is osx a true unix system

Tell your friend, that no "unix" variant is True Unix unless as someone stated it's AT&T Unix. Everything is a look-n-feel-a-like, in the truest sense.

However, as we're all well adjusted human beings, it's plain to see that Darwin (the underlying Unix of OSX) seems to be a pretty well rounded Unix. It has a kernel providing resource and process management stuff, it has a unix filesystem layout, and has all the unixy command line things. So it certainly looks and feels it. As for the technical aspects it seems to be there as well.

The part that isn't "Unixy" is the GUI bit, it's an Apple thing, and certainly performs admirably better than Xwindows ever did on any Unix variant I've ever used. The GUI in OSX integrates better with the underlying unix framework than any X window managers I've had to put up with also. All in all it's a very nice marriage between the two.

So no, it's not Unix coz it didn't come from AT&T or Berkeley. But Yes it's unix because like the other 50 something major variants out there, it has all the bits of a Unix. The only difference is, this is a variant with a nice GUI, runs on sexy hardware, and can run native versions of Industry accepted software. MS-Office apps, Adobe apps. etc etc (okay they aren't out yet. But they will be.)

Cheers, Andrew
... actually before we get to that.

strobe:"otool tells all, use it and shut the hell up racer"

Boy, no wander people don't like you. Not to many friends, huh?

marmoset:"produces -- something that seems pretty convincingly a pure Carbon app, at least judging from the libraries it links against."

Actually your right, from what I've gotten back from my friends (you know strobe, the "NeXT Losers"... way to make friends and infuence people there strobe), Apple developed two versions of the (one Cocoa, the other Carbon) based on the Workspace Manager (that is, both the and the and modifications to deal with resource forks, etc., and built the project using the InterfaceBuilder and the new package layout. One person said that this was done so that if Apple wanted to replace the Carbon version later, it could be done with a small system update.

strobe:" is not a hybrid, it doesn't send a single ObjC message. It's a C++ PowerPlant app written from scratch. Use otool, sheesh"

I don't think they've seen that post, but it sounds to me like the code needed to be compatible with both the Carbon and Cocoa development tools. Let see, in uses InterfaceBuilder and a Cocoa package format, and the code has to be able to compile in both Carbon and Cocoa... sounds pretty hybrid to me. And otool didn't tell the whole story here (like why is it this way, where did it come from, and what of the parts not released).

So, that answers the question about the for me (the where, why's and how's). The question that remains is why does strobe... hate (I can't think of a bettter word) NeXT (former employees , developers, and user)? My guess is that strobe's parents abused him with a large black cube as he was growing up. Anyway, there are now quite a few people who would like to know who he is so they won't have to deal with him in any future development arena. But then why would anyone want to work with an angry bigoted person like storbe. I wish him luck in his solitude.
Originally posted by ITz The MaN
so if its carbon it should be able to run under OS 9, right?

Heck no.

Only PEF binaries which only link to libraries which exist on both platforms can run on both MacOS 9 and OS X. Carbon just happens to be one of those libraries. is a Mach-O binary which links to several libraries MacOS 9 doesn't have.

Thanks for posting something useful to this otherwise useless thread.

osOpinion has added the following postscript to the article recently ...

"Since osOpinion's publishing of this piece, the Open Group has updated their web site to include Apple into its list of vendors that support the single Unix specification. This appears likely as a direct result to osOpinion's publishing of the report"

So what now? Is it or is it not Unix?
I wonder if "support" just means, "Yeah, we think they're really froody guys. Go, Unix!" as opposed to, "our OS is Unix."

Been away for a week -- wonderful post -- you only neglected to mention that "Unix(tm) Branding" costs money.<P>
As for a one-button mouse... what's a mouse? I've been using trackballs now for - forever. Logitech, Kensington, etc. all have been multi-button. However, while they work with OSX or even OS9 they give me constant X-headaches. One would think that on a platform other than Digital (ie Compaq) Alpha, or Sun MB2 would still be MB2... but nooo.... argh.<P>
but I digress. In general multi-button mice are strickly from the good-old X-Consortium. Which gave us the X-windows system.
Other than the X-windows system and inherently X-applications, I have never encountered software which uses more than one button. (And I am constantly running into people who think they know X that have no idea that an Xterm does things not only when you press the mouse buttons, but does different things when you "modifer-press" them!<P>
The most important usage in X- is that one uses MB1 to highlight and MB2 to paste! It saves a lot of motion to the keyboard and back again.
Here's one more from-the-horse's-mouth piece of info saying that Mac OS X (and Server) is Unix-like but not officially Unix:

Q. Is Mac OS X Server based on UNIX?
A. Mac OS X Server is built on UNIX technologies and implements most of the POSIX APIs, making it easy to port UNIX applications, particularly those from a BSD heritage. The main exception is applications with a graphical user interface, since Mac OS X Server doesn’t include the X Window System user interface toolkits. Mac OS X Server is built around a graphical interface, unlike traditional UNIX systems that rely on the command line. However, Mac OS X Server cannot be called a UNIX operating system, as it does not fully comply with the POSIX and X/Open specifications required for use of the UNIX trademark.

This comes from the Mac OS X Server FAQ on Apple's web site.

Quote from
"MacOSX is officially UNIX The OpenGroup, holder of the UNIX trademark and caretakers of the Single UNIX Specification, have added Apple Computer to its list of vendors who support the Single UNIX Specification. Many would contend that this alone designates MacOSX as a true UNIX OS."

This contradicts what I read in the OSX Server FAQ PDF on apple's website which clearly states that OSX is NOT POSIX compliant.

But you know what? I am running Apache, PHP, MySQL, BitchX, ncftp, etc, etc etc. These are all ports from Linux. I open up a terminal window and type "top" and I get a list of processes and memory/cpu usage. I type ls and I get a directory listing. I type cd / and I end up at the root of my computer. See my point?

I can ask any linux guru a question and their answer will [9 times out of 10] solve the problem I am having with OSX. In fact, they usually never even find out that I am using OSX. What does that tell you?
why is apple only now being put into the list of unix vendors ? Apple used to have its own unix called A/UX.
You have to wonder why so many people care if OSX is Unix or not.

Does it really make a difference what's under the bonet so long as it gets you from 0 to 100 in a few seconds ?
I really don't think so.

As for AUX, I somehow get the impression that is is somewhat famed like SCO. It's one of those Unix variants that some people ran for a while, but they don't like to admit to it... Then again, I never found anything wrong with it, other than it was an "old" unix.

bleh, anyways... I'm happy using it, Unix or otherwise based, it's still a nice OS, and it does what it needs to do.

Cheers, Andrew
AUX was "System V r3", System V is much used today, i.e. Solaris 2, IRIX (used to be RiscOS from Mips) etc. However the above vendors use the "System V r4" or SVR4 model.
Originally posted by Fahrvergnuugen
But you know what? I am running Apache, PHP, MySQL, BitchX, ncftp, etc, etc etc. These are all ports from Linux. I open up a terminal window and type "top" and I get a list of processes and memory/cpu usage. I type ls and I get a directory listing. I type cd / and I end up at the root of my computer. See my point?

I can ask any linux guru a question and their answer will [9 times out of 10] solve the problem I am having with OSX. In fact, they usually never even find out that I am using OSX. What does that tell you?

True - but unfortunately not an argument in favour of saying that Mac OS X is Unix.

All this really tells me is that OS X is SIMILAR to Linux. And the funny thing is, Linux is not Unix. Linux is not even GNU.

What else it really tells you is that the user interface (in this case the shell), and the binary utilities are similar to what Unix provides. That also does not prove anything. The default shell on BeOS is the BASH shell, and you can run all those commands that you mentioned above and get the expected results ... but BeOS is no Unix. The same would also apply to Windows with Cygwin (and Apache and PHP etc. etc.) and I think we can ALL agree that Windows is not Unix.

So while what you say is true .. and has the illusion of proving that OS X is Unix, it, unfortunately, does not really prove anything.

Luckily for you, there are many other arguments that do prove that OS X is Unix ;-)
I'm no genius and I know I still have a lot to learn.

But I've always been a defender of OSes and even Windows. When a IRIX admin bashes, Windows I defend it. When a window user bashes Linux I defend linux. and so on and so on... Hell I defend Apple OS9 too... even though i still think it's crap. Well its great, but without true protective memory I wont use it.

I think windows2000 is great, i think Linux is great, IRIX, and BSD... are wonderful as well. And I waited patiently over a year for an official OSX. Hell, I went out and bought a new g4 right after I heard the news that the Public Beta was coming, 3 months before it was out! Alas it sat and gather dust (since I refuse to run OS9 on it) for months and now I'm using it for 90% of my work. bye bye Windows. I know I know I'm a hypocrit.

As of the best O/S. Depends on the user. I guess everyone else who states that here is correct. "Best" is whats best for the user, and what he intend to use it for. I admit, hands down Windows is the best choice for the office, not because it's superior, but because of the available business applications... and ease to get software that most people have no patient to research over. No os has yet to really challenge windows in that area. Linux and OSX can be now 1000 times better but without the 3rd party support, it can't win against windows in that area. Atleast for now. We'll see what the future holds, *fingers crossed*.

in a server environemt, it varies also. Depending on the function role of the system. Some admins prefer OpenBSD for security, others Linux for its robustness, and so on and so on. A smart admin knows there is no perfect os... and usually have a hybrid network. I, myself, run OpenBSD, Irix, slowaris, Linux, Windows200, and now OSX, and usually each for different functions. Windows2000 is my desktop for everyhing i cant do wit OSX. OSX is becoming my primary desktop... and Linux is still under evaluation. OpenBSD is my firewall/router/DNS/blah blah system... and Linux is my internal Application server, etc... IRIX is my show-off machine :) as well as networker backup server, and my Sun well... um... i haven't figure out a role for it yet. :> prob to get familiar with Sun as most of the commercial corporate unix world uses Sun machines.

When someone says Windows sucks because it crashes... blah blah blah... the usual, i can say thats not because of the OS, that is because the user is an idiot. :) I use windows and I found (when um use correctly) it to crash no more than my Linux or IRIX systems. You have to take it into consideration of all the overloaded applications that a typical window user is loading on his/her machine compare to for example a Linux user that can potentially crash a Windows system. I've run some nasty apps on Linux and I manage to kernal it quite a few times. :) My guess is that if you run all the application there is avail on Winblows on a IRIX, sun, or Linux... it would probably crash just as much. Not sure if everyone would agree to that... I could be wrong. :X

in summary. I don't think we can all say any os is really better than the other. depends on what he is she wants to be using a computer for.

...etc...etc... etc

ps. Here's a thought. I found most users who doesn't know how to use a compute for their life, prefer windows over MacOS, and strangely, more computer savvy users are enjoy macos more than windows. For some reason there is a stereo type that Apple is for simple minded people, and the really simple minded people refus to use it because they do not want to be thought of as simple minded people. :D I guess it's like all kids wants to be treated like adults, and most adults wish their were kids again. lol

I agree with vihung,

Where I work, it is accepted that no moderm OS is UNIX anymore. However whe we refer to an OS as UNIX, we do not genuinely mean true UNIX. To save the sake of argument and confusion... we know that we rally meant it is UNIX "compatible" or Posix compliant.

Solars, IRIX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Linux, Darwin... etc... are pretty much compliant... which really suppose to means, if you know "unix" you can use any of these posix compliant systems without much trouble and without much re-learning. the environment is similar, the development environment are compatible... and so on... If you know Linux, you should be able to use BSD without a problem. If you know Sun you should be able to use IRIX without looking for a IRIX admin book. It has become more common to think of UNIX as a look and feel. I, for example, was able to use Darwin and A/UX without much adjustments. In the olden days when Linux was still learning to walk on two feet, UNIX was pretty much an environment rather than a operating system, even though System V is the only true Unix out there.

"Do you know unix? ok help me hack this solaris system... " etc etc... I was hoping I made a point. But i'm ranting on and on again. Damn me! :) So people who really know history, like Vihung, knows there's no true unix anymore. I'm not even sure system V is still alive. There Unix gave birth to a lot of children that inherit the characteristics of it. These children will have their own children... and etc... and etc... who knows what "unix" will be 10 yrs from now.

But again, among my peers, "unix" is mention only in quotes.

hmm which now led me to OSX. Even though Darwin is in the background supposedly, i found it only 75% resembling the common UNIX environment. I guess it resemble neXt more than anything. OSX could be the grandchild of "unix" rather. But thats my 2 cents.

It makes sense for OS X to look like NeXT since it is derived from NeXT,
Furthermore it makes snese for OS X to be a UNIX grandchild because NeXT
was a unix.

so there is no real unix anymore :(
--> goes to fetch indy Jones for a quest .... "Indiana Jones and the Lost Unix"...

famous quote " Damn it! how do you use this? I'm only a windows user!" LOL :p

Has anyone used OS 9 (the non apple OS 9). I have a demo of it, for windows, but havent played with it a lot.

--> some comic relief <--
I want to ask a question. Does using unix kernel means that the system is UNIX?

if the answer is yes, it does. then in this world. only three systems: DOS(windows and NT), MAC OS(classic), UNIX(current UNIX system, beOS, Linux, OS X, ...)

This is because File Management System determines the type of OS.