OSX BSD? vs Linux

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by loom001, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. loom001 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    This might be a better place to ask the question rather then General Discussions.

    Ok I have now purchased a G4 1gig, 256 ram, CD-R/DVD, 60HD, OSX, and 64meg NVIDIA video. I am going to use my previously purchased 19" Viewsonic CRT with DVI to VGA pig tail. My question before actually opening it is. My main motivation for buying the Mac is to actually learn UNIX. Is this MAC going to be able to help me do that or would I, just be better of going out and buying a cheap PC and loading up Linux?

    From what I am reading OSX is based on a BSD kernel. So what I am trying to understand is the MAC look and feel just a windows manager like KDE is to Linux? Is BSD truly the under the hood driver of the OS? I am somewhat confused because nothing that I am reading really spells it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    Thanks :confused:
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    It's pretty much like this:

    Linux and FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD all have a monolithic kernel. It's one piece. Mac OS X has two pieces which produce this--the Mach 3.0 kernel plus the BSD layer. The effect is the same, you can program to the BSD layer as if that was all that mattered. There are big benefits where Apple is concerned with being able to rip the kernel apart and put it back together without the applications knowing.

    You can also program to equally to Carbon (more-or-less traditional Macintosh programming), Cocoa (more-or-less traditional NeXTSTep programming), and Java.

    Aqua has a couple layers of its own and is somewhat more than KDE or Gnome are right now. There are Quartz Compositor (transparency, window-handling, etc.) and Quartz 2D which handles the drawing of shapes. Equally, there is OpenGL for 3D drawing and QuickTime for MultiMedia. They sit next to Quartz so they have just as much access to the lower levels.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  3. Bear macrumors G3

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    #3
    In addition to what bousozoku has said, you can also run X11 on Mac OS X to give you the ability to write and run programs that use X11 for windowing.

    From the terminal window, you have access to all the basic Unix command line utilities.

    There are some slight differences between every flavor of Unix and the differences that you might encounter in OS X fron sone other Unix varient is about the same as between any other pair of Unix OS's.

    A lot of the Unix freeware will compile fine on OS X, some will require X11

    You don't need to spend money on an Intel based system just to learn Unix..
     
  4. dstorey macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I dont have OS X yet but I have used solaris Unix quite a bit at university, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    OS X should be fine for learning unix as is another flavor of unix (based on the Berkley Standard Distrobution strain). I would recommend a book like Mac OS X in a nutshell by o'rielly if you want to learn the ins and outs of unix on the mac. I think as far as I know its an adaption of their Unix in a nutshell. As the previous poster said every *nix flavor has its own differences such as where you find files etc, wether its sun solaris, linux (red hat, debian etc) or BSD (freeBSD, Open BSD, netBSD) or Darwin (mac os x).

    Darwin in the unix part of os x, which is based on the BSD strain as I said but the kernel is actually the Mach 3.0 kernal (from carnigie Mellon university). Darwin has all or most of the usual unix stuff you will want to learn such as vi, grep, cron, sendmail etc. However on top of darwin is where the mac os x magic happens and where it is different from typical *nixs. They usually use x11 with anyone of a number of graphics environments from cde, kde, gnome. These allow a windowing graphical enviroment on unix, but arn't the nicest ooking or the easiest to use. OS X adds Aqua and all the technologies mentioned by the first poster instead, which makes it easier to use, nicer looking and allows things such as photoshop and ms office to run. Apple have a X11 server/client though in beta form so programs written for x11 in unix can be easilly ported to OS X. This is useful if your learning unix if you want to know about typical unix windowing systems.

    Hope that helps
     
  5. guitargeek macrumors regular

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    Feb 20, 2003
    #5
    Just a quick thought here...

    If you want to learn unix, then why not just run unix, and not a variant like OS X or linux? That's the most direct route, I would think. OSX's unix core in undeniable, and linux is very unix-like, but when you can try the real thing, then why not?
     
  6. dstorey macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The thing is, what's real Unix, and what special hardwear do you need to run it? I mean Linux, BSD, Darwin, even Solaris are not real unix as far as I know. That leaves things like HP's unix which I foget the name. They arn't cheap, especially when unix like os's mentioned before are often relitivly cheap or free (you can even get an older version of Sun Solaris free from their site if you happen to have a sparc station handy). As it sounds like he already has OS X then there is no point buying seperate hardwear and then buying a real unix or downloading a free linux/BSD when all or most the tools are already available to him.
     
  7. guitargeek macrumors regular

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    #7
    I've always thought that FreeBSD was much more "unix" than linux, and Solaris I had always thought WAS unix.

    I was thinking more like he should take an old PC, and install FreeBSD on it, without X, and then try to network it or something like that. That way there's no GUI to fall back on.

    I'm not suggesting that he buy new hardware, but since he hasn't used OSX before, he problaby has an older PC he could do this with.
     
  8. Bear macrumors G3

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    #8
    Actually Solaris is UNIX. However, every strain of Unix is different.

    BSD is very much UNIX as well. Some day read the hostory of the Unix varients.

    Linux has no trace of Unix in it. It was written from scratch to be Unix compatible. So there are lots of things the same between the assorted Unix varients and Linux.

    Oh, you can also get Solaris for x86 hardware.
     
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #9
    Well, Linux was almost written from scratch. It is based on Minix. Read Andrew Tanenbaum's book Operating Systems: Design and Implementation (ISBN 0-13-637406-9)--Mr. Tanenbaum creates a UNIX-like o.s. for discussions on the subject.

    FreeBSD was re-written to remove all AT&T licenced code once AT&T objected to UC Berkeley running/distributing an o.s. with commercial code in it. BSD was originally based on version 7, where as Irix, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, et al. are based on System V.

    Version 7 was the last free version avaiable from AT&T/Bell labs. System V was the last commercial release--the one which would "take over" commercial computing. A few years afterward, Bell Labs sold everything UNIX to Novell. Now, it resides at SCO (the Santa Cruz Operation), who just sued IBM for giving away portions of UNIX in their efforts to promote Linux.
     
  10. dstorey macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    ok, I'm probably wrong on solaris not being real unix, i thought it was based on a different core (system 7) but it seems that strain is real unix however BSD's like freeBSD arn't real unix. They are closer than linux is but all the real unix stuff had to be re written, something to do with a law suit from AT&T. That was one of the major reasons why BSD lost ground even though it was around long before linux and why its the later that you hear about every day and not our good friend BSD (which i actually prefer.

    Yeah you can buy solaris for x86 but i'm hedging my bets its not cheap. If he wants to learn unix without all the windowing system it would be a good idea possibly to use darwin. It should be garenteed to work on his hardware, has no windowing system by default i dont think, but should be able to download x11 for it later and the knowlege learnt from using darwin can be recycled for when he uses OS X proper so everything will be where it's expected to be when he uses the terminal under aqua.
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    Sorry, but you're wrong. :)

    Number 1, there is no system 7.

    Solaris for x86 is $99 at the entry level. This does not include all the goodies the previous version had.

    FreeBSD has many of the things that the Linux distributions have such as GUIs, but it is the same industrial strength UNIX that competed with AT&T UNIX, and won, for years.

    AT&T UNIX would not even have an IP stack except for BSD. How much of a powerhouse would real UNIX be if it was still using uucp to communicate with other machines.
     
  12. dstorey macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    ummmmm, ok it's not called system 7 but i know what i meant.

    As for the rest, I'm not wrong. 1) Solaris is $99, FreeBSD and many Linux distros are free

    2) I never said FreeBSD didn't have a GUI (i know, i have it on this machine), I said that I think Darwin doesn't come with a gui (in its standard distro), in responce to the guy that said that it would be better to get a real unix and just use the command line stuff.

    3) I never said it was weaker or worse than a unix or that unix's didn't benifit from BSD, I simply stated that it isn't a true unix, cause it isn't, the BSD's are unix like OS's just as Linux is, be that for copyright reasons or because of lawsuits or whatever, it IS NOT officially a true unix. I stated that BSd lost ground on the linux's, which it has, not uin terms of quality or such but in terms of popularity. There are many more installations of linux out there than BSD's and linux has far more press couverage. BSD almost become the fogotten party and even the developers admit that on the freeBSD site. Just because i said BSD isn't a official unix doesn't mean I said it was inferior.
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    Offcially, only SCO UNIX is a real UNIX. There are no others.

    IBM, Sun, HP, and Data General, among others have UNIX licences but have specific modifications to make them stronger.

    FreeBSD has lost ground to Linux because it was a commercial product while Linux was free and that the installer is a pain which no one cares to improve. The "Free" in FreeBSD had nothing to do with the price--it was the fact that it no longer had any AT&T code in it. Still, it was directly derived from the original Bell Labs Version 7 code, not Minix--Linux' base.

    There was a "True UNIX" initiative over 10 years ago to unite UNIX against the proprietary big iron. There is also the IEEE Posix project. As far as I know, IBM is the only vendor to fully implement Posix, in its OS/390 and OS/400 operating systems, which are not UNIX.

    Oh well...by the way, does anyone know the UNIX command that has some girl's name? The programmer gave it his girlfriend's name.
     
  14. loom001 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Not to be a pain, but can you guys start a separate thread on this? This is in no way anymore answering the question posted. Thank you!
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    So true, but it's somewhat amusing. :D

    Sorry. <bows head in shame and walks away>
     
  16. dstorey macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I think we've finished our petty argument now in a no score draw ;) so lets put something useful down for you and assess each *nix (official unix or not ;))

    OS X - You already have, most or all key unix tools are there for you to learn but could be destracted by nice aqua interface. Can install x11 to run normal unix graphical programs

    Darwin - the unix bit of OS X. same as previous without all the special added Apple magic. runs on both mac and pc (though i dunno how well hardware is supported for the pc).

    Linux - enough different linux's for a whole new thread. IO think there is just a thread on here somewhere. Most hard core geeks i have heard go for debian for whatever reason. Linux probably has the most support on the internet or in magazines if you run into trouble but all the commands should work the same on any *nix so if say your stuck on vi, you could go to any forum for help. most popular on x86 hardware but available on most inc the mac (yellow dog?)

    BSD - FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD. All concentrate on a slightly different aim, from running on the most hardware it can to being the most secure OS. Probably less user friendly to install than Linux as it doesn't have the likes of Red Hat making simpiler installers and package manager, but I didn't find it too hard to install and i have very limited experience in that area, nothing a quick look round the internet can't sort out. BSD has less programs ready compiled to run than linux as if you go to many download sites they may only have the linux version (its getting better though, yahoo messanger has a bsd version for instance. This can be got around by compiling the code yourself if its available or by installing the linux compatability mode when you install BSD. This should allow you to run any linux programs as if it was a bsd program

    Solaris) Sun's primary OS (though its now supporting Sun Linux - anyone know what thats like?). free download for previous version for sparcs but $99 for pc version. As a commerical unix it will have better support from the vendor if thats what you need and plenty of apps to choose from including oracle. Does Solaris still use that urgle cde by default?

    Other Unix's) HP-Unix, Irix etc. I've never used these so i'm not sure.
     
  17. awulf macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Why don't you just partition your HD and run multiple OS's like Yellow Dog Linux (Red Hat for PPC), NetBSD and Mac OS X.
     
  18. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

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    #18
    if you look at www.opendarwin.org or http://developer.apple.com/darwin/ you will find your origins.
     
  19. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #19
    Asking which O.S. to use to learn Unix is like asking which type of coffee to buy to learn all about coffee. SCO owns the copyright, so their flavor is technically the only "real" Unix, so the better goal should be to experience a little of everything.

    loom001, I suggest that you start with any Unix at all (picked for convenience or price), but plan to add, switch to, or also start with other flavors of Unix. awulf gives a sensible suggestion of one way to do this.
     

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