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Thread: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

  1. #1
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    Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    I'm just curious why Ubuntu and Linux in general is case-sensitive? I can see a very good reason for having a case-insensitive file system though: less confusion!

  2. #2
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    Actually, having a case sensitive file system creates less confusion. You're only confused with a case sensitive file system because you're used to a case non-sensitive file system.

  3. #3
    wojox is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    Linux is written in C, which is case sensitive. It makes for faster sorting.

  4. #4
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    Counter question : Why is Windows not case-sensitive?
    Users of Linux/Unix really appreciate the value of case-sensitiveness.
    I myself feel very irritated by MS Windows treatment of file/network/user names (and more)
    India is a pluralist society that creates magic with democracy, rule of law and individual freedom, community relations and diversity. I wouldn't mind being born ten times to rediscover India. - Robert Blackwill, U.S Ambassador until 2003.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    because its the simple way to do it. on computers letters are represented by numbers using an encoding like ascii or unicode. in ascii 'a' is 97 and 'A' is 65.

    when you ask is 'Sam' the same string as 'sam', the computer sees three numbers, and check that numbers are all equal. does not need to know anything about the actual letters.

    to do a case insensitive compare you need to convert both strings to lowercase, and then do the compare. so now you need a big table of equivalents. this is a fairly small task for the old ascii character set as it only has 128 characters, and you can convert to lower case by adding 32 to all the characters within a certain range.

    Unicode which is now used modern operating systems has millions of characters from every language on earth (and some from elsewhere eg middle earth). some languages don't even have a concept of upper and lower case.

    this does not make it impossible, but its a big task, and probably not worth the benefit in many places.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    The computers like it this way, who are we to disagree!?

  7. #7
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    Linux/Ubuntu is case-sensitive because the file-system they use is case-senitive. There's a great Wiki article comparing the different file-systems here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems.

    Personally I much prefer case-sensitivity. Gives me a lot more control over the naming of files.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    More secure passwords, too.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    just cos
    Ubuntu user # 16304 www.nocleanfeed.com
    If someone asks you to sudo rm -rf anything, don't do it, and don't run any command with rm in it unless you know exactly what you're doing.things i have learnt changing from Xp pro to Ubuntu

  10. #10
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    Re: Why is Linux/Ubuntu case-sensitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporkman View Post
    More secure passwords, too.
    Yep, cos Windows doesn't support that either. Oh hang on ...

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