Unix Hierarchy


  • insecure with the concept of a terminal
  • has yet to learn the basics of vi
  • has not figured out how to get a directory
  • still has trouble with typing [RETURN] after each line of input 


  • knows that "ls" will produce a directory
  • uses the "vi" editor, but calls it "vye"
  • has heard of "C" but never used it
  • has had his first bad experience with rm
  • is wondering how to read his mail
  • is wondering why the person next to him seems to like Unix so very much


  • uses vi and nroff, but inexpertly
  • has heard of regular expressions but never seen one
  • has figured out that "-" precedes options
  • has attempted to write a C program and decided to stick with Pascal
  • is wondering how to move a directory
  • thinks that dbx is a brand of stereo component
  • knows how to read his mail, is wondering how to read the news

knowledgeable user

  • uses nroff with no trouble, and is beginning to learn tbl and eqn
  • uses grep to search for fixed strings
  • has figured out the mv(1) will move directories
  • has learned that "help" doesn't help
  • somebody has shown him how to write C programs
  • once used sed to do some text substitution
  • has seen dbx used but does not use it himself
  • thinks that make is only for wimps


  • uses sed when necessary
  • uses macro"s in vi, uses ex when necessary
  • posts news at every possible opportunity
  • write csh scripts occasionally
  • write C programs using vi and compiles with cc
  • has figured out what "&&" and "||" are for
  • thinks that human history started with "!h"


  • uses m4 and lex with comfort
  • writes assembly code with "cat>"
  • uses adb on the kernel while system is loaded
  • customizes utilities by patching the source
  • reads devices driver source with his breakfast
  • can answer any Unix question after a little thought
  • uses make for anything that requires two or more distinct commands to achieve
  • has learned how to breach security but no longer needs to try


  • writes device drivers with "cat>"
  • fixes bugs by patching the binaries
  • can answer any question before you ask
  • writes his own troff macro packages
  • is on first name basis with Dennis, Bill, and Ken

(Last update 1995-04-05 by bjorn@ts.umu.se)