UNIX by MarijanStefanovic



UNIX is a computer operating system originally developed in the 60’s and
70’s by a group of AT & T employees at Bell Laboratories. UNIX operating
systems are widely used in both servers and work stations primarily by
large corporations. The UNIX environment and the client-server program
model were essential elements in the development of the Internet and the
reshaping of computing as centered in networks rather than in individual

Both UNIX and the C programming language were developed by AT & T and
distributed to government and academic institutions causing both to be
opened up to a wider variety of machine families than any other operating
systems. As a result, UNIX became synonymous with “open systems”.

UNIX systems are characterized by various concepts.   They are known as
the UNIX philosophy and they include:

* The use of plain text for storing data
* A hierarchical file system
* Being able to treat devices and certain types of inter-process
communication as files
* The use of a large number of small program that can be strung together
through a command line interpreter using “pipes” as opposed to using a
single program with the same functionality

Under UNIX, the operating system is many utilities along with a master
control program called the kernel. The kernel provides services to start
and stop programs, handle the file system along with other common “high
level” tasks that most programs share. Most importantly, UNIX schedules
access to hardware to avoid conflicts if two programs try to access the
same resource or device simultaneously. To mediate this access, the
kernel was given special rights on the system. This divided the space
into two sections: the user space and the kernel space.

UNIX has been the basis for many other offshoot operating systems
including Linux and GNU. While UNIX is an operating system, it is one
that is meant for larger mainframe computers as opposed to individual
personal computers. It is widely considered to be the basis for many
operating systems that have been developed and honed over the years.

The technology provided by the UNIX system led to other developments in
computer mainframe and server technology. It is now widely used by
corporations such as AT & T, Sun Micro Systems, and Novell.

Often referred to as “the most important operating system you’ll never
use”, UNIX became an important advancement in computer programming. In
fact, it remains an important part of many new operating systems
currently in development.

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