Linux History: Emails to and from Drew Eckhardt

Email to Drew Eckhardt, who later wrote the SCSI drivers for Linux.

Subject: Info on LINUX needed - Thanks in advance
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 92 19:19:17 KSA
From: Khalid Baheyeldin
To: Drew Eckhart
Hello Drew!
Sorry for interrupting your valuable time, but I couldn't resist your
description of LINUX in a recent posting of yours.
My work is almost 70% on UNIX machines (System V.2/3/4) NCR platforms that is,
and I own a clone at home 386/25Mhz, 104MB IDE Conner, VGA color multisync
monitor, and 2MB of RAM. I wonder if you could help me on pointing me to LINUX,
as follows:
1. Is there a newsgroup and/or mailing list on linux?
2. Who is the author(s) (email preferred)?
3. Can I get it Snail mailed (we have no ftp access, and I don't want to spend
a fortune on X.25 charges Saudi Arabia to US transferring MBs).
I have sent help to the archie server at nic.funet.fi, where you have pointed
out there are LINUX archives. The purpose it to see if I can get it emailed,
or the size would be restrictive.
4. Do you have a writeup or report on LINUX, what utilities are there (e.g
cc, vi, grep, nawk, find, uucp, ...etc.
Appreciate if you send it to me.
If you know of other persons who can point me to the right direction on LINUX,
pls email me their email addresses.
Thanks and best regards.

Here is Drew's reply on the Linux Newsgroup, the "guy in charge" (Linus Torvalds), the 250 commands in Linux, and more ...

To: Khalid Bahey-elDin
Subject: Re: Info on LINUX needed - Thanks in advance
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 92 16:49:18 MST
From: Drew Eckhardt
Status: RO
--------
Hello Drew!
Sorry for interrupting your valuable time, but I couldn't resist your
description of LINUX in a recent posting of yours.
My work is almost 70% on UNIX machines (System V.2/3/4) NCR platforms that
is,
and I own a clone at home 386/25Mhz, 104MB IDE Conner, VGA color multisync
monitor, and 2MB of RAM.
I wonder if you could help me on pointing me to LINUX, as follows:
1. Is there a newsgroup and/or mailing list on linux?
Both.
alt.os.linux (soon to be comp.os.linux)
linux-activists@joker.cs.hut.fi - mail to linux-activists-request@ same
2. Who is the author(s) (email preferred)?
The guy in charge is Linux Torvalds, torvalds@cc.helsinki.fi - but
contrinutions are in it from a large number of people.
3. Can I get it Snail mailed (we have no ftp access, and I don't want to
spend a fortune on X.25 charges Saudi Arabia to US transferring MBs).
I have sent help to the archie server at nic.funet.fi, where you have po
inted
out there are LINUX archives. The purpose it to see if I can get it
emailed, or the size would be restrictive.
Don't know.
4. Do you have a writeup or report on LINUX, what utilities are there (e.g
cc, vi, grep, nawk, find, uucp, ...etc. Appreciate if you send it to me.
Well, if I do file name completion for commands (given some will be
duplicates - ie /bin/sh is a hard link to /usr/local/bin/bash) I get
around 250 commands.
Of the top of my head,
GNU stuff :
gcc (cc - K&R and ANSI) / gas (as)
gnu binutils : ar, ld, nm, objdump, ranlib, size, strip
gnu fileutils : chgrp, chown, chmod, cp, dd, df, du, install, ln, ls, mkdir,
mkfifo, mknod, mv, rm, rmdir, touch
shellutils : basename, date, dirname, env, expr, groups, id, pathchk,
printenv, printf, sleep, tee, test, tty, whoami, yes, nice, nohup,
stty, uname
textutils : cat, cmp, comm, csplit, cut, expand, fold, head, join, paste, pr,
sort, split, sum, tac, tail, unexpand, uniq, wc
bash (sh), bison (yacc) , compress, elvis (vi), emacs, diff, find, flex (lex),
gawk (awk), less (more), micro emacs,
rcs : ci, co, ident, merge, rcs, rcsdiff, rcsmerge, rlog
sed, tar, uncompress
BSD :
install, make, more
Other :
as86, cawf (nroff), hostname, init, kermit, kill, ld86, login, man, patch, perl,
su, update, uudecode, uuencode, vixie cron (crond, crontab), zip, zoo
KA9Q (TCP/IP over SLIP or KISS)
mtools (read / write DOS sloppies)
prolog of some sort
Most things will compile "out of the box" with no modifications, when
configured for SYSV.
What's being worked on :
X11R5 is being debugged and worked on by a few
people (we want shared memory segments, with the sysV semantics, limited
access to control ports for the server).
GDB is being debugged, as is ptrace(2)
Some people are running SLIP networks, and are running ftp, telnet, etc
directly from their machines.
---
.13 supports shared libraries (Essential to squeeze X widgets into a minimal
amount of memory, I think the VFS, swapping to a file, init, line printer
support, etc (All officially - as Linux evolves, you patch your kernel
heavily until the next release -)
Memory, disk, etc :
Disk space is not a problem (yet) - I have everything mentioned above,
plus a full kernel and library source tree, in around 15M. I have 4M of
real memory, and 10M of swap - but only swap when I do several large
builds at once, or compress / uncompress large files.
Technically, it is possible to run in 2M (My kernel image is up to about
175K, and shared pages / demmand paged executables really save space) -
but you will page thrash on your system.
Also, if you get it before .13 (End of February), you'll need a dedicated
swap partition if you don't recompile with swapon().

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