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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Is Linux Unix?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
For 20 years I believed Linux is Unix in the sense that it is an implementation of the Unix Operating System on 386, at least initially. The story of its creation is told over and over in all sorts of media. I have it written, "Just for Fun" by the creator himself. BTW, excellent writing, timeless as a fairy tale.

Now why put this question to you: It was in moodle.org that I was told, "Linux is not Unix. Literally. Look up the origin of the name." http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Talk:Cron_with_Unix_or_Linux and http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Talk:Cron_with_Unix_or_Linux. I was perplexed.

Now this recent statement by Linus confirms, to my ears at least, that Linux is indeed Unix. "Linux, the design came from a great mind, and that great mind was not mine. I mean, you have to give credit for the design of Linux to [Brian] Kernighan, [Dennis] Ritchie and [Ken] Thompson. There is a reason why I like Unix and why I want to redo it."
Listen to "Aalto Talk with Linus Torvalds" (0:38:20 - 0:38:40)

What do you think?

P.S. Sorry for the embedded video. I wanted just a link which'll take you to YouTube.
 
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Picture of Bente Olsen
Ang: Is Linux Unix?
 

Without having read Linus' writings it sounds to me that you operate with a misunderstood statement, I think you talk about Gnu is Not Unix?

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Is Linux Unix?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Bente

That is a connection I didn't think of.

http://www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announcement.en.html says, "GNU will be a kernel plus all the utilities needed to write and run C programs ... GNU will be able to run Unix programs, but will not be identical to Unix. We will make all improvements that are convenient, based on our experience with other operating systems."

Indeed, GNU is not Unix!

But, the way I understand Linus' words in the book and in the video, Linux _is_ Unix. The Moodle Doc talk pages I've linked say the opposite. That is my question.

P.S. To be fair to RMS, here are his words: .

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Is Linux Unix?
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

This is a bit like asking "Is a Toyota sedan the same as a Ford sedan?"

Clearly the answer is no. However, historically speaking, when the Japanese started building motor cars, they started with what they knew of the successful designs of American manufacturer.

Only an anology, but, I hope, a helpful one.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Is Linux Unix?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
I'm not happy about the analogy. For one, taking the automobile to explain the computer has been overused and sort of stale. The other thing, people who participate in this discussion can be safely assumed to have an idea what an operating system is. So why spend time in an analogy?

Anyway, since we are there, here is the problem of that analogy in this case. Your arguement is: "Just as a Toyota sedan is not the same as a Ford sedan, Linux is not Linux". You are comparing the wrong things. It should read: "A Toyota is a car (a Ford sedan as well)."

In the context of the original discussion, the Moodle doc on explaining cron on Linux and cron on Unix, Unix is a design and an initial implementation. A modern day Toyota sedan is a "copy" of that idea developed further. In that sense Unix is the automobile, Linux is a car maker.

Therefore, Linux in my openion _is_ Unix.
 
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F
Re: Is Linux Unix?
 

Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification

Linux generally follows Unix specifications, but it is not a certified UNIX®.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Is Linux Unix?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
I purposely avoided POSIX and the UNIX (all caps) trademark because that'll take us in a completely new direction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification
Yes, "Linux aims to be compliant, but as certification is expensive, no Linux distribution has been registered as SUS compliant". In fact in the early days, Linus was looking for to borrow the POSIX specification!

And then there was this tragedy, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO-Linux_controversies, Linus mentions in his Aalto Talk (link in the first post). "cost people huge amount of time". I'm not inclined to spend even more time on that, just want to repeat (from memory) a half joke RMS cracked in a talk in Lausanne: "Linux wasn't allowed to call itself a unix, now we allow them to say 'Unix is Linux' - if they wish!".
 
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moi moi moi
Re: Is Linux Unix?
 

yeah, I had a roomate who always talked about unix/linux and related OS's like one big food family, like he was a chef (admittedly a bit of an eccentric) -  "oh, Linux is a really good flavor of unix", etc.

 
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