My Profile Photo

Sheogorath's Blog


Depending on the time of the day a friend, a colleague, a wise guy. The beauty of the world is its sense of humor to show humans their way by letting them search their own.


Cover image for this blog post

UNIX and the names

Today I learned that the Debian project has a quite extensive list about binary names and their origin. For example the name bc, while being nowadays being completely rewritten by the GNU project, still stands for basic calculator, Perl standing for Practical Extraction and Report Language, which, if you ever worked with it, makes a lot of sense, or gross, a mail server taking care of greylisting, standing for “graylisting of suspicious sources1.2 There are a ton of fun examples on this list, which often end up being programs I’ve never seen or used by seem rather interesting on closer inspection.

I came across that while surfing on the internet, most likely a toot on Mastodon, but I no longer know from which one. Leading to another lesson learned, write down links…, anyway.


  1. Might be a typo in the Debian page 

  2. This sentence had 9 commas and 4 side sentences, I’m sorry for the knot in your brain.