is osx a true unix system


Strobe, you have to be the most miserable and most bitter person that I have ever seen on a message board. I have not read one positive post by you about anything. I only read how bad this is and how sucky that is. You never tell me what is great about the mac... only what sucks about unix, windows, etc... Now, I read that OSX is unravelling and the world is exploding or Trolltech doesn't meet your HI guidelines... yes your HI guidelines because I'm sure even Apple's are not up to your specifications.

I am willing to bet that you are the same strobe, strobe_anarkhos to be exact, that comes into the "Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris" chatroom on yahoo to troll . I detect the same bitter tone, the same condecending attitude, and the same negative aura as that person who trolls that chatroom. If you really hate unix that much why do you bother? Is it really that much of a thorn in your side? Where you castrated as a child leaving you with much anxiety with anything that sounds remotely like euneuchs? I'm really not trying to be insulting here... I don't want to be... but every one of your posts that I read are so full of angst I can't help but to respond now.

Originally posted by strobe
I prefer to say UNIX is craaap and OS X is not UNIX
Well, you can say what you want and believe whatever your heart desires, but OSX is a unix-like system. Some would say that there is no longer a true unix, but any system that works like unix is unix to me and many other unix types. OSX is unix for all "practical" puposes. Linux is not unix, but it's so close who really cares.

When you look at the history of UNIX you come to realize what crap it is.
Well, I would tend to disagree with you and so would most web server admins. Sun, IBM, HP, and even Apple would disagree with you. Why do you think Apple is using unix as the underlying architecture of OSX?

When you look at the file hierarchy of UNIX you realize how utterly stupid it is. /etc/? What were they thinking?
It makes sense... put all your config files in /etc... how hard is that? I'll tell you what, if unix is bothering you that much, just delete and forget it even exists. When using OSX I never encounter /etc, /bin, /lib or anything else unixy unless I open a terminal. The average user will not know or care about the terminal, unix, or some bizarre file hierarchy and you shouldn't either.

The fact that everything is consolidating around UNIX tools and other stupid UNIX-isms just shows how entenched we are.
Entrenched? Oh, you mean have a rock solid web, ftp, and samba servers built into the underlying OS. God, that must be awful. What will we ever do? A friend of mine who uses OSX has never noticed any of these unix tools nor will he. He doesn't care what's underneath... the system works like a Mac so why should he care... why should you?

Eunuchs people aren't going to be satisfied until OS X retrogresses 30 years!
Oh, you mean by adding features like protected memory, preemptive multitasking, multi-user capabilites, and multi-processor support. Oh, yes, unix had that a long time ago so that makes it bad right? I guess by adding these things which are considered "modern" features that no "modern" OS should be without, unix people are taking the OS backwards somehow. Well, nobody is forcing you to upgrade. Please continue to use OS9 and leave the rest of the world at peace.

The only reason so many people love this system is because it's the most akward, contrived, ridiculously complex heap of hackware they feel superior my mastering it and secure in the thought that somebody somewhere has this talking fetus on his forehead which will only shut up if you hire one of these engineers to prepare special conjoined fetus food and feed it with a straw made of rare orchid stalks.
Wow, you really need to seek counseling. I'm serious strobe, you have way to much animosity towards unix for your own good. Would you rather Apple have based OSX on NT technology? Of course you wouldn't. The only reason so many people love this system is because it's rock solid and get's the job done. We can write scripts out the wazoo to customize and have a fine level of control over the system. It's only complex to you because the work is not done for you. The unix philosophy is to create small tools that do one thing well and to use pipelining and redirection to build bigger tools. It's really more simply than you think... you want the whole widget done for you , you don't want to build it. Fine, but you have the tools and you can build the widget or anything else for that matter. I'll give you this... it is clunky for the desktop, but for servers, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I have administered NT box and UNIX boxes for a good while now. UNIX is NOT crap as you so delicately put it. I have seen UNIX boxes that have not been shut down in years. runs on FreeBSD, a free unix, and it is the busiest single box ftp server on the web with ~1TB a day. I have used both FreeBSD and Linux on the desktop without any problems. Why do I like OSX? Because Xfree86 and the current free desktops don't cut the mustard for me. I like to have a consistant desktop, access to commercial apps, and have the underlying unix. NT is alright, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Windows 2000 is actually decent and doesn't crash as much as it's predecessor.

Anyhow, there are many unix users who are interested in OSX. There are many mac users interested in OSX. We like what we see... we like the stability... we like where this is going. I was once an a bit of an OS bigot too. Maybe you can loosen up and see the good points of other systems. I bash Microsoft, but they do have some good products and good ideas as does Apple, Be, and the open source crowd. Open your eyes strobe, there is a whole other world out there. Don't limit yourself and ditch the attitude. I believe that the reason you are so hostile is because you suffer from a "small man" complex or have a bit of an inferiority complex. You seem to put down everything instead of praising anything. People who do this are insecure. Don't take my word for it... go seek counseling. Finally, many unix users are embracing OSX. This is good for apple, good for the mac, and good for unix users. Your attitude is not conducive to attracting new users to your platform of choice, especially unix users. Hopefully, the next time I see a post of yours, it will be about something positive regarding the mac and not something negative about the other guy.



Puny Member
When you look at the history of UNIX you will find that all these lovely things you claim UNIX does best weren't in the original spec. Its evolution has been one of tiny increments which has led to a system which still looks like it was designed for single user uniprocessor purposes, but patched to hell in order to make it work for things you listed. Forgive me if I don't bow to the alter of UNIX.

Did you accuse me of being an OS bigot? That wouldn't make sense, oh well.

UNIX people aren't embracing OS X, they are embracing UNIX. As soon as a UNIX person ports their crap to OS X like "Troll Tech guy", he uses the 30yr old method of installing libraries, resources, env variables, and the like. That's not embracing OS X. Embracing OS X would entail using new, useful technologies which have made the old ways obsolete. For example if Troll Tech had merely created a framework they wouldn't need to install a dozen different files in a dozen different locations and set a dozen different env variables so Qt apps could find them.

What exidence is there that UNIX users are embracing OS X? What evidence is there that these 'good' technologies are being adopted instead of using unferior techniques set in motion 30 years ago? How is any of this a good thing? Oh I know, because another major company has gone UNIX. Well congradulations, the wave is unstoppable now. Maybe I would be more cheerful if there were ANY signs that people were abandoning inferior techniques of the past instead of being UNIX bigots who can't think outside the box.

Maybe you can point to something intrinsically good about UNIX other than the incremental improvements hacked into it for the past 30 years. Oh yea, Sys V threads, there we go.


I really don't want to get involved in a flame war here, but I would have to say one of the obvious good things about Unix is its stability. I keep hearing stories about Unix boxes which have run continuously without a reboot for years.

The one thing I was really looking forward to in OS X was its stability. That stability is a direct result of OS X's Unix underpinnings. That's pretty much beyond dispute, isn't it?

I agree that there's much more to OS X than its Unix core. As Strobe has said, there are lots of cool technologies, such as frameworks, bundles, etc., that take OS X beyond "just another Unix." And I think developers who don't take advantage of these technologies are selling themselves (and their end-users) short.

But I can't think of a better core OS for Apple to have used. Can you, Strobe, name one? This isn't flame, I'm sincerely curious.


Puny Member
I am in no way in disagreement with Apple's decision to use UNIX. I just can't stand all the UNIX worshipping. Especailly the claims of UNIX being multi-user. OS X is far more multi-user friendly than any UNIX before it, well so long you don't do things like Troll Tech.

If we can get past worshipping bad methodology from 30 years ago, maybe we can define what we want from here on out. Patching and repatching (not to mention worshipping) old code isn't going to get us anywhere.

Take for example the UNIX programming methodology that assuming a file's path is constant and not variable. It's a very bad assumption in terms of human interface. I wonder how many decades will pass before this is corrected. I would say never especially since Apple is pushing the use of classes like CFURL.

How can we expect the world of UNIX to adopt ANYTHING which wasn't set in motion 30 years ago? Take UNIX filesystems for example. They only support a very limited set of meta-data like permissions, owner/group, unix flags (well, some of them don't even support those) and filename (case sensitive). If one wants to extend this set he has to create a new filesystem and new definitions in vfs and a new API to set and fetch this data, which is basically what Apple did for forks, type/creator, and finder info like creation date. However all this data is lost if you use UNIX APIs or tools to copy files to non-HFS+ volumes like UFS. What would it take for UNIX to adopt the concept of creation date? What about an arbitrary meta-data vfs standard for all OSs to adopt? I just don't see that happening. Instead what I do see happening is everything retrogressing into 30yr old UNIX 'standards'. File I/O using POSIX paths instead of file system references, filename extensions, disassociated volume structure chaos, and loads and loads of patchwork like install/uninstall wizards just to manage it all.

Do we have UNIX or does UNIX have us.


I see what you're saying. I think the problem we have, and that Apple has most acutely, is that we have to deal with the least common denominator. Let's fantasize a bit for a moment. If the Macintosh had swept all before it back in the 1980s, and now accounted for 90% (or even 60%) of the desktop market right now, think how much cooler the world would be. You could click on any file, anywhere, and it would either launch the application needed to read it, or tell you what application you needed to open it. All the little things we take for granted on the Mac (like being able to drag an app anywhere we want it, not having to worry about absolute paths, etc. etc.) would be standard throughout the IT universe. But unfortunately, it didn't happen like that. Instead, the world was reduced to the Least Common Denominator, Windows. And, to some extent, Unix. With Windows, the reasons for how bad the LCD is are relatively obvious. But because there are so many different kinds of Unixes (and because until recently Unix was the exclusive domain of the extremely-computer-literate), we've mostly been forced once again to cater to another least common denominator (at least when it comes to ease of use).

But I think Apple's doing a pretty good job of welding the strengths of Unix to the strengths of the Mac OS. Certainly there are going to be compromises when you try to combine two such radically different systems. But who better able to do such a thing than Apple?

And I think we need to have faith in the hard-core Mac users. Macintosh users have historically been intolerant of non-user-friendly applications, or applications that break Macintosh conventions. I think apps that follow Unix conventions to the detriment of long-entrenched Mac conventions will eventually be weeded out of the Market.

And, hopefully, Apple and OS X will be able to grow the Mac's market share to the point where some of the advanced features of the Mac OS become more acceptable outside the narrow confines of the Macintosh world. Time will tell.


softer than ever!
Amen to strobe.

We need to remember that Apple is intending that none but the caring delve into its core, and MacOSX does a good job of hiding it. Apple is walking a fine line at the moment, allowing its users to access an old (yet unmatched for power for the super user) paradigm of computing, but running with full intent to hide it.

No different than your new car using an internal combustion engine - built upon a 100 year old concept. Just because you have an engine in your car doesn't mean you need to know how to modify it just to drive.


Originally posted by RacerX
It is strange, I have worked with NeXT systems for close to 7 years, and I still don't know why they have the second mouse button.

You're missing out. Openstep has a cool feature where you have the menu pop up under your cursor whenever you right click. No more of this moving to the top left corner...just right click, choose a menu item, and click again. It was beautiful.


Puny Member
Kensington Mouseworks can do this too, in MacOS.

Although I never used the feature, I prefer setting hotkeys with either QuicKeys or ACTION Menus.


Hello Everyone,
You know over the last 5 years(that's how long I've been using Macs) I've incountered alot of people who respond with "But it only has one mouse", when they found out that I use a mac. My reply is usually, "Why use 2 when 1 will do" I've always believed that Macs are the greatest thing since sliced bread, because of their Simplicity.
Thanks bye,


Futuristic Robotic Cat

Lists all the Unices certified as "UNIX" by the OpenGroup.

I actually really like right-clicking for certain apps (i.e. for Mozilla, etc.), but since the PowerBook only comes with one button, I've learned to live with it and adapt. It really isn't an issue since I can use control-click or just hold the mouse button in Mozilla to get the contextual menu.

What I would really like is a scroll wheel feature! I loved the "scoll-button" on my old ThinkPad.


Right Click - I thought with one button you just click and hold for a second and the menu pops up. That's what I do - sometimes you move the point ever so slightly if the menu doesn't pop-up immediately. I don't know why I would want another button for that. The reason other computers have two buttons anyway is because Apple patented the one button mouse, or so I've heard - and the other companies, made due by adding a second button. But that may be a myth too. However, it seems that two buttons is unnecessary - but if you need it or the scrolling feature, you can always buy a third-party mouse.


Bring me Tiger!
This does not have anything with this thread is just a question:

why does it say that you have mac osx 10.0.1?? the newest is (10.1.4) why do you use it??...or what do you mean with typing it? That version should be beta or something?? :confused:


No Wh9ing!
Originally posted by rharder
The Finder is Carbon. At first you'd think it was different enough from OS 9 and earlier that surely that didn't just carbonize the old Finder, but perhaps they did. In any event, the Finder is not Cocoa. Too bad. No Services menu. No scroll wheel.

I beg to differ. I have a Sony VAIO mouse (Windows 98 only on the outside of the box :-D ) that works fine in most of my carbon apps, including the finder. BBEdit, IE, FirstClass, Finder, Photoshop, Freehand etc.


[edit: sorry, didn't see that the thread is 100yrs old :)]


Of course you could always tell him about the dozens of faster easier to use key cheats. One hand on the mouse. The other on the command key:p BLAZING!!!


I'm not all that technically savvy, but I have a few things to add:

1. OS X's finder is Carbon, that's a fact. It supports services and mouse scrolling works in it. Many people think it would work better if it were Cocoa, but according to those who know OS X well, the problem isn't that it's carbon, but that it's not well written.

2. The Jaguar release of OS X is rumored to improve the Carbon API so that it matches the Cocoa API in terms of features and functionality. Apparently many large developers, including Adobe and Microsoft, were upset that Carbon was a "second class" API in OS X, because they have no intentions of rewriting their apps in Cocoa. We'll find out at WWDC if Apple has responded to developer's requests.

3. Rumor is that Apple will soon be offering a two button scrollwheel mouse that uses the Bluetooth standard for wireless function. I'm hoping this is true, because everyone I know who buys a Mac winds up ditching the standard mouse for a two button scrollwheel mouse. OS X is simply easier to use with such a mouse....most people find it easier to press a second button with one finger, instead of holding modifier keys while pressing a single mouse button. And most Mac users don't even know how to use modifier keys with a single button mouse, it's not like Apple includes an instruction manual or anything. If you dig a one button mouse, then only use ONE button on a two button mouse, that's my opinion. Apple should make a two-button scrollwheel mouse standard so more Windows users will switch to Macs.