View Full Version : OSX and Unix

Dec 7, 2001, 11:31 AM
I have a half question, half satement.

I have a few friends who are pure unix people, and have extensive professional know-how regarding Unix. I encouraged them to try OSX, and they did, using many of the open features of the Apple terminal. They have discovered, at least in their opinion, many changes in Apple's version of Unix, which has been "stripped down" according to them. They say is loses many of the cooler functions of pure Unix, and is harder to work with, especially in regards to networking.

Does anyone else know anything about this? If this is true, its a sneaky way Apple can claim Unix functionality, but sacrificing some of Unix's quality.

Im a unix user, but not a power user, so I dont know tons about it except from the SGI's at school.

Dec 7, 2001, 12:42 PM
part of the prplem is that you are using OS X, I bet some of the missing parts can be found in OS X server. Also. OS X is built on the System 5 version of UNIX. I am used to the UNIX that Solaris is based on. At first I thought I was missing thing.... but they are just in diffrent places. I sill can find a few things so it could be that Apple stripped it down some. It would Make sence if they did. 90% of the users would never just the terminal anyway.

Dec 7, 2001, 12:57 PM
I think they were using the OSX Server, but Im certainly not sure. And I totally agree that 99% of the OSX users wont be using the terminal. This was purely a techie question. Thanks for your feedback though! :)

Dec 7, 2001, 01:53 PM
Surely it's not so much that Darwin is "stripped down" but rather that it's different to other versions of UNIX that your friend have encountered.

Dec 7, 2001, 03:11 PM
First of all, MacOS X is certainly not based on System V. It's a BSD system running on a Mach kernel. That means you can compile most FreeBSD/OpenBSD stuff without trouble, unless it's device drivers, in which case things are different because of the different kernel. Practically speaking most Linux stuff works just fine too, generally it just needs to have a few header files or definitions tweaked, and any program that has been ported between a few systems is already set up for that--it's just a matter of adding MacOS X's variations to the list.

If your Unix friends are seeing differences, it's almost certainly because they were using Linux, Solaris or some other System V-based Unix derivitive. A lot of those differences are just in command-line options. The first thing I installed were the standard GNU command utilities, which gave me all the Linux-style commands that I wanted. Beyond that differences tend to be in where system startup files are and things like that.

MacOS X Server does not, so far as I've seen, add any Unix tools that aren't in MacOS X--the "server" portion refers primarily to server processes for managing multiple Macs, not the Unix side of things.

If you haven't installed the developer tools, then you'll certainly find a bunch of stuff missing (basically anything to do with compiling and building systems). But install those and you have as full a "Unix" system as any I've used (and I've been using them for 20+ years).

Dec 7, 2001, 03:30 PM
I only use Solaris for my work, which attracted me to OSX greatly. At first, I thought things were missing in OSX, but it's just that OSX is a slightly different system, so there's a bit of re-learning things. In its essence though, I've found OSX to be a perfectly usable UNIX platform if I am working at home. I can run all of my X applications, I can customize my command line to no end, etc...What I love about my mac is that it combines the UNIX functionality that I require with great ease of use for tasks like burning CD's, watching DVD's, etc...

Dec 7, 2001, 04:13 PM
Oops. I guess I got them mixed up... OS X is BSD and Solaris is System V. Thanks for correcting me. I guess I had them mixed up.