Just a simple question about Unix

  • i_am_a_nutball
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi to everyone on the forums.

I'm looking to get into Unix. I've used a few flavours of Linux but i don't have the space to share with Windows. I'm looking for a "pure" unix, like the industry standard OS that all this spread from. I'm in it to learn about the operating system, not necessarily to play media and crap like that. I've heard the name "Unix System V" or "Unix System VII" around the place, is this what i want, and if so, where can i get it?.
My computers a peice of crap.
Aopen MX59ProII
AMD K6-II 550mhz
192Mb PC100 SDRAM
10Gb Seagate HD

Any help is much appreciated.
  • Daemonguy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am not sure you would ever find the wellspring from whence all "this" came from... though I think I still have some old 386BSD disks someplace. :)
It's true that Linux derived from Unix, however both have evolved well beyond expectations and neither represent their origins all that much. Well, in some ways they do; filesystems, controls, hell, even some of the daemons are the same. (If it ain't broke don't fix it!)

Linux is, more or less, a unix-like kernel surrounded by differing packages which altogether make up what is called Linux. Distro to Distro the kernel should be the same -- which is good.
FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc et al. Now those are closer to Unix ; in fact in all but name -- as the name is legally protected -- they *are* unix.
The other choices are Solaris Unix, which is not bad and is used heavily in IT, so if you were looking to move into a new career path....
However, Solaris for x86 architecture sucks wind. It's a slow, bloated beast reminiscent of that product from Redmond. Solaris on the USparc chipset is much better, and what it was truly designed for.
Besides, if you learn unix, you can carry that knowledge forward. There are differences, but under the covers most of the commands are similar in the extreme.
AIX, and IBM Unix product is another. Unless you have a serious piece of hardware around I wouldn't even think about it. Besides... smitty pisses me off. :)
There are of course other ones out there; HPUX, Compaq Tru64 Unix, IRIX -- shudder shudder, cough cough.
As well as many dead or dying variants too numerous to mention.

The one thing they all have in common is the foundation for which they were built.

If you want to throw something on one of your old systems to play around and teach yourself -- good for you, BTW -- I suggest FreeBSD, for the following reasons:
It's free

It's well supported through the mailing list and mailing list archives. Smart people generally answer your questions free of charge -- sometimes it's even the folks who write the darn thing.

It's closer to "true" unix than anything else that's free. (A debatable point if you happen to be in the SYS V camp -- which I am not).

It's more stable as a running platform for services and serving.

The daemon is so much cooler than the ridiculous looking penguin. :)

http://www.freebd.org

Cheers.
  • i_am_a_nutball
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks Alot Daemonguy.
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

UNIX variations are so close, they often have the exact same bugs. Daemonguy is mostly right, except BSD isn't almost UNIX--it is UNIX. Its unix core has been around for twenty years... came out of the AT&T labs if I'm not mistaken. UNIX or Linux, the point is mostly moot (especially for someone experimenting).

Get one or the other and appreciate the truly genious concepts of "everything is a file" and the remarkably well designed CLI options.
  • Daemonguy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

rjmthezonenet wrote:
UNIX variations are so close, they often have the exact same bugs. Daemonguy is mostly right, except BSD isn't almost UNIX--it is UNIX. Its unix core has been around for twenty years... came out of the AT&T labs if I'm not mistaken. UNIX or Linux, the point is mostly moot (especially for someone experimenting).

Get one or the other and appreciate the truly genious concepts of "everything is a file" and the remarkably well designed CLI options.


We say 'almost' as the term UNIX is protected by law. No where on the FreeBSD site will you find they call it UNIX; they say it derived from UNIX -- which it did in 1993, FreeBSD that is. What it derived from was 386BSD, which itself was derived from 4.3BSD lite, which in-turn came from 4.3 BSD Reno. We can trace its ancestry all the way back to 1980 and 3BSD which was a combination of components from UNIX 32V and 2BSD. Going back even further we note that both of those branches are offshoots of the UNIX time-sharing System.

The code that Berkley was provided free of charge, while certainly containing copious amounts of Unix code developed at Bell Labs, it is not a Unix clone. In fact, more of the 'legally' named UNIX distributors are based on System V, not BSD.
So if you use a commercially available UNIX as a comparator, then *BSD *is* 'almost' UNIX.

Now, the argument could be made that *BSD, technically as well as historically has greater rights to the name Unix over System V... but that is not the case, legally speaking. Which is a shame, as I think *BSD style UNIX is much better than SysV.

Cheers.
  • i_am_a_nutball
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for your time, nutball.

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