The Linux Pub Quiz

The Linux Pub Quiz


How well do you know your free software people, apps and commands? Put yourself to the test and see just how much you know - we don't think even Linus Torvalds knows all these...

Round 1: People

1) Who drew the original picture of Tux, the Linux mascot? (hint: he drew the Ximian monkey too)

2) Who originally wrote the editor Vi?

3) Which founder of a major Linux distribution has spent 10 days in space?

4) Who created the Python programming language?

5) Which programming language did Larry Wall (pictured below in an amazing shirt) invent?

This is Larry Wall. The question is, which programming language did he invent?

This is Larry Wall. The question is, which programming language did he invent?

6) What is the name of the popular mail server written by Wietse Venema?

7) Who wrote sendmail?

8) Who wrote the Minix operating system, and in 1992 posted an email with the subject line: "Linux is obsolete"?

9) Who wrote the original Unix shell (known as sh)?

10) Who founded the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation?

Round 2: Sysadmin

11) You run the command ls f* and receive a single line of output:

apple orange banana

What's going on here?

12) In which configuration file might you find the line:

%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL

13) ...and what about this one?

root   (hd0,0)

14) In which directory would you find Linux's log files?

15) According to Unix folklore, what should be displayed by the very first program you ever write?

16) What is the numeric user ID of the root (also know as superuser) account?

17) Which port does the SSH (secure shell) server listen on?

18) You notice you have a file foo that has two links. How would you find the other link?

19) Which key piece of information about a user account isn't in the password file (/etc/passwd)?

20) What is the difference between the ext2 and ext3 filesystems?

Round 3: Commands

21) What does the command shopt -s dotglob do in the Bash shell?

22) If scanning of VESA modes failed, who should you report it to? (Warning: this question has a high obscurity level!)

23) How would you delete a file called -r?

24) If you had a file called foo and ran the command chmod 7000 foo, how would the nine-character permissions string be shown if you ran ls -l foo?

25) In the Vi editor, what does the command dd do?

26) In Linux, what system call is used to create a new process?

27) What is the difference in result between the these two commands? (Assume in both cases that the file foo does not exist prior to running the command.)

su -c date > foo
su -c 'date > foo'

28) What's the name of the command used to manipulate Linux packet filtering rulesets?

29) What configuration file is read by the init program?

30) If I see this line of output from the ls command:

drwxr-xr-x  8 chris chris     4096 2007-08-12 12:03 tutorials many subdirectories are there in the tutorials directory?

31) What command would find all the named pipes (fifos) in the filesystem?

32) How can you discard the standard output of a command?

Round 4: Names

33) What was Wireshark called before it was called Wireshark?

34) Gnome is a popular desktop environment. What did 'Gnome' originally stand for?

35) ...and what does the 'K' in KDE stand for?

36) Which open standard for office documents shares its name with a British rock band?

37) Why is the Awk programming language so named?

38) Linux uses an authentication framework called PAM. What does PAM stand for?

39) What was the two-word alliterative name of the first release of Ubuntu in October 2004?

40) SUSE is a popular Linux distribution. What does SUSE stand for?

41) Which was the first CD-ROM based Linux distribution (in 1993), named after the tree of life in Norse mythology?

42) Where does the name of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution come from?

Round 5: Through the keyhole

Can you identify the applications from these fragments of screenshots?






























Round 6: Distros

53) To become a UCP (Ubuntu Certified Professional), what three exams must you pass?

54) What was Linspire called before it was called Linspire?

55) ...and what was Mandriva Linux called before it was called Mandriva?

What was Mandriva Linux called before it was called Mandriva?

Even before it was called Mandriva, no cheating! had a reputation for being exceptionally user-friendly.

56) What animal features on the SUSE Linux logo?

57) Which Linux distribution is used on the Asus Eee PC mini-laptop?

Round 7: Applications

58) What's the name of the graphical file browser in Gnome?

59) What's the name of the popular open source web server used on Linux?

60) Where do "zip" files get their name from?

What are:

61) Bluefish?

62) FluxBox?

63) Joomla?

64) Kopete?

65) Mutt?

66) Stonith devices?

FluxBox is pretty, but what does it do?

FluxBox is pretty, but what does it do?


Name that logo

With which applications or Linux distributions are these logos associated?


















Round 9: Odds and sods

73) How many toes does Tux have? (Unhelpful hint: it's an even number!)

74) What is the name of the .NET compatible runtime environment for Linux?

75) In which year did Linus Torvalds send out his email announcing his new, free operating system?

76) To the nearest million, how many lines of C code are in the Linux 2.6.28 kernel?

77) Which movie contains the line "It's a Unix system! I know this!"?

78) Which company owns MySQL (the popular open-source database)?

79) Which animal appears on the front cover of the O'Reilly textbook SSH, The Definitive Guide by Barret and Silverman?

80) An O'Reilly textbook is popularly known as 'The Camel Book' because there's a camel on the front cover. What is the book about?

What is this book about?

What is this book about?


81) Which company went public in 1999 and made one of the biggest first-day Wall Street gains in history?

82) Which organisation developed SELinux?

Round 10: Name that guru

These are some of the people who created the world of open source that we enjoy today – but how many do you recognise?

























Ready for the answers?

To stop people accidentally cheating, we've put the answers on a separate page. Once you've answered all the questions to the best of your ability, go here to read the answers and see your score.

First published in Linux Format magazine

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Your comments

that was awesome! Great

that was awesome!
Great idea!!!


Did worse than I thought I would!

Damned I got 42, still a

Damned I got 42, still a good score for not googling or trying commands out. I did better on the guess the logos and applications, and other practical stuff.

49 points...

OMG, it took me 40 minutes to get it done.

I got 49... Half way to the top...

Round 1 people
3,9(BASH, I know only last name Bourne),10

Round 2 sysadmin
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20

Round 3 commands -_-
25,26,28,30(same in all OS?),32

Round 4 Names
33,34,35,38,40 (Debian/Ubuntu users should know)

Round 5 Through the key hole
Know all except 48, 50 and 52 which I have never touched b4.

Round 6 distros
Know all, bingo!

Round 7 apps
64 dunno 66 dunno

Name the logo
know all

Round 9 odds and sods
74,78,80(I have the ebook)

Round 10 Name the guru
Only Richard Stallman…

43- being liberal with

43- being liberal with partial credit.

only 70

guess I don't know enough peoples faces ...

34 1/2

34 1/2, got the half point for knowing SUSE stood for something in German. Oh well, I think I did pretty well!

47.5 This should also work


This should also work for #23:
rm ./-r


I had 32.


this is great



I am not worthy

I got 29... ;-(

But at least I'm not a Windows Droid. ;-)

Got 90, I must be Linus!

Glad I'm good with faces :)

Hey I only got 30

Are you guys kidding here?

53 points

53 points.
Not as good as I wish.I start to use GNU/Linux in 1999,just the year I entered junior middle school.So I have been a Linux user for 10 years.

Answer to 18 incomplete

The other link may be anywhere else on the same file system, so you need to run find from the root of the current file system.
And, if it's an NFS mount, you may not actually have all of the file system mounted, so may not be able to find the other link without running find on the server (or mounting the server's file system root, and running find on that).

63.5 points

ok, so I took the half-point for knowing it was something in German.


Not too bad. Faces - terrible


not too bad, man.


Expected much less than that considering I don't use GNU/Linux as a desktop on a daily basis.


No words :(


I got 56.5.

i was bad. but i enjoyed it

i was bad. but i enjoyed it

around 27

linuxer since a couple of years, pretty happy with this


got 72, pretty good with faces and image recognition :)

I got 32.

I got 32.

34, only got 2 points from

34, only got 2 points from round 1 and 9, both are about Richard Stallman...

Only 31?

Did excellent on anything related to Ubuntu/Debian, dont no much commands and stuff or know any faces, got all the logos/apps except 1





Got 56

Would have expected a bit more (using Linux for eight years by now).

But a great idea anyway. Thanks!

How i did?

Really badly :P

answer 27 isn't correct

the correct answer is:

in the first case you run date as root, and you redirect as you

in the second case you run date > foo as root

cause if you are in a directory where you cannot write, in the first case you receive a permission denied

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