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From: James Johnston <>
To: "Theodore Ts'o" <>
Cc: segaloco <>,
	The Eunuchs Hysterical Society <>
Subject: [TUHS] Re: UNIX co-creator Ken Thompson is a… what, user now?
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2023 20:14:50 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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Speaking as someone who's watched it happen before, Ken HAS been known to
troll the industry once or twice, or maybe 3 times, or ...

On Sat, Mar 18, 2023 at 1:40 PM Theodore Ts'o <> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 18, 2023 at 04:21:24PM +0000, segaloco via TUHS wrote:
> >
> > Do Linux providers even know the POSIX standard exists? No I don't
> > expect them to go pay for certification but geeze, the amount of
> > times in the past few years I've propped up a random distro on a
> > machine or VM and been unable to rely on even the most basic stuff
> > being there is disheartening. No wonder people don't use Linux in
> > the UNIX-y way so often, half the darn system isn't represented in
> > most Linux base installs. Is this the LSBs fault or does nobody look
> > at that anymore either? My experiences recently say not...
> The Linux Standard Base has largely been abandoned --- none of the
> major Linux companies were willing to pay their engineers to spend
> time working on it.  (It was one of those things that really only
> mattered to people who were selling software to enterprises, and the
> *reason* why companies spent $$$ paying engineers to work on LSB and
> going to ISO meetings was so that enterprise softare vendors could
> more easily ship product that would work equally well on Red Hat
> Enterprise Linux and SuSE Enterprise Linux.)
> But even when LSB was around (Debian is dropping LSB support in the
> next release), it was generally not installed by default and was *not*
> part of the base install.  If you installed the LSB package, it would
> drag in all of the userspace utilities and libraries needed to provide
> POSIX.1 and POSIX.2 conformance.
> One of the reasons why users prefer a very small base install is
> because if they are trying to install on small systems (such as
> Rasberry PI), or if they are using container systems (e.g., Docker),
> they want to keep the base system as small as possible.  And there are
> utilities like uuencode and uudecode, which while required by POSIX.2,
> in reality, the most users for most Linux distributions don't use, so
> it's not installed by default.  If you want it, you can always install
> the sharutils package.
> Finally, I'll note that what Posix.2 requires has changed over time.
> For example uucp used to be required for POSIX.2 compliance.  It no
> longer is required.  In addition, POSIX.2 has withdrawn tools like
> banner and chroot, and they will be withdrawing calendar, col, cpio,
> pg, spell, sum, and other utilities in the next revisions of the
> standard.
> Complaining about what is the default seems to me to rather pointless.
> And if you are going to insist on complaining aobut it, what about
> Solaris?  The default Solaris install didn't come with cc or fort77
> installed, even though they are required by POSIX.2.  You had to pay
> $$$ to get an optional package if you wanted those tools, and Solaris
> was still considered "Unix" since it was descended from AT&T code, and
> they didn't need to present their system for POSIX compliance before
> being able to use the "Unix" trademark.  (And if they did, they would
> presumably just state in their conformance document that you had to
> pay $$$ for a copy of Sun Studio.)
> And I can assure you that Sun Microsystems knew about POSIX.  They
> just chose to not include everything required by POSIX.2 in their
> default install.
>                                         - Ted

James D. (jj) Johnston

Chief Scientist, Immersion Networks

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  reply	other threads:[~2023-03-19  3:15 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2023-03-18 12:51 [TUHS] " KenUnix
2023-03-18 16:21 ` [TUHS] " segaloco via TUHS
2023-03-18 20:39   ` Theodore Ts'o
2023-03-19  3:14     ` James Johnston [this message]
2023-03-20  3:11     ` Adam Thornton
2023-03-18 18:51 ` Justin Andrusk
2023-03-18 20:39 Norman Wilson

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