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Re: uname -s

From: Robert Millan
Subject: Re: uname -s
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 02:26:38 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 01:43:08PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Petri Koistinen <address@hidden> writes:
> > I think uname -s should print: GNUmach.
> uname -s prints the kernel, but it's the "kernel" in Unixspeak, that
> is, the thing that interprets the "system calls" where the "system
> calls" are read/write/open.
> In other words, the canonical case is a monolithic Unix kernel.  uname
> -s should describe whatever entity it is that provides the facilities
> provided by a monolithic Unix kernel.

According to documentation of BSD Unix [1], the uname command appeared
in 4.4BSD distribution, and the -s option is suposed to:

"Write the name of the operating system implementation to standard output."

A similar description is made in SystemV derivatives, like Solaris [2].

This is why it's the OS what an awesome number of scripts and makefile systems
always expected to obtain from "uname -s".

[1] http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=uname&manpath=4.4BSD+Lite2
[2] http://docs.sun.com/db/doc/816-0210/6m6nb7mo6?a=view

> That's the Hurd, in our case.

It is correct as GNU. besides, changing this would break most of the
above mentioned scripts/makefiles.

In my opinion, the adequate solution is fixing GNU uname documentation
to match with the expected documentation of a Unix-like system.

(yes, on GNU/Linux uname would say the OS is "Linux", but this bug
is somewhere else not in uname)

Robert Millan

"5 years from now everyone will be running
free GNU on their 200 MIPS, 64M SPARCstation-5"

              Andrew S. Tanenbaum, 30 Jan 1992

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