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Linux Journal: Linux's Tell-Tale Heart, Part 6

Aug 27, 2000, 23:55 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)

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"Hello, everyone. Nice to see your smiling faces back here on the corner, the SysAdmin's Corner, that is. This week, we're going to wrap up the "Tell-Tale Heart" series with something so cool, you may never look at your Linux system in the same way. You might not know it, but there is a phantom living on your computer: a filesystem with lots of directories and files, much like any other filesystem, except that this one isn't really there at all. In fact, it disappears every time you shut down, and is rebuilt every time you reboot."

"While I was writing this article, I realized I was having almost too much fun. Some things in life are so cool that you just want to keep fiddling with them. In the last few articles, I've been comparing your Linux system logs to a kind of digital diary kept by your system. If logs are a peek at your system's private diaries, then the /proc filesystem (or pseudo-filesystem, since it doesn't really exist) is a means of looking into the very soul of your system."

"Okay, I've said it twice now. How can the mysterious /proc filesystem not really exist? If I do an ls -l on the root directory, I get a directory of size zero. Try it out yourself."

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