel panics and kernel oopses. The kernel does the address-to-name translation itself when CONFIG_KALLSYMS is enabled so that tools like ksymoops are not required.



  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loadable_kernel_module - or LKM, an object file that contains code to extend the running kernel, or so-called base kernel, of an operating system. LKMs are typically used to add support for new hardware (as device drivers) and/or filesystems, or for adding system calls. When the functionality provided by a LKM is no longer required, it can be unloaded in order to free memory and other resources.
  • Kernel modules are pieces of code that can be loaded and unloaded into the kernel upon demand. They extend the functionality of the kernel without the need to reboot the system.

  • modprobe is a Linux program originally written by Rusty Russell and used to add a loadable kernel module (LKM) to the Linux kernel or to remove an LKM from the kernel. It is commonly used indirectly: udev relies upon modprobe to load drivers for automatically detected hardware.
  • http://linux.die.net/man/8/insmod - trivial program to insert a module into the kernel: if the filename is a hyphen, the module is taken from standard input. Most users will want to use modprobe(8) instead, which is more clever.

  • depmod - handle dependency descriptions for loadable kernel modules
  • Dynamic Kernel Module Support (DKMS) is a framework used to generate Linux kernel modules whose sources do not generally reside in the Linux kernel source tree. DKMS enables kernel device drivers to be automatically rebuilt when a new kernel is installed. An essential feature of DKMS is that it automatically recompiles all DKMS modules if a new kernel version is installed. This allows drivers and devices outside of the mainline kernel to continue working after a Linux kernel upgrade. Another benefit of DKMS is that it allows the installation of a new driver on an existing system, running an arbitrary kernel version, without any need for manual compilation or precompiled packages provided by the vendor.

  • Granary - a framework for creating flexible and efficient tools that analyse or debug arbitrary, binary Linux kernel modules. Granary uses dynamic binary translation (DBT) to dynamically rewrite and comprehensively instrument kernel modules. Granary makes it easy to create flexible tools by supporting context-aware runtime code specialisation, and by integrating high-level static analysis information with low-level instruction manipulation. Module analysis tools built on Granary are efficient because of Granary’s adoption of a relaxed transparency model, and because of Granary’s ability to instrument module code without imposing overhead on non-module kernel code.
  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/modprobed-db - keeps a running list of ALL modules ever probed on a system and allow for easy recall. This is very useful for users wishing to build a minimal kernel via a make localmodconfig which simply takes every module currently probed and switches everything BUT them off in the .config for a kernel resulting in smaller kernel packages and reduced compilation times.


  • LKDDb is an attempt to build a comprensive database of hardware and protocols know by Linux kernels. The driver database includes numeric identifiers of hardware, the kernel configuration menu needed to build the driver and the driver filename. The database is build automagically from kernel sources, so it is very easy to have always the database updated.

Firmware for PCs falls into four categories:

  • Updates to the CPU to work around errata, usually referred to as microcode.
  • Firmware for video controllers. On x86 machines this seems to only apply to ATI devices : Radeons require firmware to be able to use KMS (kernel modesetting - the preferred option) as well as for Xorg. For earlier radeon chips (before the R600), the firmware is still in the kernel.
  • Firmware updates for wired network ports. Mostly they work even without the updates, but one must assume that they will work better with the updated firmware.
  • Firmware for other devices, such as wifi. These devices are not required for the PC to boot, but need the firmware before these devices can be used.


There are three ways to pass options to the kernel and thus control its behaviour:

  • When building the kernel.
  • When starting the kernel (usually, when invoked from a boot loader).
  • At runtime (through the files in /proc and /sys). See sysctl for details.
  • bootparam - introduction to boot time parameters of the Linux kernel

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sysctl - an interface for examining and dynamically changing parameters in Unix-like operating systems. The BSD implementation of sysctl uses system calls or system call wrappers, while the Linux implementation primarily uses files contained in a virtual file system.
  • Deprecation of /etc/sysctl.conf From version 207 on, systemd will not apply the settings from /etc/sysctl.conf anymore: it will only apply those from /etc/sysctl.d/*. Since the settings of our /etc/sysctl.conf shipped by procps-ng have become kernel defaults anyway, we have decided to deprecate this file.
cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward


Kernel patchsets





Nvidia 340 drivers not available.


Linux Standard Base

  • Linux Standard Base (LSB) is a joint project by several Linux distributions under the organizational structure of the Linux Foundation to standardize the software system structure, including the filesystem hierarchy, used with Linux operating system. The LSB is based on the POSIX specification, the Single UNIX Specification, and several other open standards, but extends them in certain areas.


  • freedesktop.org is open source / open discussion software projects working on interoperability and shared technology for X Window System desktops. The most famous X desktops are GNOME and KDE, but developers working on any Linux/UNIX GUI technology are welcome to participate. freedesktop.org is building a base platform for desktop software on Linux and UNIX. The elements of this platform have become the backend for higher-level application-visible APIs such as Qt, GTK+, XUL, VCL, WINE, GNOME, and KDE. The base platform is both software and specifications.
$XDG_DATA_HOME defines the base directory relative to which user specific data files should be stored. If $XDG_DATA_HOME is either not set or empty, a default equal to $HOME/.local/share should be used.

$XDG_CONFIG_HOME defines the base directory relative to which user specific configuration files should be stored. If $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is either not set or empty, a default equal to $HOME/.config should be used.

$XDG_DATA_DIRS defines the preference-ordered set of base directories to search for data files in addition to the $XDG_DATA_HOME base directory. The directories in $XDG_DATA_DIRS should be seperated with a colon ':'.

If $XDG_DATA_DIRS is either not set or empty, a value equal to /usr/local/share/:/usr/share/ should be used.

$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS defines the preference-ordered set of base directories to search for configuration files in addition to the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME base directory. The directories in $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS should be seperated with a colon ':'.

If $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS is either not set or empty, a value equal to /etc/xdg should be used.

The order of base directories denotes their importance; the first directory listed is the most important. When the same information is defined in multiple places the information defined relative to the more important base directory takes precedent. The base directory defined by $XDG_DATA_HOME is considered more important than any of the base directories defined by $XDG_DATA_DIRS. The base directory defined by $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is considered more important than any of the base directories defined by $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS.



  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O(1)_scheduler - a kernel scheduling design that can schedule processes within a constant amount of time, regardless of how many processes are running on the operating system. One of the major goals of operating system designers is to minimize overhead and jitter of OS services, so that application programmers who use them endure less of a performance impact. O(1) scheduler providing "constant time" scheduling services has helped in this regard.


nice -n 19 [command]
  run a command at lowest priority
nice -n -20 [command]
  run a command at highest priority


  • https://linux.die.net/man/1/ionice - sets or gets the io scheduling class and priority for a program. If no arguments or just -p is given, ionice will query the current io scheduling class and priority for that process.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_(computing) - an instance of a computer program that is being executed. It contains the program code and its current activity. Depending on the operating system (OS), a process may be made up of multiple threads of execution that execute instructions concurrently.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_management_(computing) - an integral part of any modern-day operating system (OS). The OS must allocate resources to processes, enable processes to share and exchange information, protect the resources of each process from other processes and enable synchronisation among processes. To meet these requirements, the OS must maintain a data structure for each process, which describes the state and resource ownership of that process, and which enables the OS to exert control over each process.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_control_block - also called Task Controlling Block, process table, Task Struct, or Switchframe, is a data structure in the operating system kernel containing the information needed to manage a particular process. The PCB is "the manifestation of a process in an operating system".

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_identifier - (normally referred to as the process ID or just PID) is a number used by most operating system kernels — such as that of UNIX, Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows — to uniquely identify an active process. This number may be used as a parameter in various function calls, allowing processes to be manipulated, such as adjusting the process's priority or killing it altogether.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_group - In POSIX-conformant operating systems, a process group denotes a collection of one or more processes. Process groups are used to control the distribution of signals. A signal directed to a process group is delivered individually to all of the processes that are members of the group.

Process groups are themselves grouped into sessions. Process groups are not permitted to migrate from one session to another, and a process may only create new process groups belonging to the same session as it itself belongs to. Processes are not permitted to join process groups that are not in the same session as they themselves are.

New process images created by a call to a function of the exec family inherit the process group membership and the session membership of the old process image.

System calls

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_call - how a program requests a service from an operating system's kernel. This may include hardware-related services (for example, accessing a hard disk drive), creation and execution of new processes, and communication with integral kernel services such as process scheduling. System calls provide an essential interface between a process and the operating system.


System calls are generally not invoked directly, but rather via wrapper functions in glibc (or perhaps some other library). For details of direct invocation of a system call, see intro(2). Often, but not always, the name of the wrapper function is the same as the name of the system call that it invokes.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/exec_(system_call) - a functionality of an operating system that runs an executable file in the context of an already existing process, replacing the previous executable. This act is also referred to as an overlay. It is especially important in Unix-like systems, although exists elsewhere. As a new process is not created, the process identifier (PID) does not change, but the machine code, data, heap, and stack of the process are replaced by those of the new program. The exec is available for many programming languages including compilable languages and some scripting languages. In OS command interpreters, the exec built-in command replaces the shell process with the specified program.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wait_(system_call) - suspends the execution of the parent process while the child executes. When the child process terminates, it returns an exit status to the operating system, which is then returned to the waiting parent process. The parent process then resumes execution.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/epoll - a Linux kernel system call, a scalable I/O event notification mechanism, first introduced in Linux kernel 2.5.44. It is meant to replace the older POSIX select(2) and poll(2) system calls, to achieve better performance in more demanding applications, where the number of watched file descriptors is large (unlike the older system calls, which operate in O(n) time, epoll operates in O(1) time). epoll is similar to FreeBSD's kqueue, in that it operates on a configurable kernel object, exposed to user space as a file descriptor of its own.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sync_(Unix) - commits to disk all data in the kernel filesystem buffers, i.e., data which has been scheduled for writing via low-level I/O system calls. Note that higher-level I/O layers such as stdio may maintain separate buffers of their own.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/select_(Unix) - for examining the status of file descriptors of open input/output channels. The select system call is similar to the poll facility introduced in UNIX System V and later operating systems.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/splice_(system_call) - a Linux-specific system call that moves data between a file descriptor and a pipe without a round trip to user space. The related system call vmsplice() moves or copies data between a pipe and user space. Ideally, splice and vmsplice work by remapping pages and do not actually copy any data, which may improve I/O performance. As linear addresses do not necessarily correspond to contiguous physical addresses, this may not be possible in all cases and on all hardware combinations.

Application binary interface

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_binary_interface - the interface between two program modules, one of which is often a library or operating system, at the level of machine code. An ABI determines such details as how functions are called and in which binary format information should be passed from one program component to the next, or to the operating system in the case of a system call.

Adhering to ABIs (which may or may not be officially standardized) is usually the job of the compiler, OS or library writer, but application programmers may have to deal with ABIs directly when writing programs in a mix of programming languages, using foreign function call interfaces between them. ABIs differ from application programming interfaces (APIs), which similarly define interfaces between program components, but at the source code level.

  • http://linux-abi.sourceforge.net/ - The Linux abi is a patch to the linux kernel that allows a linux system to run foreign binaries. This was developed and written by Christoph Hellwig and Joerg Ahrens as a follow on to the iBCS/iBCS2 project written for the older 2.2.x kernel by Mike Jagdis.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/a.out - a file format used in older versions of Unix-like computer operating systems for executables, object code, and, in later systems, shared libraries. The name stands for "assembler output", and was coined by Ken Thompson as the fixed name for output of his PDP-7 assembler in 1968. The term was subsequently applied to the format of the resulting file, to contrast with other formats for object code.

"a.out" remains the default output file name for executables created by certain compilers and linkers when no output name is specified, even though the created files actually are not in the a.out format.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executable_and_Linkable_Format - ELF, formerly called Extensible Linking Format, is a common standard file format for executables, object code, shared libraries, and core dumps. First published in the System V Release 4 (SVR4) Application Binary Interface (ABI) specification, and later in the Tool Interface Standard, it was quickly accepted among different vendors of Unix systems. In 1999 it was chosen as the standard binary file format for Unix and Unix-like systems on x86 by the 86open project. ELF is flexible and extensible by design, and it is not bound to any particular processor or architecture. This has allowed it to be adopted by many different operating systems on many different platforms.



  • Program Library HOWTO - David A. Wheeler - This HOWTO for programmers discusses how to create and use program libraries on Linux. This includes static libraries, shared libraries, and dynamically loaded libraries.
  # main library directory
  # /lib can be a symlink to /usr/lib


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_library - or statically-linked library is a set of routines, external functions and variables which are resolved in a caller at compile-time and copied into a target application by a compiler, linker, or binder, producing an object file and a stand-alone executable. This executable and the process of compiling it are both known as a static build of the program. Historically, libraries could only be static. Static libraries are either merged with other static libraries and object files during building/linking to form a single executable, or they may be loaded at run-time into the address space of the loaded executable at a static memory offset determined at compile-time/link-time.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_linker - the part of an operating system that loads and links the shared libraries needed by an executable when it is executed (at "run time"), by copying the content of libraries from persistent storage to RAM, and filling jump tables and relocating pointers. The specific operating system and executable format determine how the dynamic linker functions and how it is implemented.

Linking is often referred to as a process that is performed when the executable is compiled, while a dynamic linker is a special part of an operating system that loads external shared libraries into a running process and then binds those shared libraries dynamically to the running process. This approach is also called dynamic linking or late linking.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_loading - a mechanism by which a computer program can, at run time, load a library (or other binary) into memory, retrieve the addresses of functions and variables contained in the library, execute those functions or access those variables, and unload the library from memory. Unlike static linking and dynamic linking, dynamic loading allows a computer program to start up in the absence of these libraries, to discover available libraries, and to potentially gain additional functionality.

  • http://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/USELIB.html - This option enables the uselib syscall, a system call used in the dynamic linker from libc5 and earlier. glibc does not use this system call. If you intend to run programs built on libc5 or earlier, you may need to enable this syscall. Current systems running glibc can safely disable this.
  • http://linux.die.net/man/2/uselib - system call uselib() serves to load a shared library to be used by the calling process. It is given a pathname. The address where to load is found in the library itself. The library can have any recognized binary format.

The programs ld.so and ld-linux.so* find and load the shared libraries needed by a program, prepare the program to run, and then run it.

Linux binaries require dynamic linking (linking at run time) unless the -static option was given to ld(1) during compilation.

The program ld.so handles a.out binaries, a format used long ago; ld-linux.so* handles ELF (/lib/ld-linux.so.1 for libc5, /lib/ld-linux.so.2 for glibc2), which everybody has been using for years now. Otherwise both have the same behavior, and use the same support files and programs ldd(1), ldconfig(8) and /etc/ld.so.conf.

  • ldconfig - configure dynamic linker run-time bindings
ldd /usr/bin/ls

linux-vdso.so.1 (0x00007ffd9afde000) libcap.so.2 => /usr/lib/libcap.so.2 (0x00007f35e72f9000) libc.so.6 => /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (0x00007f35e6f58000) /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 (0x00007f35e74fd000)


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/vDSO - virtual dynamically linked shared object) is a Linux kernel mechanism for exporting a carefully selected set of kernel space routines to user space applications so that applications can call these kernel space routines in-process, without incurring the performance penalty of a context switch that is inherent when calling these same kernel space routines by means of the system call interface. vDSO has been developed to offer the vsyscall features and to overcome its limitations: small amount of allocated memory allowing only 4 system calls and same addresses ABI in each process compromising security. This security issue has been by emulating a virtual system call introducing a penalty latency.



  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt - a signal to the processor emitted by hardware or software indicating an event that needs immediate attention. An interrupt alerts the processor to a high-priority condition requiring the interruption of the current code the processor is executing. The processor responds by suspending its current activities, saving its state, and executing a function called an interrupt handler (or an interrupt service routine, ISR) to deal with the event. This interruption is temporary, and, after the interrupt handler finishes, the processor resumes normal activities.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt_request_(PC_architecture) - or IRQ) is a hardware signal sent to the processor that temporarily stops a running program and allows a special program, an interrupt handler, to run instead. Hardware interrupts are used to handle events such as receiving data from a modem or network card, key presses, or mouse movements.

Interrupt lines are often identified by an index with the format of IRQ followed by a number. For example, on the Intel 8259 family of PICs there are eight interrupt inputs commonly referred to as IRQ0 through IRQ7. In x86 based computer systems that use two of these PICs, the combined set of lines are referred to as IRQ0 through IRQ15. Technically these lines are named IR0 through IR7, and the lines on the ISA bus to which they were historically attached are named IRQ0 through IRQ15. Newer x86 systems integrate an Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) that conforms to the Intel APIC Architecture. These APICs support a programming interface for up to 255 physical hardware IRQ lines per APIC, with a typical system implementing support for only around 24 total hardware lines.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt_handler - also known as an interrupt service routine or ISR, a callback function in microcontroller firmware, an operating system or a device driver, whose execution is triggered by the reception of an interrupt. In general, interrupts and their handlers are used to handle high-priority conditions that require the interruption of the current code the processor is executing.

Interrupt handlers have a multitude of functions, which vary based on the reason the interrupt was generated and the speed at which the interrupt handler completes its task. For example, pressing a key on a computer keyboard, or moving the mouse, triggers interrupts that call interrupt handlers which read the key, or the mouse's position, and copy the associated information into the computer's memory. An interrupt handler is a low-level counterpart of event handlers. These handlers are initiated by either hardware interrupts or interrupt instructions in software, and are used for servicing hardware devices and transitions between protected modes of operation such as system calls.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_handling - the process of responding to the occurrence, during computation, of exceptions – anomalous or exceptional conditions requiring special processing – often changing the normal flow of program execution. It is provided by specialized programming language constructs or computer hardware mechanisms.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Message_Signaled_Interrupts - an alternative in-band method of signaling an interrupt, using special in-band messages to replace traditional out-of-band assertion of dedicated interrupt lines. While more complex to implement in a device, message signaled interrupts have some significant advantages over pin-based out-of-band interrupt signaling. Message signaled interrupts are supported in PCI bus since its version 2.2, and in later available PCI Express bus. Some non-PCI architectures also use message signaled interrupts.

  • https://github.com/Irqbalance/irqbalance - a daemon to help balance the cpu load generated by interrupts across all of a systems cpus. Irqbalance identifies the highest volume interrupt sources, and isolates them to a single unique cpu, so that load is spread as much as possible over an entire processor set, while minimizing cache miss rates for irq handlers.

Inter-process communication

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-process_communication - the activity of sharing data across multiple and commonly specialized processes using communication protocols. Typically, applications using IPC are categorized as clients and servers, where the client requests data and the server responds to client requests. Many applications are both clients and servers, as commonly seen in distributed computing. Methods for achieving IPC are divided into categories which vary based on software requirements, such as performance and modularity requirements, and system circumstances, such as network bandwidth and latency.

The Linux kernel provides the following IPC mechanisms: Signals, Anonymous Pipes, Named Pipes or FIFOs, SysV Message Queues, POSIX Message Queues, SysV Shared memory, POSIX Shared memory, SysV semaphores, POSIX semaphores, FUTEX locks, File-backed and anonymous shared memory using mmap, UNIX Domain Sockets, Netlink Sockets, Network Sockets, Inotify mechanisms, FUSE subsystem, D-Bus subsystem.

Interrupts can be viewed as a mean of communication between the CPU and the OS kernel. Signals can be viewed as a mean of communication between the OS kernel and OS processes.

Interrupts may be initiated by the CPU (exceptions - e.g.: divide by zero, page fault), devices (hardware interrupts - e.g: input available), or by a CPU instruction (traps - e.g: syscalls, breakpoints). They are eventually managed by the CPU, which "interrupts" the current task, and invokes an OS-kernel provided ISR/interrupt handler.

Signals may be initiated by the OS kernel (e.g: SIGFPE, SIGSEGV, SIGIO), or by a process(kill()). They are eventually managed by the OS kernel, which delivers them to the target thread/process, invoking either a generic action (ignore, terminate, terminate and dump core) or a process-provided signal handler. [37]

Shared memory


Unix signals

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_signal - a limited form of inter-process communication used in Unix, Unix-like, and other POSIX-compliant operating systems. A signal is an asynchronous notification sent to a process or to a specific thread within the same process in order to notify it of an event that occurred. Signals originated in 1970s Bell Labs Unix and have been more recently specified in the POSIX standard.

When a signal is sent, the operating system interrupts the target process' normal flow of execution to deliver the signal. Execution can be interrupted during any non-atomic instruction. If the process has previously registered a signal handler, that routine is executed. Otherwise, the default signal handler is executed.

A signal is a software interrupt delivered to a process. The operating system uses signals to report exceptional situations to an executing program. Some signals report errors such as references to invalid memory addresses; others report asynchronous events, such as disconnection of a phone line.

Unix domain sockets


If |& is used, the standard error of command is connected to command2's standard input through the pipe; it is shorthand for 2>&1 |.
  • Socketpipe directly connects the input/output of a remote process with local programs over a TCP/IP socket. Although the initial communication setup is performed through client-server intermediaries such as SSH or RSH, the communication channel that socketpipe establishes is a direct socket connection between the local and the remote processes, similar to a local pipe. The use of socketpipe removes the inefficiency of multiple data copies and context switches through RSH/SSH, and can in many cases offer dramatic throughput improvements.
  • Spiped (pronounced "ess-pipe-dee") is a utility for creating symmetrically encrypted and authenticated pipes between socket addresses, so that one may connect to one address (e.g., a UNIX socket on localhost) and transparently have a connection established to another address (e.g., a UNIX socket on a different system). This is similar to 'ssh -L' functionality, but does not use SSH and requires a pre-shared symmetric key.
  • Pipeglade - Graphical User Interfaces, The UNIX Way, a helper program that displays graphical user interfaces for other programs. It renders the GUI definition found in a GtkBuilder file (created using the Glade Interface Designer), and communicates with the main program solely via pipes or fifos. [44]

Named pipes


  • D-Bus is a message bus system, a simple way for applications to talk to one another. In addition to interprocess communication, D-Bus helps coordinate process lifecycle; it makes it simple and reliable to code a "single instance" application or daemon, and to launch applications and daemons on demand when their services are needed.

D-Bus supplies both a system daemon (for events such as "new hardware device added" or "printer queue changed") and a per-user-login-session daemon (for general IPC needs among user applications). Also, the message bus is built on top of a general one-to-one message passing framework, which can be used by any two apps to communicate directly (without going through the message bus daemon). Currently the communicating applications are on one computer, or through unencrypted TCP/IP suitable for use behind a firewall with shared NFS home directories. (Help wanted with better remote transports - the transport mechanism is well-abstracted and extensible.)


  • http://lwn.net/Articles/580194/ - "kdbus, an in-kernel implementation of D-Bus. This implementation is able to carry large amounts of data; it can be reasonably used for gigabyte-sized message streams. It can perform zero-copy message passing, but even in the worst case, a message and its response are passed with no more than two copy operations, two validations, and two context switches. Full credential information (user ID, process ID, SELinux label, control group information, capabilities, and much more) is passed with each message, and all messages carry timestamps. Kdbus is always available to the system (no need to wait for the D-Bus daemon to be started), Linux security modules can hook into it directly, various race conditions have been fixed, and the API has simplified."


at bg chroot fg time


In Unix and Unix-like operating systems, kill is a command used to send a signal to a process. By default, the message sent is the termination signal, which requests that the process exit. But kill is something of a misnomer; the signal sent may have nothing to do with process killing. The kill command is a wrapper around the kill() system call, which sends signals to processes or process groups on the system, referenced by their numeric process IDs (PIDs) or process group IDs (PGIDs). kill is always provided as a standalone utility as defined by the POSIX standard. However, most shells have built-in kill commands that may slightly differ from it.

A process can be sent a SIGTERM signal in four ways (the process ID is '1234' in this case):

kill 1234
kill -s TERM 1234
kill -TERM 1234
kill -15 1234

The process can be sent a SIGKILL signal in three ways:

kill -s KILL 1234
kill -KILL 1234
kill -9 1234
killall -u username
  terminate all username's applications to log them out


  • nohup - Run a command immune to hangups, runs the given command with hangup signals ignored, so that the command can continue running in the background after you log out.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DWARF - a widely used, standardized debugging data format. DWARF was originally designed along with Executable and Linkable Format (ELF), although it is independent of object file formats.[1] The name is a medieval fantasy complement to "ELF" that has no official meaning, although the backronym 'Debugging With Attributed Record Formats' was later proposed.

Sysdig CCWFS - A brief history of syscalls - Adam Leventhal y

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTrace - a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework created by Sun Microsystems for troubleshooting kernel and application problems on production systems in real time. Originally developed for Solaris, it has since been released under the free Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) and has been ported to several other Unix-like systems. In December 2012, Oracle announced the general availability of DTrace for Oracle Linux.

  • LTTng is an open source tracing framework for Linux.

  • Forkstat is a program that logs process fork(), exec() and exit() activity. It is useful for monitoring system behaviour and to track down rogue processes that are spawning off processes and potentially abusing the system.
  • ps-watcher – A Perl Program for Monitoring a System via ps-like Commands.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptrace - system call found in several Unix and Unix-like operating systems. By using ptrace (the name is an abbreviation of "process trace") one process can control another, enabling the controller to inspect and manipulate the internal state of its target. ptrace is used by debuggers and other code-analysis tools, mostly as aids to software development.


  • ps_mem - A utility to accurately report the core memory usage for a program


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thread_(computer_science) - a thread of execution is the smallest sequence of programmed instructions that can be managed independently by a scheduler, which is typically a part of the operating system.[1] The implementation of threads and processes differs between operating systems, but in most cases a thread is a component of a process. Multiple threads can exist within one process, executing concurrently (one starting before others finish) and share resources such as memory, while different processes do not share these resources. In particular, the threads of a process share its instructions (executable code) and its context (the values of its variables at any given time).
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_threads - threads that are scheduled by a runtime library or virtual machine (VM) instead of natively by the underlying operating system. Green threads emulate multithreaded environments without relying on any native OS capabilities, and they are managed in user space instead of kernel space, enabling them to work in environments that do not have native thread support.

"If you want to run code on many platforms, go for Posix Threads. They are available almost everywhere and are quite mature. OTOH if you only use Linux/gcc std::thread is perfectly fine - it has a higher abstraction level, a really good interface and plays nicely with other C++11 classes.

"The C++11 std::thread class unfortunately doesn't work reliably (yet) on every platform, even if C++11 seems available. For instance in native Android std::thread or Win64 it just does not work or has severe performance bottlenecks (as of 2012).

"A good replacement is boost::thread - it is very similar to std::thread (actually it is from the same author) and works reliably, but, of course, it introduces another dependency from a third party library."

"The std::thread library is implemented on top of pthreads in an environment supporting pthreads (for example: libstdc++).

"I think the big difference between the two is abstraction. std::thread is a C++ class library. The std::thread library includes many abstract features, for example: scoped locks, recursive mutexes, future/promise design pattern implementations, and more."




Booting a Linux installation involves multiple stages and software components, including firmware initialization, execution of a boot loader, loading and startup of a Linux kernel image, and execution of various startup scripts and daemons. For each of these stages and components there are different variations and approaches; for example, GRUB, LILO, SYSLINUX or Loadlin can be used as boot loaders, while the startup scripts can be either traditional init-style, or the system configuration can be performed through more modern alternatives such as systemd or Upstart.

  • e4rat - reduce boot time (into X) by some 50% for ext4


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS - an acronym for Basic Input/Output System and also known as the System BIOS, ROM BIOS or PC BIOS) is a type of firmware used to perform hardware initialization during the booting process (power-on startup) on IBM PC compatible computers, and to provide runtime services for operating systems and programs. The BIOS firmware is built into personal computers (PCs), and it is the first software they run when powered on. The name itself originates from the Basic Input/Output System used in the CP/M operating system in 1975. Originally proprietary to the IBM PC, the BIOS has been reverse engineered by companies looking to create compatible systems and the interface of that original system serves as a de facto standard.

The fundamental purposes of the BIOS in modern PCs are to initialize and test the system hardware components, and to load a boot loader or an operating system from a mass memory device. The BIOS additionally provides an abstraction layer for the hardware, i.e., a consistent way for application programs and operating systems to interact with the keyboard, display, and other input/output (I/O) devices. Variations in the system hardware are hidden by the BIOS from programs that use BIOS services instead of directly accessing the hardware. MS-DOS (PC DOS), which was the dominant PC operating system from the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, relied on BIOS services for disk, keyboard, and text display functions. MS Windows NT, Linux, and other protected mode operating systems in general ignore the abstraction layer provided by the BIOS and do not use it after loading, instead accessing the hardware components directly.

Most BIOS implementations are specifically designed to work with a particular computer or motherboard model, by interfacing with various devices that make up the complementary system chipset. Originally, BIOS firmware was stored in a ROM chip on the PC motherboard; in modern computer systems, the BIOS contents are stored on flash memory so it can be rewritten without removing the chip from the motherboard. This allows easy updates to the BIOS firmware so new features can be added or bugs can be fixed, but it also creates a possibility for the computer to become infected with BIOS rootkits.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_EFI_Forum or UEFI Forum is an alliance between several leading technology companies to modernize the booting process. The board of directors includes representatives from eleven "Promoter" companies: AMD, American Megatrends, Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Insyde Software, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Phoenix Technologies.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Configuration_and_Power_Interface - ACPI - specification provides an open standard that the operating systems can use for computer hardware discovery, configuration, power management, and monitoring. Internally, ACPI exports the available functionalities by providing certain instruction lists as part of the system firmware, which the operating system kernel interprets and executes to perform desired operations, using a form of embedded virtual machine.

"Overall design decision was not without criticism. In November 2003, Linus Torvalds—author of the Linux kernel—described ACPI as "a complete design disaster in every way". In 2001, other senior Linux software developers like Alan Cox expressed concerns about the requirements that bytecode from an external source must be run by the kernel with full privileges, as well as the overall complexity of the ACPI specification. In 2014, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, compared ACPI with Trojan horses."

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coreboot - formerly known as LinuxBIOS, is a free software project aimed at replacing proprietary firmware (BIOS or UEFI) found in most computers with a lightweight firmware designed to perform only the minimum number of tasks necessary to load and run a modern 32-bit or 64-bit operating system.

Since coreboot initializes the bare hardware, it must be ported to every chipset and motherboard that it supports. As a result, coreboot is available only for a limited number of hardware platforms and motherboard models.

Network boot

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preboot_Execution_Environment - PXE, sometimes pronounced as pixie, a specification that describes a standardized client-server environment that boots a software assembly, retrieved from a network, on PXE-enabled clients. On the client side it requires only a PXE-capable network interface controller (NIC), and uses a small set of industry-standard network protocols such as DHCP and TFTP.

The concept behind the PXE originated in the early days of protocols like BOOTP/DHCP/TFTP, and as of 2015 it forms part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard. Given fast and reliable local area networks (LANs), PXE is the most frequent choice for operating system booting, installation and deployment.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/iPXE - an open-source implementation of the Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) client firmware and bootloader, created in 2010 as a fork of gPXE. It can be used to enable computers without built-in PXE support to boot from the network, or to extend an existing PXE client implementation so it supports additional protocols. While standardized PXE clients use TFTP to transfer data, non-standardized iPXE client firmware adds the ability to retrieve data through other protocols, including HTTP, iSCSI, ATA over Ethernet (AoE), and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Also, on supported hardware iPXE firmware can use a Wi-Fi link rather than requiring a wired connection. iPXE firmware cannot be considered as a "drop-in" replacement for PXE firmware.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Initial_Program_Load - a protocol for starting a computer and loading its operating system from server via a network. Such a server runs a network operating system such as LAN Manager, LAN Server, Windows NT Server, Novell NetWare, Solaris or Linux.

RIPL is similar to Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), but it uses the Novell NetWare based boot method. It was originally developed by IBM.

Boot sector

Boot loader

"In order to boot Arch Linux, a Linux-capable boot loader such as GRUB(2), Syslinux, LILO or GRUB Legacy must be installed to the Master Boot Record or the GUID Partition Table. The boot loader is responsible for loading the kernel and initial ramdisk before initiating the boot process."


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/loadlin - a Linux boot loader that runs under DOS or Microsoft Windows (95, 98 or Me only). It allows the Linux system to load and replace the running DOS/Windows without altering existing DOS/Windows system files. Due to its structure, loadlin only works on DOS-based operating systems, and will not work on NT-based versions of Windows.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LILO_(boot_loader) - a boot loader for Linux and was the default boot loader for most Linux distributions in the years after the popularity of loadlin. Today, most distributions use GRUB as the default boot loader. LILO has been discontinued in December 2015, with a request for potential developers.


grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  # regenerate config after changing kernels installed



Plop Boot Manager(s)

Smart BootManager

Initial ramdisk


  • initrd (initial ramdisk) is a scheme for loading a temporary root file system into memory in the boot process of the Linux kernel. initrd and initramfs refer to two different methods of achieving this. Both are commonly used to make preparations before the real root file system can be mounted.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/initramfs - abbreviated from "initial RAM file system", is the successor of initrd ("initial ramdisk"). It is a cpio ("copy in and out") archive of the initial file system that gets loaded into memory during the Linux startup process. The Linux kernel copies the contents of the archive into the built-in rootfs file-system-like infrastructure (which is either based on ramfs, or the more regulated tmpfs), and then attempts to run the resulting /init program, before falling back on older methods of initialization; the init program is meant to complete certain tasks before the "real" or final root file system is mounted over rootfs. Thus, initramfs needs to contain all of the device drivers and tools needed to mount the final root file system.
ps -p 1 -o comm=

Kernal loading

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/vmlinux - a statically linked executable file that contains the Linux kernel in one of the object file formats supported by Linux, which includes ELF, COFF and a.out. The vmlinux file might be required for kernel debugging, symbol table generation or other operations, but must be made bootable before being used as an operating system kernel by adding a multiboot header, bootsector and setup routines.
  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/kernel_mode_setting - a method for setting display resolution and depth in the kernel space rather than user space. The Linux kernel's implementation of KMS enables native resolution in the framebuffer and allows for instant console (tty) switching. KMS also enables newer technologies (such as DRI2) which will help reduce artifacts and increase 3D performance, even kernel space power-saving.


  • init (short for initialization) is a daemon process that is the direct or indirect ancestor of all other processes. It automatically adopts all orphaned processes. Init is the first process started during booting, and is typically assigned PID number 1. It is started by the kernel using a hard-coded filename, and if the kernel is unable to start it, a kernel panic will result. Init continues running until the system is shut down. The design of init has diverged in Unix systems such as System III and System V, from the functionality provided by the init in Research Unix and its BSD derivatives. The usage on most Linux distributions is compatible with System V, but some distributions, such as Slackware, use a BSD-style and others, such as Gentoo, have their own customized version. Several replacement init implementations have been written which attempt to address design limitations in the standard versions. These include systemd and Upstart, the latter being used by Ubuntu and some other Linux distributions.

Research UNIX / BSD


  • http://linux.die.net/man/8/chkconfig - provides a simple command-line tool for maintaining the /etc/rc[0-6].d directory hierarchy by relieving system administrators of the task of directly manipulating the numerous symbolic links in those directories.



  • runsv - starts and monitors a service and optionally an appendant log service
  • runsvdir - starts and monitors a collection of runsv(8) processes
  • chpst - runs a program with a changed process state
  • svlogd - runit’s service logging daemon


  • Supervisor is a client/server system that allows its users to monitor and control a number of processes on UNIX-like operating systems. It shares some of the same goals of programs like launchd, daemontools, and runit. Unlike some of these programs, it is not meant to be run as a substitute for init as “process id 1”. Instead it is meant to be used to control processes related to a project or a customer, and is meant to start like any other program at boot time. 2004.


  • http://upstart.ubuntu.com/ - 2006
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstart - an event-based replacement for the traditional init daemon – the method by which several Unix-like computer operating systems perform tasks when the computer is started. It was written by Scott James Remnant, a former employee of Canonical Ltd. Upstart operates asynchronously; it handles starting of the tasks and services during boot and stopping them during shutdown, and also supervises the tasks and services while the system is running. Easy transition and perfect backwards compatibility with sysvinit were the explicit design goals. Upstart allows for extensions to its event model through the use of initctl to input custom, single events, or event bridges to integrate many or more-complicated events. By default, Upstart includes bridges for socket, dbus, udev, file, and dconf events; additionally, more bridges (for example, a Mach ports bridge, or a devd (found on FreeBSD systems) bridge) are possible.


  • OpenRC is a dependency based init system that works with the system provided init program, normally /sbin/init. It is not a replacement for /sbin/init. OpenRC is 100% compatible with Gentoo init scripts, which means you can probably find one for the daemons you want to start in the Gentoo Portage Tree. OpenRC, however, is not exclusively used by Gentoo Linux, so our goal is to be platform-agnostic. 2007.


  • systemd is a system and service manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux control groups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. It can work as a drop-in replacement for sysvinit. 2010.

  • systemd is a system and service manager for Linux operating systems. When run as first process on boot (as PID 1), it acts as init system that brings up and maintains userspace services.

  • systemctl - used to introspect and control the state of the "systemd" system and service manager. Please refer to systemd(1) for an introduction into the basic concepts and functionality this tool manages.
systemctl [OPTIONS...] COMMAND [NAME...]

Unit files

  • https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd.target.html - A unit configuration file whose name ends in ".target" encodes information about a target unit of systemd, which is used for grouping units and as well-known synchronization points during start-up. Target units do not offer any additional functionality on top of the generic functionality provided by units. They exist merely to group units via dependencies (useful as boot targets), and to establish standardized names for synchronization points used in dependencies between units. Among other things, target units are a more flexible replacement for SysV runlevels in the classic SysV init system. (And for compatibility reasons special target units such as runlevel3.target exist which are used by the SysV runlevel compatibility code in systemd. See systemd.special(7) for details).

  • https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd.special.html - basic.target, bluetooth.target, ctrl-alt-del.target, cryptsetup.target, cryptsetup-pre.target, dbus.service, dbus.socket, default.target, display-manager.service, emergency.target, exit.target, final.target, getty.target, graphical.target, halt.target, hibernate.target, hybrid-sleep.target, initrd-fs.target, kbrequest.target, kexec.target, local-fs.target, local-fs-pre.target, multi-user.target, network.target, network-online.target, network-pre.target, nss-lookup.target, nss-user-lookup.target, paths.target, poweroff.target, printer.target, reboot.target, remote-fs.target, remote-fs-pre.target, rescue.target, initrd-root-fs.target, rpcbind.target, runlevel2.target, runlevel3.target, runlevel4.target, runlevel5.target, shutdown.target, sigpwr.target, sleep.target, slices.target, smartcard.target, sockets.target, sound.target, suspend.target, swap.target, sysinit.target, syslog.socket, system-update.target, time-sync.target, timers.target, umount.target, -.slice, system.slice, user.slice, machine.slice


systemd-journald is a system service that collects and stores logging data. It creates and maintains structured, indexed journals based on logging information that is received from a variety of sources:

  • Kernel log messages, via kmsg
  • Simple system log messages, via the libc syslog(3) call
  • Structured system log messages via the native Journal API, see sd_journal_print(4)
  • Standard output and standard error of system services
  • Audit records, via the audit subsystem

  # see all syslog messages

journalctl -b
  # show syslog messages since last boot

journalctl -b -1
  # show syslog msgs for previous boot
journalctl -e
  # jump to end of the last 1000 messages

journalctl -f
  # follow on new messages
journalctl -r
  # reverse messages, recent at top
journalctl -p err
  # error messages

journalctl -k
  # kernel messages

journalctl -u sshd
  # show messages related to ssh daemon
journalctl --since today
journalctl --since 2014-01-23
  # filter by time
journalctl _PID=1
  # messages for PID 1 (systemd)

journalctl _COMM=cron
  # messages for cron
journalctl -o verbose -
  # output verbose journal record meta information

output formats;

cat              json             json-sse         short-full       short-monotonic  short-unix                                                    
export           json-pretty      short            short-iso        short-precise    verbose

  list basic boot time

systemd-analyze blame
  list specific boot timings

systemd-analyze critical-chain
  list blocking boot timings 




Reboot and shutdown




In Linux environments, programmers can build device drivers as parts of the kernel, separately as loadable modules, or as user-mode drivers (for certain types of devices where kernel interfaces exist, such as for USB devices). Makedev includes a list of the devices in Linux: ttyS (terminal), lp (parallel port), hd (disk), loop, sound (these include mixer, sequencer, dsp, and audio)...

The Microsoft Windows .sys files and Linux .ko modules contain loadable device drivers. The advantage of loadable device drivers is that they can be loaded only when necessary and then unloaded, thus saving kernel memory.

Because of the diversity of modern hardware and operating systems, drivers operate in many different environments. Drivers may interface with:

  • Printers
  • Video adapters
  • Network cards
  • Sound cards
  • Local buses of various sorts—in particular, for bus mastering on modern systems
  • Low-bandwidth I/O buses of various sorts (for pointing devices such as mice, keyboards, USB, etc.)
  • Computer storage devices such as hard disk, CD-ROM, and floppy disk buses (ATA, SATA, SCSI)
  • Implementing support for different file systems
  • Image scanners
  • Digital cameras

Common levels of abstraction for device drivers include:

For hardware:

  • Interfacing directly
  • Writing to or reading from a device control register
  • Using some higher-level interface (e.g. Video BIOS)
  • Using another lower-level device driver (e.g. file system drivers using disk drivers)
  • Simulating work with hardware, while doing something entirely different[citation needed]

For software:

  • Allowing the operating system direct access to hardware resources
  • Implementing only primitives
  • Implementing an interface for non-driver software (e.g., TWAIN)
  • Implementing a language, sometimes quite high-level (e.g., PostScript)

So choosing and installing the correct device drivers for given hardware is often a key component of computer system configuration.

Virtual device drivers

Virtual device drivers represent a particular variant of device drivers. They are used to emulate a hardware device, particularly in virtualization environments, for example when a DOS program is run on a Microsoft Windows computer or when a guest operating system is run on, for example, a Xen host. Instead of enabling the guest operating system to dialog with hardware, virtual device drivers take the opposite role and emulate a piece of hardware, so that the guest operating system and its drivers running inside a virtual machine can have the illusion of accessing real hardware. Attempts by the guest operating system to access the hardware are routed to the virtual device driver in the host operating system as e.g., function calls. The virtual device driver can also send simulated processor-level events like interrupts into the virtual machine. Virtual devices may also operate in a non-virtualized environment. For example, a virtual network adapter is used with a virtual private network, while a virtual disk device is used with iSCSI. A good example for virtual device drivers can be Daemon Tools.

There are several variants of virtual device drivers, such as VxDs, VLMs, VDDs.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_device - a special kind of logical device associated with a character device file that allows a storage device such as a hard disk drive to be accessed directly, bypassing the operating system's caches and buffers (although the hardware caches might still be used). Applications like a database management system can use raw devices directly, enabling them to manage how data is cached, rather than deferring this task to the operating system.
  • http://linux.die.net/man/8/raw - used to bind a Linux raw character device to a block device. Any block device may be used: at the time of binding, the device driver does not even have to be accessible (it may be loaded on demand as a kernel module later).

CUSE enables character devices to be implemented from userland much like FUSE allows filesystems. On initialization /dev/cuse is created. By opening the file and replying to the CUSE_INIT request userland CUSE server can create a character device. After that the operation is very similar to FUSE.

Device file

Device nodes correspond to resources that an operating system's kernel has already allocated. Unix identifies those resources by a major number and a minor number, both stored as part of the structure of a node. The assignment of these numbers occurs uniquely in different operating systems and on different computer platforms. Generally, the major number identifies the device driver and the minor number identifies a particular device (possibly out of many) that the driver controls: in this case, the system may pass the minor number to a driver. However, in the presence of dynamic number allocation, this may not be the case (e.g. on FreeBSD 5 and up).

As with other special file types, the computer system accesses device nodes using standard system calls and treats them like regular computer files. Two standard types of device files exist; unfortunately their names are, for historical reasons, rather counter-intuitive, and explanations of the difference between the two are often incorrect as a result.

Nodes are created by the mknod system call. The command-line program for creating nodes is also called mknod. Nodes can be moved or deleted by the usual filesystem system calls (rename, unlink) and commands (mv, rm). When passed the option -R or -a while copying a device node, the cp -l command creates a new device node with the same attributes of the original.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioctl - an abbreviation of input/output control, is a system call for device-specific input/output operations and other operations which cannot be expressed by regular system calls. It takes a parameter specifying a request code; the effect of a call depends completely on the request code. Request codes are often device-specific. For instance, a CD-ROM device driver which can instruct a physical device to eject a disc would provide an ioctl request code to do that. Device-independent request codes are sometimes used to give userspace access to kernel functions which are only used by core system software or still under development.

The ioctl system call first appeared in Version 7 of Unix under that name. It is supported by most Unix and Unix-like systems, including Linux and Mac OS X, though the available request codes differ from system to system. Microsoft Windows provides a similar function, named "DeviceIoControl", in its Win32 AP

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netlink - Netlink is designed and used for transferring miscellaneous networking information between the kernel space and userspace processes. Networking utilities, such as the iproute2 family and the utilities used for configuring mac80211-based wireless drivers, use Netlink to communicate with the Linux kernel from userspace. Netlink provides a standard socket-based interface for userspace processes, and a kernel-side API for internal use by kernel modules. Originally, Netlink used the AF_NETLINK socket family. Netlink is designed to be a more flexible successor to ioctl; RFC 3549 describes the protocol in detail.




  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//dev/full - a special file that always returns the error code ENOSPC (meaning "No space left on device") on writing, and provides an infinite number of null characters to any process that reads from it (similar to /dev/zero). This device is usually used when testing the behaviour of a program when it encounters a "disk full" error.

Device manager



  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/devfsd - a device manager for the Linux kernel. Primarily, it creates device nodes in the /dev directory when kernel drivers make the underlying hardware accessible. The nodes exist in a virtual device file system named devfs. In systems that support many different types of hardware, each of which has its own device nodes, this is more convenient than creating all possible device nodes beforehand and in a real filesystem.

While devfs was a step forward, it had several disadvantages of its own. Since version 2.5 of the Linux kernel, devfs has been succeeded by udev and devtmpfs.


  • udev is a generic kernel device manager that subsumes the use of hotplug and hwdetect. It runs as a daemon on a Linux system and listens (via netlink socket) to uevents the kernel sends out if a new device is initialized or a device is removed from the system. Loads kernel modules by utilizing coding parallelism to provide a potential performance advantage versus loading these modules serially. The modules are therefore loaded asynchronously.

Manages /dev. Rules in /etc/udev/rules.d/ and /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/

udevadm info -a -n [device path]

udisksd (udisks2) and udisks-daemon (udisks) are started on-demand by D-Bus, and should not be enabled explicitly (see man udisksd and man udisks-daemon). They can be controlled through the command-line with udisksctl and udisks, respectively. See man udisksctl and man udisks for more information.



  a character device with major number 7 and minor number 0, usually of mode 0644 and owner root.tty. It refers to the memory of the currently displayed virtual console terminal.

   character devices for virtual console terminals, they have major number 7 and minor number 1 to 63, usually mode 0644 and owner root.tty. 


   the same, but using unsigned shorts (in host byte order) that include attributes, and prefixed with four bytes giving the screen dimensions and cursor position: lines, columns, x, y. (x = y = 0 at the top left corner of the screen.)


See Storage


See also Computer#Video card, GUI#X

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_BIOS - the BIOS of a graphics card in a (usually IBM PC-derived) computer. Much the way the system BIOS provides a set of functions that are used by software programs to access the system hardware, the video BIOS provides a set of video-related functions that are used by programs to access the video hardware. The video BIOS interfaces software to the video chipset in the same way that the system BIOS does for the system chipset. The ROM also contained a basic font set to upload to the video adapter font RAM, if the video card did not contain a font ROM with this font set instead.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VESA_BIOS_Extensions - a VESA standard, currently at version 3, that defines the interface that can be used by software to access compliant video boards at high resolutions and bit depths. This is opposed to the "traditional" int 10h BIOS calls, which are limited to resolutions of 640×480 pixels with 16 color (4-bit) depth or less. VBE is made available through the video card's BIOS, which installs during boot up some interrupt vectors that point to itself.

Most newer cards implement the more capable VBE 3.0 standard. Older versions of VBE provide only a real mode interface, which cannot be used without a significant performance penalty from within protected mode operating systems. Consequently, the VBE standard has almost never been used for writing a video card's drivers; each vendor has thus had to invent a proprietary protocol for communicating with its own video card. Despite this, it is common that a driver thunk out to the real mode interrupt in order to initialize screen modes and gain direct access to a card's linear frame buffer, because these tasks would otherwise require handling many hundreds of proprietary variations that exist from card to card.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framebuffer - frame buffer, or sometimes framestore) is a portion of RAM[1] containing a bitmap that is driven to a video display from a memory buffer containing a complete frame of data. The information in the memory buffer typically consists of color values for every pixel (point that can be displayed) on the screen. Color values are commonly stored in 1-bit binary (monochrome), 4-bit palettized, 8-bit palettized, 16-bit high color and 24-bit true color formats. An additional alpha channel is sometimes used to retain information about pixel transparency. The total amount of the memory required to drive the framebuffer depends on the resolution of the output signal, and on the color depth and palette size.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Rendering_Manager - a subsystem of the Linux kernel responsible for interfacing with GPUs of modern video cards. DRM exposes an API that user space programs can use to send commands and data to the GPU, and perform operations such as configuring the mode setting of the display. DRM was first developed as the kernel space component of the X Server's Direct Rendering Infrastructure,[1] but since then it has been used by other graphic stack alternatives such as Wayland. User space programs can use the DRM API to command the GPU to do hardware accelerated 3D rendering, video decoding as well as GPGPU computing.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Rendering_Infrastructure - a framework for allowing direct access to graphics hardware under the X Window System in a safe, efficient way. The main use of DRI is to provide hardware acceleration for the Mesa implementation of OpenGL. DRI has also been adapted to provide OpenGL acceleration on a framebuffer console without a display server running. DRI implementation is scattered through the X Server and its associated client libraries, Mesa 3D and the Direct Rendering Manager kernel subsystem.

  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AMD_Catalyst - AMD's Linux driver package catalyst was previously named fglrx (FireGL and Radeon X). Only the package name has changed, while the kernel module retains its original fglrx.ko filename. Therefore, any mention of fglrx below is specifically in reference to the kernel module, not the package.



Most computers have one or more hardware clocks which record the current "wall clock" time. These are called "Real Time Clocks" (RTCs). One of these usually has battery backup power so that it tracks the time even while the computer is turned off. RTCs often provide alarms and other interrupts.



File systems

See Storage

Files and directories

See Storage


See also Typography#Terminal


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_console - or computer console, root console, operator's console, or simply console is the text entry and display device for system administration messages, particularly those from the BIOS or boot loader, the kernel, from the init system and from the system logger. It is a physical device consisting of a keyboard and a screen, and traditionally is a text terminal, but may also be a graphical terminal. System consoles are generalized to computer terminals, which are abstracted respectively by virtual consoles and terminal emulators. Today communication with system consoles is generally done abstractly, via the standard streams (stdin, stdout, and stderr), but there may be system-specific interfaces, for example those used by the system kernel.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_terminal - an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying data from, a computer or a computing system. Early terminals were inexpensive devices but very slow compared to punched cards or paper tape for input, but as the technology improved and video displays were introduced, terminals pushed these older forms of interaction from the industry. A related development was timesharing systems, which evolved in parallel and made up for any inefficiencies of the user's typing ability with the ability to support multiple users on the same machine, each at their own terminal.

The function of a terminal is confined to display and input of data; a device with significant local programmable data processing capability may be called a "smart terminal" or fat client. A terminal that depends on the host computer for its processing power is called a "dumb terminal" or thin client. A personal computer can run terminal emulator software that replicates the function of a terminal, sometimes allowing concurrent use of local programs and access to a distant terminal host system.

  • Text-Terminal-HOWTO - This document was originally written for real text terminals which were like monitors (with keyboards), but could only display text with a command line interface (no pictures). They were widely used to access mainframe computers in the late 1970's and 1980's but use of them declined in the 1990's and they are seldom used anymore. However much of this howto also applies to command-line interfaces on Linux PC's which are in wide use today. It's not about the user programs one might run on the command line, but about setting up, managing, and understanding the interface itself Such as using a monitor as a virtual (text-only) console, using a text-window in a GUI such as xterm, connecting to a remote computer over a network via ssh, telnet, etc., or even using software on another PC to turn it into a serial-port text-terminal. All these 4 methods are known as "text-terminal emulation". But unfortunately, the main emphasis in this howto is real text terminals and the coverage of emulation is inadequate for the first 3 methods of emulation mentioned above. The Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO filled much this gap but it was written for Linux 2.0 and now needs rewriting (or merging into this Text-Terminal howto). A new author is needed that has time to do all this. For the seldom used real text-terminals, it explains how they work, explains how to install and configure them, and provides some info on how to repair them. This HOWTO also provides a brief overview of modern GUI terminals.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_capabilities - various terminal features, above and beyond what is available from a pure teletypewriter, that host systems (and the programs that run on them) can make use of. They are (mainly) of control codes and escape codes that can be sent to or received from the terminal. The escape codes sent to the terminal perform various functions that a CRT terminal (and software terminal emulators) is capable of, but that a teletypewriter is not; such as moving the terminal's cursor to positions on the screen, clearing and scrolling all or parts of the screen, turning on and off attached printer devices, programming programmable function keys, changing display colours and attributes (such as reverse video), and setting display title strings. The escape codes received from the terminal signify things such as function key, arrow key, and other special key (home key, end key, help key, PgUp key, PgDn key, insert key, delete key, and so forth) keystrokes.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POSIX_terminal_interface - the generalized abstraction, comprising both an Application Programming Interface for programs, and a set of behavioural expectations for users of a terminal, as defined by the POSIX standard and the Single Unix Specification. It is a historical development from the terminal interfaces of BSD version 4 and Seventh Edition Unix.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C0_and_C1_control_codes - or control character sets define control codes for use in text by computer systems that use the ISO/IEC 2022 system of specifying control and graphic characters. Most character encodings, in addition to representing printable characters, also have characters such as these that represent additional information about the text, such as the position of a cursor, an instruction to start a new line, or a message that the text has been received.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_character - a character which invokes an alternative interpretation on subsequent characters in a character sequence. An escape character is a particular case of metacharacters. Generally, the judgement of whether something is an escape character or not depends on context.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_sequence - a series of characters used to change the state of computers and their attached peripheral devices. These are also known as control sequences, reflecting their use in device control. Some control sequences are special characters that always have the same meaning. Escape sequences use an escape character to change the meaning of the characters which follow it, meaning that the characters can be interpreted as a command to be executed rather than as data.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminfo - a library and database that enables programs to use display terminals in a device-independent manner. Mark Horton implemented the first terminfo library in 1981-1982 as an improvement over termcap.[1] The improvements include faster access to stored terminal descriptions, longer, more understandable names for terminal capabilities and general expression evaluation for strings sent to the terminal.

  • http://linux.die.net/man/1/toe - table of (terminfo) entries - With no options, toe lists all available terminal types by primary name with descriptions. File arguments specify the directories to be scanned; if no such arguments are given, your default terminfo directory is scanned. If you also specify the -h option, a directory header will be issued as each directory is entered.


 # Compiled terminal description database.
  • http://linux.die.net/man/1/tic - the terminfo entry-description compiler. The command tic translates a terminfo file from source format into compiled format. The compiled format is necessary for use with the library routines in ncurses.

  • infocmp - compare or print out terminfo descriptions

  • http://linux.die.net/man/1/captoinfo - convert a termcap description into a terminfo description. captoinfo looks in a file for termcap descriptions. For each one found, an equivalent terminfo description is written to standard output. Termcap tc capabilities are translated directly to terminfo use capabilities.
  • http://linux.die.net/man/1/infotocap - convert a terminfo description into a termcap description. infotocap looks in file for terminfo descriptions. For each one found, an equivalent termcap description is written to standard output. Terminfo use capabilities are translated directly to termcap tc capabilities.


Virtual terminal

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_console (VC) – also known as a virtual terminal (VT) – is a conceptual combination of the keyboard and display for a computer user interface. It is a feature of some operating systems such as BSD, Linux, and UnixWare in which the system console of the computer can be used to switch between multiple virtual consoles to access unrelated user interfaces. Virtual consoles date back at least to Xenix in the 1980s.

Usually in Linux (see Linux console), the first six virtual consoles provide a text terminal with a login prompt to a Unix shell. The graphical X Window System starts in the seventh virtual console. In Linux, the user switches between them with the key combination Alt plus a function key – for example Alt+F1 to access the virtual console number 1. Alt+Left arrow changes to the previous virtual console and Alt+Right arrow to the next virtual console. To switch from the X Window System, Ctrl+Alt+function key works. (Note that users can redefine these default key combinations.)

The need for virtual consoles has lessened now that most applications work in the graphical framework of the X Window System, where each program has a window and the text mode programs can be run in terminal-emulator windows. If several sessions of the X Window System are required to run in parallel, such as in the case of fast user switching or when debugging X programs on a separate X server, each X session usually runs in a separate virtual console.

  # returns vty number


  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_(Unix) - short for "get teletype", is a Unix program running on a host computer that manages physical or virtual terminals (TTYs). When it detects a connection, it prompts for a username and runs the 'login' program to authenticate the user.
  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Getty - getty is the generic name for a program which manages a terminal line and its connected terminal. Its purpose is to protect the system from unauthorized access. Generally, each getty process is started by init and manages a single terminal line. Within the context of a typical Arch Linux installation, the terminals managed by the getty processes are implemented as virtual consoles.





PYT / terminal emulator

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoterminal - or pseudotty, or PTY is a pair of pseudo-devices, one of which, the slave, emulates a real text terminal device, the other of which, the master, provides the means by which a terminal emulator process controls the slave.

If it's not a hardware terminal (teleprinter/tty), it's a pseudoterminal, although tty is also used to mean pty.

Terminal emulators

See also GUI#X_terminals

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_emulator - or terminal application, term, or tty for short, is a program that emulates a video terminal within some other display architecture. Though typically synonymous with a shell or text terminal, the term terminal covers all remote terminals, including graphical interfaces. A terminal emulator inside a graphical user interface is often called a terminal window.

Linux console

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_console - a system console internal to the Linux kernel (a system console is the device which receives all kernel messages and warnings and which allows logins in single user mode).

The Linux kernel supports virtual consoles - consoles that are logically separate, but which access the same physical keyboard and display.[2] The Linux console (and Linux virtual consoles) are implemented by the VT subsystem of the Linux kernel, and do not rely on any user space software.[3] This is in contrast to a terminal emulator, which is a user space process that emulates a terminal, and is typically used in a graphical display environment.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kmscon - a virtual console which runs in userspace and intends to replace the Linux console, a terminal built into the Linux kernel. Kmscon uses the KMS driver for its output, it is multi-seat capable, supports internationalized keyboard input and UTF-8 terminal output. The input support is implemented using X keyboard extension (XKB). Development of Kmscon stopped in March 2015. There is a new project called systemd-consoled.



  • framebuffer console (fbcon), as its name implies, is a text console running on top of the framebuffer device. It has the functionality of any standard text console driver, such as the VGA console, with the added features that can be attributed to the graphical nature of the framebuffer.

In the x86 architecture, the framebuffer console is optional, and some even treat it as a toy. For other architectures, it is the only available display device, text or graphical.

What are the features of fbcon? The framebuffer console supports high resolutions, varying font types, display rotation, primitive multihead, etc. Theoretically, multi-colored fonts, blending, aliasing, and any feature made available by the underlying graphics card are also possible.


X terminal(s)

See also GUI#X terminals

Terminal multiplexing


config goes in ~/.screenrc

escape ^Ww
  change escape key to w


Config goes in ~/.tmux.conf, which can be symlinked to a hidden git repo folder.

Better than screen.


tmux lsc
  list clients

tmux detach-client -t /dev/pts/26
  remove other clients from session (if screensize is fucked)
bind-key -n C-S-Left swap-window -t -1
bind-key -n C-S-Right swap-window -t +1

open new window in current pwd;

bind <key of your choice> default-path $(pwd) \; split-window\; set default-path ~/
tmux_pwd () {
   [ -z "${TMUX}" ] && return
   tmux set default-path $(pwd) > /dev/null && tmux new-window
   (( sleep 300;
   tmux set default-path ~/ > /dev/null; ) & ) > /dev/null 2>&1

alias tpwd="tmux_pwd"

  • tmux-resurrect saves all the little details from your tmux environment so it can be completely restored after a system restart (or when you feel like it). No configuration is required. You should feel like you never quit tmux. [72]
  • https://github.com/bsandrow/tmux.sh - A simple script to allow defaulting to grouped sessions. This is just a way to make the ability for two clients to connect and switch windows indepentendly from each other.


  • dvtm - brings the concept of tiling window management, popularized by X11-window managers like dwm to the console. As a console window manager it tries to make it easy to work with multiple console based programs.



  • Snoopy Logger - designed to aid a sysadmin by providing a log of commands executed. Snoopy is completely transparent to the user and applications. It is linked into programs to provide a wrapper around calls to execve(). Logging is done via syslog.
  • sniffy - allows to trace/log the data of any pseudo terminal in the system. Due to the way the terminal works, such a terminal trace provides complete information of what happened on the terminal screen and sniffy is able to display/replay this information.
  • ttysnoop - allows you to snoop on login tty's through another tty-device or pseudo-tty. The snoop-tty becomes a 'clone' of the original tty, redirecting both input and output from/to it.
  • Rootsh is a wrapper for shells which logs all echoed keystrokes and terminal output to a file and/or to syslog. It's main purpose is the auditing of users who need a shell with root privileges. They start rootsh through the sudo mechanism.
  • shwatchr is a small Perl script that audits logins to shell accounts on Linux/*NIX machines that originate from arbitrary hosts on the Internet.


  • abduco - provides session management i.e. it allows programs to be run independently from their controlling terminal. That is programs can be detached - run in the background - and then later reattached. Together with dvtm it provides a simpler and cleaner alternative to tmux or screen.
  • Mosh (mobile shell) - Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes. Mosh is a replacement for SSH. It's more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.

  • retty is a tiny tool that lets you attach processes running on other terminals. So you were running that mutt outside of screen at your home machine and now wanna check your mail? Attach it with retty, do whatever you want, detach it again and everything is as it was before. You don't have to run them all in screen just in case.


Traditionally, terminals could display 2 colours. Then some could display 16 (ANSI) colours (or 8 or 88 colours) for foreground and background.

! Black + DarkGrey
*color0:  #000000
*color8:  #555753
! DarkRed + Red
*color1:  #ff6565
*color9:  #ff8d8d
! DarkGreen + Green
*color2:  #93d44f
*color10: #c8e7a8
! DarkYellow + Yellow
*color3:  #eab93d
*color11: #ffc123
! DarkBlue + Blue
*color4:  #204a87
*color12: #3465a4
! DarkMagenta + Magenta
*color5:  #ce5c00
*color13: #f57900
!DarkCyan + Cyan (both not tango)
*color6:  #89b6e2
*color14: #46a4ff
! LightGrey + White
*color7:  #cccccc
*color15: #ffffff

Most modern terminals support 256, if not 24-bit colours.

tput colors
  # query the terminfo db for number of colours supported

"Setting $TERM in the shell profile is generally a bad idea, since you may wish to use different terminals. It is preferable to add it to .Xdefaults (or similar file read by X applications):"

XTerm*termName: xterm-256color

"xterm has a 256 color mode extension, FbTerm also add it in this version. But xterm's 256 color escape sequences conflict with the linux sequences implemented by FbTerm, so private escape sequences were introduced to support this feature and a new terminfo database entry named "fbterm" was added to use these private sequences, all program based on terminfo should work with it. By default, FbTerm sets environment variable "TERM" to value "linux", you need run "TERM=fbterm /path/to/program" to enable 256 color mode."


ls takes its color settings from the environment variable LS_COLORS. dircolors is merely a convenient way to generate this environment variable. To have this environment variable take effect system-wide, put it in your shell's startup file.

  • dircolors - color setup for ls. Output commands to set the LS_COLORS environment variable.
  • dir_colors - configuration file for dircolors - /etc/DIR_COLORS, ~/.dir_colors, etc.
dircolors -p > ~/.dircolors
  # creates the dircolors confuglration file (a basic script that sets and exports LS_COLORS variable)

For Bash in ~/.bashrc and Zsh in ~/.zshrc, add:

eval $(dircolors ~/.dircolors)


(x=`tput op` y=`printf %76s`;for i in {0..256};do o=00$i;echo -e ${o:${#o}-3:3} `tput setaf $i;tput setab $i`${y// /=}$x;done)
  # list all colours

echo $LS_COLORS | tr : '\n' | sed 's/\(.*\)=\(.*\)/\x1b[\2m\1\t\2\x1b[0m/'
  # print dircolor config with colours
#   This file echoes a bunch of color codes to the 
#   terminal to demonstrate what's available.  Each 
#   line is the color code of one foreground color,
#   out of 17 (default + 16 escapes), followed by a 
#   test use of that color on all nine background 
#   colors (default + 8 escapes).

T='gYw'   # The test text

echo -e "\n                 40m     41m     42m     43m\
    44m     45m     46m     47m";

for FGs in '    m' '   1m' '  30m' '1;30m' '  31m' '1;31m' '  32m' \
          '1;32m' '  33m' '1;33m' '  34m' '1;34m' '  35m' '1;35m' \
          '  36m' '1;36m' '  37m' '1;37m';
 do FG=${FGs// /}
 echo -en " $FGs \033[$FG  $T  "
 for BG in 40m 41m 42m 43m 44m 45m 46m 47m;
   do echo -en "$EINS \033[$FG\033[$BG  $T  \033[0m";



For ZSH, Vim, Tmux, etc.


  • colout is a simple command to add colors to a text stream in your terminal.



  • xcape allows you to use a modifier key as another key when pressed and released on its own. Note that it is slightly slower than pressing the original key, because the pressed event does not occur until the key is released. The default behaviour is to generate the Escape key when Left Control is pressed and released on its own. (If you don't understand why anybody would want this, I'm guessing that Vim is not your favourite text editor ;)


  • gpm is the mouse support for Linux on the console





to find;

  • way of making previous command screen output be pushed to a buffer that can be flipped through/forked?
  • paste pwd to readline/zle
  • make alt-delete not break things
  move forwards/back one word
  • chsh - change your login shell
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chsh - is a command on Unix-like operating systems that is used to change a login shell. Users can either supply the pathname of the shell that they wish to change to on the command line, or supply no arguments, in which case chsh allows the user to change the shell interactively. chsh is a setuid program that modifies the /etc/passwd file, and only allows ordinary users to modify their own login shells. The superuser can modify the shells of other users, by supplying the name of the user whose shell is to be modified as a command-line argument.

Standard streams

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_streams - preconnected input and output communication channels[1] between a computer program and its environment when it begins execution. The three I/O connections are called standard input (stdin), standard output (stdout) and standard error (stderr). Originally I/O happened via a physically connected system console (input via keyboard, output via monitor), but standard streams abstract this. When a command is executed via an interactive shell, the streams are typically connected to the text terminal on which the shell is running, but can be changed with redirection, e.g. via a pipeline. More generally, a child process will inherit the standard streams of its parent process.

n the C programming language, the standard input, output, and error streams are attached to the existing Unix file descriptors 0, 1 and 2 respectively. In a POSIX environment the <unistd.h> definitions STDIN_FILENO, STDOUT_FILENO or STDERR_FILENO should be used instead rather than magic numbers. File pointers stdin, stdout, and stderr are also provided.

  • stdin - 0
  • stdout - 1
  • stderr - 2


Here document

tr a-z A-Z << END_TEXT
  one two three
  four five six

This yields the output:



The > and >> are redirection operators for FD's (File Descriptors)

In bash you have tree standard FD's that are the standard input (strin), the standard output (strout) and the standard error (strerr). These can also be called by FD 0, FD 1 and FD 2 respectively.

Normally you would have you would have all FD's pointing to the terminal, but this can be changed by using redirection.

For example, if you call:

command > log.txt

You will redirect the output to the file log.txt This is similar as calling:

command 1> log.txt

As this only redirects strout you will still be able to see the error in the terminal. In order to redirect strerr to you log.txt file you will have to run:

command 2> log.txt

Again, this only redirects strerr. If you wish to redirect both stdout and stderr you need to duplicate your stderr output to stdout by using the >& command.

command 1> log.txt 2>&1

To understand this command you need to read it form right to left, first a copy of stderr is made to stdout, then strout is redirected to the log.txt file.

When you use redirection in this way, bash will not look if the file exists or not and simply create one regardless if that implies erasing the existing one. If you want to avoid loosing what has already been written in your log file you can then use the >> command in the same ways explained above, but in this case all the outputs will be appended to existing files.


Used by bash and other programs.




  • http://mywiki.wooledge.org/BashGuide/Patterns - BASH offers three different kinds of pattern matching. Pattern matching serves two roles in the shell: selecting filenames within a directory, or determining whether a string conforms to a desired format. On the command line you will mostly use globs. These are a fairly straight-forward form of patterns that can easily be used to match a range of files, or to check variables against simple rules. The second type of pattern matching involves extended globs, which allow more complicated expressions than regular globs. Since version 3.0, Bash also supports regular expression patterns. These will be useful mainly in scripts to test user input or parse data. (You can't use a regular expression to select filenames; only globs and extended globs can do that.)


print \T\h\i\s\ \i\s\ \*\p\o\i\n\t\l\e\s\s\*\ \ 
     \-\ \b\u\t\ \v\a\l\i\d\!
% read string
  This is a *string* with various `special' characters
% print -r -- ${(q)string}
  This\ is\ a\ \*string\*\ with\ various\ \`special\'\ characters


The Bourne shell, sh, was written by Stephen Bourne at AT&T as the original Unix command line interpreter; it introduced the basic features common to all the Unix shells, including piping, here documents, command substitution, variables, control structures for condition-testing and looping and filename wildcarding. The language, including the use of a reversed keyword to mark the end of a block, was influenced by ALGOL 68.


man: echo







  • declare or typeset - builtins, which are exact synonyms, permit modifying the properties of variables. This is a very weak form of the typing available in certain programming languages. The declare command is specific to version 2 or later of Bash. The typeset command also works in ksh scripts.
VARIABLE="test one two three"

export VARIABLE="make global to current shell env"

  # read in from file




  • zbkrc README file - This file describes startup files for Z-shell (zsh), bash and ksh

Commands are then read from $ZDOTDIR/.zshenv. If the shell is a login shell, commands are read from /etc/zprofile and then $ZDOTDIR/.zprofile. Then, if the shell is interactive, commands are read from /etc/zshrc and then $ZDOTDIR/.zshrc. Finally, if the shell is a login shell, /etc/zlogin and $ZDOTDIR/.zlogin are read.



The ZSH equivalent of readline for bash.

bindkey "\e[A" history-beginning-search-backward
bindkey "\e[B" history-beginning-search-forward


  last entered word
  returned exit code of last exec


reset-prompt-and-accept-line() {
    zle reset-prompt
    zle accept-line

zle -N reset-prompt-and-accept-line

bindkey '^m' reset-prompt-and-accept-line


setopt menu_complete
  # auto select first completion option
compdef g=git
  # basic alias completion [98]

compdef _files my-local-python-script
  # simple _files completion [99]

compdef '_files -g "*.(eps|ps|pdf)"' okular
  # restrict to some file extensions

compdef -e 'words[1]=(git pull origin); service=git; (( CURRENT+=2 )); _git' ggl
  # make alias use existing completion [100]

From http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4867369 :

Tab completion and aliases need not be mutually exclusive. For instance, in zsh you can use:

alias gs='git status'
compdef _git gs=git-status

FYI: I also mapped g without parameters to `git status -sb` but g with parameters will simply execute everything as normal

g () {
  if [ $# -eq 0 ]
    git status -sb
    git $*
compdef g=git


  • https://github.com/oknowton/zsh-dwim - attempts to predict what you will want to do next. It provides a key binding (control-u) that will replace the current (or previous) command line with the command you will want to run next.

  • zsh-history-substring-search - This is a clean-room implementation of the Fish shell's history search feature, where you can type in any part of any previously entered command and press the UP and DOWN arrow keys to cycle through the matching commands. You can also use K and J in VI mode or ^P and ^N in EMACS mode for the same.
  • zsh-completions - Additional completion definitions for Zsh. This projects aims at gathering/developing new completion scripts that are not available in Zsh yet. The scripts are meant to be contributed to the Zsh project when stable enough.
  • FIZSH is the Friendly Interactive ZSHell. It is a front end to ZSH. It provides the user of ZSH with interactive syntax-highting and Matlab-like history search. It also has a both short and informative prompt.
  • Antigen - A plugin manager for zsh, inspired by oh-my-zsh and vundle. Antigen is a small set of functions that help you easily manage your shell (zsh) plugins, called bundles. The concept is pretty much the same as bundles in a typical vim+pathogen setup. Antigen is to zsh, what Vundle is to vim.
  • k - a zsh script / plugin to make directory listings more readable, adding a bit of color and some git status information on files and directories.



  • Prezto is the configuration framework for Zsh; it enriches the command line interface environment with sane defaults, aliases, functions, auto completion, and prompt themes.


ash / dash

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almquist_shell - The Almquist shell (also known as A Shell, ash and sh) is a lightweight Unix shell originally written by Kenneth Almquist in the late 1980s. Initially a clone of the System V.4 variant of the Bourne shell, it replaced the original Bourne shell in the BSD versions of Unix released in the early 1990s. Derivative versions of ash are still installed as the default shell (/bin/sh) on FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD, MINIX, and Android, and in some Linux distributions.

Debian and derived Linux distributions such as Ubuntu ship a version of ash, known as dash (Debian Almquist shell), as the default /bin/sh, although Bash is the default login shell for interactive use. The reason for using dash is faster shell script execution, especially during startup of the operating system, compared to previous versions of Debian and Ubuntu that used Bash for this purpose.

Ash is also fairly popular in embedded Linux systems; its code was incorporated into the BusyBox catch-all executable often employed in this area.

csh / tcsh




  • lshell is a shell coded in Python, that lets you restrict a user's environment to limited sets of commands, choose to enable/disable any command over SSH (e.g. SCP, SFTP, rsync, etc.), log user's commands, implement timing restriction, and more.


  • git-shell - Restricted login shell for Git-only SSH access


  • Inferno is a distributed operating system, originally developed at Bell Labs, but now developed and maintained by Vita Nuova® as Free Software. Applications written in Inferno's concurrent programming language, Limbo, are compiled to its portable virtual machine code (Dis), to run anywhere on a network in the portable environment that Inferno provides. Unusually, that environment looks and acts like a complete operating system.





  • Xiki: A shell console with GUI features. Xiki does what shell consoles do, but lets you edit everything at any time. It's trivial to make your own commands and menus to access other tools. [102]
  • Pdsh is a high-performance, parallel remote shell utility. It uses a sliding window of threads to execute remote commands, conserving socket resources while allowing some connections to timeout if needed. It was originally written as a replacement for IBM's DSH on clusters at LLNL.
  • shok is a cross-platform non-POSIX interactive command shell. Similar to bash and cmd.exe, it allows the user to invoke programs and script their execution. shok will provide a secure, platform-agnostic, and user-friendly programming language that is designed to facilitate filesystem interaction and system management. [103]
  • Perl Shell (psh) combines aspects of bash and other shells with the power of Perl scripting.
  • Oh is a Unix shell. If you've used other Unix shells, oh should feel familiar. At its core, oh is a heavily modified dialect of the Scheme programming language complete with first-class continuations and proper tail recursion. Like early Scheme implementations, oh exposes environments as first-class values. Oh extends environments to allow both public and private members and uses these extended first-class environments as the basis for its prototype-based object system. Written in Go, oh is also a concurrent programming language. It exposes channels, in addition to pipes, as first-class values. As oh uses the same syntax for code and data, channels and pipes can, in many cases, be used interchangeably. This homoiconic nature also allows oh to support fexprs which, in turn, allow oh to be easily extended. In fact, much of oh is written in oh. [106]
  • xonsh is a Python-ish, BASHwards-looking shell language and command prompt. The language is a superset of Python 3.4+ with additional shell primitives that you are used to from Bash and IPython. It works on all major systems including Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows. Xonsh is meant for the daily use of experts and novices alike. [107]
  • ngs is a Next Generation Shell. It has two main parts: the language and the interactive shell. NGS tries to fill the void between classical shells such as bash and general-purpose programming languages such as Ruby, Python, Perl, Go. The shells are domain-specific languages but the domain has changed so classical shells are not optimal for today's tasks. General-purpose languages on the other hand are not domain-specific so they are not good as shells and too verbose for system tasks scripting, not a good fit. [108]





  • bro pages are a highly readable supplement to man pages with concise, common-case examples for Unix commands

  • mangle.sh - Mangle man pages to show just the parts you need (suitable for aliasing to "man") [111]

whatis ls lists the manual pages for ls.

  search the whatis database for strings

apropos ls lists all manual pages that contain ls in their title.




  • Black Duck Open Hub (formerly Ohloh.net) is an online community and public directory of free and open source software (FOSS), offering analytics and search services for discovering, evaluating, tracking, and comparing open source code and projects. Open Hub Code Search is free code search engine indexing over 21,000,000,000 lines of open source code from projects on the Black Duck Open Hub.


The exec utility shall open, close, and/or copy file descriptors as specified by any redirections as part of the command.

If exec is specified without command or arguments, and any file descriptors with numbers greater than 2 are opened with associated redirection statements, it is unspecified whether those file descriptors remain open when the shell invokes another utility. Scripts concerned that child shells could misuse open file descriptors can always close them explicitly, as shown in one of the following examples.

If exec is specified with command, it shall replace the shell with command without creating a new process. If arguments are specified, they shall be arguments to command. Redirection affects the current shell execution environment.

exec windowmanager
  # switch script shell process with windowmanager process


A daemon is a program that runs in the background, waiting for events to occur and offering services. A good example is a web server that waits for a request to deliver a page or a ssh server waiting for someone trying to log in. While these are full featured applications, there are daemons whose work is not that visible. Daemons are for tasks like writing messages into a log file (e.g. syslog, metalog) or keeping your system time accurate (e.g. ntpd). For more information see man 7 daemon.

  • Daemon turns other process into daemons. There are many tasks that need to be performed to correctly set up a daemon process. This can be tedious. Daemon performs these tasks for other processes.


See also Regex for sed, awk, etc.

  • Vim - Text editor, etc.
  • Git - Distributed version control

GNU coreutils


Use output as input.

cat filename.txt

cat `locate file.txt`
  # or
cat $(locate file.txt)



echo $PATH | tr \: \\n | sort

to sort

  • auditd - userspace component to the Linux Auditing System [116]
  • shelr - console screencasting tool


If you want to write daemons in languages that can link against C functions (e.g. C, C++), see libslack which contains the core functionality of daemon.


  • Expect - a tool for automating interactive applications such as telnet, ftp, passwd, fsck, rlogin, tip, etc. Expect really makes this stuff trivial. Expect is also useful for testing these same applications. And by adding Tk, you can also wrap interactive applications in X11 GUIs. Expect can make easy all sorts of tasks that are prohibitively difficult with anything else. You will find that Expect is an absolutely invaluable tool - using it, you will be able to automate tasks that you've never even thought of before - and you'll be able to do this automation quickly and easily.


expr 2 \* 2
  # returns 4. doesn't do non-integers.

Terminal extras

Desktop entries

Job schedulers



at and batch read commands from standard input or a specified file which are to be executed at a later time.

at 5am Oct 20   
  # executes commands at "time am/pm" "month" "day"
  # lists the user's pending jobs, unless the user is the superuser; in that case, everybody's jobs are listed. The format of the output lines (one for each job) is: Job number, date, hour, queue, and username.
  # deletes jobs, identified by their job number.
  # executes commands when system load levels permit; in other words, when the load average drops below 0.8, or the value specified in the invocation of atd.



  • SUS: crontab - schedule periodic background work

A cronjob is a task that a Cron system is instructed to run periodically. The crontab file is a configuration file for a user that defines tasks to run under the user’s account. The systab file is a file that specifies cronjobs for the system.

  # user crontabs

  # system-wide crontab

  # or
/etc/cron.hourly, /etc/cron.daily, /etc/cron.weekly, /etc/cron.monthly
  # distro specific extra

crontab -l
  # view crontabs

crontab -e
  # edit their crontabs

crontab -r
 # remove their crontabs

crontab saved_crontab_filename
 # overwrite their old crontab with saved crontab
  1. m h dom mon dow user command

There are several special predefined values which can be used to substitute the CRON expression.

Entry                  Description                                 Equivalent To
 @yearly (or @annually) Run once a year, midnight, Jan. 1st         0 0 1 1 *
 @monthly               Run once a month, midnight, first of month  0 0 1 * *
 @weekly                Run once a week, midnight on Sunday         0 0 * * 0
 @daily                 Run once a day, midnight                    0 0 * * *
 @hourly                Run once an hour, beginning of hour         0 * * * *
 @reboot                Run at startup                              @reboot 
*    *    *    *    *  command to be executed
┬    ┬    ┬    ┬    ┬
│    │    │    │    │
│    │    │    │    │
│    │    │    │    └───── day of week (0 - 6) (0 is Sunday, or use names)
│    │    │    └────────── month (1 - 12)
│    │    └─────────────── day of month (1 - 31)
│    └──────────────────── hour (0 - 23)
└───────────────────────── min (0 - 59)

  • /etc/cron.allow - If this file exists, then you must be listed therein (your username must be listed) in order to be allowed to use cron jobs.
  • /etc/cron.deny - If the cron.allow file does not exist but the /etc/cron.deny file does exist, then you must not be listed in the /etc/cron.deny file in order to use cron jobs.

Vanilla dcron supports asynchronous job processing. Just put it with @hourly, @daily, @weekly or @monthly with a jobname.

dcron has @daily, @hourly and so on. In fcron, you can use standard crontab entries and add &bootrun to the beginning of the line to repeat "missed" cronjobs.


Arch default cron as dcron wasn't maintained at the time.

dcron and fcron are not under active development, cronie is. cronie is small - 0.20MB installed. developed by Red Hat - it is not going anywhere and we have a guaranteed upgrade path. As far as I can tell cronie has no deps beyond glibc and pam. cronie has /etc/cron.d support and anacron support via an anacrontab config file. cronie extends the original vixie cron package so the syntax, core feature set, etc are stable. implements advanced security hooks as well and can integrate with SELINUX.

  • anacron is a computer program that performs periodic command scheduling which is traditionally done by cron, but without assuming that the system is running continuously. Thus, it can be used to control the execution of daily, weekly, and monthly jobs (or anything with a period of n days) on systems that don't run 24 hours a day.

  # and/or

Fcron’s own crontab system uses the fcrontab file for configuration information. The fcrontab syntax is similar but differs slightly from the classic Vixie/ISC Cron crontab notation. fcron lacks /etc/cron.d/ functionality.



  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Systemd/Timers - Timers are systemd unit files whose name ends in .timer that control .service files or events. Timers can be used as an alternative to cron (read #As a cron replacement). Timers have built-in support for calendar time events, monotonic time events, and can be run asynchronously.

File watchers


  • inotify-tools is a C library and a set of command-line programs for Linux providing a simple interface to inotify.
  • inotifywatch - gather filesystem access statistics using inotify
  • inotail is a replacement for the 'tail' program found in the base installation of every Linux/UNIX system. It makes use of the inotify infrastructure in recent versions of the Linux kernel to speed up tailing files in the follow mode (the '-f' option). Standard tail polls the file every second by default while inotail listens to special events sent by the kernel through the inotify API to determine whether a file needs to be reread. Currently inotail is not fully compatible to neither POSIX or GNU tail but might be in the future.
  • entr - Run arbitrary commands when files change
  • - Guard::Shell - automatically runs shell commands when watched files are modified.
  • incron - inotify cron system. This program is an "inotify cron" system. It consists of a daemon and a table manipulator. You can use it a similar way as the regular cron. The difference is that the inotify cron handles filesystem events rather than time periods.
  • nodemon will watch the files in the directory that nodemon was started, and if they change, it will automatically restart your node application.


watch -n 2 ls -la



  • e4rat ("Ext4 - Reducing Access Times") is a toolset to accelerate the boot process as well as application startups. Through physical file realloction e4rat eliminates both seek times and rotational delays. This leads to a high disk transfer rate. Placing files on disk in a sequentially ordered way allows to efficiently read-ahead files in parallel to the program startup.

ncurses, etc.


Configuration management






  • Awesome dotfiles - A curated list of dotfiles resources. Inspired by the awesome list thing.
  • dotphiles - A community driven framework of dotfiles, for the usual terminal apps and shells, designed to work across multiple platforms and degrade for older versions of software or O/S, allowing you to use the same settings on all your machines.


See also Stack#Provision and configuration

  • myrepos - You have a lot of version control repositories. Sometimes you want to update them all at once. Or push out all your local changes. You use special command lines in some repositories to implement specific workflows. Myrepos provides a mr command, which is a tool to manage all your version control repositories. All you need to get started is some already checked out repos. These could be using git, or bzr, mercurial or darcs, or many other version control systems. Doesn't matter, they're all supported!
mr register
  # run inside each of your repositories, sets up a ~/.mrconfig file listing your repositories.

In general, any mr command runs recursively over any repository located somewhere in or under the current directory. These work no matter which version control system is used for a repository.

mr status

mr up
mr update  
  # update all repos. run inside a repository, it'll only act on that repository.

mr -j5 update
  # will run 5 concurrent jobs!
mr commit
mr pu 
mr push    # or

mr diff, and a lot of other commands.  Of course, you can still use the native version control commands too.

  • vcsh - Version Control System for $HOME - multiple Git repositories in $HOME

enables single-purpose repositories and stores them in a hidden directory. However, it does not create symbolic links in $HOME; it puts the actual files right into $HOME.

checkout = vcsh clone 'git://github.com/RichiH/zshrc.git' 'zsh'
update   = vcsh zsh pull
push     = vcsh zsh push
status   = vcsh zsh status
gc       = vcsh zsh gc

checkout = vcsh clone 'git://github.com/andschwa/emacs.git' '.emacs.d'

vcsh + mr:

vcsh-git + myrepos for bootstrap;

vcsh clone git://github.com/milkmiruku/vcsh_mr.git

cd .config/mr/available.d
  # make symlinks from available.d to ../config.d for this system
mr up
  # mr bootstrap
vcsh init reponame
  # Create empty repo locally
vcsh clone <remote> <repository_name>
  # clone an existing repo
vcsh reponame remote -v
  # list a repos remotes

vcsh reponame remote add origin <remote>
  # add a remote repo as origin
vcsh reponame branch --track master origin/master
  # Branch master set up to track remote branch master from origin.

vcsh reponame branch --set-upstream-to=origin/master master
  # Branch master set up to track remote branch master from origin.
vcsh st
  # status of all repos
vcsh enter reponame
  # enter git context for reponame repo

git add newfile
git commit --verbose
  # git action and exit vcsh context
vcsh config add -u
  # add all changes in config repo
vcsh foreach add -u 
  # quick git add all unstaged files in all repos

vcsh commit --verbose
  # commit all repos

vesh push
  # push all repos

vcsh pull
  # pull all repos
vcsh zsh pull
  # pull zsh repo files
  • ghar can help you manage your $HOME in git using a collection of git repos seperated by topic or privacy. For example if you work on a variety of machines and want to share your .emacs on github but not your .ssh then ghar is for you.
GNU Stow
  • GNU Stow is a symlink farm manager which takes distinct packages of software and/or data located in separate directories on the filesystem, and makes them appear to be installed in the same place. For example, /usr/local/bin could contain symlinks to files within /usr/local/stow/emacs/bin, /usr/local/stow/perl/bin etc., and likewise recursively for any other subdirectories such as .../share, .../man, and so on. This is particularly useful for keeping track of system-wide and per-user installations of software built from source, but can also facilitate a more controlled approach to management of configuration files in the user's home directory, especially when coupled with version control systems.
  • https://github.com/andsens/homeshick - bash stand-in for homesick. In Unix, configuration files are king. Tailoring tools to suit your needs through configuration can be empowering. An immense number of hours is spent on getting these adjustments just right, but once you leave the confines of your own computer, these local optimizations are left behind. By the power of git, homeshick enables you to bring the symphony of settings you have poured your heart into with you to remote computers. With it you can begin to focus even more energy on bettering your work environment since the benefits are reaped on whichever machine you are using. However bare bones these machines are, provided that at least bash 3 and git 1.5 are available you can use homeshick. homeshick can handle multiple dotfile repositories. This means that you can install larger frameworks like oh-my-zsh or a multitude of emacs or vim plugins alongside your own customizations without clutter.

Bash, single directory for repos.

  • Homesick is sorta like rip, but for dotfiles. It uses git to clone a repository containing dotfiles, and saves them in ~/.homesick. It then allows you to symlink all the dotfiles into place with a single command. We call a repository that is compatible with homesick to be a 'castle'. To act as a castle, a repository must be organized like so: Contains a 'home' directory; 'home' contains any number of files and directories that begin with '.'.

Ruby GEM, single directory for repos.


Seashell is the basis for a dotfile management repo. Clone it, commit your dotfiles to it, and you're done. It doesn't depend on anything esoteric, just good old fashioned git, bash, and GNU make. The unit tests depend on shutil2. Features: Keeps your $HOME free of unnecessary git files (.git, .gitignore, .gitmodules, etc), Permits arbitrary directory structure (e.g. a/b/c will get moved to ~/a/b/c, creating any missing directories) The repo can live anywhere (e.g. ~/Dropbox/.dotfiles), The dotfiles can be exported anywhere (e.g. sudo make install DST_ROOT=/home/$someone_else)

Single directory for repos

  • DeeDot is a tool for installing dotfile symlinks in your $HOME, allowing you to keep your versioned dotfiles under a single directory.. DeeDot requires only Perl, and doesn't need any extra modules. Host your dotfiles in any version control system (eg. Git, Hg, SVN, even rsync), and voila, your dotfiles are available across multiple machines.

Single directory for repos


best for single repo?

  • https://github.com/svetlyak40wt/dotfiler - Clone this project somewhere like $HOME/.dotfiles and add $HOME/.dotfiles/bin into your PATH. Then clone some config files into the $HOME/.dotfiles . Run dot update to make all necessary symlinks.

single directory for repos

  • https://github.com/anishathalye/dotbot - symlink manager with yaml/json config. Currently, Dotbot knows how to link files and folders, execute shell commands, and clean directories of broken symbolic links.

http://www.anishathalye.com/2014/08/03/managing-your-dotfiles/ python


My main inspiration is dotbot from which I stole the configuration yaml file. POSIX compatible shell in /bin/sh (grep, sed, ln, mv, rm, mkdir, printf, etc.), curl and tar, git [optional] to get stuff from the internet

Config Curator

python, single repo

  • Evil Tomato - A versioned portable roaming shell environment.

bash, single repo, symlinks


bash, single repo

  • dotsync keeps your local dotfiles in sync with a git repository and keeps multiple remote machines in sync, either with them pulling from the git repo or pushed via rsync. Master servers can be assigned, for cases where groups of machines are behind firewalls or only accessible from a certain location. dotsync assumes that you have ssh setup correctly, with ssh-agent and configs for correct usernames etc, if you can't 'ssh hostname' it probably wont work and if your asked for passwords it will take hours with any number of machines.

Single repo, Uses dotryncrc config file.

  • dots - Modular dotfile manager. Symlinks dotfiles from plugins to HOME. Used Python Fabric, a library and command-line tool for streamlining the use of SSH for application deployment or systems administration tasks. dead?
  • jwc:dotman - saves the day by allowing you to: Upload a set of master configs to a remote repository. Grab that config on each of your environments. ... and diff it against the previous config so you can make localized changes.

Requires Python.


Requires Python/pip.

  • https://github.com/EvanPurkhiser/dots - When installing your dotfiles onto a new machine, dots offers you the ability to select a specific 'group' of dotfiles that you would like to have installed into that environment. By organizing your dotfiles into logical groups (such as 'machine' groups) it's possible to only install the dotfiles that are required by that environment.



Ruby. Single repo.

  • https://github.com/thoughtbot/rcm - rcup(1) is the main program. It is used to install and update dotfiles, with support for tags, host-specific files, and multiple source directories. rcdn(1) is the opposite of rcup(1). mkrc(1) is for introducing a dotfile into your dotfiles directory, with support for tags and multiple source directories. lsrc(1) shows you all your dotfiles and where they would be symlinked to. It is used by rcup(1) but is provided for your own use, too.

Perl. one folder repo. symlinks or copies. can't handle dotted files in the dotfiles directory, solution is to rename??

  • Graft provides a mechanism for managing multiple packages under a single directory hierarchy. It was inspired by both Depot (Carnegie Mellon University) and Stow (Bob Glickstein).
  • https://github.com/lra/mackup Mackup Keep your application settings in sync. Supported Storages Dropbox Google Drive Copy iCloud Box Anything able to sync a folder (e.g. Git)

Python. Symlinks, single repo/folder


Python. Copying rather than symlinking, which has the benefit that the source files can be passed through a simple preprocessor to do some customization for different systems. Also you can get a diff between your current files and the state that you just synced.

  • sshrc - bring your .bashrc, .vimrc, etc. with you when you ssh. sshrc works just like ssh, but it also sources the ~/.sshrc on your local computer after logging in remotely. [131]
  • https://github.com/nugget/netskel - an http(s) based file synchronization tool which can be used to mirror a central repository of files to multiple UNIX shell accounts. It was built to create a simple and automated mechanism for users to push out their various shell environment config files to all the machines where they have shell accounts.


  • https://github.com/acrisci/playerctl - a command-line utility and library for controlling media players that implement the MPRIS D-Bus Interface Specification, like spotify, vlc, audacious, bmp, xmms2, and others. Playerctl makes it easy to bind player actions, such as play and pause, to media keys. For more advanced users, Playerctl provides an introspectable library available in your favorite scripting language that allows more detailed control like the ability to subscribe to media player events or get metadata such as artist and title for the playing track.


See also GUI#Utils

hexdump -C /dev/urandom | pv -q -L 2k | grep "ca fe"


  • WINE



  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_Service_Switch - a facility in Unix-like operating systems that provides a variety of sources for common configuration databases and name resolution mechanisms. These sources include local operating system files (such as /etc/passwd, /etc/group, and /etc/hosts), the Domain Name System (DNS), the Network Information Service (NIS), and LDAP

Home directory

On Unix-like operating systems (including BSD, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X), tilde often indicates the current user's home directory: for example, if the current user's home directory is /home/bloggsj, then cd, cd ~, cd /home/bloggsj or cd $HOME are equivalent. This practice derives from the Lear-Siegler ADM-3A terminal in common use during the 1970s, which happened to have the tilde symbol and the word "Home" (for moving the cursor to the upper left) on the same key.



useradd username
  create user with defaults (no password)

useradd -D
  show defaults that will be used

useradd -m -g [initial_group] -G [additional_groups] -s [login_shell] [username]
  -m - add home dir
  -d - non-default home dir path
  -c comment
  -e 2006-06-30 - expires

useradd -m -g users -G audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,games,power,scanner -s /bin/bash username
  interactive tool
  # set password of current account

passwd username
  # set password of username

passwd -S username
  # see password status of username
userdel username
  # remove user

userdel -r username
  # remove user plus their home folder, mail spool
cat /etc/passwd | cut -d: -f 1,3,6 | grep "[5-9][0-9][0-9]"
  # List users on a system [133]
groups [username]
  # show users groups


groupadd [group]
  add group

gpasswd -a [user] [group]
  add user to group
gpasswd -d [user] [group]
  delete user from group

User must relogin for new group to take effect.

id [username]
  show user id and their groups ids
  lastb - show listing of last logged in users



stat -c '%A %a %n' *
  list permissions in octal


  # change file mode bits
 # Before: drwxr-xr-x 6 archie users  4096 Jul  5 17:37 Documents
chmod g= Documents
chmod o= Documents
  # After: drwx------ 6 archie users  4096 Jul  6 17:32 Documents


  • u - the user who owns the file.
  • g - other users who are in the file's group.
  • o - all other users.
  • a - all users; the same as ugo.


  • + - to add the permissions to whatever permissions the users already have for the file.
  • - - to remove the permissions from whatever permissions the users already have for the file.
  • = - to make the permissions the only permissions that the users have for the file.

Permissions; r - the permission the users have to read the file. w - the permission the users have to write to the file. x - the permission the users have to execute the file, or search it if it is a directory.


chown -R user:group .
  change all files and directories to a specific use and group [136]

su / sudo

Run things as root or another user. There are a number of methods to do higher privilege things, with differing resultant permissions. To refind good forum threads..

sudo -s
  open a new shell as root, but with your original user's environment variables

sudo -i
  open a new shell as if root had logged in; root's environment variables, root's .bash_profile, etc.

sudo su -
  same as above

snippet to source...

sudo sh -c "echo 'something' >> /etc/privilegedfile"


  command to safely add sudoers rights using nano
user ALL=(ALL) ALL

Access Control Lists

Partition must be mounted with acl option. "Operation not supported" from setfacl means this is not so.

mount -o remount,acl /

Set in /etc/fstab for persistence across boots.

Opening a directory requires execute permission.

setfacl -m "u:username:permissions"
setfacl -m "u:uid:permissions"
  add permissions for user

setfacl -m "g:groupname:permissions"
setfacl -m "g:gid:permissions"
  add permissions for group

setfacl -m "u:user:rwx" file
  add read, write, execure perms for user for file
setfacl -Rm "u:user:rw" /dir
  add recursive read, write perms for user for dir
setfacl -Rdm "u:user:rw" /dir
  add recursive read, write perms for user for dir and make them default for future changes
getfacl ./
  shows access control list for directory or file

Session permission management

For non-root mount permissions, etc, i.e. to make USB drives, etc. accessible too non-root users.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluggable_authentication_module - PAM) is a mechanism to integrate multiple low-level authentication schemes into a high-level application programming interface (API). It allows programs that rely on authentication to be written independently of the underlying authentication scheme. PAM was first proposed by Sun Microsystems in an Open Software Foundation Request for Comments (RFC) 86.0 dated October 1995. It was adopted as the authentication framework of the Common Desktop Environment. As a stand-alone open-source infrastructure, PAM first appeared in Red Hat Linux 3.0.4 in August 1996. PAM is currently supported in the AIX operating system, DragonFly BSD,[1] FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux, Mac OS X, NetBSD and Solaris. Since no central standard of PAM behavior exists, there was a later attempt to standardize PAM as part of the X/Open UNIX standardization process, resulting in the X/Open Single Sign-on (XSSO) standard. This standard was not ratified, but the standard draft has served as a reference point for later PAM implementations (for example, OpenPAM).

Linux PAM

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_PAM - provide dynamic authentication support for applications and services in a Linux or GNU/kFreeBSD[1] system. Linux PAM is evolved from the Unix Pluggable Authentication Modules architecture.

Linux-PAM separates the tasks of authentication into four independent management groups:

  • account modules check that the specified account is a valid authentication target under current conditions. This may include conditions like account expiration, time of day, and that the user has access to the requested service.
  • authentication modules verify the user's identity, for example by requesting and checking a password or other secret. They may also pass authentication information on to other systems like a keyring.
  • password modules are responsible for updating passwords, and are generally coupled to modules employed in the authentication step. They may also be used to enforce strong passwords.
  • session modules define actions that are performed at the beginning and end of sessions. A session starts after the user has successfully authenticated.

Config format:

module_type control_flag module_path arguments

Configuration file(s):

  # or
  # restricts hosts

  # privileges for users logged on via the console

  # checks a file for a users privileges

  # prevents users other than root when /etc/nologin exists

  # restricts tty devices root can use

  # restrict use availability times


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenPAM - a BSD-licensed implementation of PAM used by FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD and OS X (starting with Snow Leopard), and offered as an alternative to Linux PAM in certain Linux distributions.

Packages and package management

See Packages

System information

See also Server#Monitoring

time [command]
  return with command execution time
uname -a


  • PCI Utilities are a collection of programs for inspecting and manipulating configuration of PCI devices, all based on a common portable library libpci which offers access to the PCI configuration space on a variety of operating systems.

The utilities include:

  • lspci - displays detailed information about all PCI buses and devices in the system
  • setpci - allows reading from and writing to PCI device configuration registers. For example, you can adjust the latency timers with it.
  • Dmidecode reports information about your system's hardware as described in your system BIOS according to the SMBIOS/DMI standard (see a sample output). This information typically includes system manufacturer, model name, serial number, BIOS version, asset tag as well as a lot of other details of varying level of interest and reliability depending on the manufacturer. This will often include usage status for the CPU sockets, expansion slots (e.g. AGP, PCI, ISA) and memory module slots, and the list of I/O ports (e.g. serial, parallel, USB).
  • lshw (Hardware Lister) is a small tool to provide detailed information on the hardware configuration of the machine. It can report exact memory configuration, firmware version, mainboard configuration, CPU version and speed, cache configuration, bus speed, etc. on DMI-capable x86 or EFI (IA-64) systems and on some PowerPC machines (​PowerMac G4 is known to work).

lstopo --of txt


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procfs - a special filesystem in UNIX-like operating systems that presents information about processes and other system information in a hierarchical file-like structure, providing a more convenient and standardized method for dynamically accessing process data held in the kernel than traditional tracing methods or direct access to kernel memory. Typically, it is mapped to a mount point named /proc at boot time. The proc file system acts as an interface to internal data structures in the kernel. It can be used to obtain information about the system and to change certain kernel parameters at runtime (sysctl).

More than a few operating systems support the proc filesystem, including Solaris, IRIX, Tru64 UNIX, BSD, Linux (Linux kernel extends it to non–process-related data), IBM AIX (which bases its implementation on Linux to improve compatibility), QNX, and Plan 9 from Bell Labs. The proc filesystem provides a method of communication between kernel space and user space. For example, the GNU version of ps uses the procfs to obtain its data, without using any specialized system calls.

  • free - Report the amount of free and used memory in the system
  • kill - Send a signal to a process based on PID
  • pgrep - List processes based on name or other attributes
  • pkill - Send a signal to a process based on name or other attributes
  • pmap - Report memory map of a process
  • ps - Report information of processes
  • pwdx - Report current directory of a process
  • skill - Obsolete version of pgrep/pkill
  • slabtop - Display kernel slab cache information in real time
  • snice - Renice a process
  • sysctl - Read or Write kernel parameters at run-time
  • tload - Graphical representation of system load average
  • top - Dynamic real-time view of running processes
  • uptime - Display how long the system has been running
  • vmstat - Report virtual memory statistics
  • w - Report logged in users and what they are doing
  • watch - Execute a program periodically, showing output fullscreen

ps ax | grep -process-

  • fuser - identifies what processes are using files.
  • killall - kills a process by its name, similar to a pkill found in some other Unices.
  • pstree - Shows currently running processes in a tree format.
  • peekfd - Peek at file descriptors of running processes.






  • perf (sometimes "Perf Events" or perf tools, originally "Performance Counters for Linux", PCL) - is a user-space performance analyzing tool in Linux with git-like interface and subcommands. It is capable of statistical profiling of entire system (both kernel and user code), single CPU or severals threads.


  • lsof - "lists open files" (lots, given "everything" is a file)
lsof -i :[port]
  what application using a specific port


Part of the procps package.

Current stats only, no disk or network. Sorts by cpu by default. A multicore box can show more than 100%.

  change update interval
return, space

  show separate threads of each process
  show run queue (R) or waiting on disk io (D, red)
  show serperate cpus




Shows short lived processes that run and finish between update interval times.


  • PRC: Total CPU time in system and user mode, total number of processes and of zombie processes, and the number of processes that exited during the polling interval.
  • CPU and CPL: CPU utilization and load (averaged over 1, 5 and 15 minutes).
  • cpu: individual CPU usage.
  • MEM and SWP: Amount of memory and swap space that is available and where it’s allocated. vmcom and vmlim show how much virtual memory space is committed and what the limit is.
  • DSK: disk utilization. avio shows the average number of milliseconds per request.
  • NET: Network utilization for the TCP layer (“transport”), the IP layer (“network”) and each interface.
  forward a page
  back a page

  sort by cpu activity
  sort by memory consumption
  sort by disk activity
  sort by network activity
  sort by most active system resource (auto mode)

  focus on process (regex)
  show all threads (inc. idle)

 Scheduling information
  Memory consumption
  Disk utilization
 Variable information
  Command line
 Accumulated per program
  Accumulated per user
 Network utilization (patched kernel)

  interval timer
  trigger update
atopsar -c 60 5
  current CPU utilization, five times with an interval of sixty seconds

atopsar -A -b 13:00 -e 13:35
  all available reports are generated, starting from 13:00 till 13:35


iostat, isag, mpstat, pidstat, sadf, sar

iostat -d -x 2






  • free - Display amount of free and used memory in the system


  • osop - other side of the pipe - outputs formatted metrics to your Stdout.
  • vpsinfo is a Linux server monitoring script, written in PHP, that provides web access to system status information. It gathers the output from several common Linux commands into one web page, providing a quick overview of the system's current state.
  • Dstat is a versatile replacement for vmstat, iostat, netstat and ifstat. Dstat overcomes some of their limitations and adds some extra features, more counters and flexibility. Dstat is handy for monitoring systems during performance tuning tests, benchmarks or troubleshooting.
  • rtop - Remote Server Monitoring over SSH [147]


Memory and/or disk.

iotop -obt -d2


  • inxi - A newer, better system information script for irc, administration, and system troubleshooters.


echo "Today's date is `date -I`"
  Local datetime
date -d @1337000000
  Convert unixtime to datetime
date -ud
  Convert unixtime to UTC datetime
ntpdate pool.ntp.org && hwclock --systohc && hwclock --adjust
  Synchronize both your system clock and hardware clock and calculate/adjust time drift.
  Do not run this command if you already have ntpd running! [148]

Suspension, hibernation

  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pm-utils - a collection of shell scripts that wrap the kernel mode suspend/resume with the various hacks. These hacks are needed to work around bugs in drivers and subsystems that are not yet aware of suspend. It is easily extensible by putting custom hooks into a directory, which can either be done by the system administrator or those hooks can be part of a package, especially if this package needs special attention during a system suspend or power state transition.
sudo pm-suspend


username  ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-hibernate
username  ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend
%group   ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-hibernate
%group   ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend


  • OpenBenchmarking.org is an open, collaborative testing platform designed by Phoronix Media and the developers behind the Phoronix Test Suite, the most comprehensive benchmarking platform for Linux and other operating systems. OpenBenchmarking.org makes the Phoronix Test Suite an even more extensible platform for conducting automated tests with complete integration into Phoronix Test Suite 3.0-Iveland as well as within Phoromatic, an online test remote management system designed for managing test farms within enterprise environments.


See also Computer#Laptop



Printing system.

lp filename
lpr filename

lpstat -p -d

lp -d printer filename
lpr -P printer filename
lpoptions -d printer
program | lp
program | lp -d printer
program | lpr
program | lpr -P printer

to sort

to move to Distros?