[rescue] OS X is certified UNIX

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Thu Jun 14 03:05:52 CDT 2007

On Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 08:23:36AM +0100, Mark wrote:
> When NEXTSTEP first morphed into OS X it was still heavily reliant on  
> NetInfo. As such so were early OS X versions. Of late less and less  
> is depending on netinfo and I get the impression they are trying to  
> ditch it in favour of proven UNIX methods. It's not UNIX as I  
> understand it from using Solaris and AIX, for gods sakes it doesn't  
> even have 'pg'! It is currently much closer to UNIX than it was  
> though, which can't be a bad thing...

IMHO you are confusing UNIX as in what came from AT&T and when. BSD was built on
what was then UNIX V7 (and before that older versions of UNIX). AT&T came out
with the totally different System V (aka system 5). Many of the FEATURES of BSD were
included in the System V Kernel, but most of the commands were different.

In the non BSD world, they merged around 1990 with System V release 3.2 which included
many of the BSD commands in /usr/ucb/bin, which could be added to your path as an option.
It also included TCP compatability with BSD STREAMS. System V release 4 was the real
combination, just about everything included in BSD was included in UNIX.

In the open source community, nothing sits still, so that many of the programs that
were included in System V, found their way back to BSD as user provided code.
Back before Linux became popular, things were never distributed as runable modules
(object code), they were provided as source code with a set of defines in a header
file that needed to be manipulated to get it to work on your system.

This later led to makfefiles with targets for different systems and C ifdefs in the
code for various targets. 

Next's BSD was based on a modified BSD Kernel with the Mach (is it an acronym or
named after the scientist?) Kernel on top of it. It also included BSD commands.

MacOS X was something different. It was a (successfull) attempt to take
the base BSD/Nextstep system and port the Macintosh GUI to it. However
the shell and command libraries were considered an option that most
people would not want. I think even in Tiger, the "BSD subsystem"
(terminal, shells and commands) are an option.

There also is a large library of "Darwin Ports" both from an organized group and a
individuals of other open source programs, most of them originaly developed for Linux.

There still is no real crossover from the Mac GUI to the UNIX GUI (X windows), however
the Tiger implementation allows you to use Aqua (the Mac GUI) as an X window mananger.
A prime example of this is Open Office, which is an X Windows application and can not
use many of the services of Aqua. A side project, called Neo Office, combines the two
by replacing the Open Office user interface with a Java one. 

BTW, don't feel that you are the only one who feels that things are missing or different,
until System V release 4 came out, there were many people who thought that BSD was the
"real" UNIX and System V was not. There was a combination of them out there and a lot
of rivalry. NCR's UNIX, AIX, A/UX, IRIX and the slew of X86 UNIXes from independent
vendors were all System V based, SunOS (and Solaris 1) were BSD based. I don't know
what ULTRIX (DEC's VAX UNIX offering) was, but most universities ran BSD on their VAX,
as AT&T gave (I think for free) the necessary licenses to them in the V7 era. 


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (07)-7424-1667 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838 
Visit my 'blog at http://geoffstechno.livejournal.com/

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