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stf92 11-10-2012 01:15 AM

An improper choice of terminology?
 
Hi:

What is /? / is the root of a filesystem hierarchy or root directory. What is /root/? /root/ is root's directory. And who's root: root is the superuser.

So, the word root can be use to denote any of three different things! This certainly won't help the beginner to get familiar with Linux or Unix.

m.a.l.'s pa 11-10-2012 01:30 AM

Yeah, all that was quite confusing to me when I first started out with Linux.

Ztcoracat 11-10-2012 01:34 AM

Hi:

You said; "This certainly won't help the beginner to get familiar with Linux or Unix."

I thought so too when I was new to linux! However after installing 2 distributions I was able to think to myself that this (/) had to resemble a directory or a journaling file like the installer prompts-

And root; until I studied and picked a picture of the Linux Tree of directories apart I too was uncertain about the "root"
Aferall, we have not only a root password but also root permissions as a root user.

http://superuser.com/questions/24712...s-and-in-linux
What is root? This article helps some-
http://www.linfo.org/root.html
What the root directories contain
http://www.linux.ie/newusers/beginne...-structure.php

This was just a quick search on what came to mind; IMO there should be a clearer explaination or "Guide"
to what these basic things are and their funcionality to a Linux beginner.
Heck, when I was new I didn't know Guides and turtorials existed-
Most of the knowledge I've gained has been self taught and LOT"Sof research w/o assistance-

stf92 11-10-2012 02:28 AM

The same can I say. My first Linux was intended to be booted from within MS-DOS. It was based on an old slackware version, with kernel 2.21.6. But I wanted the thrill of watching linux boot from the BIOS. And reading the docs included by slack (I had no internet) and by a process of trial and error I finally managed to put it into its own partition, though only to get "Kernel panic". But a little more work make me finally succeed. Lots of research too to make the GUI start and in a descent fashion. Every step I took I documented it to remember exactly what I had done and being able to trace back the source of my errors. You're right. Internet has made us lazy boys.

Ztcoracat 11-10-2012 02:49 AM

Based on what you shared after you managed to install the distro on it's own partition that was great!
But soon after you faced 'Kernel Panic'....yuk for a first time!

Bet you were overwhelmed!
I too; document to remember and if your anything like me you hate redundant practices that otherwise wouldn't have to be practiced if done right the first time. Unless it's your first day of Linux;lol-

Agreed; indeed internet has made us lazy. In some cases or certain circumstances it is a good aid.

H_TeXMeX_H 11-10-2012 04:41 AM

root is the super user.

/ is the root directory but I call it the top directory or just slash to avoid confusion with /root (slash root).

Ztcoracat 11-10-2012 05:32 AM

As experienced Linux users we know that root is the super user, however; a first time Linux user (I think) finds this most confusing and experiences a dose of intimidation with the interaction of the OS.

I see where considering or calling it (/) the top directory will stop confusion but again; to a newbie root can mean more than one thing.....at least for some that know not of the Linux Tree-

Knowledge is power but to a noob the technical jargon can be astonishingly overwhelming and not to mention extremely frustrating. Even I experience some of what I've spoken here 4 years ago when I was a noob-

stf92 11-10-2012 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ztcoracat (Post 4826350)
Based on what you shared after you managed to install the distro on it's own partition that was great!
But soon after you faced 'Kernel Panic'....yuk for a first time!

Bet you were overwhelmed!
I too; document to remember and if your anything like me you hate redundant practices that otherwise wouldn't have to be practiced if done right the first time. Unless it's your first day of Linux;lol-

Agreed; indeed internet has made us lazy. In some cases or certain circumstances it is a good aid.

Glad to have made your acquaintance, Ztcoracat.

pixellany 11-10-2012 12:44 PM

It makes perfect sense.....

First, "/" is really hard to pronounce---since it is used to signify the beginning (AKA source node) of the file system, someone named it the root---as in--eg--"the root of all evil.

Since the superuser has power over the whole filesystem, we can consider that he/she lives at the root---hence the term "root user".

So there!!

stf92 11-10-2012 12:59 PM

Believe me, when you're say, an postgraduate math student, you tend to see undergraduate math with crystal clarity. It is the merit of the good professor to put himself into the student's mind and see, also clearly, how difficult it is for the beginner student.

It's clear to you, it's clear to me (another approach is root is the root node of a tree. What tree? The whole Linux fs hierarchy. And from the start, we are said: you can now loggin as root. Or do not run the GUI as root. So root is some person, who cannot be any other thing than a user. The third meaning (name of the directory /root), is now got by exclusion.)

But you cannot expect a beginner, and nobody for that matter, to be a perfect logical thinking machine. Plus, if the concepts are different, why not have, correspondingly, three different words? Perhaps economy in the terminology? Could be.

nobuntu 11-10-2012 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H (Post 4826388)
root is the super user.

/ is the root directory but I call it the top directory or just slash to avoid confusion with /root (slash root).

That is a very good idea, IMHO.

Ztcoracat 11-10-2012 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stf92 (Post 4826582)
Glad to have made your acquaintance, Ztcoracat.

A pleasure to yours as well-

Ztcoracat 11-10-2012 11:51 PM

"But you cannot expect a beginner, and nobody for that matter, to be a perfect logical thinking machine"

Often times and in some cases things, practices of certain procedures and a degree of knowledge is implied.
In otherwords; it's already expected or perhaps anticipated that the subject matter (knowledge of that material) or criteria is already known.

In todays world and (it's just IMO)the world already demands a lot of our time and efforts so it certainly seems that knowledge (including advanced knowledge)is already present in the mind of the individual; beginner or not-

catkin 11-11-2012 02:00 AM

On UNIX systems, / was root's home directory. IDK when /root was introduced (thus giving the third meaning to "root"); maybe it's a Linux innovation. It does keep things tidier but is a surprise for UNIX sysdmins when cd without arguments makes /root the current directory instead of /

Ztcoracat 11-11-2012 02:19 AM

Values and solutions that meet new needs; IDK either; might be.

Pondering on what's been said-
Interesting as well as an educational thread.


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