Newbie Questions

Tim Chase blinux.list at
Wed Jan 19 14:38:29 UTC 2005

> Is there is a good reference URL that outlines the 
> differences?  I understand and appreciate the whole OSS 
> background, but is there more than philosophy?

The philosophy is much of the difference.  A number of OSes meet 
the POSIX standard (which gives most Unices much of their 
Unix-ness), including Linux, BSD, and the commercial variants of 
Unix (AIX, HP-UX, Irix, Solaris, etc).  At the moment, it may be 
the sweet point of price (usually free, or low cost which gives 
it an edge over "real" Unix), reliability (a big edge over the 
Redmondian product line), and popularity (giving it a slight edge 
over the [Open|Net|Free]BSD projects).  With the popularity, it 
also sees stronger driver support for more obscure hardware. 
There are also slight variations in system calls.  Whee [grins]

It, like many *nix variations, can be fairly easily ported to new 
platforms, from watches to super-computers.

(it compares Linux with a variety of OSes, but the inline anchor 
should pop you to the bit on "Other implementations of Unix"

Other comparison links:,,sid63_gci988013,00.html
(BSD vs. Linux)

A caveat on that poster details that Solaris has serial 
console support and Linux doesn't.  Bosh.  Linux supports them 
too.  The poster may mean that pre-boot stuff can't be sent to 
the serial console, but that's a hardware, not software limitation.

> What is the best term to refer to matters relating to both 
> Unix and Linux?

I generally use "*nix" which I picked up after finding it used
elsewhere.  Tends to be one of the most popular references to

> I now wonder if my preferred phrase for someone who is
> experience with the CLI, Unix Geek, can offend on two levels!

"geek" will suffice for many of us [grins]

Hope this helps answer some of your questions.


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