Index


PC operating systems links page

This pages lists not so popular PC operating systems. The most popular Windows and Linux have their own pages dedicated for them.

DOS

DOS is an old traditional PC operating system which is announced to be dead by it's maker Microsoft. DOS is still used in some applications and in old PCs.

Microsoft DOS (Disk Operating System) is a command line user interface. MS-DOS 1.0 was released in 1981 for IBM computers. While MS-DOS is not used commonly today, it still can be accessed from Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT by clicking Start / Run and typing command or CMD in Windows NT / 2000.

    Utilities

    • Debug Tutorial - This is a debug tutorial to assist the student who needs to know the inner-workings of the Intel based computer. The objective of this material is to instruct the student in observing the contents of the microprocessor and all of the memory locations that the processor can address.    Rate this link
    • Metropoli BBS - large driver collection for DOS and Windows    Rate this link
    • SSHDOS - SSHDOS is an open source SSH and SCP client for DOS. SSH is a telnet like remote access protocol, but provides encrypted channels, so others cannot tamper with your session. To run SSHDOS, you need a plain DOS environment, a packet driver for your network card, server side SSH support and a live network connection.    Rate this link
    • DOS Debug - Debug is a byte editor that enables files to be viewed and modified at the byte level. Debug is a built-in feature in modern DOS versions.    Rate this link
    • Bret Johnson's Programs - free TSR tool and driver programs    Rate this link

    Software

    • Arachne - Arachne is currently fullscreen graphical WWW browser which runs on DOS compatible operating systems.    Rate this link
    • Lynx for DOS 386+ or Win32 - port of Lynx WWW browser for DOS    Rate this link
    • MS-DOS Kermit for DOS and Windows 3.x - MS-DOS Kermit 3.14 is a compact and efficient communications software package for IBM PCs and compatibles offering a wide range of faithful text and graphics terminal emulations, an astonishing variety of serial and network communication methods, a vast array of international character-set conversions, exceptionally flexible and powerful key mapping, a powerful, easy-to-use script programming language    Rate this link

OS/2

OS/2 is a PC operating system from IBM. It is pretty much dissapeared from mass markets but is still used for some special applications.

BeOS

An operating system designed for Internet appliances that deliver information, entertainment and Internet experiences to consumers.

UNIX like operating systems

UNIX is a rich and complex system built upon simple, powerful elements. At its base UNIX is both simple and elegant, with a consistent architecture that, in turn, underlies and guides the design of its many application programs and languages.

UNIX is a trademark, which means that there is intellectual property associated with UNIX that is not in the public domain. Some versions of UNIX require a paid license for their use. The term UNIX also refers to a powerful multitasking, multiuser operating system. UNIX enables multiple people to access a computer simultaneously and multiple programs and activities to proceed in parallel with one another. A salient characteristic of UNIX is that it is extensible and open. By extensible, I mean that UNIX allows the easy definition of new commands, which can then be invoked or used by other programs and terminal users. This is practical in the UNIX environment because the architecture of the UNIX kernel specifically defines interfaces, or ways that programs can communicate with one another without having been designed specifically to work together.

At its core (or, as we say in UNIX, in the kernel), however, UNIX does indeed perform the classic role of an operating system. Initialization of I/O devices is part of the UNIX kernel. It is the operating system's job to manage execution of the application. The operating system switches between your processes so quickly that it can appear that the processes are executing simultaneously. This concept is referred to as time-sharing or multitasking. When an executing process needs to use some hardware, the operating system provides access for the process.

The UNIX system is actually more than strictly an operating system. UNIX includes the traditional operating system components. In addition, a standard UNIX system includes a set of libraries and a set of applications. The user has access to the libraries and to the applications.

The history of UNIX is quite long. In the mid-1960s, AT&T Bell Laboratories (among others) was participating in an effort to develop a new operating system called Multics intended for large-scale computing services. In 1969, Bell Labs pulled out of the Multics effort, and the members of the Computing Science Research Center were left with no computing environment. Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others developed and simulated an initial design for a file system that later evolved into the UNIX file system. An early project that helped lead to the success of UNIX was its deployment to do text processing for the patent department at AT&T. This project moved UNIX to the PDP-11 and resulted in a system known for its small size. Shortly afterward, the now famous C programming language was developed on and for UNIX, and the UNIX operating system itself was rewritten into C. This then radical implementation decision is one of the factors that enabled UNIX to become the open system it is today. The popularity of UNIX grew through internal use at AT&T and licensing to universities for educational use. Later versions developed at AT&T and it's successor Unix System Laboratories included System III and several releases of System V. All versions of UNIX based on the AT&T work require a license from the current owner, UNIX System Laboratories. There are also UNIX versions that are free of AT&T code. Several versions of UNIX and UNIX-like systems have been made that are free or extremely cheap and include source code. These versions have become particularly attractive to the modern-day hobbyist and also many professionals. The most popular source version of UNIX is Linux. Linux was designed from the ground up by Linus Torvalds to be a free replacement for UNIX, and it aims for POSIX compliance. Other free UNIX systems include FreeBSD and NetBSD.

Once the domain of wizards and gurus, today UNIX has spread beyond the university and laboratory to find a home in global corporations and small Internet servers alike. This ability to scale up or down, to accommodate small installations or complex corporate networks with little or no modification, is only one of the characteristics that have won UNIX its popularity and widespread use.

Linux is pushing for greater acceptability of all UNIX systems because 'All of the sudden it is again OK to (put) something other than Windows to computers'.

UNIX can be sometimes hard to learn first time for many typical PC users. Although many more recent operating systems have borrowed concepts and mechanisms from UNIX, those who are most familiar with legacy mainframe environments, or whose experience is mostly limited to single-user personal computers, may find UNIX to be a bit intimidating at first.

One distinctive characteristic of UNIX compared to other operating systems is the fact that there are several flavors, or variants, of the operating system. Because the source code of the early versions was made available to a variety of computer manufacturers and third parties, many slightly different forms of UNIX co-exist. Some are specific to a given hardware manufacturer; others differ in the utilities, configuration methods or user interfaces they offer. Many mainframe and workstation vendors make their own version of UNIX for their machines. For example the following variants exist: HP-UX (Hewlett Packard), Solaris (SunSoft), SVR4 (AT&T), AIX (IBM), BSD (Berkeley Software), Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, SunOS (predecessor to Solaris), IRIX.

Because of the multiple versions of UNIX and frequent cross-pollination between variants, many features have diverged in the different versions of UNIX. With the increasing popularity of UNIX in the commercial and government sector came the desire to standardize the features of UNIX so that a user or developer using UNIX could depend on those features. The POSIX.1 committee standardizes the C library interface used to write programs for UNIX. The POSIX.2 committee standardizes the commands that are available for the general user. In Europe, the X/Open Consortium brings together various UNIX-related standards. X/Open publishes a series of specifications called the X/Open Portability. The MOTIF user interface is one popular standard to emerge from this effort. The United States government has also specified a series of standards. Various commercial consortia have attempted to negotiate UNIX standards as well.

    Information on UNIX system

    • Comparing Server OSes: Why SCO UNIX Is A Bad Idea - It's a rather difficult mission to shop for an operating system for a server. When most people think of server OSes they think of Unix, and when they think of Unix they think of SCO, the company that owns the Unix source code. But there are so many more choices out there, the least of which offers a bonanza of advantages over SCO's Unix products. Having said that, let's explore the Unix world and take a look at what it has to offer the server and workstation market.    Rate this link
    • Some Essential Unix Commands    Rate this link
    • The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System* - This paper presents a brief history of the early development of the Unix operating system. It concentrates on the evolution of the file system, the process-control mechanism, and the idea of pipelined commands. Some attention is paid to social conditions during the development of the system.    Rate this link
    • Y2K38 Problem - Unix internal time is commonly stored in a data structure using a long int containing the number of seconds since 1970. In a 32-bit machine, this value is sufficient to store time up to 18-jan-2038. After this date, 32-bit clocks will overflow and return erroneous values. The Y2K38 problem has been described as a non-problem, given that we are expected to be running 64-bit operating systems well before 2038.    Rate this link

    BSD variants

    BSD is a version of Unix developed at the University of California, Berkeley (BSD = Berkeley Software Distribution). The BSD branch of Unix has had a great importance and influence in the history of UNIX systems. It has contributed many tools, ideas and improvements (the vi editor, the C shell, job control, the Berkeley fast file system, reliable signals, support for virtual memory, TCP/IP implementation, just to name a few) which are now standard in all Unix environments.

      FreeBSD

      FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for Intel ia32 compatible, DEC Alpha, and PC-98 architectures. It is derived from BSD UNIX, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. FreeBSD offers advanced networking, performance, security and compatibility features today. FreeBSD is available free of charge and comes with full source code.

      • FreeBSD - advanced BSD UNIX operating system for "PC-compatible" computers, developed and maintained by a large team of individuals    Rate this link
      • m0n0wall - m0n0wall is a project aimed at creating a complete, embedded firewall software package that, when used together with an embedded PC, provides all the important features of commercial firewall boxes (including ease of use) at a fraction of the price (free software). m0n0wall is based on a bare-bones version of FreeBSD, along with a web server, PHP and a few other utilities. The entire system configuration is stored in one single XML text file to keep things transparent.    Rate this link
      • m0n0BSD - m0n0BSD is a version of FreeBSD that has been stripped down to fit on a Compact Flash card, with a focus on embedded systems like the net45xx series from Soekris Engineering.    Rate this link

      NetBSD

      NetBSD is a free, highly portable UNIX-like operating system available for many platforms, from 64bit alpha servers to handheld devices. Its clean design and advanced features make it excellent in both production and research environments, and it is user-supported with complete source. Many applications are easily available. NetBSD operates on a vast range of hardware platforms and is very portable, probably the most portable operating system in the world.

      OpenBSD

      The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. OpenBSD project efforts emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. OpenBSD supports binary emulation of most programs from SVR4 (Solaris), FreeBSD, Linux, BSD/OS, SunOS and HP-UX. OpenBSD is freely available.

Other operating systems and information


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