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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Software Unix Apple

Mac OS X Leopard is Now Officially Unix 351

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thank-god-now-cat-will-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mac OS X Leopard is now officially Unix, according to the Opengroup." I know everyone out there was really worried about this one. Welcome to the August news vacuum!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mac OS X Leopard is Now Officially Unix

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  • by DogcowX (888899) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @07:53AM (#20069241)
    There aren't many members of that club (IBM, HP, Sun)
    • If The Open Group is "making standards work" (TM), then who is Making Work Standard? These are the really big questions that we have long meetings about here in corporate America. These are the things you contemplate when you've finished your third cup of jove and are sitting on the porcelain throne, thinking about death...
    • by krgallagher (743575) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:30AM (#20069669) Homepage
      "There aren't many members of that club (IBM, HP, Sun)"

      Yeah that was my reaction. I checked on the site to see the list of other certified OS'. Here it is:

      • Apple Inc.: Mac OS X Version 10.5 Leopard on Intel-based Macintosh computers
      • Fujitsu Limited: Solaris(TM) 10 Operating System on Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER® 64-bit SPARC® Based Platforms
      • Hewlett-Packard Company: HP-UX 11i V3 Release B.11.31 or later on HP Integrity Servers
      • IBM Corporation: AIX 5L for POWER V5.3 dated 7-2006 or later
      • IBM Corporation: AIX 5L for POWER V5.2 dated 8-2004 or later with APARs: IY59610, IY60869, IY61405 with VAC 6.0.0.8 or later on pSeries CHRP systems
      • Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Solaris 10 Operating System plus patch 118844-06 for X86 and on, on 64-bit X86 based systems
      • Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Solaris 10 Operating System and on, on 32-bit X86 based systems
      • Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Solaris 10 Operating System and on, on 32-bit and 64-bit SPARC based systems
      There is no Linux. The only BSD up there is OS X. Apparently even Unix isn't Unix. It looks to me like 'THE Open GROUP' is a PR firm for Sun and IBM.
      • by ericrost (1049312) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:37AM (#20069753) Homepage Journal
        Linux isn't UNIX for cost reasons. UNIX is a copyrighted compatibility certification. It costs a lot of money to get that moniker, and it really doesn't mean anything in these days of Linux and BSD.

        Linux is Linux, it doesn't NEED to be UNIX.
        • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:49AM (#20070801)

          Linux isn't UNIX for cost reasons. UNIX is a copyrighted compatibility certification. It costs a lot of money to get that moniker, and it really doesn't mean anything in these days of Linux and BSD.

          Linux is Linux, it doesn't NEED to be UNIX.
          A Unix certification is a bit more than a moniker. It means that the level of software portability between Unix 03 compliant systems is guaranteed to be very high. That may not be important to you but to companies/corporations seeking to reduce costs and development times and to achieve the maximum level of reliability and portability in their business critical software a Unix 03 certification has meaning. Also keep in mind that although no linux or BSD flavor other than OS X has gone for actual certification apparently many Linux distributions for example still make sure they are more or less Unix compliant and they do it using Open Group test suites. So even if no Linux distro has officially applied for certification it looks to me as if they are keeping their options open.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gravis777 (123605)
        Stupid question, but OSX is BSD based, right? So hasn't it always been Unix? I thought BSD was a unix flavor, like Ultrix or Solaris (not Linux).
        • by larkost (79011) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:18AM (#20070313)
          "Unix" (notice the capitol U) is a specific certification whose criteria Apple has met (and paid for the right to use that designation). Generally people refer to things that have their roots in the old Bell Labs UNIX as "unix" or "unix-like" (notice the lower case u's). This is more of a philosophy of how things should work ("everything is a file, even when its not").
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Poltras (680608)
          That's a certificate, not just a statement. This means that, following the UNIX 03 Product Standard standards, your program will work on every OSes that supports it. Directories, POSIX, kernel calls, most things should be compliant between the OSes listed in The Open Group. This is a significant advancement for servers (more certificate for an OS is always good in that way), although not really meaningful for desktops.
        • by Creepy (93888) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:30AM (#20070463) Journal
          Unix is trademarked by the Open Group [unix.org], and so to be Unix, you need to pay them to certify your OS. There are several other similar cases in the industry - POSIX is a biggie, as is OpenGL. Often you'll see OpenGL compatible (like Mesa) or POSIX compatible (like Linux and even MacOS X for a while) - basically, they're saying they're API compatible, but not certified.
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:05AM (#20070153) Journal
        Part of the problem with this certification is that it needs to be renewed for each version. For Linux, it's not feasible, because it certifies entire operating systems, rather than kernels. The Single UNIX Specification covers a few basic devices, a huge number of C APIs and a set of useland tools (e.g. shell, C compiler, etc). Linux implements a page or two of the spec, and system calls that allow glibc to implement a load more. The GNU tools implement a lot more beyond that.

        A distribution of Linux could apply for certification, but the certification would only be valid for the exact version; update the kernel, any of the GNU utilities, etc, and it would stop being UNIX(TM) (although, for PR purposes, if FooLinux 10 is UNIX, then people probably won't care that FooLinux 10.0.1 hasn't been certified).

        The certification is more than just PR, however. Any product that has the certification is guaranteed to comply with the SUS spec. This means any software written to the specification will work. I'm glad OS X is getting it, since there are a few gaps in the implementation on 10.4 that should have been plugged before they got this. I've written code to the SUS spec before, and had it work flawlessly on Solaris but have minor issues on FreeBSD, Linux, and OS X. The more operating systems that conform to SUS, the easier it is to write cross-platform code. Whether they get the certification is irrelevant, to a degree.

      • by memfrob (157990) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:24AM (#20070403) Homepage

        IBM Corporation: AIX[...]

        Now we know they're joking. When did IBM port AIX to UNIX? :)

      • by fermion (181285) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:50AM (#20070817) Homepage Journal
        Apple Inc.: Mac OS X Version 10.5 Leopard on Intel-based Macintosh computers

        so when I install Mac OS 10.5 on my powerbook, it is not Unix?

  • Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceeam (39911) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @07:54AM (#20069255)
    Now can we have POSIX specs publically available (free)?
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)
      I thought that you only had to pay for a printed copy of the POSIX standards? Oh well, I've heard that Windows (NT4, I think, but I may be wrong) was considered POSIX compliant before GNU/Linux; I guess it's all a money game, in the end.
      • by ceeam (39911)
        Well, the now retired POSIX "subsystem" on top of NT kernel did yearn some proto-POSIX certification a decade ago. I wouldn't call _that_ Windows though. And as for why I'd like it (POSIX specs) is so I can code against it and hopefully FreeBSD, Linux, MacOSX, Solaris etc would be able to run it AOK. Standards are good.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Informative)

      by the_arrow (171557) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:41AM (#20069811) Homepage
      Well, the "Single UNIX Specification Version 3" is available to read on the Open Groups website, for free. Registration needed but then if you need to it's easy to download with wget. It contains all of POSIX and more if I'm not misstaken.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      POSIX still costs money, but the last few revisions of POSIX have been the same as the last few revisions of the Single UNIX Specification, which is available for free from The Open Group.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @07:56AM (#20069273)
    this is unix!
  • by Pope (17780) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @07:58AM (#20069303)
    I can finally officially launch Terminal.app and not feel dirty!

    (hooray for betas :)
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @07:58AM (#20069305) Homepage Journal
    The Open Group's trademark-protected Unix certification program determines who gets to call themselves 'UNIX'. Just because an OS is derived from the original Unix sources at some point doesn't make it a 'UNIX'. You get to call it a 'UNIX' if it passes the Open Group's tests, which determine if it meets the specifications. In this case, Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard', only when running on Intel Macs, not PPC Macs or any other box was found to meet the UNIX 03 specification.

    • by Rosyna (80334)

      In this case, Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard', only when running on Intel Macs, not PPC Macs or any other box was found to meet the UNIX 03 specification.
      And this is what confuses me. There is no 10.5 for ICBMs and 10.5 for PPC Macs. It's all one, single, unified version with one SKU. It's odd they explicitly mention ICBMs.
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:42AM (#20069841) Homepage Journal
      It's not just testing, there is a LOT of money involved here. Maybe Apple only paid to test the Intel version, there is little reason for them to pay to test a legacy (for them) architecture, the newest PPC models are now nearing two years old now.
  • The certificate mentions Intel-based Apple hardware but not PPC...wonder why that is. Is PPC Leopard actually AmigaOS in disguise or something?
    • by simong (32944)
      It looks like Leopard will be Universal so either Apple or Opengroup have gone for certification on the current, Intel platform.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Apple aren't selling PowerPC systems anymore. Getting UNIX certification costs money on a per-architecture basis. Getting Leopard certified on PowerPC would cost money, and not enable them to sell any more systems.
  • by pzs (857406) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:00AM (#20069333)
    Does this mean that turtle neck wearing goatie bearded design weenies will start calling themselves Unix geeks?

    Peter
  • No Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by quanticle (843097) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:01AM (#20069343) Homepage
    Oddly enough, I don't see any Linux vendors on that list. Does this mean that OSX is more Unixy than Linux?
    • Re:No Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:05AM (#20069395)
      Does this mean that OSX is more Unixy than Linux?

      As of 10.5, OS X is UNIX. Linux is "UNIX-like".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Oddly enough, I don't see any Linux vendors on that list. Does this mean that OSX is more Unixy than Linux?

      The certification process is expensive. Very expensive. A Linux distro could, in fact, be certified, but no one has been interested in spending that much money to get one certified. It would take a lot of money, and what's it worth, really?

      It would take a lot of money.....? Hey, yo! Mark Shuttleworth! You're a billionaire, right? You want Ubuntu to be UNIX-certified, right?

      • Depends on the accounts you are aiming for. If you want to compete for government contracts that specify Unix, than yes, it is worth it. However, the amount of the revenue for the Linux software is kind of trivial. All the Unix vendors have traditionally sold the Unix workstations... hardware and software. It's high margin business, because the barriers to entry are high.

        Microsoft has a POSIX subsystem... it's never really been useful, but for bidding on projects where one of the requirements is POSIX c
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Open your eyes. Unix as we know and love it is dead. OpenGroup can sell you a Unix certificate, but that it just a word - a piece of paper. They are just taking money away from the idiots. I could also sell you a property on moon and give you a piece of paper for that so that you could go out and brag about it. It's really the same thing. It has no real meaning these days - ask RMS if you don't believe me. This days "Unix" is not the old school "Unix" we all learned and loved and even if it was then so what
    • by ThosLives (686517) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:10AM (#20069469) Journal

      It's not about the 'name' it's about what the certificate represents: Compliance with a specified set of tests.

      That's actually very valuable and it isn't just the name, because it means that if you have an application that relies on the functionality proven by those tests, then you're good.

      That's the whole point of standards and standardizing bodies. You want a gallon to be a gallon (US or UK, just be consistent!), a kilogram to be a kilogram, a UNIX to be a UNIX. Testing isn't free, so instead of relying on volunteers to do testing it looks like IBM, Apple, Sun, HP, and Fujitsu paid some guys calling themselves the Open Group to do some verification and certify that some standards are met. I don't see a lot of controversy there.

    • It has no real meaning these days - ask RMS if you don't believe me.
      Whatever the point you're making, I think would rather believe you than listen to RMS.
    • Doesn't this mean places like US gov't agencies can finally buy Macs, because they are only allowed to buy Windows or Unix? Something like that? If true, this makes the certification very valuable, Macs were shut out from official gov't purchases for a long while.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've heard people saying that HFS+ can't really handle hard links properly pre Leopard. So does this mean that it's going to be fixed in Leopard or what?
    • by Rosyna (80334)

      I've heard people saying that HFS+ can't really handle hard links properly pre Leopard.
      Citation needed. Where did you here that? (And don't link to some crazy nutjob idiot cracker that likes to rant about stuff he doesn't understand).

      Do hard links work on HFS+? Yes. So what's it matter how they are implemented?
  • by mjgraham (1135833) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:08AM (#20069435)
    If UNIX meant more than real world UNIX Compatibility, there's now an easily usable, affordable real UNIX on the market - is the jist of the news. For the few organisations that demand real UNIX this could be in Apple's favour. Yes, the hardware may be crappy, but admin costs would be lower. Or not. Either way the Pointy-haired bosses of the world will be all over it, so many admins will have no choice.
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:14AM (#20069511) Homepage
    Beyond being a brand/certification, what does Unix actually mean these days, really?

    My guess is very little (as the summary acknowledges, to be fair). Though I can't say it was pointless for Apple to get the certification, if only because it's a selling point to ageing senior managers who vaguely remember when "Unix" actually meant something (and think it still does). Since the Apple and Mac names aren't particularly associated with the Enterprise/Server market, the Unix brand gives them a "serious" selling point.

    Sure, they could have pointed out the "BSD" underpinnings, and any real expert would know what they meant. But for the management types, "Unix" is probably still the name to go for.

    Linux meanwhile *is* spiritually just as much "Unix" as any of the "official" licensees... but it has enough brand recognition in its own right anyway.
    • by samkass (174571)
      I think it was probably more important for Apple to get the Mac certified than it is for Linux or *BSD. People already think of Linux and *BSD as UNIX, even though they're not. A lot of people think of the Mac as a "toy" or a system for the artists and graphic designers, and not something that's got real underpinnings on an enterprise platform.

      Now that MacOS X is certified UNIX, it might change some people's perception of the OS.
  • by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:25AM (#20069609)
    I spent 10 years as a Windows user, and often watched UNIX savvy coworkers dance magically around terminal windows and vi. While I always thought the character driven interfaces were decidedly 1980, I also always felt it would make me a better rounded tech guy if I learned more about that world.


    When I bought a Mac (because I wanted something better than Windows), I thought a nice side effect was I would have to learn more about UNIX. I bought a copy of "Learning UNIX for Mac OS X Tiger" and read through most of it. And I'm now very comfortable using the command line for simple things like FTPing, changing file permissions, and modifying simple text files (although I always use PICO because VI just seems like black magic to me).


    But you know what? I really don't ever need to "know" that Mac OS X is UNIX. More so than any LINUX or Solaris box I've ever used, the UNIXness of Mac OS X is very nicely hidden -- actually, not "hidden", it's just that since Mac OS X has such a nice UI, and such great apps, I never really need to care about the UNIX underpinnings.


    It's quite nice to be able to have your nice UNIX cake, and be able to eat your nice GUI cake too.

    • by dbzero (64544) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:29AM (#20069655)
      First rule of unix, never tell anyone you use pico. Second rule of unix, NEVER TELL ANYONE YOU USE PICO! ...
    • (although I always use PICO because VI just seems like black magic to me)

      So first - I agree with what the other fella said. You don't go around admitting things like that. If you really want to dis vi - start using emacs, and proclaim it to the world (wear a helmet).

      Speaking as a vi user; it's not black magic. It is a little dark arts, though yes.

      For black magic, you want to start doing your text editing with awk.

      To really cross over to the other side, do everything in perl.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by a.d.trick (894813)

      the UNIXness of Mac OS X is very nicely hidden -- actually, not "hidden", it's just that since Mac OS X has such a nice UI, and such great apps, I never really need to care about the UNIX underpinnings.

      Nice try, I won't say anything about the GUI and it's monolithic apps as that can be quite subjective, but the low profile of OSXs text UI is due, in part, to their suckage. This might not be visible to someone who only plays with chmod, pico, and ftp (btw, ftp is bad(tm), use ssh instead).

      For those who use

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Zaurus (674150)

        • bash instead of tcsh as the default shell.
        • Standard directory names like /home and such.
        • This stuff doesn't have to happen at the expense of the GUI either. My impression has been that Terminal.app is more of an accident than an accepted member of the operating system.

        bash is the default shell as of Tiger. Your impressions seemed to be based off of Panther.

        OS X also has standard directory locations. The unix stuff even sits in standard unix directories (peek into /etc or /bin, for example). Mac-specific stuff is simply stored in a different (non-unix) set of directories than you're used to.

        I spend much of my day, every day, in Terminal.app. Works great for me. Love the fact that you can resize the window and long lines reflow themselves. What, exactly, do yo

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nautical9 (469723)

        bash instead of tcsh as the default shell.

        bash has been default since at least Tiger, and I believe Jaguar as well, not that it matters. Choice of a default shell is hardly an advantage, just a difference. I happily used tcsh as my default (interactive) shell for many years, on SunOS and Solaris.

        Standard directory names like /home and such.

        OS X has standard directories too, just longer ones for their own (and it still has /bin /etc for unix-only apps). Again, not an advantage, just a difference.

        Stand

  • GNU (Score:4, Funny)

    by AlanCramer (1132757) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:26AM (#20069613) Homepage
    Damn, GNU is still Not UNIX.....you win this round yet again mac fanboys!
    • Re:GNU (Score:4, Funny)

      by lilomar (1072448) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:14AM (#20070271) Homepage
      Which explains why Linux will never be Unix.

      Math:
      GNU/Linux = !Unix/Linux
      so, (hypothetically) if Linux = Unix, then GNU/Linux = !Unix/Unix
      We can't let Unix be 0, because then there would be no Unix, and we can't have that.
      So, let Unix = !0.
      now, !Unix/Unix = !(!0)/!0
      this simplifies to 0/!0
      since 0 over any non-0 is 0
      we get GNU/Linux = 0. Now, GNU/Linux is not 0 for the same reason Unix isn't 0. (it's just to awesome to not exist) So, therefore, Linux != Unix. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
  • Oblig. (Score:3, Funny)

    by xerent_sweden (1010825) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:42AM (#20069825)
    In soviet russia, computer systems certify you!
  • by david.emery (127135) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:23AM (#20070391)
    1. For at least some contracting contexts, a POSIX conformance certificate is necessary to bid.

    And it's part of the argument that there are viable -standards-based- alternatives to Windows. As a long-time open systems advocate (and someone who worked on POSIX standard), I think this is A Very Good Thing for the industry as a whole, and I'd hope Linux advocates would also see this as progress. Note that Linux does have some known inconsistencies with the POSIX standard, so this is something OS X did that Linux has not achieved.

    2. I know (private communications) that there were problems between Apple and Open Group on this for a long time. Some of these were technical problems, areas where apparently Apple didn't conform to the standard. Now those problems have been fixed.

    The Linux community needs to work with Open Group and IEEE and ISO to get Linux into conformance (and I think changes to the POSIX standards could well be appropriate here. Presumably we've learned some things over the last 15 years in specifying and implementing the Unix interface.)

    3. Open Group testing does have some value, it has been known to find bugs in vendor implementations.

    So the fact that OS X provides a complete Unix implementation is hardly earth-shattering. But at least it's a commitment by Apple to pay for the certification, and a recognition that Apple has jumped through both technical and managerial/business hoops.

    Now Apple needs to work through the FIPS/Common Criteria certifications for IA.

              dave

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