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Friday, 30 April 2010 13:03

Rate your inner Linux geek as easy as ABC ...

By

Think you know Linux? Test out your geek street-cred and that of your friends in this test!

Sure, you could use Facebook to run a collection of poorly-worded tests that let you and your friends know who is more like David Hasslehoff, but if you really want to separate the Linux aficionados from the rest you need something stronger.

Here is a way to prove your Linux runs on the board. If you're an old-timer, here is your chance to shine. Here is ... a rhyme.

Oh, but not just any old rhyme. This is an aeons old (at least in Internet time) rhyme dubbed the ABC's of UNIX but which still equally applies today.

Linux has a rich heritage, drawing upon the expansive collection of UNIX commands and history and among the commands mentioned in this rhyme are true fundamentals. Who could run a Linux box without passwd, kill and grep?

How geeky are you? How well do you know Linux? Give yourself a point for each command in the list over page that you know and two points if you've used it.

For bonus points explain how awk and biff got their name. For more points, come up with some modernised replacements - maybe bash for b - that retains the scansion and rhyme.

Up to the challenge? Click over to the next page when you're ready!


A is for awk, which runs like a snail, and
B is for biff, which reads all your mail.

C is for cc, as hackers recall, while
D is for dd, the command that does all.

E is for emacs, which rebinds your keys, and
F is for fsck, which rebuilds your trees.

G is for grep, a clever detective, while
H is for halt, which may seem defective.

I is for indent, which rarely amuses, and
J is for join, which nobody uses.

K is for kill, which makes you the boss, while
L is for lex, which is missing from DOS.

M is for more, from which less was begot, and
N is for nice, which it really is not.

O is for od, which prints out things nice, while
P is for passwd, which reads in strings twice.

Q is for quota, a Berkeley-type fable, and
R is for ranlib, for sorting ar table.

S is for spell, which attempts to belittle, while
T is for true, which does very little.

U is for uniq, which is used after sort, and
V is for vi, which is hard to abort.

W is for whoami, which tells you your name, while
X is, well, X, of dubious fame.

Y is for yes, which makes an impression, and
Z is for zcat, which handles compression.

How did you fare?

You're reading The Linux Distillery. Click here for more.


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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