Although capitalized, UNIX is not an acronym, a play on the term MULTICS or a multi-user operating system. It is also a registered trademark of The Open Group - www.unix.org. Its derivatives such as Linux and BSD all share a common ancestry intermingled with UNIX. Any current or past UNIX is frequently referred to as *NIX.
- m2p2 - netmeister.org's missing man pages project
UNIX design principles
- Small is beautiful.
- A program should do one thing well.
- Allows for UNIX scripting and development that doesn't re-invent the wheel
- More secure (and often faster) by using time-tested programs
- Entire UNIX operating systems can run on a single 1.4 meg floppy disk (sometimes smaller)
- Many applications are open-source and benefit from community development and testing
For instance, a basic program could be written to run daily using chron and send files using FTP to a server with a secure tunnel system using stunnel. All three programs are already created and well-tested, allowing the programmer to focus on the why instead of the how and existing features can be added to the program/script without difficulty.
- Often alien and inaccessible to individuals new to UNIX
- A learning curve is associated with learning all these smaller programs
Many UNIX systems simplify their user-interfaces with programs such as GNOME and KDE. These window managers act as a front-end for many command-line operations and are fast approaching Windows and Macintosh in terms of usability. Mac OS X runs Aqua, a proprietary window manager atop a specialized UNIX-like system called "Darwin."
Operating Systems with their foundation in the Unix world
Run UNIX on other systems: