/bin/cat appears to be running as a persistent daemon on my 12.04 system.
$ ps aux | grep cat
detlef 2278 0.0 0.0 8680 352 ? S 06:13 0:00 /bin/cat
Why does Ubuntu 12.04 need cat running as a daemon? It didn't on my 10.04.4 system.
cat is not a daemon; conCATenate is a utility which joins one or more input files into a single output file.
/bin/cat runs on Ubuntu 12.04 as a part of the Zeitgeist service, which logs events, history, etc. and also enables the search-as-you-type in the dash feature.
Specifically, it is started by zeitgeist-fts (Zeitgeist Full-Text-Search), which is the Zeitgeist component providing the search feature.
Proof: notice the PID of cat (3082) in ps andpstree output:
$ ps aux | grep /bin/cat
izx 3082 0.0 0.0 11372 568 ? S Jun08 0:00 /bin/cat
$ pstree -p | grep zeit
Zeitgeist/Unity did not exist in 10.04, so no cat either! As for why it's needed, cat is universally used for text processing, and the function of its parent zeitgeist-fts is...text processing :)
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11 months ago