Question about /proc/acpi (Debian 7.2 w/ 3.2.0-4-686-pae kernel)

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# 1  
Old 12-26-2013
Hammer & Screwdriver Question about /proc/acpi (Debian 7.2 w/ 3.2.0-4-686-pae kernel)

Hi everyone,
I am running Debian Wheezy 7.2 with a 3.2.0-4-686-pae kernel. There are a couple of virtual files and directories in /proc I can't seem to find much information about. I am aware that some of them might be legacy, though. Anyway, here they are:
  1. acpi: according to this link, this has been deprecated (if so, what has it been replaced with?), but it's still showing up in a pretty new system with a relatively new kernel.
  2. buddyinfo: this link offers a pretty good explanation, whereas this other link states that this file is used primarily for diagnosing memory fragmentation issues but does not explain how to detect an issue and / or correct it.

Actually there is a bunch of other files / directories, of which I presume the most important ones are:
  • cpuinfo
  • filesystems
  • interrupts
  • iomem
  • ioports
  • modules
  • pagetypeinfo
  • uptime
  • tty

In your opinion, am I missing anything?
As a final note, this is in preparation for Exam 101 in LPIC-1.
Any hints or suggestions will be more than welcome.
Thanks in advance.
# 2  
Old 12-27-2013
Originally Posted by gacanepa
In your opinion, am I missing anything?

Sit down, young one, while i tell you a story from the times of yore...

At first, there was UNIX ("UNICS", actually), and one absolutely new paradigma to this OS (and a prominent reason for its success) was the idea that everything is a file. UNIX does most of its workings in files: devices? There is a device file. Inter-process communication? There are named pipes and semaphores and FIFOs. Drivers? Interact with a pseudo device (file)! And so on, and so on.

Now, this was a very simple yet efficient and flexible design, but humans always seek to improve on even the best ideas and so a successor for UNIX was conceived by some of the people who built UNIX: it was called "Plan 9" and it took whatever was good in UNIX and tried to improve on it. One of these improvements was to take the idea of "everything is a file" one step further and do even process accounting in the filesystem: this was the invention of the /proc filesystem.

Well, sometimes even the best laid plans fall short and, sadly enough, this was the case with Plan 9 (from outer space) too - it never gained momentum and it never took off, let alone replaced UNIX. Still, many ideas from Plan 9 were good and have been built (Plan-9-developers would probably say "backported") into various UNIX flavours. The /proc filesystem was such an idea. It was built into the Linux kernel and since then most UNIX-derivates have - under the impression of the Linux success - also incorporated a /proc filesystem. My "home" OS, IBMs AIX, has it since version 5 (~2000). Also SunOS has it, but i don't know since when. I do not know enough about HP-Ux to know if there is a /proc filesystem or not.

I hope this story has enriched your understanding. I know, it will not answer any concrete questions of "how to ..." but i think knowing some historical dimensions of the things we deal with helps us doing better work in the long run.

# 3  
Old 12-27-2013
Thank you so very much for taking the time to write this.
Yes, it did not answer my question, but I actually love to learn about the background of things I tend to take for granted.
Thanks again.
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