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UNIX is a popular multi-user, multitasking operating system developed at Bell Labs in the late 60's by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie (the originator of the C programming language). In fact, UNIX was written in C, and was designed to be a small, flexible system used exclusively by programmers. Since its inception, UNIX and the UNIX family has grown into one of the most popular networking Operating Systems (OS) on the market. Bell Labs wanted an OS that could be written in a high level programming language instead of assembly, be simple in design and allow reusable code, and Unix meets those objectives well.

UNIX is an "open" language that has evolved into a multi-faceted product, with many extensions and new ideas provided in a variety of versions of UNIX by different companies, universities, and individuals. Partly because it was not a proprietary operating system owned by any one of the leading computer companies and partly because it is written in a standard language and embraced many popular ideas, UNIX became the first open or standard operating system that could be improved or enhanced by anyone.

The popularity and power of UNIX make it a favorite choice for Web Hosts. Add to that the benefit of no licensing fees (such as come with Windows NT/2000) and UNIX is also the most inexpensive operating system used on Web Servers. The low cost also make it a very popular choice among Web Developers. Many of whom learned UNIX on the job or in college.

A growing number of hosting companies are now offering customers a choice of several variants of UNIX or Microsoft Windows NT. Of those that offer a choice of both operating systems, the bulk of these vendors advise their customers to use UNIX unless the customer has specific reasons to run NT. Most problems faced by UNIX and the UNIX family can be solved with quality training and careful planning. UNIX is still, even after all these years, considered the most reliable, high-performance operating system on the market.

From the user's point of view, the UNIX operating system is easy to learn and use, and presents few of the usual impediments to getting the job done. It is hard, however, for the beginner to know where to start, and how to make the best use of the facilities available

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