Our chat room is called "Unix and Linux".

While this is all good, most (all?) of the other chat rooms in all the other Stack Exchange sites have funnier, cooler names than just their site names. Who are we to be behind?

So, in the spirit of the Holiday Season, I propose a competition for a "better" name. One name per answer, please.

Strive for the amusing, the unexpected, the original. But also, of course, something suitable for the Unix and Linux Stack Exchange main chat room.

NOTE: Per @muru's suggestion, try sorting the answers by the active tab to see more recent responses to the question:

enter image description here

  • 3
    It might be good to have a note asking users to have answers sorted active as well, so that new suggestions get exposure. – muru Dec 26 '15 at 17:50
  • @muru I'm not sure what your suggestion means. Can you elaborate? – Faheem Mitha Dec 27 '15 at 8:08
  • @FaheemMitha The answers are sorted by score, by default. So, the highest voted answers get the most visibility, and most votes from new visitors. If people sort by post activity/recency, they'll get to see new suggestions first, getting them a reasonable share of votes. – muru Dec 27 '15 at 8:15
  • @muru I see. Ok. Shall I add a note to that effect to the question? – Faheem Mitha Dec 27 '15 at 8:16
  • so... is it over yet? i think there's a pretty clear winner anyway. the scope of this contest might benefit from a little specificity... – mikeserv Dec 30 '15 at 16:17
  • @mikeserv terdon thinks we should give it a few more days. – Faheem Mitha Dec 31 '15 at 8:43
  • There are lots of great suggestions here, but some of them would not be easy to search for in Google, etc. Eg, "User Space", and those names directly derived from standard commands. This may or may not be desirable. :) – PM 2Ring Jan 1 '16 at 11:12
  • 1
    @terdon have you guys set a date on which this poll ends? – muru Jan 4 '16 at 20:14
  • 2
    @muru yes, two weeks after posting. That's the 9th. – terdon Mod Jan 4 '16 at 20:46
  • Congratulations to the winner! – jimmij Jan 9 '16 at 19:01

53 Answers 53


How about chat as a device?


  • 1
    Good Idea! +1; I like something like this name – Pandya Dec 27 '15 at 9:17
  • 1
    Does all of Unix use udev? I thought that was mostly a Linux/Solaris/BSD? thing... I do like it though, but maybe mount /dev/chat /chat is better still, like @Pandya suggested. – cat Dec 27 '15 at 18:07
  • 8
    @cat: /dev's been around forever in UNIX, predates udev by a couple decades. – Mat Dec 28 '15 at 5:04
  • @Mat Considering Unix predates me by about 3 decades, I'm not surprised I didn't know that. – cat Dec 28 '15 at 5:07
  • @cat Now we also have this answer – Pandya Dec 28 '15 at 11:51
  • Sounds totally like «девчат» in russian, which is some derivative of the «girls»; ⁺¹ though, that's funny. – Hi-Angel Dec 28 '15 at 18:23
  • 1
    I was thinking >> /dev/chat but I like this just fine.... – Wildcard Dec 29 '15 at 2:45
  • 1
    Is it a char or block device? – Nathan Osman Jan 1 '16 at 2:10
  • I like this, but am DV'ing in hopes of bringing the later entry #!/bin/chat higher in the voting ranks. – Caleb Jan 2 '16 at 9:23
  • @Caleb Thanks for your honesty, but strategic downvoting is not cool, in my opinion. Though I don't personally have a stake in the name of the chat room. – Faheem Mitha Jan 2 '16 at 10:13
  • @FaheemMitha We can disagree, but do you have something better to suggest? It seems to me this is how the SE post voting system in general works: I think this answer is less desirable (useful) than another post and have voted in such a way that the sorting may eventually reflect that. That's SE post voting working as it was intended—if you want a really fair poll system we need to use STV or other voting system. As far as I can reason, using votes the way I have is the best tool we have access tool to make these posts reflect the opinion of the community. – Caleb Jan 2 '16 at 11:48
  • 1
    @Caleb My understanding of the way this is supposed to work, is, you downvote an answer if you think it is "bad", for some value of bad. Not because you want another answer to get a higher score. Granted, like many things in this world, it probably doesn't work that way in practice... – Faheem Mitha Jan 2 '16 at 15:33
  • 1
    @Caleb that's why some similar poll questions on other metas explicitly ask for no downvotes, and final counts use only up votes. Unfortunately, by the time I thought of that, several posts had already been heavily downvoted. – muru Jan 3 '16 at 0:59
  • @muru I'll keep that in mind for next time. :-) – Faheem Mitha Jan 3 '16 at 1:14
  • 1
    @NathanOsman it's probably a FIFO – strugee Jan 29 '16 at 7:55

Yet another chat variation, as a shebang this time:


  • 5
    Personally , I like it - distinctly Unix, easily recognizable. If someone new to StackExchange stumbles into the chat.stachexchange.com , they will be like "Yep, that's a *nix room" – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 28 '15 at 20:36
  • 2
    That's a great one! I like it even better than /dev/chat. I suspect this is also more recognizable to casual Unix users. (I mean, shebangs vs. device paths.) – Wildcard Dec 29 '15 at 2:47


  • I don't know if the system allows arbitrary names for the chat rooms. If there are restrictions, I'm pretty sure a single nonalphanumeric symbol will trigger them. – rumtscho Dec 26 '15 at 19:18
  • 3
    @rumtscho - well... there arent any stated in the question. and i think it would be cool. – mikeserv Dec 26 '15 at 19:37
  • It doesn't matter whether the question states any constraints. What matters is whether the Stack Exchange chat software supports your suggestion. I'll ask the team about it, I don't think it's documented publicly. As for cool - yep, I agree about that. – rumtscho Dec 28 '15 at 17:06
  • 2
    OK, I asked about it. Seems like there are no restrictions other than a max length of 250 characters (but no minimum). It should work. – rumtscho Dec 28 '15 at 17:42
  • What about "$HOME"? – sleblanc Jan 5 '16 at 1:02
  • @sleblanc - what about it? – mikeserv Jan 5 '16 at 1:04
  • @sleblanc, proposed below.... – vonbrand Jan 6 '16 at 19:01


talk(1) was/is a way to chat with users between Unix machines, going back to 4.2BSD (1983). ytalk would be another good name, as it introduced 3+-user chat, but that'd be more confusing to people who have never heard of the command.

Wikipedia has a short history of talk and its successors.

  • 4
    I think the room title should be talk(1), not just talk. – Jenny D Dec 30 '15 at 17:17
  • @JennyD sure, let's go for talk(1) – derobert Dec 30 '15 at 17:21
  • I really like the talk suggestion in preference to chat, but I think I prefer jimmij's variant of this, #!/bin/talk, which (IMO) shows clearly it's Unix/Linux land. – roaima Jan 2 '16 at 22:44

Inspired by @rumtscho's excellent answer:

User Space

  • 1
    My only concern would be that people unfamiliar with Unix (or generic OS design) wouldn't get it. That may not be a problem since it's it's the U/L chat room. – David King Dec 26 '15 at 23:22
  • 7
    +1; but +1 more if it can be "userspace" with an ironic lack of space in the name, but lots of space to chat! – Jeff Schaller Mod Dec 27 '15 at 2:53
  • Somehow it reminds me of superuser, which is another QA site... – Nicolas Raoul Jan 6 '16 at 4:48

Swap Space

Or something like.

  • 6
    Ooh, I like! It also carries the implication of swapping stories or ideas and the like. Very apt for chat. – terdon Mod Dec 26 '15 at 20:28
  • 2
    Yeah, but isn't unices specific - just about every OS has virtual memory in one form or another. – Dani_l Jan 7 '16 at 12:43

What better name for a Unix&Linux user's group than



  • 2
    68k?!? that's friggin fast, man. ive never even heard of that! – mikeserv Dec 27 '15 at 0:17
  • @mikeserv Oh, perhaps if I change it to 56k your head/hard drive will stop spinning? – cat Dec 27 '15 at 0:20
  • thats still two thousand forty-eight baud beyond my wildest dreams. – mikeserv Dec 27 '15 at 0:21
  • @mikeserv maybe you'd prefer a telegraph? – cat Dec 27 '15 at 0:24
  • it would be more comforting, yes. i stick to what i know. i like the edit, though. what ive received of it so far, that is. – mikeserv Dec 27 '15 at 0:24
  • Could you post each of your suggestions separately so we can vote for them please? Also, you may as well delete the first one if you're no longer suggesting it. – terdon Mod Dec 27 '15 at 17:26
  • @terdon fixed, sorry. – cat Dec 27 '15 at 17:56
  • 2
    Thanks, I liked alt.unix but not comp.unix and wanted to vote accordingly. :) – terdon Mod Dec 27 '15 at 17:56
  • 3
    I don't like reusing the name of the existing discussion group alt.unix. We'd then need to have a way to disambiguate between the Usenet group and the SE chatroom. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 27 '15 at 19:53
  • @Gilles do you think that's a legitimate issue? not only does literally nobody actually use Usenet anymore, but the SE chat rooms are restricted to StackExchange and many users don't know about/use them, let alone the fact that people off of SE never hear about them. – cat Dec 27 '15 at 20:06
  • @cat it can't be "literally nobody" because even if I'm alone, it proves your claim is false. – roaima Jan 2 '16 at 22:40
  • @roaima maybe but I still don't think it's a real concern, because the chat names never leave this site – cat Jan 2 '16 at 22:47
  • 1
    @cat oh agreed. I was quibbling over your "Usenet is dead. Film at 11" comment :-) – roaima Jan 2 '16 at 22:47

Another idea from me:


Or some other tty, be it an existing one or something someone made up, like ttyTALK or ttyCHAT.

If you guys like the play on /dev/tty but feel that some other ending will be cooler, post your own variation, I won't see it as plagiarism.



... where (almost) everyone can post, and (usually) others can't modify your posts.

  • Witty, and thus +1. But, I doubt others will gravitate to it. – killermist Dec 27 '15 at 0:40
  • 11
    definitely not /tmp since what you say here is recorded permanently – Edward Torvalds Dec 28 '15 at 11:56
  • 1
    @edwardtorvalds Not if mods or room owners feel like deleting it. – muru Dec 28 '15 at 12:00

/dev/stdchat (stdchat for short)

Like stdin, stdout and stderr, we'd have a stdchat.


How about imitation of simple prompt and cursor?


  • 2
    So, what were we talking about in the last post? – muru Dec 28 '15 at 7:42
  • @muru What do you mean? – jimmij Dec 28 '15 at 9:53
  • 2
    I was talking of $_, the shell variable, which holds the last parameter of the previous command (or the name of the shell if there was no previous command). – muru Dec 28 '15 at 9:57

The Terminal

What about chat-room as the terminal?


This is a variation of my previous post, but I agree with derobert's suggestion that talk is more appropriate in *nix world than chat.

Thus, lets join forces:



I know I'm an outsider to your room, but I have some experience with the naming conventions of Stack Exchange chat rooms. So, here is my idea:

The Kernel Space

Good luck in choosing! I'm interested in seeing what others will come up with.

  • How about just "Kernel Space"? – Faheem Mitha Dec 26 '15 at 8:20
  • 8
    Nice idea but I really prefer “User Space”. “Kernel Space” would be a fine name for the mod room! – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 26 '15 at 19:02
  • @Gilles, you should add that as an answer. You already got four votes on it just having it as a comment! :) – Wildcard Dec 28 '15 at 16:46
  • @Wildcard Faheem already did (otherwise I would have) – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 28 '15 at 16:49

The Pipeline

which suggests a data flow between active agents.  This has the problem that is sounds like a unidirectional flow.  Some of the other communities (e.g., Super User, Ask Ubuntu, and Server Fault) might fight us for the right to use this.

  • dang. i went looking for another of yours i liked just so i could give you an extra for the tittilating Chat Room XX (its a damn shame about that one)... but i already upvoted this and... well, i like this one. – mikeserv Dec 27 '15 at 3:50

why haven't i seen


here yet?

since urandom is pseudorandom and cryptographically secure, and not the same as random.


cd /chat

Entering into chat directory!

  • 1
    I'd like to amend it to cd /chat - because otherwise everyone will going to their own local chat. – Jenny D Dec 27 '15 at 8:50


Where all the discards go.

  • 4
    That seems a little negative, and isn't true, since chat is preserved forever, so really is the opposite of /dev/null. – Faheem Mitha Dec 26 '15 at 22:00
  • @FaheemMitha yes, but chat is also supposed to be "a third place", somewhere where we can relax, let our hair down and just chat. – terdon Mod Dec 26 '15 at 22:56
  • 1
    I concur with @FaheemMitha . /dev/null is a place where junk is sent. The connotation is minimum 98% negative. – killermist Dec 27 '15 at 0:36
  • "Third place" means part of the site, along with main and meta. Like main and meta, it's still supposed to serve some useful purpose, including both socializing and discussion directly to do with the site. It doesn't just mean anything at all that's unwanted on the site - a lot of that would be unwelcome in chat as well. – Cascabel Dec 27 '15 at 3:45
  • @Jefromi no, a third place is something else. It is a place for hanging out and having informal discussions. It is third after the home and the workplace. – terdon Mod Dec 28 '15 at 22:37
  • @terdon Exactly - it's serving a purpose (social, discussions) for people who have two places already, not just discards cast off into nothing. – Cascabel Dec 28 '15 at 22:39
  • @Jefromi true. I meant that it's a third place as in less serious and more relaxed. The discards bit was just a joke and filler to get the answer accepted by the system. I didn't mean to imply chat is full of crap. – terdon Mod Dec 28 '15 at 22:43

Why not something related to system signals:


From the FreeBSD docs:

A process may request signal information when it is catching a signal. The information specifies why the system generated that signal. To request signal information in a signal handler, the user can set SA_SIGINFO in sa_flags before sigaction(2) is called, otherwise the user can use sigwaitinfo(2) and sigtimedwait(2) to get signal information.


More subtle than the-pipeline is


because it connotes that a possibly unreliable data stream (compared to the main site, chat is pretty off-topic) failed to connect if no-one's online or...

I don't know, it was just an idea.


The Wall

After the wall command, of course.

  • 1
    Is the allusion to Facebook deliberate? – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Dec 26 '15 at 8:22
  • @G-Man what? No. Dammit. I didn't think of it. Should I delete? – muru Dec 26 '15 at 8:23
  • I'd leave it and see how the community reacts.  Delete it only if you're ashamed of having made the association and/or of not making the connection. – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Dec 26 '15 at 8:29
  • @G-Man hmm. No, we should reclaim the wall from the filthy hands of Facebook. – muru Dec 26 '15 at 8:30
  • 4
    Then again, Pink Floyd may have it copyrighted. – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Dec 26 '15 at 8:31
  • What does Pink Floyd have to with walls? Anyway, we're not in music, so it shouldn't be a problem. – muru Dec 26 '15 at 8:33
  • 1
    @muru G-Man is presumably referencing the famous Pink Floyd album "the Wall". – Faheem Mitha Dec 26 '15 at 8:40
  • @FaheemMitha I'll not hide my shame any longer. I don't listen to Pink Floyd when high (or otherwise). :P – muru Dec 26 '15 at 8:42
  • 1
    @G-Man I remember online exchange places called “wall” well before Facebook existed (possibly even before Mark Zuckerberg existed but that was before my time as well). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 26 '15 at 19:04
  • Just a random reaction from a random user, but I saw "The Wall", and I thought, "What does a wall have to do with anything? There's one on Facebook. I stay off Facebook for a reason." – killermist Dec 27 '15 at 0:45
  • Now that I've read all 5 published volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire, I thought of—well, you already know what I thought of. – Wildcard Mar 18 '16 at 5:56
  • 1
    @Wildcard FWIW, I wouldn't have required an oath of celibacy. – muru Mar 18 '16 at 6:04

The Socket

which suggests a data flow between active agents.  Some of the other communities (e.g., Super User, Ask Ubuntu, and Server Fault) might fight us for the right to use this.


I was about to suggest...

The Panic Room

where are your LEDs start blinking. But then I remembered where I had seen that name.



Chat is Stack Exchange's “third place”.

/dev/fd/3 is a way to designate file descriptor 3 on many Unix variants. That's the first non-standard file descriptor (after stdin, stdout and stderr). That actually makes it the fourth file descriptor, but /dev/fd/2 is taken.

(Inspired by jimmij's proposal)


User Land.




(In case ~ won't fly)

[Need to fill this up...]


The /dev/chat answer so far is the best, and personally I support it. It is distinctly related to something Unix/Linux, easily recognizable. You know what else is distinctly related to *nix systems ? Shells.

My proposition is /bin/chatsh.

  • @Serg, I like yours, but did you notice this answer? – Wildcard Dec 29 '15 at 2:49
  • @Wildcard yes I did notice that answer , which was posted after I've posted mine; ironically it was next to mine when I was refreshing this page. Like I said in the commend, I do like it, it's distinctly related to something originally and uniquely Unix. Shells and scripting have been essential way of interacting with and administering a Unix system since the beginning. – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 29 '15 at 5:40

How about using /bin/chatter ?


mount /dev/chat

Mounting the chat device!

Inspired by @FaheemMitha's answer



This is, obviously, a reference to the *nix systems we deal with and also reminiscent of beatniks and the like.

  • I suggest "Un*x-like chat" – Pandya Dec 27 '15 at 14:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .