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Unix (officially UNIX) is a registered trademark of The Open Group that refers to a family of computer operating systems and tools conforming to The Open Group Base Specification, Issue 7 (also known as POSIX.1-2008 or IEEE Std 1003.1 - 2008). To use the Unix trademark, an operating system vendor must pay a licensing fee and annual trademark royalties to The Open Group. Officially licensed Unix operating systems (and their vendors) include Mac (Apple), Solaris (Oracle), AIX (IBM), IRIX (SGI), and HP-UX (Hewlett-Packard).
Operating systems that behave like Unix systems and provide similar utilities, but do not conform to Unix specification or are not licensed by The Open Group, are commonly known as Unix-like systems. These include a wide variety of Linux distributions (for example, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, and CentOS) and several descendants of the Berkeley Software Distribution operating system (for example, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD).
Proprietary Unix operating systems (and Unix-like variants) run on a wide variety of digital architectures, and are commonly used on web servers, mainframes, and supercomputers. In recent years, smartphones, tablets, and personal computers running versions or variants of Unix have become increasingly popular.
The original Unix operating system was developed at AT&T's Bell Labs research center in 1969. In the 1970s and 1980s, AT&T licensed Unix to third-party vendors, leading to the development of several Unix variants, including Berkeley Unix, HP-UX, AIX, and Microsoft's Xenix. In 1993, AT&T sold the rights to the Unix operating system to Novell, Inc., which a few years later sold the Unix trademark to the consortium that eventually became The Open Group.
Unix was developed using a high-level programming language (C) instead of platform-specific assembly language, enabling its portability across multiple computer platforms. Unix also was developed as a self-contained software system, comprising the operating system, development environment, utilities, documentation, and modifiable source code. These key factors led to widespread use and further development in commercial settings, and helped Unix and its variants become an important teaching and learning tool used in academic settings.
At Indiana University, the Big Red 3 research supercomputer runs a proprietary variant of Linux called Cray Linux Environment (CLE). The remaining research supercomputers run a commercial distribution of Linux called Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see Get help for Linux or Unix at IU.
Key components
Proprietary Unix systems and their variants are characterized by several essential components:
Related documents
Use the Unix man command to read manual pages
This is document agat in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-09-20 16:24:54.
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