UNIX Introduction

An operating system helps the user and the user's programs to use computer resources. Each computer has an operating system in order to communicate with the user, software and hardware. There are many different types of operating systems, but many experts believe that UNIX is the best operating system for both novice and expert users. UNIX is a trademark of UNIX System Laboratories Inc, a subsidiary of AT&T. By 'Unix' is meant a computer operating system which is either UNIX or an extension or variation of it. Many propriety operating systems, covering a wide variety of computer hardware, are UNIX based. The main strength of the UNIX operating system is its portability and availability on almost any platform. It provides a multi-user and multi-tasking environment and is a highly portable and reliable operating system. In the past, UNIX was recognized as an operating system for minicomputers, but today it is available on all different hardware platforms such as mainframe, supercomputer and PC. What is UNIX? UNIX is a multitasking computer operating system typically written in C, and designed for multiuser environments by AT&T. Much of the success of UNIX may be attributed to the rapid pace of its development (a development to which all of its users have been able to contribute) its efficiency at running programs and the many powerful tools which have been written for it over the years, such as the C programming language, make, shell, lex and yacc and many others. UNIX was written by programmers for programmers. It is popular in situations where a lot of computing power is required and for database applications, where timesharing is critical. UNIX is the best known open operating system. It was developed as a public collaboration by some universities. In addition, it is available from many different manufactures such as IBM, Digital and SUN. UNIX is designed to interface with other systems. This feature makes UNIX a strong choice for a network environment. The Internet uses the native networking protocol of UNIX. UNIX also is a natural environment for the implementation of a client/server system around the world. UNIX's Features Because UNIX grew out of a research environment, some of its many features are not relevant to business applications. The UNIX operating system has many features that help make it popular. Some of these UNIX features are: 1. Portability UNIX is written in the 'C' programming language, which makes UNIX machine independent and portable. The portability of UNIX means that it can run on many computers from different manufacturers such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Digital, Sun and many other manufacturers. 2. Ownerships and Permissions Every data file stored on a UNIX system belongs to one of the users of the system, and that user gets to decide who else may have access to it. This is done through a system of permissions, whereby each file carries a code indicating whether

and executing it. 3. timely. members of a group (such as department or a task force). writing to the file. Shared Facilities In a UNIX system. all devices--hard disks. tape drives. . rather than to individual users. or all uses. and modems--belong to the system as a whole. printers. floppy disks. and efficient manner.access is granted to the owner alone. Separate permission codes govern reading the file. if it is an executable file. It is the responsibility of UNIX to make sure that the needs of the users are met in a fair.