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Microsoft's Monopoly
At this time, Microsoft owns an operating system monopoly with its line of Windows operating systems. UNIX, however, is an alternate OS mainly used by ... er, computer geeks. It's been out for many years and features a small kernel with all programs built around the kernel. This is different from Windows, where programs are virtually added to the kernel resulting in "bloatware". Linux is a recent off-spring of the UNIX design, and features many of the same commands as its predecessor.

While one currently requires a special UNIX-based computer, such as a Sun machine, to run UNIX, Linux can run on virtually any x86-based PC. (Such as your home computer.) This is definitely a plus for this operating system.

Open Source
While the biggest difference between UNIX and Windows is that the default UNIX mode is in a terminal or shell text-based window, where the user enters text commands rather than interacting with a GUI (graphical user interface), there is, actually, an even larger difference. The biggest difference between UNIX and Windows is that UNIX is completely open-source. In other words, all programs written for it, as well as the operating system, itself, were created by people from all over the world adding their own bits and pieces to it. All of the source code (in a multitude of computer languages) are all freely distributed so that other programmers could enhance the code and redistribute it.

The main reason for this hype about the UNIX operating system is its dominant role in computer science. Virtually all major web servers on the internet, for example, are running Apache, a UNIX-based http server. UNIX is also the origin for the web's interactive CGI scripts, often written in the Perl language (although C++ cgis do exist.)

Linux At Home
As previously said, Linux is the popular home-based version of UNIX. What adds to its splendor is that because source code is available for virtually every part of it, it is truly 100% customizable. To add to this ability, various distributions, or flavors, of Linux are available. Some popular distributions are Red Hat Linux, SuSe Linux, and Debian Linux.

Linux runs nicely dual booted with Windows on a PC. However, if this is not an option, a viable alternative is to install WinLinux, or another version of Linux which runs almost like a DOS program. However, such versions are often relatively unstable and do not allow you to unleash the true power of Linux.

XWindows
While UNIX and Linux are, theoretically, entirely text based, XWindows does exist. This is almost like a GUI face for behind-the-scenes applications which can be run. As Linux becomes more and more popular, and not only computer gurus begin to use it, this relatively new graphical user interface for Linux has been developed. XWindows allows Linux to be a more viable alternative to Windows, as a whole.

Brief C++ History
Perhaps one of the main reasons why C++ goes so nicely with UNIX is its history. The C language, the predecessor to C++, was developed at Bell Labs at the exact same time (early 1970s) as the UNIX operating system was being developed there. In 1983, Bjarne Strustoup at Bell Labs created the C++ language specifically for the UNIX environment.

UNIX File Structure
UNIX has specific commands which must be entered by the user to tell the computer what to do. In other words, how to handle files and how the computer, itself, should act.

The UNIX file system is similar to that of Windows in that they both consisit of a hierarchal structure of files and folders. Folders, or directories, consist of files. Both folders as well as files can exist at the same level. In UNIX, the root directory is simply the / directory. All fiels and folders must be encompassed within this main directory. Of course, sub-directories may contain other sub-directories, as well, within them.

The following outlines some of the main UNIX commands which are needed to make your way through the operating system's file structure.

UNIX Commands
../ represents one directory higher
pwd tells your current directory location
ls list the contents of a directory
mkdir dirName make a new directory dirName
cd dirName go into the directory dirName
more fileName view the text-based file fileName
cp file1 file2 copy the contents of file1 to file2
mv file1 file2 move file1 to file2
rm fileName delete the file fileName

It should be noted that the preceeding commands can be used from any location within the directory structure, so long as the file and directory names you specify are relative to where you currently are.

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Last Post by mikeandike22
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Alright, back from lunch with the boss's
Ok, my colleagues here at work, are threatening to get me fired, if I make know attempt to correct some of this! J/K :D

While one currently requires a special UNIX-based computer, such as a Sun machine, to run UNIX, Linux can run on virtually any x86-based PC. (Such as your home computer.) This is definitely a plus for this operating system.

Correction, Get the Solaris 9 Operating System (x86 Platform) aka intel/ibm compatible pc so you do the math.
Download here: http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/binaries/get.html
Who says unix isn't free?

While we're at it, I do have some major gripes with it (solaris x86). It runs like ****, boots slow, horrible hardware support, they've only _just_ released the intel platform edition free version for solaris 9, crappy support from sun for the free version, the configuration assistant just about drove me insane everytime I tried to boot into solaris, until I figured out how to turn it off.
After all, it makes really good sense that an operating system made by sun would run better on hardware made by sun. I have a ultra 10 box running solaris 9 performing mail, dns,etc... services
The first time I installed it (before I had my ultra 10 box) registered everything in the systsem except the soundcard...go figure.


One more thing, linux on the other hand is a different kind of free. it's free in the sense that the source code is openly available to anyone who wants to take a peek. but even it is still not truely free. if you actually take time to read the GPL (the license from which linux is released under) you will understand what i mean. the binding terms of the GPL is one of the deciding factors that inhibits developers (such as the xfree86 project) from using the license. if you want something a little less binding and restrictive in nature, check out the bsd or mit licenses. even linux is subject to the terms of its license.

UNIX, however, is an alternate OS mainly used by ... er, computer geeks.

Geek, I resent that. Considering a good majority of the people who I work with that use our UNIX racks at work, are not geek's. I would'nt say they are "geeks". they are actually pretty cool to hang with, they are young retired hax0rz, who decided to get a job.
They go to football games, hunt, deep sea fish, skydive, granted one is a big starwars phreak but still. They/we are just average people that you would not be able to detect our skillz if you saw us walking down the street. Lables just lables...................*burp*
I point this out because in the definiton for geek it says people who are " socially inept " inept thats a strong word to use !
(some of the above is posted based on my opinions)

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Hello,

For those of you interested in running Linux on Mac hardware, look at www.yellowdoglinux.com for a RedHat port, or if you have an older PowerMac with NuBus slots, you can try mklinux available from Apple.

While OS X works well, it is too much for the 7100 - 8100 class machines. YDL will not work with these machines -- YDL would like to see a G3 or better.

Christian

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While one currently requires a special UNIX-based computer, such as a Sun machine, to run UNIX, Linux can run on virtually any x86-based PC. (Such as your home computer.) This is definitely a plus for this operating system.

Small correction here, Linux is a Unix variant just like AIX, Solaris, BSD, etc..

UNIX, however, is an alternate OS mainly used by ... er, computer geeks.

Not hardly. Many people use Unix (in one form or another) without ever knowing it.
Mac OS/X users for example are running Unix (OS/X is based on BSD) but most will never get underneath their shiny desktop.
Some Linux distros can be made to look like Windows and there are people using those that have no clue about their OS (some might get a rude surprise trying to install that nice little program they got from that nice person they never heard of but will likely put it down to the program being broken).

And then there's the millions of office workers worldwide who connect to a Unix fileserver thinking it's a Windows machine.

Brief C++ History
Perhaps one of the main reasons why C++ goes so nicely with UNIX is its history. The C language, the predecessor to C++, was developed at Bell Labs at the exact same time (early 1970s) as the UNIX operating system was being developed there

And by some of the same people too.

XWindows
While UNIX and Linux are, theoretically, entirely text based, XWindows does exist. This is almost like a GUI face for behind-the-scenes applications which can be run. As Linux becomes more and more popular, and not only computer gurus begin to use it, this relatively new graphical user interface for Linux has been developed. XWindows allows Linux to be a more viable alternative to Windows, as a whole.

Mortal sin there. Never refer to the X Windowing System as "XWindows" to a Unix person.

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Can anybody help me... I was task to get version of the linux that we are using, but I dont know what command to use to show version of our linux...

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Can anybody help me... I was task to get version of the linux that we are using, but I dont know what command to use to show version of our linux...

uname -a

CSGAL:

UNIX isn't always open source, there is still a few versions of true UNIX operating systems that don't have the source code open to the public until recently this included Sun Solaris (version 10 they opened their code) but still includes AIX and HP-UX.

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The original UNIX actually isnt opensource that is why there are so many variants like BSD and Linux. Most BSD distributions are based on the opensource versions of UNIX and Linux is written from scratch to be Unix like.

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