Intro -- introduction to file formats


This section describes the general layout of data files used by the system. Its relationship to the ``Description'' section mirrors that between the ``Syntax'' and ``Description'' sections on ADM and C manual pages.

Many data files use a one line per entry format; others use the concept of a virtual line that may occupy several actual lines. The format of the former type is represented as a list of field names, for example:

field1  field2  field3

If the field delimiter is not simple whitespace (arbitrarily tab or space), it is shown explicitly:


The use of virtual lines may be more complex to represent; this is an example:

name=NAME1|NAME2 [type=value]...

The pipe symbol (|) is used here to indicate that NAME1 and NAME2 are alternative values that may be assigned to name. The ellipsis after the optional assignment expression (in square brackets) indicates possible repeated occurrence of this term.

File formats defined by C structure declarations are given where applicable. Usually, the files containing these structures can be found in the directories /usr/include or /usr/include/sys. (Note that include files are part of the Development System.)

File formats that are too complicated in structure to be defined in this section are explained fully in the ``Description'' section.


This section details the possible values and the meaning of the fields given in the ``Format'' section. How the file is used in context by commands and utilities is also described.

See also

Intro(ADM), Intro(C), Intro(HW), Intro(M)
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SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003