I noticed the Jeff Atwood close this server fault question for not being sysadmin realted: Linux Source Code

"...am looking for the source code to learn about their working in Linux for all the common commands which we use in our day to day life like cal, su, sudo, ls -l, dir, pwd etc. where really does the source code for these commands present in linux distributions? ..." ...

I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with closing this question for that reason, and I feel he might have touched a sensitive topic that might alienate Linux Administrators. I think having access to the source code is a fundamental part of the whole Linux / Open Source culture, even as an Administrator.

Part of troubleshooting ( administering ) you can look at the source code of the kernel, common utilities, and servers ( such as Apache ). It is also part of how and Administrator might learn more about Linux to be more effective at their job.

I have never had an interview where I haven't been asked about if I am familiar with compiling source code (and configuring compile options) for Linux. I may have also been asked how to get the source code -- I can't remember for sure.

I think this maybe different from the general scope of being a Windows Administrator, but not the scope of being a Linux Administrator. My question for the other Linux Administrators is if they more or less agree with this, and what their arguments might be for or against this.

2 Answers 2


I feel the question is ridiculous for a variety of reasons, one of which is, if you can't "find" the source code for linux then you really have no freaking clue what you're even asking.

That said, it's not worth fighting over, so I reopened it.

  • 1
    I think I would probably agree with those other reasons, I was just worried about the precedent. I think when you close a question, it is different from other people closing in that people will give it more weight as to what the site is for. I really like this site, so just don't want to see it become a site that people think is mostly just for Windows Administrators.
    – Kyle Brandt
    Commented Jul 20, 2009 at 10:43
  • +1 for no freaking clue; it really should have stayed closed, IMO.
    – womble Mod
    Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 2:32

I agree with you on this. Having access to the source code really improves the administration experience.

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