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Brief notes on some well-known (commercial/PD

(I am not at all satisfied with this section, unfortunately I
have neither the time nor the documents to make it much better
(wrt contents). Should only list Unices known by a reasonably
wide audience. Small and non-US Unices welcome, e.g. Eurix. In
need of reformatting)

This section lists (in alphabetical order) some of the better
known Unices along with a brief description of their nature.
Unfortunately, it's out-of-date almost by definition...

(sorted alpha, ignoring numbers and other chars)

AIX: IBM's Unix, based on SVR2 (later up to SVR3.2?) with varying
degrees of BSD extensions, for various hardwares. Proprietary
system admin (SMIT). Both 850 and Latin-1 CPs. Quite
different from most Unices and among themselves.
Newsgroup: comp.unix.aix.
- 1.x (for 386 PS/2)
- 2.x (for PC RTs)
- 3.x (for RS/6000), paging kernel, logical volume manager, i18n;
3.2 adds TLI/STREAMS. SV-based with many enhancements.
4.1 is latest (includes support for PowerPC?)
- AIX/ESA, runs native on S/370 and S/390 mainframes, based on OSF/1.
AIX was to have been base for OSF/1 until Mach was chosen instead.
I hope this subsection is converging :-)

AOS (IBM): 4.3BSD port to IBM PC RT (for educational institutes).
Don't confuse with DG's proprietary OS of same name.

Arix: SV

A3000UX (Commodore): 68030-based SVR4 Unix (?) for the Amiga.

A/UX (Apple): SV with Berkeley enhancements, NFS, Mac GUI. System 6
(later System 7) runs as guest of A/UX (opposite of MachTen).
Newsgroup: comp.unix.aux.
- 2.0: SVR2 with 4.2BSD, system 6 Mac applications.
- 3.0 (1992): SVR2.2 with 4.3BSD and SVR3/4 extensions; X11R4,
MacX, TCP/IP, NFS, NIS, RPC/XDR, various shells, UFS or S5FS.
System 7 applications.
- 4.0 will have/be OSF/1. But I hear Apple has decided to drop
A/UX (will go for AIX now that they're together with IBM on
the PPC)

3B1 (680x0): SV-based, done by Convergent for AT&T.
Newsgroup: comp.sys.3b1.

BNR/2: stands for BSD Net/2 Release? Includes NetBSD/1, FreeBSD.

BOS for Bull's DPX/2 (680x0)
- V1 (1990): SVR3 with BSD extensions (FFS, select, sockets),
symmetric MP, X11R3
- V2 (1991): adds job control, disk mirroring, C2 security,
DCE extensions
- There's also BOS/X, and AIX-compatible Unix for Bull's PPC
workstations. How it relates to above two is unknown.

386BSD: Jolitz's port of Net/2 software. Posix, 32-bit, still in alpha
(now version 0.1).

BSD/386 (80386): from BSDI, with source (augmented Net2 software)
Newsgroup: comp.unix.bsd.

Chorus/MiXV: Unix SVR3.2 (SVR4) over Chorus nucleus, ABI/BCS.

Coherent (Mark Williams Company): For 80286. Unix clone compatible with
V7, some SVR2 (IPC). V4.0 is 32-bit. Newsgroup: comp.os.coherent.
Mark Williams closed down early '95.

Consensys: SVR4.2

CTIX: SV-based, from Convergent


DC/OSx (Pyramid): SVR4. Newsgroup: comp.sys.pyramid.

DELL UNIX [DELL Computer Corp.]: SVR4

DomainIX: see DomainOS below.

DomainOS (Apollo, now HP): proprietary OS; layered on top is BSD4.3 and
SVR3 (a process can use either, neither or both). Development now
stopped, some features now in OSF/1 (and NT). Now at SR10.4.
Name for SR9.* was DomainIX. Newsgroup: comp.sys.apollo.


DYNIX (Sequent): 4.2BSD-based


EP/IX (Control Data Corp.): for MIPS 2000/3000/6000/4000; based on
RISC/OS 4 and 5, POSIX-ABI-compliant. SVR3, SVR4 and BSD modes.

Esix (80386): pure SVR4, X11, OpenLook (NeWS), Xview

Eurix (80?86): SVR3.2 (Germany)

FreeBSD: 386bsd 0.1 with the patchkit applied, and many updated

FTX: Stratus fault-tolerant OS (68K or i860-i960 hardware)

Generics UNIX (80386): SVR4.03 (Germany)

GNU Hurd (?): vaporware from the Free Software Foundation (FSF):
Unix emulator over Mach 3.0 kernel. Many GNU tools are very
popular (emacs) and used in the PD Unices.

HELIOS (Perihelion Software): for INMOS transputer and many other

HP-UX (HP): old from S III (SVRx), now SVR2 (4.2BSD?) with SV utilities
(they have trouble making up their minds).
- 6.5: SVR2
- 7.0: SVR3.2, symlinks
- 7.5
- 8.0: BSD based? for HP-9000 CISC (300/400) and RISC (800/700),
shared libs
- 9.0: includes DCE

Interactive SVR3.2 (80x86): pure SVR3. Interactive has been bought
by Sun; will their system survive Solaris?

Idris: first Unix clone by Whitesmith. A small Unix? For INMOS
transputer and others?.

IRIX (SGI): Version 4: SVR3.2, much BSD. Version 5.x (current is 5.2)
is based on SVR4. Newsgroup: comp.sys.sgi.

Linux (386/486/586): Unix under GPL (not from FSF, though). Available
with sources. POSIX compliant w/ SysV and BSD extensions. Being
ported to Alpha/AXP and PowerPC (ports for 680x0 Amigas and Ataris
already exist; a port is also being done to the MIPS/4000).
Newsgroup: comp.os.linux.{admin,announce,development,help,misc}.

MacBSD, ?: works on Mac II (directly on H/W).

MachTen, Tenon Intersystems: runs as a guest under MacOS; 4.3BSD
environment with TCP, NFS. Scaled down version: MachTen Personal.

MacMach (Mac II): 4.3BSD over Mach 3.0 microkernel, X11, Motif, GNU
software, sources, experimental System 7 as Mach task. Complete
with all sources (need Unix license).

Mach386: from Mt Xinu. Based on Mach 2.5, with 4.3BSD-Tahoe
enhancements. Also 2.6 MSD (Mach Source Distribution).

Microport (80x86): pure SVR4, X11, OpenLook GUI

Minix (80x86, Atari, Amiga, Mac): Unix clone compatible with V7.
Sold with sources. Being POSIXified (sp?). For PCs, and surely
many others (eg. INMOS transputer). Newsgroup: comp.os.minix.

MipsOS: SVish (RISC/OS, now dropped, was BSDish)

more/BSD (VAX, HP 9000/300): Mt Xinu's Unix, based on 4.3BSD-Tahoe.

NCR UNIX: SVR4 (4.2?)

Net/2 tape (from Berkeley, 1991): BSD Unix, essentially compatible with
4.3BSD, includes only sources free of AT&T code, no low-level code.
See 386BSD and BSD/386 above.

NetBSD 0.8: is actually 386bsd in a new suit. Ported to [34]86, MIPS,
Amiga, Sun, Mac. What is relation to Net/2?
- 1.0 came out in '94.

NEXTSTEP (Intel Pentium and 86486, Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC, NeXT 68040):
BSD4.3 over Mach kernel, own GUI.
- 1.x, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 3.0, 3.1 (old)
- 3.2 (current version,
Intel Pentium and 86486,
Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC,
NeXT 68040)
- 3.3 (shipping; SPARC-version available)
- 4.0 (to be announced, will include Sun SPARC version and
will be OpenStep compliant
- no NEXTSTEP for PowerPC or DEC Alpha yet announced (are there plans?

NEWS-OS (Sony)
- 3.2

OSF/1 (DEC): DEC's port of OSF/1. I think this is now (4/93) available
on DEC's latest Alpha AXP (64-bit machine).

OSx (Pyramid): Dualport of both SysV.3 and BSD4.3. Newsgroup:

PC-IX (IBM 8086): SV

Plan 9 (AT&T): announced 1992, complete rewrite, not clear how close to
Unix it is. Key points: distributed, very small, various hardwares
(Sun, Mips, Next, SGI, generic hobbit, 680x0, PCs), C (not C++ as
rumors had it), new compiler, "8 1/2" window system (also very
small), 16-bit Unicode, CPU/file servers over high speed nets.

SCO Xenix (80x86): Versions for XT (not robust!), 286, 386 (with demand
paging). Today bulk of code is from System V. Stable product.

SCO Unix (80x86): SVR3.2 (stopped taking USL source at this point).

Sinix [Siemens]: System V base.

Solaris (Sparc, x86):
- 1.0: essentially same as SunOS 4.1.1, with OpenWindows 2.0 and
DeskSet utilities.
- 1.0.1: SunOS 4.1.2 with multiprocessing (kernel not multithreaded);
not for 386
- 2.0: (initially announced as SunOS 5.0 in 1988) based on SVR4
(with symmetric MP?), will include support for 386; with
OpenWindows 3.0 (X11R4) and OpenLook, DeskSet, ONC, NIS. Both
a.out (BSD) and elf (SVR4) formats. Kerberos support. Compilers
- Solaris is OpenStep compliant (non-NeXT, but with NEXTSTEP API)
with latest (1994?) version.
- Sun will ship its OpenStep-implementation with project DOE for
Solaris. First versions will be for SPARC-based Suns, but a
version for Solaris 2.4 for x86 and PowerPC will appear later.

SunOS (680x0, Sparc, i386): based on 4.3BSD, includes much from
System V. Main Sun achievements: NFS (1984), SunView (1985), NeWS
(1986, postscript imaging, now in OpenWindows), OpenLook GUI standard,
OpenWindows (NeWS, X11, SunView!). Newsgroup: comp.sys.sun.*.
- 3.x: SV IPC package, FIFOs
- 4.0.3: lightweight processes, new virtual mem, shared libs
- 4.1: STREAMS & TLI, 8-bit clean?, async I/O, ms-dos file system
(continues as Solaris -- see above).

UHC (80x86): pure SVR4, X11, Motif

Ultrix (DEC): based on 4.2BSD with much of 4.3.
Newsgroup: comp.unix.ultrix.
- 4.4 is latest

UNICOS (Cray): System V base. Newsgroup: comp.unix.cray
- 5.x, 6,x, 7.0

UnixWare Release 4.2 [Univel]: SVR4.2; over NetWare. Univel no longer

UTEK (Tektronix)
- 4.0

VOLVIX (Archipel S.A.): UNIX-based OS built around a communication
based, distributed, real-time micro-kernel. SVR3.2 system calls,
BSD4.4 file/network system calls (VFS, FFS). Also NFS and X11.
Vanilla VOLVIX is for transputers.

Xenix (80x86): 1st Unix on Intel hardware, based on SVR2 (previously on
S III and even V7). Newsgroup: comp.unix.xenix.

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