[TUHS] /bin vs /sbin

Grant Taylor gtaylor at tnetconsulting.net
Thu Jan 28 15:24:07 AEST 2021

On 1/27/21 3:35 PM, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> Thanks!  (but I still need to pester my service provider for rDNS!)

You're welcome.

> Sorry, I should have been a tiny bit more specific:  the "user 
> interface" here refers to a Graphical UI.  Unix of course didn't start 
> out with a GUI of any kind, and workstation vendors like Sun and many 
> others at the time made a big deal out of how they were offering a 
> better user interface for their systems.

Hum ...

> I separate "kernel" and "userland" (here meaning all the command-line 
> programs, etc.) only because that's become a more common way to define 
> the "base OS" in unixy, i.e. linuxy, circles.

When I think of Base OS, I think of AIX, because it's the first place I 
saw Base OS, referred to as BOS, explicitly called out.  But, I know 
that Solaris and HP-UX also have a very minimal install.  Even Linux has 
very minimal installs (debootstrap, Slackware boot+root, and DSL come to 

I think of development applications / compilers, fancy text processing, 
networking, X11, office applications as all being add on products. 
Sure, Linux tends to come with a LOT of them installed by default.

I guess the base OS to me is what's required to boot, maintain, and 
install a system.  Anything else is ancillary as far as -- what I 
consider to be -- the base OS is concerned.

> This distinction between the traditional Unix layer and the GUI is 
> quite important in the history of SunOS, since there have been a number 
> of different offerings from Sun for their GUI (Sun Windowing System, 
> SunView, NeWS, SunWindows); and also in how Sun promoted their various 
> GUI offerings as the solutions for wider use.

Hum.  I guess my exposure to Solaris installations has tainted my view. 
I helped support some DB servers with the full GUI developers 
workstation installed, just in case it was needed.  The people that 
installed them didn't want to ever go back and pull something else in. 
Which is why we had to patch Firefox, Thunderbird, and Pidgen / 
libpurple on Solaris database servers.  At least until I ripped those 
things, along with the kitchen sink, out.  It made patching so much 
faster and smaller.

> Even with the advent of a common choice of The X Window System as the 
> basis for most workstation vendor's GUIs, there were still battles 
> over which toolkit and window manager and "look and feel" would prevail 
> (Athena vs. Motif vs. OpenLook), with Sun even evolving their offerings 
> (SunWindows, OpenLook) over time.

I'm vaguely aware of CDE and that there were others before / around 
that.  But my personal experience is largely after that.  As such, I 
wasn't aware of some of the things that you are talking about.  Thank 
you for enlightening me.

Grant. . . .
unix || die

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