I wrote a script, and if you pipe it through this (not written by me, obviously) you get output like this.

The purpose of the script is to tell as much as possible, yet in a concise way, what system and software I use. Also, it tells what commands were run to acquire that information. (I have some experience, but it's not huge; point is, I include the script so you'll instantly understand my suggestion.)

I think we should have the veterans (with respect to Unix, Linux, and this site -- those three are probably coinciding anyway) - like I said, I think we should have those guys write such a script.

Then, we should make it possible to upload the result (as a feature, as some users will probably be too paranoid/vain to reveal what they use).

That way, we could get away with all the overhead like "what distribution/DE/DM/WM/etc./etc. do you use?" that accompany so many questions.


  • 2
    You're trying to solve a human problem with technology. Not sure if it has ever worked. Some questions need more information, some need less, and for some running the script is entirely impossible ('cannot boot up, cannot log in'). Jan 1 '13 at 19:39
  • @DeerHunter: For sure, it won't always help. But in a lot of cases, the (potential future) answerer wouldn't have to ask, and the questioner wouldn't have to bubble "I don't now if that's relevant, but as a terminal, I use bash..." and then we have to do the whole dance of "that's the command-line interpreter/shell, not a terminal" etc. before getting down to the actual problem. (Made up example, but not an uncommon scenario.) Anyway, that's the suggestion. PS. I see that someone has voted to close as "not a real question" -- well of course not, how could it be? I don't understand. DS. Jan 1 '13 at 21:01
  • your script is not portable. It uses bash and invokes a bunch of other utilities that may even have different semantics on various Uni*es. It's better to be safe than sorry (there could be a rm -rf / line somewhere...) Besides, your idea imposes a burden of running the script on all the users, but the benefit is limited to a not-that-large proportion of posters; there is a simpler existing solution. Jan 1 '13 at 21:15
  • @DeerHunter: Not so - I told you I provided my script as an illustration to convey the suggestion, that the most experienced users should write the "real" script - also, I said it should be a feature (that is, optional) that could be used if desired. Jan 1 '13 at 21:21
  • Okay, you may have a point here... Happy New Year! Jan 1 '13 at 21:24

This concept is brilliant, and it's actually quite common in the *nix support world. Creating a portable script might be a challenge, but the concept is still 100% viable. I work as a GNU/Linux Systems Engineer, spending half my life writing POSIX shell scripts.

I'll definitely toss this one around the `ol noggin.

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