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
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