[LMB] OT: AKICOTL: UbUntu advice

James cessnadriver at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 07:55:09 BST 2007


On 8/27/07, Mark Allums <mark at allums.com> wrote:
> The plural of UNIX seems to be "Unices".  Unix is often put in all caps
> for no good reason; it's a false acronym.  The name Unix derives from
> MULTICS, an early attempt at a universal OS.  Unix does not refer to
> eunuchs, but in a way it actually does (that would require a whole
> 'nother conversation to explain).  Many people, particularly Linux
> users, spell it Un*x, much the same way we spell L*ck*y or W*b*r.

Actually, it's UNIX(R). UNIX(R) is a registered trademark of The Open
Group. So technically, Linux is not UNIX(R) since it's never been
certified. However, Apple's MacOS X 10.5 is UNIX(R) (source:
http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3555.htm ). The Open
Group is a consortium that standardizes basically UNIX(R) systems,
from system calls, the C library functions, to utilities, it's all
there. The Single UNIX(R) Specification is the standard (and is freely
available, for your email address). If you're wanting to do something
portably, toss the GNU manpages (err... info pages... icky) and use
the SUS...

Previous usage of the term was used to indicate that there was a
direct lineage to the original AT&T/Bell Labs source code, but I'm
sure many patches later, that all gets lost. Now the trademark is used
to indicate that a particular implementation supports all the standard
APIs, utilities and other whatnot for compatibility purposes (Anyone's
who programmed the various flavors or dealt with Autoconf/Automake
knows...). So being UNIX(R) certified really means supporting a
standardized API set. (I don't think there's anything that really
keeps say, Windows from also getting certified).

Now, that means "Unix" is technically an incorrect term... but I
suppose it can be used when you're not referring to an official
UNIX(R) system, since UNIX(R) is trademarked, but Unix is not. And
Un*x is often used to include systems like Linux, which are
"Unix-workalikes". But other than UNIX(R), the usage of Unix and Un*x
and such isn't standardized...



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