Unafish N. 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 BSD 4.

HomeFortune CookiesJargon File

tunafish n.

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 BSD 4.2
distribution. The joke was removed in later releases once
commercial sites started using 4.2, but apparently restored on the
4.4BSD tape and in {Net,Free,Open}BSD. 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
humorless 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."

[It has since been pointed out that indeed you can tunafish.
Usually at a canning factory... --ESR]