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					     Introduction to the UNIX OS
What is an Operating System

An operating system (OS) is a program that allows you to interact with the computer -- all of the
software and hardware on your computer. How?

Basically, there are two ways.

 With a command-line operating system (e.g., DOS), you type a text
command and the computer responds according to that command.

 With a graphical user interface (GUI) operating system (e.g., Windows),
you interact with the computer through a graphical interface with pictures
and buttons by using the mouse and keyboard.

With Unix you have in general the option of using either command-lines (more control and
flexibility) or GUIs (easier).

Unix vs. Windows: A Competitive History and Future

Microsoft Windows and Unix are two major classes of operating systems. The Unix computer
operating system has been in use for more than three decades. Originally it rose from the ashes of
a failed attempt in the early 1960s to develop a reliable timesharing operating system. A few
survivors from Bell Labs did not give up and developed a system that provided a work
environment described as "of unusual simplicity, power, and elegance".

Since the 1980's Unix's main competitor, Windows has gained popularity due the steadily
increasing power of micro-computers with Intel-compatible processors (CPUs), which is the
platform that Windows was designed for. In recent years, however, a new version of Unix called
Linux, also specifically developed for micro-computers, has emerged. It can be obtained for free
and is therefore a lucrative choice for individuals and businesses on a budget.

On the server front, Unix has been closing in on Microsoft’s market share. In 1999, Linux
scooted past Novell's Netware to become the No. 2 server operating system behind Windows
NT. In 2001 the market share for the Linux operating system was 25 percent; other Unix flavors
12 percent. On the client front, Microsoft is currently dominating the operating system market
with over 90% market share.

Because of Microsoft’s aggressive marketing practices, millions of users who have no idea what
an operating system is have been using Windows operating systems given to them when they
purchased their PCs. Many others simply are not aware that there are operating systems other
      Introduction to the UNIX OS
than Windows. You, on the other hand, are here reading this article, and probably trying to make
conscious OS decisions for home use or for your organizations. In that case, you should at least
give Unix your consideration, especially if the following is relevant in your environment.

Advantages of Unix

- Unix is more flexible and can be installed on many different types of machines, including main-frame
computers, supercomputers and micro-computers.

- Unix is more stable and does not go down as often as Windows does, therefore requires less
administration and maintenance.

- Unix has greater built-in security and permissions features than Windows.

- Unix possesses much greater processing power than Windows.

- Unix is the leader in serving the Web. About 90% of the Internet relies on Unix operating systems
running on Apache, the world’s most widely used Web server, which is free.

- Software upgrades from Microsoft often require the user to purchase new or more hardware or
prerequisite software. That is not the case with Unix.

- The mostly free or inexpensive open-source operating systems, such as Linux and BSD, with their
flexibility and control, prove to be very attractive to (aspiring) computer wizards. Many of the smartest
programmers are developing state-of-the-art software free of charge for the fast growing "open-source
movement”.

- Unix also inspires novel approaches to software design, such as solving problems by interconnecting
simpler tools instead of creating large monolithic application programs.

Remember, no one single type of operating system can offer universal answers to all your computing
needs. It is about having choices and making educated decisions.

				
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Description: Unix, Linux, architecture, designs, kernal, internal
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