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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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