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Published by Talwinder Dhillon

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Published by: Talwinder Dhillon on Oct 30, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Programmed in
OS family
Working state
Source model
Historically closed source,now some Unix projects(BSD  family and Illumos)are open sourced. 
Initial release
1969; 43 years ago
Official website
(officially trademarked as
, sometimes also written as
in smallcaps) is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of  AT&T employees at Bell Labs,including Ken Thompson,  Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, Michael Lesk  and Joe Ossanna.The Unix operating system was first developed in assembly language,but by 1973 had been almost entirely recoded in C,greatly facilitating its further development and porting to other hardware. Today's Unix system evolution is split into various branches, developed over time by AT&T as well as variouscommercial vendors, universities (such as University of California, Berkeley's BSD), and non-profit organizations. The Open Group,an industry standards consortium, owns the UNIX trademark.Only systems fully compliant with and certified according to the Single UNIXSpecification are qualified to use the trademark; others might be called
,although the Open Group disapproves
 of this term.However, the term
is often used informally to denote any operating systemthat closely resembles the trademarked system.During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the influence of Unix in academic circlesled to large-scale adoption of Unix (particularly of the BSD variant, originating from the University of California, Berkeley)by commercial startups, the most notable of which are Solaris, HP-UX, Sequent,and AIX,as well as Darwin,which forms the core set of components upon which Apple's OS X, Apple TV,and iOS  are based.
 Today, in addition to certified Unix systems such as those alreadymentioned, Unix-like operating systems such as MINIX, Linux,and BSD  descendants(FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD,and DragonFly BSD)are commonly encountered. The term
traditional Unix
may be used to describe an operatingsystem that has the characteristics of either Version 7 Unix or UNIX System V. 
Unix operating systems are widely used in servers, workstations,and mobile devices.
 The Unix environment and the client
server program model wereessential elements in the development of the Internet and the reshaping of  computing as centered in networks rather than in individual computers. Originally, Unix was meant to be a programmer's workbench more than to be usedto run application software. The system grew larger as the operating system startedspreading in the academic circle, as users added their own tools to the system andshared them with colleagues.
 Both Unix and the C programming language were developed by AT&T and distributed to government and academic institutions, which led to both beingported to a wider variety of machine families than any other operating system. As aresult, Unix became synonymous with open systems.
 Unix was designed to be portable, multi-tasking and multi-user in a time-sharing  configuration. Unix systems are characterized by various concepts: the use of  plaintext for storing data; a hierarchical file system;treating devices and certain types of  inter-process communication (IPC) as files; and the use of a large number of software tools,small programs that can be strung together through a command line interpreter using pipes,as opposed to using a single monolithic program that includes all of the same functionality. These concepts are collectively known as theUnix philosophy.Kernighan and Rob Pike summarize this in The Unix Programming Environment as "the idea that the power of a system comes morefrom the relationships among programs than from the programs themselves."Under Unix, the operating system consists of many utilities along with the mastercontrol program, the kernel.The kernel provides services to start and stop programs, handles the file system and other common "low level" tasks that most programs share, and schedules access to avoid conflicts when programs try toaccess the same resource or device simultaneously. To mediate such access, thekernel has special rights, reflected in the division between user-space and kernel-space. The microkernel concept was introduced in an effort to reverse the trend towards larger kernels and return to a system in which most tasks were completed bysmaller utilities. In an era when a standard computer consisted of a hard disk forstorage and a data terminal for input and output (I/O), the Unix file model worked

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