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Mac OS X Leopard is Now Officially Unix 351

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!
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Mac OS X Leopard is Now Officially Unix

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  • by DogcowX ( 888899 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @08:53AM (#20069241)
    There aren't many members of that club (IBM, HP, Sun)
  • No Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by quanticle ( 843097 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:01AM (#20069343) Homepage
    Oddly enough, I don't see any Linux vendors on that list. Does this mean that OSX is more Unixy than Linux?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:02AM (#20069359)
    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?
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to buy an Apple and not have the Apple-chip installed into your brain. I'm living proof. I have a Mac mini which I bought as a family computer for a number of reasons; I wanted a good, usable OS, I couldn't get good CUPS/SANE support for my printer/scanner on Linux, and I wanted the iLife suite to make videos of the pups. The form factor is beautiful, and it's quiet - working within Mrs. Otter's ban on loud, whirring machines in the family room. It wasn't an impulse purchase by any stretch of the imagination (I weighed the decision for about a year). So I've got a Mac - and if that Mac goes, I'd replace it with another because I want those features.

    That being said, I run a Slackware server, I have an Ubuntu desktop in my study. I run Kubuntu at work (a non-supported OS). I've even got a Windows machine, thought it stays powered down for months at a time except when I want to check something. I'm planning on a laptop purchase...a Dell with Ubuntu if they can get it together in Canada.

    I can get the same specs as a souped up powerbook for about a grand less at Dell. Grandpa Otter's MacBook started flaking out recently, and I'd service the thing if it wasn't Fort Knox to get in. I know what Apple's strengths are, and I know what their weaknesses are, and I've not bought into a cult because they build stuff that does what I want. iLife is a good suite, but iMovie can be kinda unstable. Front Row is cool, but the interface is a bit sparse, and can be unwieldy if you have a lot of media (I do). The price of their computers is very high, and they tend to lag behind in terms of hardware specs. You can't really customize (you can only upgrade), and nothing ever goes on sale. The design of the machines are beautiful. An extra $150 to have it black??? The fact that they try and keep you out of them is very frustrating to a hobbyist like me. OSX is a good OS that's easy to use. I can't believe it's taking them until Leopard to get multiple friggin' desktops. Everything "just works" on a Mac...yeah, except the new headset I bought because the audio-in jack won't work with an unpowered microphone.

    See? Apple computer, no Apple chip in the head. It is possible.

    You should think differently.

  • by boxlight ( 928484 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:25AM (#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.

  • Re:Dumb questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:26AM (#20069623) Homepage Journal

    So why didn't they get 10.4 certified back when they were about to release it?

    The two simplest reasons are that 1) it wasn't ready yet, or 2) there wasn't a demand for it. It seems possible that some large customer needed the "certified Unix!" checkoff for purchasing authorization and this makes it compliant.

    Again, you have to start sometime. Apparently Apple felt that this was that time.

  • by krgallagher ( 743575 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:30AM (#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 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 skingers6894 ( 816110 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:36AM (#20069749)
    "NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and even Linux are more Unix than Mac OS X will ever be in terms of both philosophy and technical details"

    Philosophy and technical details? Do tell. You obviously given it more though than this pfffft "Open Group" mob....
  • Re:Thank goodness! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HairyCanary ( 688865 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @09:39AM (#20069777)
    forgot to mention... (sorry, I hit submit before it occured to me ;-))

    OSX Terminal is one of the few terminal programs I've used on any OS that dynamically re-wraps existing text in a window if you resize the window. That is very handy. OSX Terminal is otherwise a fairly minimal setup, but it is reliable. I sometimes wish it had tabs, but I generally use screen in any case for session portability, so it's not super critical to me to have elaborate terminal management via the GUI.
  • by gravis777 ( 123605 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:02AM (#20070105)
    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).
  • Re:Dumb questions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:14AM (#20070279) Journal

    Was Tiger (10.4) certified?

    I don't see it listed on the Open Group website. Did Apple even try to certify Tiger?
    I don't believe so. They were sued by TOG a while ago for abusing the UNIX trademark. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

    Why (not)?
    In order to be certified as UNIX, an operating system must implement the Single UNIX Specification. There were a few problems with the implementation in Tiger. From memory, the implementation of POSIX thread cleanup routines is horribly, horribly broken (to the extent that code using them won't compile. I don't know what the monkey that wrote the code was thinking, but they should never be allowed near a compiler again), since it used macros with unbalanced braces instead of functions. There were also a couple of minor problems with realtime signal delivery. In the areas I've used, it was closer to compliance than FreeBSD or any Linux/GLIBC combination I've come across (although far behind in speed in a lot of places), but a few things from the spec that worked fine in Solaris just didn't on OS X.

    If not then why start now with Leopard?
    Tiger seemed close to implementing the SUS spec, but it still had holes. Presumably these have been fixed with Leopard. Now, if they could just stop the VM subsystem being an order of magnitude slower than FreeBSD...
  • by joeyblades ( 785896 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:17AM (#20070305)
    Hardware crappy?

    Compared to what?

  • Re:I know this... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by i-am-will-from-nl ( 1126623 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:19AM (#20070337)
    No, that's just old: []
  • by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:43AM (#20070697) Journal
    to nitpick, MS didn't cobble it together, they bought the company Interix and acquired it as part of the purchase. Prior to 1999 I believe they were licensing it from Interix.

    Emulate isn't the right word, either, since the code is native and implemented in an API over the NT kernel. To say this is emulation is like saying WINE is Windows emulation.

    I find the tools more useful than the rest of it. I'll take grep over Windows search any day.
  • by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:49AM (#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.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:50AM (#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?

  • Re:Thank goodness! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anticypher ( 48312 ) <anticypher&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @12:16PM (#20072513) Homepage
    In my long and varied professional life, I've met a few people so dedicated to one facet of technology they could be called foo geeks. Compiler geeks. Time geeks. Kernel geeks.

    Then, on a hajj to Cupertino, I met some of the people on the team, first time I ever encountered terminal geeks. They knew more about the vagaries of escape codes, character sets, and still managed to make one of the slickest cocoa apps around. Plus it integrates nicely with applescript/automator, so with a script and a little SSH+pre-installed keys magic I can open a bunch of terminals that log into remote systems each with a distinct look. As a security geek, it's wonderfully dangerous.

    In 10.5, adds tabs and a few other nice features, like better unicode non-ascii support and alternate character sets.

    the AC
  • by a.d.trick ( 894813 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @12:46PM (#20073189) Homepage

    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 the terminal more often, Linux offers some distinct advantages

    • bash instead of tcsh as the default shell.
    • Standard directory names like /home and such.
    • Standard text-based package managers like apt-get. My mac friends spend way too much compiling and have all their applications in the weirdest places.
    • Often things like page up/down and home/end don't work in the OSX versions of programs.
    • This stuff doesn't have to happen at the expense of the GUI either. My impression has been that is more of an accident than an accepted member of the operating system.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes