James Maguire has written an article for osOpinion.com regarding the continuous industry move from Unix towards Linux based solutions: “As tech buying cycles progress, year by year, Linux will eat away at more of Unix’ mission-critical work. That’s because, at each new upgrade point, servers running Linux will grow ever more capable.” As reported earlier IBM’s top software executive recently stated that Linux is the ‘Logical Successor’ to IBM’s Unix solutions.
Can Linux and Unix Live Together?
2003-02-01 Unix 17 Comments
The answer to that question depends on whether the Unix systems in question are free or not and open-source or not. I think that systems like AIX and Solaris have very little future for them now that Linux is gaining features required for it’s success in areas where AIX and Solaris were being used.
However, I don’t think that Linux is going to displace the *BSD’s.
I think it will be hard for commercial unixes to co-exist. I xpect Linux will replace the *NIX machines eventually (some years).Kernel 2.6+ will be required though, because current kernel don’t support most high-end stuff like NUMA
I think Linux is possibly the best thing that happend to unix fans in recent times. I don’t care if Linux or any of the other unixes win out, but it is very important that Microsoft not dominate the datacenters. Unix diehards might scoff, but MS will make windows a lot more better, and a lot more mature, than it currently is. They will eventually make it as good and even better than traditional unix. The have the resources, they have the brains, they have the ambition. So, without linux, replacing Unix with Windows on the high end will be a forgone conclusion.
this is silly, linux is unix for free.
someone needs to write a Solaris is dying article..
I’m willing to bet that they are going to go to linux now that that is the way sgi is going. But it will be interesting to see whether they go with some other unix or switch to linux, as it’s clear that irix won’t be sgi’s main os for long.
Maybe yes, if the Unix vendors reveal all of the source code of their OSes to the public.
>this is silly, linux is unix for free.
Linux is a free and opensourced UNIX-like kernel, worked on by individuals around the world, but is founded and controlled by Linus Torvalds. UNIX has a very long history (~1969, Bell Laboratories), long before Linus started writing his kernel (~1991).
Because Linux is so complete in its re-implimentation of Unix API, it is easy to port software from Unix to Linux. Linux is highly *POSIX* compliant.
Another similar example would be QNX. QNX is fully POSIX compliant, however QNX is not a UNIX.
linux is still mainly run on consumer-grade x86 hardware. it would be a shame to see linux replace all the UNIXes which still run on nice hardware, like Solaris and IRIX. we’d lose the diversity which makes the UNIX world so interesting.
i’d hate to see the day when UNIX was dead and the only UNIX-like boxen ran linux/x86 or Mac OS X.
>> it would be a shame to see linux replace all the UNIXes which still run on nice hardware, like Solaris and IRIX. we’d lose the diversity which makes the UNIX world so interesting.
Don’t worry, the one million distros and dependency hell will more than compensate for the diversity
Speaking of diversity, how about replacing everything unix with Windows? That’s the really scary part.
I have a vision.
Linux will dominate the small and mid-sized servers because geeks who admin them are the same geeks who tinker with Linux in their free time. If these geeks value security and stability, they will of course choose FreeBSD or OpenBSD over Linux. But in any case, Linux will dominate to hold about 80% of all opensource server platforms.
This is where all the major players in the commercial Unix business realize that they are losing market share fast. IBM realized it already. So what do they do? They take Linux, they add features to Linux, they either make it compatible with their hardware and add patches (if they are hardware vendors also) or they will offer services for their Linux-based server-oriented distributions. Exactly like IBM is doing.
If you can get it for free and it’s good, why pay for it? Same thing with sex.
The only problem that Linux might have is bloat. In the end, if you want it to run it on everything, you’ll end up with 100+ mb stock kernels. And that’s a bad thing.
Plus it’s GPLed. And GPL is not always a good thing. Again, with the sex analogy. It’s free, it’s good. But if it’s free and it’s GPL, you must release the sources and give it to others if you modify it. So Linux is like a prostitute that everyone likes to use. This means that Linux will become a diseased, bloated and overall bad OS in the end.
Now, if big corporations support Linux, then that’s a good thing. More power to them. Linux will bring corporations together and make them offer good low-cost Linux-based services and systems with full source code allowing everyone to modify them to best suit their taste.
Closed-source is slowly fading away, but dont misunderstand me – it will not disappear from the mainstream. At least not in the next 200 or so years.
Some time ago, there was an interview with some Amibios guy that said the same – closed source is not going anywhere. But he backed the claim by saying that hardware vendors cannot use opensource because it would make the competition rip off their technology. In my opinion, that is not the entire truth. Think about this. Let’s say some company plans to make a new motherboard. Let’s say they release the full specs and send a beta board to LinuxBIOS folks. What will they get? A good free BIOS. What will they also get? Feedback from experienced developers saying what they should change. Not just some freak screaming “I WANNA 600MHZ FSB!!”, they get intelligent feedback to enhance their products. And there’s always market for them – it’s the ever-increasing horde of people who use only opensource.
Just my 2 cents worth of ranting…
Solaris has a lot of nice tools that Linux lacks. When debugging software, I prefer to have access to a Solaris box and a Linux box, to get the best of both worlds. Every task has a tool that’s suited to it (or someone will soon write one). Not all tools are ideal for every task. People shouldn’t just choose whatever happens to be the latest craze – go with what works best for what you’re doing. Choose a mixture of tools like I do, if that’s what works. I’m not a big fan of SGI making their new supercluster run Linux instead of IRIX either. Sure, this is good for Linux, which is a good thing in general for the popular OS market, but it’s not that great for the minority of people who knwo what IRIX is good at and appreciate it. In a mature market, hopefully there will be more than just a small handful of popular operating systems to choose from, just like there are more than just a few popular motor vehicles to choose from out there.
Unix (all brands Solaris,Aix,HPUX)
Linux ( all brands RedHat,Suse,Mandrake ..)
BSD ( all brands Free,Open,Net, Mac OS X)
are all members of one family.
Popularity of linux will make them more
and more similar and API and ABI compatible.
In ‘old’ unix world, direrent brands where
going more more diferent fom each other,
Linux and OpenSource is great equalizer,
and it is making all *nix-es looking more
and more similar.
Diferent brands of *nix will always exist
(RedHat,Suse,Apple, Sun, IBM, HP), call them
as ever you like, one thisn is certan, it is
here to stay, and it will increase it presence
in areas (destop to datacenter).
Linux is NOT killig Unix,
it is saving
and uniting *nix family.
It’s either compliant or it’s not. Linux is not POSIX compliant. That’s why it’s easier to port from Solaris to HP-UX and vice versa, than it is to Linux.
The Inquirer has a link to a “the future of Sun” piece which you might find relevent.
>It’s either compliant or it’s not. Linux is not POSIX compliant.
IMO that would be too simple. Linux’ high degree of POSIX compliance is pretty important when porting UNIX software (and vice versa). For instance this will be *alot* easier than porting UNIX software to BeOS or AmigaOS.
I also much prefer the diversity of the UNIX world
and it keeps UNIX interesting.
I would be very hard for linux to scale up and down
and still call it Linux. No one OS can do all that.
IBM recognized that with its four ( or more ) server
lines ( zSeries, pSeries, iSeries, xSeries) with their
I much rather see Linux displace MS Windows than
Linux displacing UNIX. Period.