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Thread: CLI - Underneath it all

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  1. #1
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    CLI - Underneath it all

    I have a question. When working with a pure CLI system, what are the differences between linux distributions. The only two things that come to mind are:

    -sudo and su
    -package management

    Anything else?
    √ is /

  2. #2
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    Yes, I guess the syntax of some commands are different. I am not sure though.
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  3. #3
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    Different init systems are also worth mentioning.

    EDIT: Different distros also have different policies on patching and/or modifying packages. This can affect the security and functionality of the software in the repos.
    Last edited by cardinals_fan; January 28th, 2009 at 02:14 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    The default configuration files (and relevant directories) under /etc can vary quite a bit (both in existence and content). The init configuration is one example, but there are many others, of course (/etc/profile, application defaults, e.g., for vim...).

    On a user level, configuration files (e.g., copied from /etc/skel) can be quite different from distro to distro. The default ~/.bashrc can be nearly empty or even nonexistent.

    You can also see different amounts of software installed by default (Hey! Where's less?!), and different versions with potentially different levels of functionality (read those man pages! ).

  5. #5
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    Quote Originally Posted by RedSquirrel View Post
    The default configuration files (and relevant directories) under /etc can vary quite a bit (both in existence and content). The init configuration is one example, but there are many others, of course (/etc/profile, application defaults, e.g., for vim...).

    On a user level, configuration files (e.g., copied from /etc/skel) can be quite different from distro to distro. The default ~/.bashrc can be nearly empty or even nonexistent.

    You can also see different amounts of software installed by default (Hey! Where's less?!), and different versions with potentially different levels of functionality (read those man pages! ).
    Thanks, that is exactly the type of response I was looking for (and if the thanks button would show up I would thank you)
    √ is /

  6. #6
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    You're also looking at default hardware support (so kernel) variations between the distributions. A CLI install of Ubuntu on my laptop works differently than the CLI install of Debian, even though they are "related", because of Debian's philosophy regarding non-free software. Outside of that, it has been covered by the other fine folks here.
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  7. #7
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    Package selection, base package choice (busybox vs coreutils/binutils), networking packages (netkit vs others), alsa yes/no, there are more differences in CLI systems than graphic systems really, because each difference can add or subtract functionality at a very basic level. Also think about the fact that you will have to memorize commands, and the options for different programs can be very confusing, as well as syntax differences. You also need to think of what the shell is bash, zsh, ash, korn, tcsh, etc...
    if (linux == choice) {lsb != linux;}
    else {linux = windows;}

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  8. #8
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    One distinction that is relatively minor in nature but which can be disorienting is that there are different degrees of "tab completion" provided by various distros. Some distros offer context sensitive tab completion which will, for example, only display subdirectories if a 'cd' command is being executed -- or if the 'man' command is being performed, will list potential pages available (ignoring directory and files altogether). Other distros use bare-bones tab completion based only on the file and subdirectory names available.
    "We visited sixty-six islands and landed eighty-one times, wading, swimming (to shore). Most of the people were friendly and delightful; only two arrows shot at us, and only one went near -- So much for savages!" - J.C. Patterson

  9. #9
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    Quote Originally Posted by saulgoode View Post
    One distinction that is relatively minor in nature but which can be disorienting is that there are different degrees of "tab completion" provided by various distros. Some distros offer context sensitive tab completion which will, for example, only display subdirectories if a 'cd' command is being executed -- or if the 'man' command is being performed, will list potential pages available (ignoring directory and files altogether). Other distros use bare-bones tab completion based only on the file and subdirectory names available.
    This should only depend on a) the shell used by default and b) the default shell configuration, right?

  10. #10
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    Re: CLI - Underneath it all

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinals_fan View Post
    This should only depend on a) the shell used by default and b) the default shell configuration, right?
    Correct.
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