unix question

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by slipper, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #1
    i dont know anything about scripting and computer programing but i was wondering.... if unix is so great why didnt apple or microsoft utilize unix sooner? and what type of platform did OS9 run on? and how does it operate differently? just curious sorry for so many questions.
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #2
    Both Apple and Microsoft already had operating systems they owned and that did what they wanted, at the time. Both companies got their start before, I believe, there were free or low-cost versions of Unix available. Unix began as a very expensive, very proprietary operating system - plus it was initially designed for "big iron" computers. It would have been a very expensive proposition to rewrite it for the personal computer.

    BTW you're apparently not aware that Microsoft did dabble with a Unix-like system quite early. It was called Minix. One of the wild MS rumors that floats around is that Linux was based on Minix, but that's not likely since Minix basically sucked according to those who've tried it. :) (It's possible that Linux might have been inspired by the idea of Minix though)

    OS 9 was the platform. You've got to understand that while it might seem logical that OS 9 and OS X are not that different (only one version number apart, right?) they are totally different. OS X was a total rewrite. As far as I know, down in the guts OS X is as different from OS 9 as it is from Windows.

    If OS X is similar in function to anything, it would be the NextSTEP operating system. Not coincidentally, Steve Jobs left Apple to work for Next before he was asked to come bail out Apple.

    It is an entirely different codebase from OS 9. It is basically a variant of BSD/NextSTEP, with Apple's proprietary Aqua graphical interface running on top of it. It's quite similar to how all GUIs work on Linux and BSD.

    To answer your question thoroughly would require writing a book - a book I'm not really qualified to author. :)
     
  3. maradong macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #3
    Brilliant resume however ;-)
     
  4. sageenos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #4
    If I'm correct, linux was inspired by minix. Linux was written from scratch, but I guess ideas from minix were used. I believe one of the differences between minix and linux is that minix was designed entirely with higher level languages while linux did make use of some platform specific code. That would make minix more portable, but linux would have greater speed.
     
  5. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #5
    I thought he owned/started Next?

    Well, whatever. Everything else you said sounded right.
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Re: unix question

    Like Westside Guy said, Unix simply wasn't ready for the desktop until recently. MS has put a lot of work into building Windows on top of OS/2, and I don't see them switching to Unix any time soon.
     
  7. slipper thread starter macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Re: unix question

    Actually Microsoft has used UNIX since something like 1979 or 1980. At one time, its Xenix was the largest selling UNIX distro as the native OS of the 68000/Z80-based Radio Shack Model 12. IIRC, MS Xenix became SCO Xenix became SCO UNIX. M$ continues to support UNIX with its Interix 2.2.

    Apple's support of UNIX goes back to System 6 in 1988 or so. UAE (UNIX Apple Environment) allowed SUN and HP workstations to run Macintosh applications. Apple sold its own System V-based UNIX distribution named A/UX. It allowed System 7 applications to run along side UNIX applications on Apple hardware. At a time when most UNIX applications used a CLI, Apple implemented GUI-based tools to manage the system. A/UX was considered to be an excellent System V distribution. As part of the AIM partnership, Apple adopted IBM's AIX as its UNIX distribution. The Fruit Company's first UNIX-based server ran AIX. With the buyout of NeXT, Apple has adopted Mach/BSD as its UNIX.
     
  9. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #9
    Linux was written in a somewhat contest way, to see who could come up with a working basic OS the fastest. Watch Pirates of Silicon Valley (a made for TV movie), it is quite intresting and informative about the multitude of OSes over the past years.

    BEN
     
  10. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #10
    BTW, Xenix was independently evaluated for use by the government and was considered to be very secure. Not the best, but far better than Windows. On the old scale it was about a 7 while Windows NT was a 3 and Windows XP Pro SP1 was about a 4 I think. I don't think OSX ever completed the evaulation because of some disagreements that arose. I think the rapid evolution of OSX at the time was likely a problem for testing purposes. However, FreeBSD was about a 6. At the top of the scale was STOP by Wang (also UNIX based I believe) with a 9. The scale is less valid today as new measures of security have evolved. Unfortunately I don't have access to the results of those tests.
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #11
    I hope you're not under the impression that Microsoft created Minix. It was created by Andrew Tanenbaum.

    I don't think that it's a wild rumour about Minix and Linux. Minix was version 7 UNIX free of AT&T code and happened to run on a PC, and later, several other machines. Many things have changed since 1987, when Andrew's book was released.
     
  12. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #12
    Oops

    Aargh. My mistake. I was mixing and matching names in my old addled brain. It was Xenix that was the MS product, not Minix, as MisterMe pointed out.

    I'm pretty sure that Linux isn't really based on Minix. I remember reading a rather large flame war that went on between Linus and Mr. Tanenbaum. There are fundamental differences between the Linux and Minix kernel philosophies. Matter of fact, do a Google search on Linus, Tanenbaum, and flamewar to find some interesting reading. I remember reading the thread a couple years ago as part of a "highlights of Usenet" compilation.

    agreenster: Yes, Steve Jobs started Next. Sorry if my wording was unclear. I remember really wanting one of those boxes back in the day, but there was no way I could afford it then. :(
     
  13. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #13
    From what I read (most likely the same usenet posts) minix was created as an educational tool for students and not as cutting-edge OS. Because of this, changes and improvements weren't made to it, therefore Linus decided to write his own (kernel? OS?)from scratch.

    Applefritter has a cool page on AU/X. Anyone know where to get a copy? :D

    AU/X link
     
  14. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
  15. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #15
    I've been looking to attain a copy for a while (legal of course.) In the review the guy advises against getting it though :p
     
  16. Interiority macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    England
    #16
    As bousozoko pointed out, Minix was created as an educational tool by Andrew Tanenbaum, originally for the DEC VAX and then later the IBM PC, with the source code published in the back of his Operating Systems text book. Linux was created by Linus Torvalds, arising from his frustration that Professor Tanenbaum wished to keep Minix sufficiently simple that it could be understood by an undergraduate computer science student.

    Both systems are POSIX compliant with no comercial UNIX AT&T code - the key philosphical difference being that Linux is based on a monolithic kernel design, whereas Minix uses a Microkernel approach. Fundamentally, the Linux kernel in execution is one huge program, whereas the Minix microkernel consists of several seperate simpler components - i.e. the memory manager, file system etc - which all communicate by passing messages to each other.

    Interestingly, OS X is also based on a microkernel design - the Mach kernel, based on work done at CMU by Avie Tevanian (I believe), and then subsequently at NeXT / Apple. From a kernel perspective, OS X owes much more to Minix than to Linux.
     

Share This Page