What is UNIX?
By the most simple definition, UNIX is a computer operating system - the base software that controls a computer system and
its peripherals. In this sense, UNIX behaves in the same way that the perhaps more familiar PC operating systems Windows or
MacOS behave. It provides the base mechanisms for booting a computer, logging in, running applications, storing and
retrieving files, etc.
More specificially, the word "UNIX" refers to a family of operating systems that are related to one or both of the original
UNIX operating systems - BSD and SystemV. Examples of modern UNIX operating systems include IRIX(from SGI), Solaris (from
Sun), Tru64 (from Compaq) and Linux (from the Free Software community). Even though these different "flavors" of UNIX have
unique characteristics and come from different sources, they all work alike in a number of fundamental ways. If you gain
familiarity with any one of these UNIX-based operating systems, you will also have gained at least some familiarity with
nearly every other variant of UNIX.
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