[sf-lug] Has Linux outgrown Unix?

Jeffrey Malone ieatlint at tehinterweb.com
Wed Oct 15 16:14:18 PDT 2008

The BSDs are also UNIX derivatives.
NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD are all FOSS UNIX derivatives, and further
apart from true UNIX than Solaris, HP-UX and AIX.

Books on UNIX exist because all UNIX derivatives have a large number
of similarities.  The standard system layout (with a few changes), and
standard system tool set are all identical.
If you know how to do basic system maintenance on Linux (in a
non-distribution-specific way [eg, sysv]), then you would be able to
intuit them on all UNIX derivatives.  This includes things like init
scripts, and the standard layout of where to put configuration files
and libraries.

Major exceptions exist to this, of course.  For instance, Darwin is a
UNIX derivative, but it's not System V (at least, I'm 99% sure it's
not)... so there will be notable differences.  Still, all the standard
UNIX tools will be there... from simplistic navigation, to ed and
string manipulations through awk/sed/grep.
I suppose you could compare it to Linux and the specific
distributions.  You can be an expert on Ubuntu and be totally lost in
large parts of Fedora.  But the base will be the same -- and the base
system tools will be identical.  Knowing one helps you to intuit

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification for more information.
For information about System V, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_V -- this is likely what that book
was about.  The majority of UNIX derivatives use System V or a
bastardisation of it, including 99% of Linux of distributions (it is
possible to use Linux outside of a sysv environment).


On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 3:24 PM, Bobbie Sellers <bliss at california.com> wrote:
> Jeffrey Malone wrote:
>> The term UNIX as used today describes a type of OS more than an OS
>> unto itself, so the comparison is .. well, unusual, and may be wholly
>> invalid.  The "current" release of UNIX is something like 15 years
>> old.
>> The truest form of UNIX that still has any real market share today is
>> Solaris, but it, like Linux, is a derivative of UNIX (albeit, a much
>> more UNIX-like derivative). (HP-UX and AIX fans can feel free to argue
>> otherwise)
>> Measuring how much "stronger" or versatile Linux is to UNIX is a joke.
>>  UNIX was a very expensive OS in its day, and primarily ran on
>> restrictive hardware platforms.  Companies developed their own
>> versions of it to sell with their hardware, not to market as a product
>> itself.
>> Anyway, your instructor is "correct", but comparing the two is ...
>> well, strange.
>> Jeffrey
>        I dunno there is currently a magazine on sale at Borders devoted to
> Unix and apparently aimed at people who like such
> OSes.  I have enough to learn about Linux so i wasn't interested
> in the Unix magazine with the BSD boot disk.
>> On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 1:50 PM,  <mendozae at sonoma.edu> wrote:
>>> A computer science instructor at SSU told me the Linux has become so
>>> strong and versatile that it has outgrown its parent OS, Unix.
>>> Is there anyone here who concurs or is this assertion laughable?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Edward
>    later
>    Bobbie Sellers
>    bliss at california dot com
> --
>    bobbie sellers - (Back to Angband) Team *AMIGA* SF-LUG
>        Brain numb, cannot come up with witty tag line...

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