Monday, June 9, 2008

Evolution/History of UNIX:

This article gives information on the history and evolution of the UNIX. UNIX was the first operating system; it also has been a trail blazer in the field of operating systems. Other OS like windows, Linux and others have adopted the features first proposed by and implemented in UNIX. UNIX is not an operating system that was built by one company with a wonderful marketing department.

UNIX, pronounced as yoo-niks, is not the name of one operating system; it refers to a family of operating systems.

Brief History of UNIX:

1. The roots lie in Comprehensive time sharing system CTSS developed by Corbato at MIT in the early 1960s.
2. In 1969, emergence of UNIX at the AT & T Bell labs.
3. After several hits, first BSD Berkeley Software Distribution version released in 1978.
4. In 1982, Sun Microsystems released first UNIX workstation based on the BSD flavor of UNIX.
5. Finally in the year, SPARC station1 introduced.

UNIX Flavors:

UNIX is the oldest OS that pioneered several OS concepts used by other OS such as Microsoft DOS and Microsoft Windows. Originally, Bell Lab distributed UNIX along with the source code so that, anybody could modify and customize the OS to meet specific needs. The following are the different flavors of UNIX with Vendor and Chip architecture.

1. Solaris – Sun Microsystems – SPARC, X86
2. HP-UX – Hewlett Packard – IA 64 and HP PA-RISC
3. Irix- Silicon Graphics – MIPS
4. AIX – IBM – PowerPC
5. UNIXWare – SCO/Caldera – Xeon, Pentium, X86
6. Linux – Freeware – Alpha, SPARC, PowerPC and Intel

Characteristics of UNIX:

1. UNIX is built from small components; each component does one job and does it well.
2. Support for virtually all n/w protocols.
3. Many flavors of UNIX.
4. Wide variety of s/w available for UNIX.
5. Open standard and open source.
6. Multitasking and multiprocessing.

The underlying philosophy of UNIX may be classified as independence, interconnection and innovation.

Hope the above information is useful.


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