On Saturday 19 Sep 2015 19:42, Big Bad Bob conveyed the following to
> On 09/19/15 04:33, crankypuss so wittily quipped:
>> Here's my definition of Unix: An ad-hoc operating system developed
>> in 1969, to which ad-hoc extension were added for years, before they
>> became standardized ad-hoc extensions called POSIX. I'm not
>> impressed with Unix, I saw better first; but that's relatively
>> unimportant imo, since linux is a solid efficient portable kernel,
>> and that's what I need.
Your [crankypuss] impression of what UNIX is, is completely wrong. It
was inspired by Multics, but made more portable and manageable.
> linux isn't UNIX by the way. And consider that UNIX did things "back
> then" that were extremely revolutionary, and other OSs have patterned
> themselves after (including VMS, Solaris, and, well, Linux).
Not VMS. It has /some/ things in common with UNIX, but not a whole lot.
In fact, Dave Cutler, who co-wrote the VMS kernel and would later on
create a somewhat obscured carbon copy of it called NT, was known for
his passionate hatred against UNIX.
> 1. "everything" is a file
That already rules out VMS.
> 2. all file systems mount someplace off of the root '/'
That rules out VMS as well. VMS was volume-oriented, like many other
operating systems at the time, and like CP/M, MP/M, MS-/PC-DOS, DR DOS,
OS/2, Windows and pre-OS X Apple Mac OS would later come to be.
UNIX' principle of using a unified root directory with everything
mounted underneath was a very novel and innovative idea. One that the
Apple-inspired buffoons of RedHat's freedesktop.org are unfortunately
trying to undo again with their volume-oriented recommendations for file
The Places menu in a freedesktop.org-compliant file manager may make
sense to people who install everything in a single partition and use
removable storage media all the time. For someone like myself, who
installs his operating system across a whole plethora of partitions with
individual filesystems (and ditto mount options), that Places menu is a
I don't want to be looking for files in a collection of partitions, but
in what would (and should) be its logical place in the directory
hierarchy. Which means that my own files will be under /home and shared
files between user accounts will be under /srv.
> 3. hierarchical directory structures
> 4. access to devices via file names in '/dev/'
Plan 9 extended this principle even further. And Plan 9 was created by
(almost) the same guys as the original AT&T Unix was ─ Dennis Ritchie
being one of them.
> the whole point in 1969 was to look out towards the future and make
> the OS able to adapt to it. Considering that the basic model has been
> more or less the same [with new stuff added and updates and all that,
> yeah, but BASICALLY the same] for the last *45 YEARS*, you'd think
> that maybe in 1969 they were thinking PRETTY SMART?
Exactly. The reason why UNIX has survived so long and why so many newer
operating system designs were all inspired by UNIX was because it was
robust, flexible, reliable, secure, scalable, versatile, easy to
maintain, and innovative all around.
Compared to Windows, OS X and anything produced by Apple before OS X
came along, UNIX was designed to do the job, whereas the others were
designed to entice customers and bring in money. Apple has always been
good at enticing customers.
Microsoft on the other hand needed a little help from a whole library
full of books on foul play. If it hadn't been for Microsoft's corrupt
tactics, then DOS and Windows would never have survived as long as they
did. The reason why people use Windows today is that it comes pre-
installed on the machine in 95% of the cases.
If people today were still required ─ like in the old days of DOS 3.x
and earlier ─ to install an operating system by themselves whenever they
buy a new computer, then more people would probably have opted for
something other than Windows, and then that something other would most
likely have been GNU/Linux or one of the BSDs. And people would still
be smart enough to think for themselves.
Alas, consumeritis has already long taken over society, and it's not
getting any better.
> And if you consider that 'B', later 'C', was invented *specifically*
> for this, and both 'C' and C-like or C-derived languages are THE!
> MOST! POPULAR! ONES! even *now*, 45 years later, they got THAT right,
Well, B was an interpreted language, so it wasn't really useful in terms
of performance for writing the operating system itself or the system's
driver code. B was written by Ken Thompson ─ as the legend goes, the
letter B was the initial of his wife's first name.
Dennis Ritchie was the one who wrote C, as a compiled successor to B.
And when Dennis died, everyone was lauding Steve Jobs, who died on the
same day and who stood on Dennis Ritchie's shoulders, while none of the
philistines in the mainstream media had apparently ever heard of Dennis
Ritchie and what he really signified on account of today's information
But then again, like I said: consumeritis. "Oooh, it's from *Apple!*
Oooh, shiny! Oooh, trendy! Must have one, because everyone else has one
> Apple OS/X really *IS* UNIX - Mach specifically.
The kernel of OS X isn't Mach anymore. It's Mach with a set of
proprietary extensions which all also run in the kernel's address space.
The rest of the Darwin system was derived from FreeBSD.
The reason why OS X is UNIX is because Apple has applied for the
(expensive) SUS validation test, and OS X passed that test, so it is now
legally certified to carry the UNIX trademark.
(UNIX is a trademark, while *Unix* is the proprietary operating system
developed at AT&T, and all operating systems based upon that code base,
with or without the BSD-specific modifications, i.e. AIX, HP/UX, Tru64,
Solaris (formerly, SunOS), IRIX, SCO Unix and Unixware.
SCO ─ i.e. the _real_ Santa Cruz Operations, not the rebranded Caldera
Systems ─ used to be the owner of the UNIX trademark, but they donated
that to The Open Group (also known as X/Open). The owner of the AT&T
Unix patents and copyrights however was Novell. This confusion was part
of the fear-mongering and hot air used in the SCO vs. IBM and SCO vs.
Novell litigations ─ the SCO in this case was not the Santa Cruz
Operations, but Caldera Systems, which had purchased the real SCO and
then rebranded itself to The SCO Group.)
> And the *BSD's are forked from UNIX, originally as 'BSD Unix'.
The original BSD Unix wasn't all too different from AT&T's Unix. The
init system was different and there were a few other small differences,
but it was still sufficiently similar to call it Unix, and it still used
significant chunks of the original AT&T code.
However, AT&T Bell Labs was a US-sponsored corporation and was as such
exempt from the right to commercialize their software ─ this is why Bell
Labs was later on split off from AT&T. The Berkeley University on the
other hand did not have this legal obstruction.
Today's BSDs have nothing in common with that anymore, as the code was
all rewritten from scratch without reusing a single line of proprietary
> but Linux was created independently as a "UNIX-like" operating system.
Um, no, Linux was created as a UNIX-like kernel only. Linus Torvalds
did not write any other system software than the kernel, and ─ in spite
of the claims from the Win-trolls in this group ─ never had any real
plans for what anyone would do with his kernel. He simply didn't care,
as he was only seeking to scratch his own itch.
The rest of the base operating system ─ libraries, toolchain and
utilities ─ was all ported from GNU, and GNU had the aspiration of being
a completely free UNIX-compatible operating system, similar to the
rewritten BSDs, but of course, licensed under the Free Software
Foundation's ideas of a free license, i.e. the GPL.
(Not that I have any objections against the GPL ─ I actually favor it
over the more permissive licenses, because the latter inevitably lead to
what I personally consider unethical abuse. That's how Steve Jobs was
able to proprietarize (and pervert) FreeBSD into OS X.)
> "the open source Linux operating system, a reimplementation of Unix
> from scratch, using parts of the GNU project that had been underway
> since the mid-1980s"
> (not sure what this has to do with Cygwin except that Cygwin gives you
> the POSIX shell stuff, basically RH's version of it, in windows, which
> I find *incredibly* useful, and I like to install it on all my windows
> boxen and VMs where I do actual work)
Cygwin is basically GNU stuff, but it isn't (what people call) "Linux",
because it doesn't run on a Linux kernel. It runs on top of the NT
kernel, so perhaps a better description would be GNU/NT, although that
doesn't really cover it, given that the NT kernel was designed to run
multiple different "personality" subsystems side by side ─ the initial
idea was a Windows personality, an OS/2 personality and a POSIX-
There is also no binary compatibility with the same tools and utilities
(or other application software) in GNU/Linux due to the different nature
of the underlying kernel and as such, the different binary format.
Linux prefers the ELF binary format, while Microsoft uses something
I haven't really read through all of this thread, though, because I
believe it's an old and revived thread which was revived by a.o.l.u's
Microsoft fanboy number one /DanS./ He's in my killfile, but that
doesn't stop me from seeing it when people quote him, and as far as I
can see, he's all over this thread.
= Aragorn =
http://www.linuxcounter.net - registrant #223157