eee-dee anyone?

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Fri Mar 29 07:06:59 UTC 2019

On 29/03/2019 02:24, Polytropon wrote:
> I'm not sure people actually use this particular software,
> but many sysadmins I know have had their share of ed during
> their professional education. I'm familiar with the basics
> myself, but I haven't found a case where I would have wanted
> to actually _use_ ed. :-)

ed(1) is largely a historical remnant.  It was for a while the editor of
last resort, which you could use to rescue a system in a parlous state
when only the root partition was available, but not /usr.  That's gone
out of the window nowadays where /usr is rarely a separate partition and
we have more modern filesystems like ZFS which have the useful property
of never being rendered unmountable by a sudden system crash. (You don't
get off Scott-free though.  Instead, you can loose the last few updates
to the filesystem in those circumstances.)

Even for scripting purposes, sed(1) rules the roost.  I don't think I've
seen a script using ed(1), well ... pretty much ever.



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