Unix and the Industry - Psychology, Philosophy, and Licenses

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#Unix and the Industry

Hello fellow nixers,
In this thread well discuss how Unix, as a class of operating system, and in co-relation with open source effects on the industry. What's your opinion about it and how you see this going?

Quote:Unix is the powerful computer operating system that runs most of the Internet. It is also widely used by scientists, engineers, and financial institutions requiring high levels of reliability, flexibility, and speed.

Over the years Unix-like operating systems have gained a reputation about
security and stability. Where are we nowadays?

There was a recent post on reddit '/r/linux/' about the places in the industry
where Linux is used. Linux (GNU/Linux) being the Unix platform that is the most used today, is a great example of the state we are in. (here's the link to the thread)

We can list the following (from the top comments):
  • * The NASA control center firing room 1 use RHEL 6 workstations
    * The city of Munich, Germany, runs all desktops on Linux.
    * The Graphics Verification Team at AMD uses Redhat for development, we get Windows laptops for office busy-work though.
    * It's common in the semiconductor industry to have a Linux desktop. After all, all the real work happens on Linux.
    * For all I know, CERN and Fermilab use Scientific Linux on their desktops, the NRAO uses CentOS, and there's also a good share of Fedoras in the scientific community where it's all Linux tooling. Fedora and Ubuntu are also popular with CS students.
    * Java enterprise land is often linux based. Windows is kept around for office.
    * Film - Pixar's renderfarm, for instance, is all Linux all the time.
    * In Kenya a lot of web cafes use Ubuntu on their computers.
    * Mobile. Android is a Linux.
    * Possibly entertainment (TVs, PVRs etc).
    * Virtualisation. Pretty much everything bar HyperV/Azure sits on some kind of Linux.

Unix has its place as the super computer OS for its stability, modularity, customability. We know that it'll stay strong in corporations and the industries in the following sectors.

  • * Server
    * Virtualization
    * Embeded system
    * Research

The Unix movement is closely associated with the open-source movement which
is gaining an ever growing attention. It's giving Unix a new meaning, the OS to
use if you're an advocate of open source.

What are the reasons behind this growth in interest in open source and Unix.

Big Actors

Since some years a lot of big actors (you know who) have started using and contributing
heavily to open source (some less on the contribution part though.)

It was certainly an attempt to pierce in an interesting field and it worked pretty well.

It's an attracting place to invest in. A completely free platform and
free source code that is awaiting to be used to make money out of.

Then we had some war about standardization and who could use what name.

However, a lot have a capitalist view of the situation and are/will
manipulate the system for their own profit.

Those big actors have influenced others in participating to the feast.
A snowball effect later and we are where we are now. Everyone wants to eat his part of the cake


Open source and Unix is cheap from a corporation standpoint.
At first, it was a bet but the misconceptions are now gone.
Misconceptions such as free meaning low quality or free meaning no ROI.

It's undeniable that Android has made that possible, bringing Unix to the masses.
While others are making good money out of it like Apple and other giant server corps.

Some non-profit organizations are taking the opportunity to help the poorest
by giving them the chance to access technology that wouldn't have been affordable
if it wasn't based on open source and Unix. It's the recent hype that
made it possible. It gives hope for the platform.

For example the Firefox OS project.

The price factor combined with the misconceptions about the
quality going away new opportunities are found.

People are adopting the Unix desktop environments in all sorts of places.
The examples of Munich, and Korea come to mind.

However, that doesn't apply to UNIX® trademarked systems.

Development environment

Brand new trendy programming languages and frameworks are only or more friendly on Unix.
For instance node.js, ruby, and a lot of containerization solutions.
(as in they are in the trend, not as in recently created)
They all are open source.

This incites others to follow.
It changed the view of how programmers approach problems.

Companies now search for pre-made solutions in the open source community (Even though they might not contribute back.)

However, these companies also look for support contracts for these "free" technologies.

User contributions

Having the code open has been praised as "having the code reviewed by
everyone eyes".

When corporations find an open source solution they want it to stay updated.
For that reason they might invest in the technology they are heavily using.

It profits everyone.

One recent example is the Steam OS by Valve.
Some graphic vendors didn't want to be left out of the deal so they optimized their driver in the Linux kernel.


Recent events, which you certainly already know, have made a lot of people bring up the question of privacy.

It has raised through social media and brought concerns.

Unix is, in a lot of cases, where they look for a solution.

Social Movement

When you mix everything together it creates a social movement.

What are the limitations?

It's still a long way until the year of the Unix desktop.
Hardware support is still lacking.
Fragmentation pushes people away.
Unix and open source is currently more appealing to technical individuals.


So nixers, how do you think Unix and open source affects the industry, how you see this going?

Messages In This Thread
Unix and the Industry - by venam - 03-08-2015, 06:21 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by bsdkeith - 03-08-2015, 07:12 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by Houseoftea - 03-08-2015, 07:38 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by dkeg - 03-08-2015, 07:50 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by venam - 03-08-2015, 07:58 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by venam - 15-02-2021, 03:40 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by pyratebeard - 15-02-2021, 08:26 AM
RE: Unix and the Industry - by jkl - 15-02-2021, 02:08 PM