Unix philosophy

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The Unix philosophy is philosophical approaches to developing software based on the experience of leading developers of the Unix operating system. The following philosophical approaches also applies to Linux operating systems.

  • Do one thing and do it well - Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface.
  • Everything is file - Ease of use and security is offered by treating hardware as a file.
  • Small is beautiful.
  • Store data and configuration in flat text files - Text file is a universal interface. Easy to create, backup and move to another system.
  • Use shell scripts to increase leverage and portability - Use shell script to automate common tasks across various UNIX / Linux installations.
  • Chain programs together to complete complex task - Use shell pipes and filters to chain small utilities that perform one task at time.
  • Choose portability over efficiency.
  • Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS).

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