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Can GNU Ever Be Unix?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the how-much-wood-could-a-woodchuck-chuck dept.

GNU is Not Unix 217

An anonymous reader writes "The question isn't whether Linux can be certified as Unix. At least some distributions no doubt can. But who would pay for it? And is it worth the trouble? Jem Matzan asks these questions on NewsForge, and reminds us that the Open Group, not SCO, owns the Unix trademark,"

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nothing to see? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857882)

wtf.

fuck you taco

The *real* question is ... (5, Insightful)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857884)

can Unix ever be *nix?

Seriously, for all practical purposes, GNU + Linux is setting the trend now. Ask IBM, Novell, SCO ...

Re:The *real* question is ... (1, Redundant)

mirror_dude (775745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857891)

No , No , No
The real question is; why?

Re:The *real* question is ... (-1, Offtopic)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857897)

Wow. My very first first post. *big grin* And look at the time!

Re:The *real* question is ... (3, Insightful)

smartfart (215944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858049)

Right... IBM has seen the writing on the wall, putting Linux on every piece of hardware they produce. Sun also sells Linux boxen. While not traditionally a UNIX vendor, Novell has all but dumped their old operating system, switching to Linux instead.

I don't think UNIX matters much anymore.

BEST QUESTION:Can UNIX ever be certified as Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858341)

Linux will soon be the second most pervasive operating system after Windows. Whether Linux can be certified to be a variant of UNIX is a moot question. The better question is whether UNIX can be certified to be a variant of Linux.

The top dogs set the standard, and the underdogs are all measured against the top dogs. In the days of mainframe glory, you had the IBM mainframe as the top dog. All the clones, made by Fujitsu and its ilk, were advertised as being CERTIFIED to be 100% compatible with the IBM mainframe.

Long live, Linux! Sir Linus Torvalds shall slay the dragon in Redmond!

Can Linux ever beat BSD? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857886)

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Re:Can Linux ever beat BSD? (0, Offtopic)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858129)

The woman in the dis.org jpegs isn't that cute.

KOK (-1, Offtopic)

spaceorb (125782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857892)

FIRST KOK!?!?

Why? (5, Insightful)

lphuberdeau (774176) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857895)

Is there really a good reason why would GNU be considered as UNIX officially? GNU has it's own credibility. What is UNIX anyway? Does anyone have a concrete definition of what UNIX is right now (no historical reasons, not the fact that the filesystem starts with /).

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857910)

Is there really a good reason why would GNU be considered as UNIX officially? GNU has it's own credibility. What is UNIX anyway? Does anyone have a concrete definition of what UNIX is right now (no historical reasons, not the fact that the filesystem starts with /).

The UNIX specifications (93, 95, 98 and 03) specifically define what can be called a UNIX. Before then (each number is a year btw), I believe all you can do is combine all the generally accepted unix based systems (UNIX, BSD, AmigaOS, Xenix, etc) and accept that there was a time when there was no really accepted 'standard' and everyone just did thngs a similar way

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

alangmead (109702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858270)

Before the Open Group had the trademark and developed the certification process, AT&T held the trademark and might allow AT&T source licensees to use it. In the later years, they had a certification process that became the initial Open Group certification. When AT&T owned it, anything marked as Unix had some amount of AT&T code as its base. BSD hadn't still contained AT&T code, the Net2 [oreilly.com] release was in 1994, so all commercial BSD based systems (older SunOS, NeXT, older SGI, etc.) were derivatives of a common code base . Xenix was a based on an early Bell Labs release. (I don't know where the reference to AmigaOS came from.)

The AT&T conformance was mostly to prove that when vendors made local modifications, they didn't mess anything up.

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858368)

(I don't know where the reference to AmigaOS came from.)

Amigas were a mid 1980s UNIX based machine with dedicated coprocessors to do just about ANYTHING without the CPU needing to handle it all. They lasted about until 1995.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858459)

Unix based?

This must be an Amiga from a parallel universe you're talking about.

I still remember the joy of the developers when the GCC compiler was ported to it, but it was not until 1990 if I remember correctly.

You were not talking about the 2500UX, were you? That's another thing completely.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858464)

One reason the UNIX specification appeared was to prevent vendors like Commodore pretending their OS was "UNIX" when it wasn't.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

andreyw (798182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858435)

AmigaOS was not UNIX. It wasn't even UNIX-based. It was however an innovative design nontheless, with a message-passing microkernel.

Re:Why? (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858449)

Although AmigaOS is not UNIX-based, Amiga did release UNIX (also called A/UX, not to be confused with Apple's) which ran on machines like A3000U (and I think the A4000U). It came on a tape catridge.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857937)

The Unix trademark is allowed on anything that confroms to several standards laid out by the Open Group [opengroup.org] who owns the Unix trademark. Linux on X86 won't comply becuase some of the errno codes are incorrect, being based on Minix, which also uses incorrect values. GNU/Linux for other platforms could qualify as they are, but again, GNU/Linux seems to be evolving as its own standard which seems to be more widely supported because of the freeness and wide availability of Linux.

All your Linux Standard Base... (5, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857952)

GNU/Linux seems to be evolving as its own standard

And this standard is called LSB [linuxbase.org] .

Re:All your Linux Standard Base... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858392)

I though it was called United Linux [unitedlinux.com] .

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858442)

errno codes wrong? And I thought part of the basis of the SCO case was that Linux had ripped off the errno headers (and presumably codes).

Perhaps Linux should be put forward for certification as Unix. Failure would dent SCO's case. But then that may well implode very soon anyway.

Definition of UNIX: The Open Brand (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857946)

UNIX® describes any operating system sold under a brand licensing [opengroup.org] agreement with the Open Group. This requires the product to pass a checklist [opengroup.org] that includes certification to the Single UNIX Specification [unix.org] (free reg. req.) on a given set of supported hardware, based in part on product testing [opengroup.org] , and payment of brand fees pursuant to the Trademark Licensing Agreement [opengroup.org] (PDF). Often these brand fees [opengroup.org] are high enough to shut out publishers of low-volume operating system products.

Re:Definition of UNIX: The Open Brand (0, Troll)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857968)

Often these brand fees [opengroup.org] are high enough to shut out publishers of low-volume operating system products.

Yeah, like Apple who didn't bother to get OS X certified and just call it UNIX anyway... Smart move.

Re:Definition of UNIX: The Open Brand (1)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858045)

He meant 'volume' as in quantity sold. Not 'low volume' as in 'pipsqueak loudness.'

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858458)

GNU will not be UNIX because...

GNU = "GNU's Not UNIX"
Linux = "Linux Is Not UNIX"

I don't think that either needs to be considered UNIX because UNIX/BSD is dead.

My sister and I get started... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857898)

I'm writing these experiences with my sister and neighbors were how I remember them. Some of the dialog is added for readability, as most of it is forgotten now, but I remember the fear, anticipation, and lust that I felt at the time. Relating the incidents, helps bring it back to life. I knew that we were doing something that could get us in trouble, and the forbidden nature definitely added to the excitement for all of us.

The first experience with my sister was the very next day, after showing both my sisters some of my father's porn. At the time both my parents were outside in the yard, talking to a neighbor and Kathy was staying the night with a friend. Jackie asked if I could show her the books again.

We went to my room, where I pulled the books out from their hiding spot. She picked one with mostly pictures, and started asking questions again. I asked her what she thought about the pictures. She responded that they were strange, and that they made her feel naughty. She asked me if I ever played with my 'boner.'

I said "I wanted you and Kathy to play with it last night. Since you wouldn't, I did after I got back to my room. Do you ever play with yourself?"

She was reluctant. "Kathy played with herself last night, when she thought I was asleep."

I was surprised. "How did you know?"

"I heard her." After some prompting, Jackie admitted that she played with herself the previous night as well.

Pointing to a picture of a boy going down on a girl, she asked if my dick looked like that when it was hard. I asked if she wanted to see for herself. Our family was never very modest, and I know that she had seen me without my clothes before, but she had never seen me with a hardon.

After checking that my parents were still outside, we agreed to view each other close up. We both pulled our shorts and underwear down.

My sister sat on my bed and I stood directly in front of her. She took a few moments to observe and comment that it was weird, nothing like hers. Afterward, I spent some time investigating her. She had a small growth of hair, mostly coming in above her pussy.

Being the older brother, I took the initiative, and reached forward to spread her pussy lips. When I used my fingers to spread her labia, she spread her legs a little more and took a breath. I then ran my fingers over the length of her pussy.

She asked if she could touch my 'boner.' I asked her if she wanted to try some of the things that she saw in the book. "Yeah, I wanted to last night, but was too afraid after Kathy said no."

I showed her how to grasp my dick; she took to it like she had been doing it forever. While she played with me, I ran my fingers over her pussy. After a very short while I got scared that my parents would return, so I suggested that she take one of the books and the little light that I used to read in bed. She could could read it in the dark, until I snuck into her room.

She took the one that she had been looking through. It had many pictures of young people in different sexual positions. I don't honestly remember if the pictures were actually of kids, or of actors portraying kids. I just knew that Jackie was interested.
That night, I easily snuck into Jackie's room. We both slept with our doors closed, so if we were quiet, there was little risk of getting caught.

Jackie was awake, when I slid into her room. When I asked what she was doing, she pulled her covers back to show me the book, the flashlight, and that she was already naked.

She told me to take my shorts off. I kept my t-shirt on and sat between my sister's twin beds. I asked her that since she had the book, what did she want to try first. She hesitated. "You pick."

I had a girlfriend at the time, and we did some petting. I was keenly interested in knowing about oral sex, but was afraid that I would be taking things too fast, so I told her that I wanted to know how to touch a girl in a way that would get them most excited. At the time, I had no idea that every woman is different.

She replied that she wasn't sure. So I asked her to show me what she was doing when I got into her room. She moved to the floor, and I moved in place to get a good view. I watched her run her fingers over her clit. Occasionally, she would dip a finger into her pussy to get it wet. I asked her if she ever put a finger inside herself. She said that she did when it was feeling really good.
My hand replaced hers, and I mimicked her movements. I asked her if it felt good. She responded that it felt so much better than when she did it for herself.

We maneuvered ourselves to lay side-by-side in a 69 position. Lying on our sides, she crooked her leg up to give me easy access to her pussy.

She grasped my dick, and at the age of fourteen, I knew that I would cum really quickly. I told her how good it felt, but she would need to slow down. At the time, her technique wasn't very good, but she made up for it with her enthusiasm.

I really wanted to insert a finger into my sister's pussy. After a couple minutes of masturbating her I pushed a finger inside, and started to finger fuck her. She kept telling me how good it felt, and not to stop. Suddenly, she let out a series of sighs as her orgasm hit. It was our first of so many together.

As I would find out later that night, Jackie's orgasms were very powerful. I would bring her off and watch her pussy literally spasm, very much like a man's.

After her orgasm, I went into the bathroom to get some paper.

She asked why. I told her that we needed to clean up the mess after I had my orgasm. Later, we kept a towel hidden for that.

She wondered about what it was like for a boy, because she was reading about it and really wanted to see me cum.

I sat on my knees, while she masturbated me. At the time, it was the most powerful orgasm of my life. I felt so much lust.

After cleaning up, Jackie was ready again, and asked if I could lick her like the boy in the pictures did to his sister. She sat on the edge of her bed, as I got my first taste of my sister's pussy. That night, I ate her to a number of orgasms, and she masturbated me to orgasm again. At the time she was still reluctant to give me head.

We were both hooked. Over the next few weeks, we got together every chance we could. I even slid into bed with Jackie, while Kathy was in the bed next to us. We learned exactly what the other liked.

We talked about whether we should 'go all the way.' I told her that it wasn't a good idea, because she might get pregnant. At the time, she was almost twelve, but was already having periods. However, I would simulate sex with her by rubbing my dick over her pussy.

We found that we both loved oral sex, both giving and receiving.
Recently, she admitted that still her favorite thing was to give head, and I admitted to her that I love eating pussy more than anything.

Ironically, I seemed to be more cautious of my mother finding the books than finding my sister and I having sex together. While we knew that if we were caught, there would be hell to pay, we didn't take every precaution to avoid it, until it nearly happened.

Mom was downstairs preparing dinner, and we were in my room, naked from the waist down. I was sitting back on my knees in the middle of my bedroom floor with a very hard dick jutting up.

Jackie leaned forward with her back to the door. I already had eaten her to a quick orgasm, and now it was my turn. I liked it when she would get the head of my dick real wet with her mouth. Jackie would alternate between sliding her hands and mouth up and down my dick. The feeling was incredible, but invariably Jackie's face and hands would show the signs of wet sex.

So, this evening, she was working me to orgasm, while I reached around her with my fingers to diddle her clit. When she'd lift her head she would encourage me and tell me what to do.

Just as I was getting ready to shoot, Kathy came into my room to tell us that dinner was ready. She froze halfway through her sentence, and just stared at us.

Jackie turned around real quick, and pulled her t-shirt down over her hips, but there was no denying her wet face, and my wet dick pointng in Kathy's direction. For a few seconds Kathy didn't say anything. Then she looked at me and said "Mom better not catch you. She'll kill you if she finds out. You guys need to be more careful."

That was it. Kathy didn't tell anyone, and from then on, we were more careful about getting caught. I don't know if Kathy mentioned anything to Jackie about it later. I know at the time she was a little mad at me, but continued to let Jackie and me fool around, even when we brought Jackie's friends into our sex play.

I really hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing/reminiscing. I will continue as time permits.

Bayzel

It's GNU/Linux! (-1, Redundant)

zonix (592337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857902)

"GNU" in submission headline and "Linux" in the summary?

Without RTFA, shouldn't that be "GNU/Linux" in both places?

z

Re:It's GNU/Linux! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857906)

Hey RMS, I thought you didn't read slashdot

Re:It's GNU/Linux! (2, Funny)

Jon Proesel (762574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857931)

No, no, no. It's only GNU/Linux when those thieving Linux bastards don't give credit to the GNU folks, by calling the OS just 'Linux'.

RMS has no problem with you just calling it GNU.

Re:It's GNU/Linux! (3, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857991)

No, no, no. It's only GNU/Linux when those thieving Linux bastards don't give credit to the GNU folks, by calling the OS just 'Linux'.

RMS has no problem with you just calling it GNU.

No. GNU/Linux is not the same as GNU. The "official" kernel of the GNU system is Hurd [gnu.org] . From the linked website:

"The GNU Hurd is the GNU project's replacement for the Unix kernel. The Hurd is a collection of servers that run on the Mach microkernel to implement file systems, network protocols, file access control, and other features that are implemented by the Unix kernel or similar kernels (such as Linux)."

This clearly indicates that Hurd is the kernel specifically designed to be the centerpiece of the GNU system. Linux is just an acceptable placeholder until the Hurd is ready for spotlight. Therefore GNU/Linux is just a precursor for the True GNU System.

Seriously speaking, the Hurd does seem to have a number of very nice ideas - the translators (little programs that can be attached to directories and files, and which will then control all access to those files - so you can attach one to a directory and make the contents of an FTP site or whatever appear there - not unlike the proc filesystem on Linux), for example. I wonder if anything like them could be implemented in Linux ?

It also has some very serious problems, such as a lack of device drivers and every existing filesystem server memorymapping the entire partition, which means that you can't use partitions larger than 2 GB on a 32-bit system...

Oh well, it's good to know that the next generation free open source operating system is already being worked on - should keep Linux from getting fat and lazy ;).

Re:It's GNU/Linux! (4, Insightful)

kbahey (102895) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858427)

Hurd is definitely a good idea, but so far it is only that: an idea.

I have been hearing about Hurd at least since 1992 or so, ever since Linus started his project. This is 12 years now, and nothing concrete has come up yet, that can be adopted by the masses.

Don't get me wrong, I like many of the ideas and design decisions they have. But my gripe is that their model does not allow hordes of programmers to join in and get things out faster, like the Linux model.

Re:It's GNU/Linux! (1)

arose (644256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858463)

Oh well, it's good to know that the next generation free open source operating system is already being worked on - should keep Linux from getting fat and lazy ;). -- ultranova
(*) Not FAT, but you should be able to see that it's sitting down because it's really too stuffed to stand up. Think "bean bag" here. -- linus

Re:It's GNU/Linux! (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858018)

IOW, it's ok to ignore the BSD and other non GPL licensed code as long as you give GNU credit.

That is just stupid.

Would have to then be GIU/Linux (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857913)

GNU = GNU's Not UNIX...

Have to change that to say GIU Is UNIX :p

Re:Would have to then be GIU/Linux (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857967)

GNU = GNU is Now Unix

Re:Would have to then be GIU/Linux (1)

geggibus (316979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858008)

GNU is Now Unix...

-K

Re:Would have to then be GIU/Linux (5, Funny)

aled (228417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858054)

No, no! RMS will tell you it is GNU/Unix.
Wait... GNU/Unix=GNU is Not Unix/Unix=(GNU is not Unix) is not Unix/Unix... Stack Overflow/Divide Error... my... head... hurts...

Re:Would have to then be GIU/Linux (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858105)

It is very simple:
GNU/Unix = Gnu is Now Unix / Unix (using the new expansion of GNU)
Unix/Unix = 1
=> GNU/Unix -> Gnu is Now.
Takeover of the world accomplished!

Re:Would have to then be GIU/Linux (5, Funny)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858445)

Or...

GNU/Unix
= (GNU is not Unix)/Unix
= GNU is not

Thus, we can see that if GNU became Unix, GNU would not be. :p

Re:Would have to then be GIU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858266)

That would mean that GUI is Unix, which means that:

*drum roll*

Unix is Unix!

That should be enough fuel for the Microsoft camp wanting to prove the open source community is on crack.

Can GNU ever be UNIX? (0, Redundant)

appler (672410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857914)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that GNU's Not Unix!

Re:Can GNU ever be UNIX? (5, Funny)

JeremyR (6924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857932)

I suppose that if a certification were awarded, the acronym could be changed to "GNU's Now Unix." :-)

Maybe we should just ask SCO (5, Funny)

nicholaides (459516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857917)

Can GNU ever be unix?

I don't know. Maybe we should just ask SCO. They would probably have a reasonable opinion.

Re:Maybe we should just ask SCO (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858365)

Provided you can find Earth Logic at SCO.

But then, given GNU"GNU's Not Unix", it would take a break from Earth Logic to get too GNU=Unix.

Who cares? (4, Insightful)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857919)

If it's "close enough", surely big business are going to do more research than just look at whether it's been certified by The Open Group just so the Linux community can use its trademark?

The problem, as well, is what to certify. There are so many combinations of kernel, drivers, libc, userspace utilities and windowing systems that any certificate could well be rendered useless.

For example, if IBM paid for SuSE to get certified, would that apply to RHEL or Debian, if they were using slightly different kernel versions or different kernel patches as is often the case?

Re:Who cares? (1)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858051)

It would apply to a version-frozen release. Probably as long as rigorous version control was implemented on further evolution and development of the certified version, incremental certification, rather than a full re-cert, would be acceptable.

No 'wander down the path' distros need apply.

Re:Who cares? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858148)

It applies when bidding for contracts, especially government. Government contracts usually require a checklist of features, and if one of them asks for UNIX-certified OS, then people can't make bids using Linux.

GNU's Not Unix (0, Redundant)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857927)

GNU's Not Unix. Do I need to say more?

Re:GNU's Not Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858009)

GNU's Not Unix?! Dang, Who knew!.. umm.. so what does the G stand for?
</recursive sarcasm>

Re:GNU's Not Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858014)

Partially serving as an emphatic statement stating what it definately isn't to avoid potential "issues"?

Who cares? (5, Interesting)

Fished (574624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857930)

Who cares if Linux is Unix at this point? We are rapidly approaching the point at which UNIX is a Linux-like operating system rather than Linux being a UNIX-like operating system. I'm more or less convinced that proprietary UNIX is dead as a major force in the market. Moving forward, Linux will be setting the agenda and proprietary UNIX will be playing catch up.

This is particularly evident when you notice that the major improvements in some recent version of Solaris (8 & 9, but not 10 apparently) is to add more open source software and stability improvements.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858067)

I'm more or less convinced that proprietary UNIX is dead as a major force in the market.

You're forgetting Mac OS X.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858198)

Which like Linux isn't a UNIX. He was talking about certified proprietary UNIX.

Re:Who cares? (3, Informative)

Fished (574624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858216)

You're forgetting Mac OS X.
No I'm not. OS X is based on FreeBSD and is not Open Group certified last I heard. Moreover, one of the major features of OS X.2 IIRC was enhanced Linux compatibility.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858135)

I think it's less of an issue of who is more like who, as opposed to who makes the right decisions and moves forward. Unix is not the end all pinnacle of operating systems. Posix compliance is a good thing, but Linux needs to move where the community wants it to, not where the Unix standards neccesarily is.

Re:Who cares? (1)

MaoTse (624765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858145)

PC-focused market does not care, that's sure.

But it doesn't cover the ground completely. There's lot of stuff aimed specifically for systems Linux is currently not able to reach (and won't be for some time, IMHO). The main reasons are:

  • major differences in thread library implementation
  • incompatible VM system
  • some subtle differences in basic libraries - things like Solaris gethrtime for example
Such things are commonly used by software on big-iron machines Sun and IBM sell and that's why Solaris and AIX are certified.

The second major issue is the plethora of possible Linux configurations - distributions, versions, kernel, system security levels etc. It is usually seen as balkanization by big-iron folks.

Ask Ulrich Drepper if Linux will get The Open Group certificate ;-)

Re:Who cares? (1)

latroM (652152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858220)

We are rapidly approaching the point at which UNIX is a Linux-like operating system

You mean GNU-like? Linux is only a kernel, you know.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858359)

Who cares if Linux is Unix at this point? We are rapidly approaching the point at which UNIX is a Linux-like operating system rather than Linux being a UNIX-like operating system.

I have been saying that for several years now. UNIX is all but dead. The only commercial UNIX likely to still be arround in ten years time as an ongoing product is OS/X. Solaris will have long since joined IRIX, Digital UNIX and VMS as O/S you can still buy and occasionaly see a minor upgrade for it.

There is a basic set of core functions that O/S do and this has not changed in principle for over a decade. Log based file systems, threads that work etc are now standard, but none of this was new ten years ago.

The interesting stuff all takes place either above or below the O/S layer. .NET, J2EE etc are where interesting stuff is happening.

At the driver level I think that both Unix and Windows have the model hopelessly wrong. We have at last got past the point where we have to recompile the kernel for each new driver. But drivers are still mostly executable code while the differences between devices of the same genre are with very few exceptions the type of thing that can be described by code tables.

I would like to see device manufaturers get out of the device driver writing business, have a genuinely generic driver in the O/S and discover the repetoire of a particular device by reading a configuration file - preferably one that can be read from the device. From a pragmatic point of view XML would probably be a good match for the task since you would inevitably need structured data and a way to extend the basic data structures.

Unix once had this with the printcap and termcap files. Unfortunately people just seem to be unable to resist turing complete code.

Boy -- talk about your pointless questions... (5, Interesting)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857933)

I think it is almost certain that some distro of Linux could easily pass OG's test suite. It is also almost a certainty that FSF/GNU would never opt for it on religious grounds.

The rest of the thread is now available for stupid /. jokes.

In Soviet Russia, The Open Group petitions GNU for certification.

Re:Boy -- talk about your pointless questions... (0, Offtopic)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857939)

In Soviet Russia, the Open Group certifies YOU! =D

Re:Boy -- talk about your pointless questions... (3, Interesting)

imkonen (580619) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858007)

Is there are particular reason that FSF/GNU would object to certification? I haven't read the 55 pages of requirements, but I didn't get the impression that either "closed source", "not free to modify" or anything else incompatible with the GPL are part of the requirements. If you take a certified version and modify it, you undoubtedly can't call it certified anymore, but you're still free to redistribute your modified, "no-longer certified as Unix" version.

But I think the more significant point is that it's not FSF/GNU who would have the most incentive to get a distro certified as Unix. As the article pointed out, it's probably the hardware companies like IBM and Sun who would find it worthwhile.

Re:Boy -- talk about your pointless questions... (2, Interesting)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858063)

it's probably the hardware companies like IBM and Sun who would find it worthwhile.

IBM have specifically taken a hands-off approach to Linux. They have team members contributing to the 'greater' Linux source trees, but there's no sanctioned 'IBM' brand of Linux. They don't want nor need an 'official' IBM version of Linux.

The reasons for this are complex.

funny thing (0, Redundant)

latroM (652152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857940)

GNU's Not Unix Unix :)

Re:funny thing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857977)

Are you Unix? Are you not Unix? If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, then GNUU might be exactly what you're looking for!

also... (0, Offtopic)

fatgraham (307614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857941)

Can my cat ever be a bicycle?

No. And Yes. (4, Insightful)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857943)

"UNIX" means different things to different people. One definition would be something that contains ATT UNIX code. Another would be something that has a bunch of certifications. Linux has neither.

But, the BSDs, and I believe even Solaris and AIX have a Linux compatability layer, or at the very least, "the GNU toolset", GCC, glibc, etc. Of course you wont beable to run IA32 binaries on a UltraSPARC, regardless of the compatability layer, but you could run IA32/Linux stuff on IA32/*BSD, or SparcLinux stuff on a Solaris box.

I guess Im trying to say, given that lots of things can run Linux binaries, can cleanly compile Linux targeted sources, Linux + GCC + glibc may be a better standard to target then POSIX and whatnot. It is definitly more modern. Or to put things another way, UNIX is irrelevent, the question shoud be: can UNIXes ever be Linux?

Re:No. And Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858043)

"UNIX" means different things to different people. One definition would be something that contains ATT UNIX code. Another would be something that has a bunch of certifications. Linux has neither.

That's not quite right. As I learned from my local newspaper, Linux contains SCO code. And SCO owns all AT&T and IBM code ever written.

Therefore, Linux does contain AT&T code, it's just that AT&T is owned by SCO.

Isn't that right?

Re:No. And Yes. (2, Insightful)

kscguru (551278) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858071)

Better standard maybe... but Linux + GCC + glibc is an incredibly difficult thing to standardize upon! Standardization at the industry level takes months if not years ... have you seen any one of those three stay at the same version (exact same API and ABI, no patches, etc) for any fraction of that time? Linux (or GNU/Linux if you prefer) is too much of a moving target for anyone to hit.

Go out and look at industry certifications - they certify against RHES version X, or whatever else the flavor of the month is. UNIX is a heavy-duty standard, and Linux is still evolving too fast to qualify.

Actually, I have a more interesting thought: for Linux to qualify as a Unix, development would have to slow down - a lot. Arguably, it is doing so now ... Linus claims there are no really large projects on the horizon that require a 2.7 branch, there haven't been any huge changes to the kernel in quite a while (not since the new VM in late 2.4 / early 2.5, or the O(1) scheduler in 2.5). If Linux sits back at this level for a good long while, I suspect it really will become a UNIX within a year or so. Alas, such a slowdown will leave Linux a long ways behind modern Unices, which is a shame. So... should Linux slow down and become Unix-certified, or should it speed up and catch up to modern Unix?

Re:No. And Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858452)

Exactly -- look at RHEL, which is 'frozen' for a 5 year support window. "Linux" may be evolving, but any given version of RHEL is stable and only getting bugfixes. There's more than enough time and opportunity to certify it.

Re:No. And Yes. (1)

alangmead (109702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858106)

"UNIX" means different things to different people. One definition would be something that contains ATT UNIX code. Another would be something that has a bunch of certifications. Linux has neither.

It didn't occur to me at the time that AT&T sold the Unix copyrights and the Unix Trademark, but that act was solidly admitting defeat to the Open Software Foundation (now the Open Group) in the Unix wars. The OSF created their OSF/1 operating system to try to promote Unix as an API standard and not the name of a family of systems derived from a single source. The fact that AT&T sold them the name can be viewed as an implicit admission that it was the API and not the source code that matters.

The Unix trademark is now owned by an organization whose initial charter was to make the AT&T based SYSVr4 irrelevant. Many groups have surpassed them. (There are probably many more Linux systems around than Digital Unix, the most recent OS derived from OSF/1) but their goal was achieved.

Unix source vs. Unix complience (1)

alangmead (109702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858319)

Re-reading the article, I noticed a small point I missed when I posted the previous message. AT&T didn't sell the trademark to the Open Group. They sold the whole thing, source, trademark, and compliance certification to Novell, who split up their purchase to SCO and the Open Group. It was Novell who as a corporation recognized the difference between Unix as a standard interface to Unix as a body of source code.

Re:No. And Yes. (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858140)

and unix means one thing to the open group

unix.org [unix.org]

No. Unless Linus or Posix makes a change. (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857945)

Linux deviates from Posix in several ways, and at least one of them is deliberate - because Linus is convinced that his way is better. Posix can't change because that would break all the existing and past unixes. IMHO Linus is unlikely to change because he believes in the advantages of his way.

(I don't recall what the particular difference was but as I recall Linus had a very good point. Security? Robustness? Anyhow it should be trivial to look it up - which I'd do if I had the time just now.)

And I don't see that it really matters, since they can continue as two operating systems and virtually anything will operate well on both, and some things break even crossing between Posix-compatible systems. Linux is doing quite well as is and may end up dominating. The rumors of the demise of the BSDs seem overblown. And who knows what will come next.

Re:No. Unless Linus or Posix makes a change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858460)

"IMHO Linus is unlikely to change because he believes in the advantages of his way."

Does Linus get to really call the shots these days?

SCO goes down the drain... (-1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857950)

SCO goes down the drain...
the copyright to the name of UNIX gets auctioned...
IBM buys the copyright.
IBM certifies Linux as UNIX. Nobody wants or needs to pay anything, but IBM gets more customers now as Linux has been officially certified...

Re:SCO goes down the drain... (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857956)

SCO doesn't own the UNIX name, the open group does.

Re:SCO goes down the drain... (2, Informative)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857966)

...the Open Group, not SCO, owns the Unix trademark,"

Dude, read your f\w+ screen!

Re:SCO goes down the drain... (1)

crackshoe (751995) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857982)

not reading the full article is one thing, but only reading the headline? come on, man -- what do you think this is? slashdot?

Re:SCO goes down the drain... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858030)

In addition to the point made by previous replies, the name UNIX is a trademark, not copyrighted. You can't copyright a name.

Linux doesnt need it. (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857960)

Its just for 'brand recognition' anyway, and Linux has that now.

If you say 'Linux' to the general IT population, they already know what you are talking about. ( and they also realize the differences beteeen it and 'unix' ) so why muddy the waters?

When GNU = Unix? (5, Funny)

. visplek . (788207) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857979)

When GNU is Unix, LAME must be an MP3 encoder and WINE must be an emulator.

Why? (3, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 10 years ago | (#9857983)

What's the point? To be facetious, Unix is old and busted, linux is the new hotness. Instead of being focused on the past, look to the future. Being stamped "Unix" doesn't have the same meaning today as it did ten years ago. Bean counters today aren't asking about a Unix solution but a Linux one. Its the tech buzz word of the last 5 years. To the general public Linux has better name recognition than Unix. In fact, I commonly hear non-tech people referring to real Unix systems as "Linux".

DOOM 3 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857986)

http://www.gunstig.org/DOOM.3-RELOADED_bt-gm_EFnet .torrent

Nope. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9857998)


One of the reasons that GNU's Not Unix is because intentionally or not, a lot of the GNU tools differ from and are often outright incompatible with their counterparts from the original Unix and its descendents. There would be a lot rewriting and outright disposal of some of the primary features (or "incompatible extensions", as we would say if this were Microsoft) of the GNU utilities and libraries. These changes would also break compatibility in innumerable ways just among various pieces of GNU software. File formats would have to change. (gtar archives, Makefiles, etc)

The GNU project was a good idea with a good mission, but specifically calling it "GNU's Not Unix" really backfired on them in this aspect because Unix as we know it today is now more popular than it's ever been among both geeks and the corporate world.

Re:Nope. (1)

rmdir -r * (716956) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858065)

Unix as we know it today is now more popular than it's ever been among both geeks and the corporate world.

Really? It is? Last time I checked, the GNU toolset comes with (essentially) EVERY linux distro, not to mention the fact that the GNU tools are included with most proprietary UNIX's, to the detriment of the 'traditional' UNIX tools...

Re:Nope. (1)

latroM (652152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858271)

And not just tools. The GNU part in GNU/Linux consists not only of tools but crucial system libraries such as the C library. GNU has its extensions also there. And of course the GCC has its own features. This is not much of a problem because GNU is Free and it runs under different platforms and kernels.

GNU Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858001)

I have access to a Sun Box and several Linux boxes. I use the Linux box by default because the tools are better. I only use the Sun box sometimes because it has 12GB memrory and the Linux boxes have on 4GB. The GNU tools may at one time have been imitations of their Unix counterparts, but they are far superior these days. I frequently download the source to the GNU version and compile it so that I have it's functionality on Unix machines.

It's not a question of Linux fusing with Unix. They are, for most purposes, the same thing.

Open Group certified Linux (2, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858010)

If you ask google [google.de] , it does not seem a good idea. SCO comes up first.

CC.

Ohh cool! THIS is what we need! LSB-certification! (1)

urbieta (212354) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858232)

Within the google search I fonud Developing LSB-certified applications http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/librar y/l-lsb.html [ibm.com] maybe this is the subject we should be discussing, how many applications ARE following LSB guidelines?

Also, why is the Linux Standard base hosted by the open group? Isn't the Open Group doing it's part already? so the other way arround becomes less relevant. ;)

http://www.opengroup.org/lsb/cert/cert_prodlist.tp l?CALLER=index.tpl [opengroup.org]

Paying for unix? (2, Interesting)

Cow007 (735705) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858046)

Free BSD as the name suggests IS free. Unix is not a valad trademark beacause beacause of its many forks and variations it has become a generic term. IMHO I think the people at SCO and Sony (with its joke of a digital music player) fell off the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. Protecting your copyrights has become difficult these days. In a world of convergance, reverse engineering and "hey that was my idea" tactics A review of copyright laws and procedures needs to take place. If we come together and decide on open and fair standards that make things work. Things are going to change, biusness models that were viable before will no longer work. But its time to evolve.

Please, god no (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858056)

The GNU people would just have to think up a new name, and then we'd have to put THAT in front of Linux. Not to mention it would probably be another fucking self-referential acronym :)

Hrm (1)

bkhl (189311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858084)

I though the whole idea was that GNU doesn't try to be Un*x compatible, it's just heavily inspired by it.

Re:Hrm (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858334)

An interesting point, it just so happens that the Un*x philosophy is such that compatibility happens as a matter of course; even if that wasnt the intention.

A better question (3, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858147)

Is what should GNU be. Not to be pedantic but if you have done real work with more than one GNU/Linux distribution you have run into compatibility issues. Its a fact of life and an impediment to the progress of GNU's penetration.

If standardization is a good thing (I think it is, but your opinion may vary) how should The GNU/Linux world go about it, and what parties should certify. Right now there are the DeFacto standards (Redhat/slackware/Suse/Mandrake) of the big distributions. The problem with these defacto standards is eventually the game collapses. There have been attempts to have multiparty standards (United linux comes to mind) but those for various reasons havent made a big push.

You can allready see the problems in setting a GNU/linux standard when there are vicious arguments over naming it Linux or GNU/Linux. Just who is going to be able to make decisions on filepaths, naming conventions, and library depencies and then shove it down the throats of the contrarians.

So before you ask can "GNU be Unix", you need to ask does GNU want to be standard, Who's standard, and does that standard want to be close enough to Unix to comply.

It's not important. (4, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858195)

No Linux distribution has bothered to achieve Unix branding because it's simply not important anymore. People who purchase Unix systems know what Linux is and they know it's the best and fastest growing Unix-like system out there. More importantly, they know that the applications they use have been tested on Linux, probably as a top-tier platform, often as the recommended platform (see Oracle). That being the case, why would a Unix certification from The Open Group make any difference?

Meanwhile, commercial Unix vendors are going out of their way to achieve Linux compatibility, at either the source or binary level. Linux is quickly becoming the standard to which other Unices are compared. This means two things:
  • The Open Group and its branding are irrelevant
  • Richard Stallman is effectively wrong: GNU is Unix. Except in the real world we don't call it GNU, we call it Linux.

What's the point? (2, Insightful)

billsf (34378) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858201)

This is redundant, but not knowing what its going to cost beforehand is the downfall of Open Group. $45,000 is one thing, half a million is another matter.

Linux has indeed been repackaged and registered. (To avoid flames from those that don't already know, I won't say which ones.) Linux as in say Gentoo and BSD in say FreeBSD are very successful now and it would be hard to justify the value in risking so much money for a seemingly worthless qualification.

I'm sure Suse (Novel) and Redhat will actually seek registration as commercial products. If X/Open would agree to fixed priced terms, they would do far more business. (Are you seeing this Open Group?) All things considered, this is like the MSCE scam and might have a negative impact.

The above mentioned BSD and Linux have treated me very well on a number of hardware platforms. Keep up the good work.

what real world benefits are there.... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858215)

... just to be called a "unix"? Is this necessary, or just for coolness factor, are businesses demanding it, what? I really don't know, it's a legit question.

When I am running something,right now fedora core 2, I don't even think "fedora core 2 gnu/linux a unix type system" I just think and say "fedora". What do I again if I can say "I am running unix" instead of saying "fedora"?

I'd rather call mine Willy! (1)

urbieta (212354) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858248)

I am running Willy!

I payed nobody, and it's the same Linux Mandrake I downloaded fron da net ;)

Check out my Willy girls!

the real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9858259)

The more relevant question is, Can GNU ever be linux? (GNU/Linux)

GNU (0, Redundant)

tomthebomb (318081) | more than 10 years ago | (#9858289)

Gnu's Not Unix.

Your question has been answered, o Anonymous Reader.
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