The past , present, and future of unix

The Past, Present, and Future of UNIX

Abstract In the beginning, two men Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie in 1969 created an operating system that still has potential and relevance in today’s ever-changing computer world, that operating system is called UNIX. I will be going over the past and present of UNIX and will also tell on how I feel about the future of UNIX. In the past, UNIX, a dominant operating system that pioneered the future of operating systems and how they are used today. Older platforms were written in assembly language which makes moving files around to different computers extremely difficult, when UNIX was created it was originally written in that same language but later changed to a high-level language we all know today as C, there is only a small portion of the UNIX operating system that remains in assembly language and that is located in the kernel of the operating system. “ Universities and colleges have played an important role in the popularity of the UNIX operating system.


UNIX has many tools at its disposal like line editors, application program interfaces, development environments, libraries, and documentation. This makes UNIX a very powerful system and the best part about it all is it was written on a microcomputer. UNIX is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system. When UNIX was created it was written in assembly language which made it hard to port to other hardware and was later recorded in a high-level language, they chose C as their language. UNIX and the programming language C were both designed and developed by AT&T and given to Universities and colleges. These programs were incorporated into the computersciencecurriculum, and students, in turn, became familiar with UNIX and its sophisticated programmingenvironment. There are two major versions of UNIX and a lot more that are based on the two major versions, the two major versions include AT&T UNIX version V and Berkeley UNIX, other versions which are based on these two include Solaris, Solaris was the operating system of Sun Microsystems that was based on UNIX System V Release 2 and BSD.

UnixWare, UnixWare there are two versions of UnixWare, UnixWare Personal Edition which was for desktops and UnixWare Application Server which was used on servers. Linux, Linux is a very close implementation of UNIX and conforms to many of the same standards that UNIX does. There are many different versions of UNIX and all have the same objective in mind, some were designed to be used by the company that made it others were designed to work the same as UNIX and be cheaper to use but in the end, they all operate like UNIX. Let’s look into the Past, Present, and Future of the famous operating system that started it all. Past of UNIX UNIX was created on a smaller computer called the PDP-7 which was made by Digital Equipment Corporation. UNIX was basically a new operating system that took the good of all the other systems that they created like Multics. “ Of course, UNIX’s success didn’t happen all at once. In 1971 it was ported to the PDP-11 minicomputer, a more powerful platform than the PDP-7 for which it was originally written.

Text-formatting and text-editing programs were added, and it was rolled out to a few typists in the Bell Labs Patent department, its first users outside the development team. “ The first commercial instance of UNIX worldwide was installed in early 1972 at New York Telephone Co. Systems Development Center under the direction of Dan Gielan. An Operational Support System was developed entirely in assembly language by Neil Groundwater and it survived nearly 7 years without change. UNIX did have a rough start in the first few years of its life and AT&T was forbidden from entering the computer business by a 1958 degree, which wouldn’t allow UNIX to become a product. By 1983 AT&T and Bell systems were broken up which alleviated their problem with the decree, AT&T rushed to market the UNIX system and that move nearly destroyed UNIX. Through the life of UNIX all of its up and downs it is still considered a very powerful Operating System and is still in use by some companies and also works with some systems like Mac OS.

UNIX of Today UNIX has been around for almost 43 years and still is in use by programmers and some operating systems like MAC OS. There are many versions of UNIX; most resemble UNIX in some way or another which goes to show that this platform is still playing a strong part in today’s ever-changing computer world. All these years later there are many different Applications that are UNIX, UNIX based, or a completely different operating system that resembles UNIX. ” Minix incorporated all the ideas of UNIX, and it was a brilliant job,” Salus says. Only a major programmer, someone who deeply understood the internals of an operating system, could do that. ” Minix would become the starting point for Linus Torvalds’ 1991 creation of Linux — if not exactly a UNIX clone, certainly a UNIX look-alike. From some of my research, it seems that Linux is the Operating System of choice it’s a lot cheaper to use and has a very strong resemblance to UNIX and a lot of the commands used by UNIX are incorporated into the Linux OS.

Some of the UNIX variants were dying out only Solaris, HP-UX and AIX were still doing fairly well in the market. A lot of lawsuits began in the early 2000s which started actions against users and vendors of Linux, the SCO group stated that Linux contained copyrighted UNIX code now owned by the SCO group, this began the SCO vs. Novell lawsuit, AT; T sold all rights of the UNIX system to Novell which gave him all the copyrights. The case was decided in Novell’s favor that he owned the copyrights to UNIX and UnixWare. After the string of lawsuits, Novell stated that he had no interest in suing people over UNIX. Future of UNIX UNIX may still be prevalent in today’s computer world but what about the future will it be as strong as it is or has been, with multicore processors and cheaper operating systems like Linux and Windows x86, we may see companies moving away from UNIX. ” The results reaffirm continued enthusiasm for Linux as a host server platform, with Windows similarly growing and UNIX set for a long, but gradual, decline,” says the poll report, published in February 2009. UNIX has had a long and lively past, and while it’s not going away, it will increasingly be under pressure,” says Gartner analyst George Weiss. ” Linux is the strategic ‘UNIX’ of choice. ” Although Linux doesn’t have the long legacy of development, tuning, andstress-testing that UNIX has seen, it is approaching and will soon equal UNIX in performance, reliability, and scalability, he says.

Even with Linux approaching performance and reliability I have found another suggestion saying that UNIX won’t be fading away anytime soon I found this survey report to be interesting. Of the 211 respondents, 130 (62%) reported using UNIX in their organizations. (Most survey responses are based on input from the latter). Of the respondents whose companies use UNIX, 69% indicated that their organizations are ” extremely reliant” or ” very reliant” on UNIX, with another 21% portraying their organizations as ” somewhat reliant” on UNIX. 0% responded that they were not very reliant or not at all reliant on UNIX as an OS. From the research I have gathered I am getting mixed reviews on the Future of UNIX but my gut instinct tells me with the recent MAC OS support that UNIX is here to stay now in my opinion the only thing that would need to be done is to allow the operating system to work with multicore processors then UNIX would again be a force to reckon with.

Conclusion UNIX has had a very long life p for an operating system and has always played a very important part in or computer world we know today from my report I see that UNIX has been through a lot from being developed to almost dying out to having lawsuits for copyrights and through all this UNIX is a very powerful operating system that has made it through every obstacle thrown in its path. The future is still truly unknown about UNIX even with he recent support that it has gained and with all the competition in its market it is really hard to say whether or not UNIX will be around or if it will die out, I can say that regardless of future if UNIX was never created we may not have the computer systems we have today.


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