Mac built on Unix, Windows built on?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I picked up a copy of "Learning Unix For Windows" and I find it made me ask more questions then it gave me answers.



If Unix is the core that OS X is built on, what is Windows built on?



More importantly, how is Unix better then what Windows is running? I know Unix is powerful, but any more details?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Atlas View Post


    If Unix is the core that OS X is built on, what is Windows built on?



    NT.



    Unix is a very vague term these days, though. OS X's kernel is called XNU, and is a mesh of Mach (which is not Unix at all), BSD (which is Unix-like, but not UNIX®) and Apple-specific components such as IOKit (which aren't Unix at all either). On top of that lie many utilities from BSD and GNU (which is a clone of Unix), and on top of that, in turn, lies an almost entirely Apple-specific OS, with components such as Carbon, Core Foundation, Cocoa, and Aqua.



    Quote:

    More importantly, how is Unix better then what Windows is running? I know Unix is powerful, but any more details?



    I would never, ever use the term 'better' in context of software. The NT kernel in Windows has many strengths and weaknesses, just like the XNU kernel in Mac OS X does. I'd argue that OS X has a far more sophisticated virtual memory management, whereas Windows NT used to have a hugely more flexible file access control management (until OS X 10.4 Tiger came along), for example. There are specific areas where you can say this is better and that is better, but when it all comes together, you end up with operating systems that each have their good and bad attributes. The final call on what serves your needs more properly is to be made by an individual.



    If you do wish to read up on OS X's architecture, which is quite unique, complex and versatile, http://kernelthread.com/mac/osx/ has a good overview, and http://www.osxbook.com/ from the same guy goes as deep as it gets. The author is now Google's Macintosh Manager and previously did system research for IBM; his book has been praised by many, including engineers from Microsoft and Google. The 1680 pages should be a hint that it's shockingly thorough.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    tarkietarkie Posts: 1member
    NT? Nah further back than that. Try VMS. Most of NT's lead developers, including VMS's chief architect, came from Digital, and their background heavily influenced NT's development. Microsoft just slapped on a GUI.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    That NT takes some design cues from VMS is irrelevant. You might as well call OS X based on Alan Turing's design.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    a_hnaua_hnau Posts: 26member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Atlas View Post


    I picked up a copy of "Learning Unix For Windows" and I find it made me ask more questions then it gave me answers.



    If Unix is the core that OS X is built on, what is Windows built on?



    Sand
  • Reply 5 of 19
    fevkfevk Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Atlas View Post


    I picked up a copy of "Learning Unix For Windows" and I find it made me ask more questions then it gave me answers.



    If Unix is the core that OS X is built on, what is Windows built on?



    More importantly, how is Unix better then what Windows is running? I know Unix is powerful, but any more details?



    I heard Windows NT was built on (parts of the) DEC VMS operating system for their VAX machines, beeing the most successful multi-user minicomputer OS in the 1980ies, largely used at universities all over the world. By rumours of Digital Equipment people the name (WNT) was just a shift upward in the alphabeth of VMS, an analog to the shift downward of IBM to HAL in the famous movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Stanley Kubrick in 1968. In the same way Bill Gates bought the DOS OS he managed to buy the design team of VMS to deliver a multi-user virtual memory OS and adapted the earlier Windows GUI for it. UNIX was built on the earlier Digital Equipment RSX OS on their PDP systems, VMS was much more sophisticated using cluster technology, allowing for active application and OS patching and upgrading or hardware exchange without demanding user logout. DEC was eventually bought by Compaq, which is now part of Hewlett Packard. Latest system version of VMS is 7.3.2 (2006). A recent hackers conference voted VMS as 'unhackable'



    Bill was also in this case the smart commercial guy as in many other cases (like to get the license from Apple to use the windows metaphore in 1987 in return to the promise to continue the development of the MSOffice software for the Mac) You have to be that smart to get a 60 billion $$ Did you know that the first releases of Windows were developed on the Macintosh using the Pascal progamming language and later ported to the PC, so the port of Excel and Word to the PC could be rather simple? Also at that time (1987) Microsoft admitted that the Mac OS was far superior to the DOS environment (crippled by IBM) By buying into VMS technology he managed to get rid of IBM, which unsuccessfully continued with OS/2.



    As you all know WNT was (is) amazingly successful, though I never heard MS people bashing on Apple like many Apple fans (adepts) do on MS (even on this board). Only Amiga users are worse I guess this is all about envy. It is an art to make the best OS (Apple OSX), but it is also an art to make the most of money and business out of your work. These are my 2 cents
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Punji sticks
  • Reply 7 of 19
    lfe2211lfe2211 Posts: 507member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    The final call on what serves your needs more properly is to be made by an individual.



    If you do wish to read up on OS X's architecture, which is quite unique, complex and versatile, http://kernelthread.com/mac/osx/ has a good overview, and http://www.osxbook.com/ from the same guy goes as deep as it gets. The author is now Google's Macintosh Manager and previously did system research for IBM; his book has been praised by many, including engineers from Microsoft and Google. The 1680 pages should be a hint that it's shockingly thorough.



    Chucker,



    Thanks much for your posts here and elsewhere (I always learn a lot from them). Also, many thanks for the reference to the Amit Singh article on kernelthread. It should be required reading (even if one only reads the final section "Conclusion: Why Mac OS?) for all client computer users, Mac, Windows or otherwise. Even though I'm not a developer, his clear, precise writing style allows me to follow the discussion rather easily (though a lot of wiki and net searching is required of course to look up definitions of developer terminology ).
  • Reply 8 of 19
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    Unix is a very vague term these days, though. OS X's kernel is called XNU, and is a mesh of Mach (which is not Unix at all), BSD (which is Unix-like, but not UNIX®) and Apple-specific components such as IOKit (which aren't Unix at all either). On top of that lie many utilities from BSD and GNU (which is a clone of Unix), and on top of that, in turn, lies an almost entirely Apple-specific OS, with components such as Carbon, Core Foundation, Cocoa, and Aqua.



    Well, UNIX® is all about the interface, not the implementation, or more correctly it's actually all about the Benjamins. \ It's true OS X/UNU is not currently UNIX although Apple claims they are UNIX-based which is a bit of a political dancing around the topic. With 10.5 though Apple is planning on paying the fees and running through the Open Group's testing protocols to have OS X 10.5 certified as a true UNIX 03 system.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Q: Mac built on Unix, Windows built on?



    A: A pile of shit
  • Reply 10 of 19
    spindlerspindler Posts: 713member
    Even worse, the registry.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spindler View Post


    Even worse, the registry.



    Zing! Awesome
  • Reply 12 of 19
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    Well, UNIX® is all about the interface, not the implementation,



    I think you mean POSIX.



    Quote:

    It's true OS X/UNU is not currently UNIX although Apple claims they are UNIX-based which is a bit of a political dancing around the topic.



    It's silliness. BSD, Linux, GNU, whathaveyou ?*they're all Unix-like.



    Quote:

    With 10.5 though Apple is planning on paying the fees and running through the Open Group's testing protocols to have OS X 10.5 certified as a true UNIX 03 system.



    Which is only relevant for some enterprises living in the past. UNIX certification is relatively pointless.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Due to aforementioned silliness, UNIX and POSIX are both now essentially describing interfaces. Just interpreted, owned and administered by different organizations.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Due to aforementioned silliness, UNIX® and POSIX are both now essentially describing interfaces. Just interpreted, owned and administered by different organizations.



    That is a different thing than calling UNIX System __ an interface, which it most definitely is not. But even System 6 and System 7 have to conform to the UNIX® standard to retain the name UNIX. And since the UNIX® conformance doesn't care about how you implement a function, just that the function is available to be called in a standard UNIX® described interface and returns the appropriate UNIX® described result within defined side effect restrictions, the UNIX® conformance suite does nothing more than enforce an interface standard on the different versions of UNIX®.



    Good for app portability and marketing, not much else. And yes I am being pedantic about those little ®s since they are really muddying the waters about what it means to actually be a UNIX.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,830member
    unfair, unethical, monopolistic practices.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    I might agree with unfair and unethical, but monopolistic? I don't see that one. The Open Group is just extorting $$ for companies to use a name that is increasingly generic.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,830member
    I was commenting on what Windows is built on.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    A friend who DL'd the Windows 2000 source code when it was leaked said it was turtles all the way down. Also - a terrible random number generator.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    Sand.
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