/dee-dee/ vt. [Unix: from IBM JCL
] Equivalent to cat
. Originally the name of a Unix copy command with special options suitable for block-oriented devices; it was often used in heavy-handed system maintenance, as in "Let's `dd' the root partition onto a tape, then use the boot PROM to load it back on to a new disk". The Unix `dd(1)' was designed with a weird, distinctly non-Unixy keyword option syntax reminiscent of IBM System/360 JCL (which had an elaborate DD `Dataset Definition' specification for I/O devices); though the command filled a need, the interface design was clearly a prank. The jargon usage is now very rare outside Unix sites and now nearly obsolete even there, as `dd(1)' has been deprecated
for a long time (though it has no exact replacement). The term has been displaced by BLT
or simple English `copy'.