Unix is a set of operating systems that have evolved from the original Unix operating system developed by AT&T Bell Labs. The operating system was designed to be portable, multi-tasking and multi-user. There are several characteristics that are evident in all Unix variants. These are: plain text files, command line interpreter, treating devices and certain types of inter-process communication as files, etc.
There are many unix variants. Some of these include:
- CentOs web site and the CentOs on WikiPedia
- Red Hat web site and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux on WikiPedia
- Debian web site and the Debian Linux page on wikipedia. A popular distribution with developers, and known for its strong package management system "dpkg". Debain has been used as the basis for many other Linux distributions, notably including Ubuntu. Debain is also known for its relatively slow release cycle.
- Unbuntu web site and the Ubuntu Linux page on wikipedia. This fairly new distributions has gained rapid popularity because of the investment by entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, and his company Canonical Ltd., to create a distribution that "concentrates on usability, regular releases, ease of installation, and freedom from legal restrictions".
- Gentoo web site and the Gentoo Linux page on wikipedia. Gentoo is know for being a highly optimised distribution, because each software component is typically compiled for each individual installation. Compilation can take time, but many feel the result is worth it. "Gentoo" is the name of the fastest swimming penguine species. Gentoo uses a package management system, written in Python, called "Portage" (similar to the the BSD ports systems working in a similar way to Debain apt).
- Also see Linux distributions on WikiPedia
- Also see List of Linux distributions on WikiPedia