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/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.

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~$ ps aux | grep cat; detlef 2181 0.0 0.2 329872 9952 ? Sl 06:13 0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-disk-utility/gdu-notification-daemon detlef 2278 0.0 0.0 8680 352 ? S 06:13 0:00 /bin/cat –  user43816 Jun 9 '12 at 9:13
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

cat is running as part of the Unity Dash Text-Search service (zeitgeist-fts)

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
    
    and
    $ pstree -p | grep zeit
    ├─zeitgeist-daemo(3051)───{zeitgeist-daemo}(3061)
        ├─zeitgeist-datah(3076)───{zeitgeist-datah}(3081)
        └─zeitgeist-fts(3075)─┬─cat(3082)
                              └─{zeitgeist-fts}(3080)
    

  • 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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Thank you very much for explaining and your comprehensive help. –  user43816 Jun 9 '12 at 11:13
    
There is a button having the tooltip: "Click to set this answer as your accepted answer. click again to toggle." There is no feedback when I click on it in the web service "Ask Ubuntu". It does not become green. Secondly, the tooltip has been appended this morning with the text "Accepted 6 mins ago." But I had not visited it 6 mins ago. acid3.acidtests.org shows that JavaScript is activated with me. –  user43816 Jun 10 '12 at 6:50
    
@user43816 : it was accepted, I think you unaccepted it by mistake 6 minutes ago. Perhaps try logging out and logging in? Otherwise you can simply click the flag link below the answer and use the other option to inform a site moderator of this issue. –  izx Jun 10 '12 at 6:56
    
izx: I logged out. I logged in. Now I was able to color the button green. -- Thank you again for your comprehensive help. –  user43816 Jun 10 '12 at 16:45
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