What is UNIX?

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FAQ > Linux/Unix Specific > What is UNIX?

This item was added on: 2003/03/07

There are currently at least three more or less reasonable definitions of this term:

  • All derivatives from AT&T Bell Labs' UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4), such as Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, UnixWare.

  • All derivatives from the original UNIX, plus clones that look and feel like UNIX (although they have nothing to do with the original code), e.g. Minix, Linux, BSD.

  • All systems that passed the X/Open UNIX95/UNIX98-certification. Currently branded systems are: UnixWare, Tru64 UNIX, Reliant UNIX, HP-UX, OS/390, NCR UNIX, UX/4800, IRIX, Solaris and AIX (version numbers omitted). For more info about this certification, go to opengroup.org.
These differences often make it hard to understand what a person really means by UNIX, so it's best to stick with using the vendor's official product name or the term UNIX-like operating system.

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