TUNAFISH

Computing Dictionary

tunafish definition

humour, operating system
In hackish lore, refers to the mutated punchline of an age-old joke to be found at the bottom of the manual pages of "tunefs(8)" in the original 4.2BSD distribution. The joke was removed in later releases once commercial sites started using 4.2. Tunefs relates to the "tuning" of file-system parameters for optimum performance, and at the bottom of a few pages of wizardly inscriptions was a "BUGS" section consisting of the line "You can tune a file system, but you can't tunafish". Variants of this can be seen in other BSD versions, though it has been excised from some versions by humourless management droids. The [nt]roff source for SunOS 4.1.1 contains a comment apparently designed to prevent this: "Take this out and a Unix Demon will dog your steps from now until the "time_t's wrap around."
[Jargon File]
(1997-01-12)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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