Bonum Certa Men Certa

How Unix Works (Explanation by Its Founding Fathers)

Source: Bell Laboratories archives (3:01 to 18:14)



Summary: An early look at the system which decades later took over the entire world (as a prototype or as a concept and de facto standard at least); it's partly relevant to the systemd debate

THE important principles of modularity (for reliability through simplicity) are explained above. This video is as old as yours truly. What many people (wrongly) call "LINUX" did not start in 1991. There was a lot of prior work. We need to recognise the true origins.



As we're digging into the history of computing and various BSDs these days (turns out Richard Stallman played a role in BSD being freed), we thought the above was worth keeping (and hosting locally in free/open formats). Throughout the summer we studied a great deal of IBM's history, including the mainframes, knowing that IBM now completely controls Red Hat and 'crown jewels' such as systemd. Will we be keeping the same simplicity UNIX/POSIX was made famous for? Or will increasingly complex systems and giant blobs (like containers and Snap/Flatpak) become the new 'normal'?

"This week in "the news" they tell us even Microsoft is accepting Linux as the 'root authority', seeing that its own stack is failing quite badly."The above video explains chaining of commands or piping input/output -- one of the greatest strengths of this architecture (to this day). Cobbling together a bunch of simple programs is important and opponents/critics of systemd often point this out. Former Debian Project Leader Bruce Perens spoke about that.

We don't intend to walk into this whole systemd debate (or "war"); the key point is, those systems have not changed much since Stallman was an adolescent -- way, way before he even started the GNU Project. This sort of architecture has become an industry standard, whether one looks at Android or iOS on mobile, ChomeOS or macOS on laptops, and GNU/Linux or BSD on servers. This week in "the news" they tell us even Microsoft is accepting Linux as the 'root authority', seeing that its own stack is failing quite badly. The future is UNIX/POSIX/BSD/GNU/Linux; there's likely very little room left for anything else. Windows lost. NT lost. Even Microsoft knows that. But Microsoft insists on using proprietary Hyper-V, which was a GPL violation. Microsoft has plans and they're not beneficial to us. Hyper-V is actually an attack on Free software. It always was. Microsoft paid Novell to participate in this attack and Novell's Greg K-H was rewarded by the Linux Foundation with powerful seats, both as Torvalds' deputy and key participant in the Technical Advisory Board along with Microsoft.

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