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(computer science)
An operating system that was designed for use with microprocessors and with the C programming language, and that has been adopted for use with several 16-bit-microprocessor microcomputers.


(operating system)
/yoo'niks/ (Or "UNIX", in the authors' words, "A weak pun on Multics") Plural "Unices". An interactive time-sharing operating system invented in 1969 by Ken Thompson after Bell Labs left the Multics project, originally so he could play games on his scavenged PDP-7. Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of C, is considered a co-author of the system.

The turning point in Unix's history came when it was reimplemented almost entirely in C during 1972 - 1974, making it the first source-portable OS. Unix subsequently underwent mutations and expansions at the hands of many different people, resulting in a uniquely flexible and developer-friendly environment.

By 1991, Unix had become the most widely used multi-user general-purpose operating system in the world. Many people consider this the most important victory yet of hackerdom over industry opposition (but see Unix weenie and Unix conspiracy for an opposing point of view).

Unix is now offered by many manufacturers and is the subject of an international standardisation effort Unix-like operating systems include AIX, A/UX, BSD, Debian, FreeBSD, GNU, HP-UX, Linux, NetBSD, NEXTSTEP, OpenBSD, OPENSTEP, OSF, POSIX, RISCiX, Solaris, SunOS, System V, Ultrix, USG Unix, Version 7, Xenix.

"Unix" or "UNIX"? Both seem roughly equally popular, perhaps with a historical bias toward the latter. "UNIX" is a registered trademark of The Open Group, however, since it is a name and not an acronym, "Unix" has been adopted in this dictionary except where a larger name includes it in upper case. Since the OS is case-sensitive and exists in many different versions, it is fitting that its name should reflect this.

The UNIX Reference Desk.

Spanish fire extinguisher.


A multiuser, multitasking operating system that has been widely used in servers and high-end workstations. The Open Group holds the trademark for the UNIX name (spelled in upper case) on behalf of the industry and provides compliance certification to the UNIX standard (see Single UNIX Specification).

Numerous commercial applications run on Unix servers; however, most websites run under Linux, which is a variant of Unix. Over the years, there have been many different Unix versions, and, except for the PC world, where Windows dominates, almost every hardware vendor has offered Unix either as its primary or secondary operating system. Sun was singularly instrumental in commercializing Unix with its Solaris OS (formerly SunOS), and HP, IBM, SCO and Digital Equipment (before it was acquired by Compaq) were also Unix promoters.

From the Telephone Company
Both Unix and the C programming language were developed by AT&T, dating back to the early 1970s. Unix and C were freely distributed to government and academic institutions, causing it to be ported to a wider variety of machine families than any other operating system. As a result, Unix became synonymous with "open systems" and thrives today on virtually every hardware platform. See AT&T.

Command Lines and GUIs
The Unix OS is made up of the kernel, file system and a shell, which is the command line interface with more than 600 commands for manipulating data and text. The major user interface shells are the original Bourne shell, C shell and Korn shell. Many commands are cryptic, but just as Windows hid the DOS prompt from users, graphical interfaces provide a Windows-like look into Unix and Linux. Linux desktops offer various GUIs, and many pundits claim that Apple created the best GUI for Unix with its OS X operating system, which is also Unix based. See Unix history, Mac OS X and Linux.

Unix Is Everywhere
Unix components are world class standards. The Internet runs on Unix protocols such as TCP/IP for network transfer and SMTP for email. NFS provides file sharing, Kerberos provides network security, and X Window lets users execute programs remotely in a mostly Unix environment. See POSIX, BSD Unix, USENIX and UDI.

Versions of Unix that are compliant with The Open Group's UNIX specifications include Sun's Solaris, HP's HP-UX, IBM's AIX and z/OS and SCO's UnixWare. See Open Group, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, z/OS, Mac OS X and Linux.

In the following illustrations, notice how many workstations and servers have run and still run under Unix.

Almost All Unix
Except for Windows, all these operating systems are Unix based. This list described the various versions of the Prince PDF converter software from YesLogic Pty. Ltd. (www.princexml.com).

Almost All Unix
Except for Windows, all these operating systems are Unix based. This list described the various versions of the Prince PDF converter software from YesLogic Pty. Ltd. (www.princexml.com).

Almost All Unix
Except for Windows, all these operating systems are Unix based. This list described the various versions of the Prince PDF converter software from YesLogic Pty. Ltd. (www.princexml.com).
References in periodicals archive ?
* Unify and automate software builds across UNIX and Windows environments;
Information Management Software Win 2000, Unix, Other Link Resolvers Win 2000, Other Linking Software Win 2000, Other Integrated Library Systems Software
"What really differentiates an Intel platform running Windows Server 2003 is what users get beyond what RISC UNIX can provide," said Boyd Davis, general manager of Server Platforms Group Marketing at Intel.
Third, the existing infrastructure provided no way to standardize UID and GID, resulting in redundant and conflicting identities across the range of Unix systems.
SCO alleges Novell has improperly filed copyright registrations with the US Copyright Office for Unix technology; made "false and misleading" statements that it owns the Unix and UnixWare copyrights causing irreparable harm to SCO's copyrights, business and reputation; made "false and misleading" statements to cause customers and potential customers not to do business with SCO; and made statements in bad faith to block SCO's copyright enforcement.
"Contrary to SCO's assertions, SCO is not the owner of the Unix copyrights...
Apple also seems to be courting network technicians with its Xserve line of rack mounted server computers and flexible networking options (supporting Apple, Windows and UNIX networking in OS X).
There are certain maintenance tasks that need to be performed on a UNIX system, such as backing up data, adding or removing authorized users, informing the system about the addition of devices such as new printers or terminals, and making sure no one is abusing the system, say by cluttering up the disk with large, unnecessary files.
For them, the 80386's "virtual 8086" feature makes 80386 workstations the best alternative, because it allows multiple virtual 8086 DOS sessions to run in hardware under Unix in one integrated package.
All RISC chips run the chip vendor's version of Unix; not one of these chips runs Microsoft Windows of any kind.
Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ), Houston, has unveiled enhanced products and services that will provide new, industry-leading levels of manageability, ease of deployment and performance for Compaq Tru64 UNIX, TruCluster and AlphaServer platforms.