28 Facts About Unix


Unix systems are characterized by a modular design that is sometimes called the "Unix philosophy".

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Unix was originally meant to be a convenient platform for programmers developing software to be run on it and on other systems, rather than for non-programmers.

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At first, Unix was not designed to be portable or for multi-tasking.

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Later, Unix gradually gained portability, multi-tasking and multi-user capabilities in a time-sharing configuration.

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Unix systems are characterized by various concepts: the use of plain text for storing data; a hierarchical file system; treating devices and certain types of inter-process communication as files; and the use of a large number of software tools, small programs that can be strung together through a command-line interpreter using pipes, as opposed to using a single monolithic program that includes all of the same functionality.

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Unix operating system consists of many libraries and utilities along with the master control program, the kernel.

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Unix-like operating systems are widely used in modern servers, workstations, and mobile devices.

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Filesystem Hierarchy Standard was created to provide a reference directory layout for Unix-like operating systems; it has mainly been used in Linux.

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Unix system is composed of several components that were originally packaged together.

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Names and filesystem locations of the Unix components have changed substantially across the history of the system.

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Unix system had a significant impact on other operating systems.

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Unix was originally written in assembly language, but was rewritten in C, a high-level programming language.

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Unix had a drastically simplified file model compared to many contemporary operating systems: treating all kinds of files as simple byte arrays.

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Unix popularized the hierarchical file system with arbitrarily nested subdirectories, originally introduced by Multics.

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The Unix shell used the same language for interactive commands as for scripting.

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Fundamental simplifying assumption of Unix was its focus on newline-delimited text for nearly all file formats.

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Unix popularized a syntax for regular expressions that found widespread use.

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The C programming language soon spread beyond Unix, and is ubiquitous in systems and applications programming.

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Early Unix developers were important in bringing the concepts of modularity and reusability into software engineering practice, spawning a "software tools" movement.

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Free derivative of BSD Unix, 386BSD, was released in 1992 and led to the NetBSD and FreeBSD projects.

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Since then, BSD Unix has been developed in several different product branches, including OpenBSD and DragonFly BSD.

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Linux and BSD are increasingly filling the market needs traditionally served by proprietary Unix operating systems, as well as expanding into new markets such as the consumer desktop and mobile and embedded devices.

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The Unix system was said to "present several interesting capabilities as an ARPANET mini-host".

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At the time, Unix required a license from Bell Telephone Laboratories that cost US$20, 000 for non-university institutions, while universities could obtain a license for a nominal fee of $150.

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RFC specifically mentions that Unix "offers powerful local processing facilities in terms of user programs, several compilers, an editor based on QED, a versatile document preparation system, and an efficient file system featuring sophisticated access control, mountable and de-mountable volumes, and a unified treatment of peripherals as special files.

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Unix was the original formatting, but the usage of UNIX remains widespread because it was once typeset in small caps.

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The result is that Unix has been used as a brand name for various products including bookshelves, ink pens, bottled glue, diapers, hair driers and food containers.

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Sun Microsystems, developer of the Solaris variant, has asserted that the term Unix is itself plural, referencing its many implementations.

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