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Dialects of English and Unix

English is spoken as a first language by over 300 million people, and by about five times that number if you include people who can speak it as a second or third language. But that doesn't mean that word and wording is going to be the same within different variants, let alone the subtleties and drifts, where somethings that's just a mild comment in English can be offensive to an American, and vice versa.

In a way, it's a bit the same with flavours of Unix and Linux - something that works on Solaris may not work on OS X, and a Linux command that you've come to rely on on your shared hosting service turns out to have not been loaded on the basic build on your new dedicated host - ah - these things are sent to try us!

Take the ps command - for process status,

In the old SunOS 4.1.3 days, it used to be second nature to type ps -aux but that was a Berkeley Software Distribution (bsd) based Unix and when Sun switched to System V.4 (AT&T based) at Solaris 2 / SunOS 5, the recommended command became ps elf which presented broadly the same information is a somewhat different format.

You'll notice that the - (minus sign) has gone from the "option" list, and I recall being told that happened because they're not really options, but rather they are a description of how the thing is to work. And if they're not options, you don't need a minus sign! ((The same thing applies to tar - where it's tar cvf rather than tar -cvf))

There days, under Linux, I find some delegates using ps ef and others using ps aux. But there are other useful options ... and I surprised one of my delegates by suggesting he use

ps auxwww

Odd? Yes, it is a bit. The "w" descriptor means "wide" - or in this case "wide, wide, wide" ... so that lines reported are not truncated to the screen width. ps auxwww outputs the complete command line used to start all processes, and in this instance was vital to allow my delegate to see all the various options used in starting up Tomcat, including the option that specified which particular JVM release it was to use, and where that was to be loaded from.
(written 2008-08-21, updated 2008-08-22)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
A162 - Web Application Deployment - Backups and File System Management
  [4481] Extracting data from backups to restore selected rows from MySQL tables - (2015-05-01)
  [4405] Backup procedures - via backup server - (2015-01-24)
  [4400] Commenting out an echo killed my bash backup script - (2015-01-19)
  [4390] Checking MySQL database backups have worked (not failed) - (2015-01-10)
  [4115] More or less back - what happened to our server the other day - (2013-06-14)
  [4063] Backups by crossover between network centres - setting up automatic scp transfers - (2013-04-13)
  [4056] An overpractical test of our backup strategy! - (2013-03-30)
  [2299] How much space does my directory take - Linux - (2009-07-20)
  [1893] Some Linux and Unix tips - (2008-11-18)
  [1801] Will your backups work if you have to restore them? - (2008-09-18)
  [1648] The tourists guide to Linux - (2008-05-20)
  [1439] Linux / Unix - layout of operating system files - (2007-11-20)
  [1288] Linux run states, shell special commands, and directory structures - (2007-08-03)
  [1023] Finding public writeable things on your linux file system - (2007-01-06)
  [1013] Copy multiple files - confusing error message from cp - (2006-12-30)
  [754] tar, jar, war, ear, sar files - (2006-06-10)
  [735] Boys will be boys, saved by Ubuntu - (2006-05-27)
  [703] Copying files and preserving ownership - (2006-04-28)
  [593] Finding where the disc space has gone - (2006-02-06)
  [554] What backup is adequate? - (2006-01-04)
  [334] Symbolic links and hard links - (2005-06-02)
  [153] Linux - where to put swap space - (2004-12-16)

A164 - Web Application Deployment - Services and Regular Jobs
  [4487] Starting MySQL. ERROR! The server quit without updating PID file - how we fixed it. - (2015-05-06)
  [3792] Managing daemons from a terminal session - (2012-07-01)
  [3791] The Kernel, Shells and Daemons. Greek Gods in computing - (2012-07-01)
  [3143] On time - (2011-01-23)
  [3011] What are .pid files? - (2010-10-23)
  [2182] What Linux run level am I in? - (2009-05-15)
  [2145] Using the internet to remotely check for power failure at home (PHP) - (2009-04-29)
  [1903] daemons - what is running on my Linux server? - (2008-11-23)
  [1733] memcached - overview, installation, example of use in PHP - (2008-08-02)
  [1731] Apache httpd, MySQL, PHP - installation procedure - (2008-08-01)
  [1700] FTP server on Fedora Linux - (2008-07-06)
  [1633] Changing a screen saver from a web page (PHP, Perl, OSX) - (2008-05-06)
  [1553] Automatic startup and shutdown of Tomcat - (2008-02-24)
  [1028] Linux / Unix - process priority and nice - (2007-01-10)
  [907] Browser -> httpd -> Tomcat -> MySQL. Restarting. - (2006-10-28)
  [544] Repeating tasks with crontab - (2005-12-27)


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Diagrams to show you how - Tomcat, Java, PHP
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Yank and Push - copy and move in vi
Co-operating to save, yet we dont
WEB-INF (Tomcat) and .htaccess (httpd)
Logging Cookies with the Apache httpd web server
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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