Unix on a Mac?

March 3, 2007

People don’t think of the Macintosh as a Unix platform. Say “Unix,” and most people will answer “Sun,” “DEC,” “SGI,” or “HP.” Not “Mac.” But why not? It’s just a computer. If an MS-DOS box can see the light, why not a Macintosh? That’s the question we asked ourselves when we looked at two different Unix implementations on the Mac.

Apple Computer and Tenon Intersystems took two different approaches in putting Unix on the Macintosh. Both aim to maintain compatibility with existing Mac applications, but Apple’s A/UX replaces the standard Macintosh operating system and provides a compatibility layer to let native Mac applications work. Tenon’s MachTen takes the alternative approach, running a whole Unix virtual machine as a single task under MacOS. Neither approach is perfect, but both accomplish the same thing: a fully functional Unix, on a Macintosh.


3 Responses to “Unix on a Mac?”

  1. Tim Hawkins Says:

    Hmmmm, why would you want to do this, Mac OS x is already a Mach/BSD based Unix system.

  2. Both of those products are from like 1990. Every Mac made since about 2001 shipped with UNIX preinstalled. It’s call Mac OS X.

  3. Talia Says:

    I’m pretty use to Ubuntu now, but my fiance informs me that as soon as we get married my PC’s are out the window- he’s a mac user. My compromise- Dual boot Ubuntu so I can run OSX and Ubuntu. I’d be keen on trying other distros of linux as well, if you can recommend one…

    Hopefully my experience isn’t like the last one I had: http://taliacarbis.wordpress.com/2007/01/30/installing-ubuntu/

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