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New OSX is UNIX certified whatever that means. is that good, bad, neither?

  1. Oct 26, 2007 #1
    Ok, I'm computer literate up to a certain limit... I was looking over the new features of os 10.5 on their website. I have no idea what UNIX is and if it goes well with tomato sauce, but it sounds important.


    what does this all mean in human-speak?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2007 #2


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    Gold Member

    POSIX means portable operating system interface based on UNIX or something like that. Having a POSIX OS means that your OS and other POSIX compliant OS uses the same set of standardized services and APIs. A POSIX compliant application should run on all POSIX operating systems; this helps apps written for different flavors of POSIX UNIX to run on each other with no changes. In other works, its good thing :)
  4. Oct 29, 2007 #3
  5. Nov 5, 2007 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    SUS is the single UNIX specification - the current incarnation of SUS is POSIX.

    Ranger got most of it right except what the alphabet soup stands for.

    Finally, UNIX is an operating system, like Windows or DOS. Unlike Windows, POSIX systems behavior is under the control of a large user community. This means - if I write POSIX-compliant code on Linux, it will compile and run on OSX, for example.

    POSIX is supported by the opengroup.org.

    OSX, Linux are two very popular desktop Unix variants.
  6. Nov 16, 2007 #5
    The short answer is that most computers run MS Windows, and the next biggest operating system type by far are the UNIX clones, including OS X. They are not bad clones, but rather good inter-operable clones i.e. POSIX conforming clones.

    In practice this means that OS X and Linux are much more related to each other then to MS Windows. Since Linux is driven by free software, and this is relatively simple to port to the mac, the mac winds up much closer to the free software community. Plus all the other advantages inherent to UNIX (which, I should say, has its flaws and an even longer legacy thn MS Windows).
  7. Nov 16, 2007 #6
    From the user's perspective all this really means is that you can open up a program called "Terminal", and get a command-line interface which is exactly the same command-line interface as Linux, and from this command-line interface you can run all the same programs that you have in Linux. For some people, like me, this is very useful, for other people it may not be such a big deal :)

    Just to be clear, EVERY version of OS X since 10.0 has been certified UNIX, this is not new in 10.5.
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