Saturday, October 15, 2011

What constitutes Unix?

Unix is not an acronym; it is a pun on "Multics". Multics is a large multi-user operating system that was being developed at Bell Labs shortly before Unix was created in the early '70s. Brian Kernighan is credited with the name.

"The main standard defining what constitutes a Unix OS is POSIX, an acronym for: Portable Operating System Interface for UniX" -

But this isn't completely agreed upon. 

"Unix is a powerful, multi-user environment that has been implemented on a variety of platforms. Once the domain of servers and advanced users, it has become accessible to novices as well through the popularity of Linux and Mac OS X. With the notable exception of Microsoft Windows, all current major operating systems have some kind of Unix at their cores."

Read also:

But Windows may indeed be considered Unix because since NT it does support POSIX.   And it called Interix 
To get it all you need to do is install Services for Unix (SFU).

So what this means is ALL major OS's today support POSIX and could be considered flavors of UNIX. 

But I have some friends that fervently disagree. They don't even consider Linux to be UNIX because the code was not directly derived from the UNIX code, But most flavors of UNIX today can't directly trace there code back to the original Bell Labs code and yet there are no doubts when calling these OS's a UNIX variant. 
Solaris, Mac OS for example. 

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