Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Fri Jul 18 13:42:08 UTC 2008

Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> [kernel and kernel inspection and filesystem utilities, no more]
>> Per your definition, UNIX wouldn't have ever been regarded as just an
>> operating system.
> And then, UNIX philosophy would probably be limited to "everything is
> a file" because, by this definition, everything else we understand as
> UNIX wouldn't apply to the operating system, but rather to this
> broader concept for which we don't seem to have a name.

I look at at this way: a unix-like operating system is the part that 
makes everything look like a file and applications that are portable 
across them only need an API of creat(), open(), read(), write(), and 
ioctl() with all needed permission/device/socket/fifo magic handled by 
the OS during open().  That's not completely true and of course there 
are library layers above that, but it is the concept that distinguishes 
unix.   It's closer to 'everything is a file descriptor' than everything 
is a file since they are often inherited without the app even knowing 
about the associated file/device/socket.

> Nothing like "many small programs, each doing a single simple task
> very well, that can be combined through pipes and a powerful shell
> programming language" would be part of the UNIX philosophy, because,
> well, these small programs wouldn't be part of UNIX per this narrow
> definition.

That's a good idea under any OS, not particularly unique to unix.

> Nothing like "the same low-level programming language usable all the
> way from the guts of the kernel to applications, and a well-defined
> system API available to that programming language" would be part of
> the UNIX philosophy, and it wouldn't have a C library (and a C
> compiler) as fundamental building blocks.

The c library isn't unique to unix by design.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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