[TUHS] Favorite UNIX

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Fri Sep 29 13:28:28 AEST 2017


On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 07:58:59PM -0700, Kevin Bowling wrote:
> What is your favorite UNIX.  Three possible categories, choose one or more:
> 1) Free
> 2) Forced to use a commercial platform.  I guess that could include
> macOS and z/OS with some vivid imagination, maybe even NT.
> 3) Historical

SunOS 4.1.3  Oh, man, how I wish that all of Unix today were based
on that.  If you like FreeBSD you would love that kernel.  It's BSD
for sure but then carefully moved forward into an excellent VM system,
a virtualized the file system with the vnode stuff, it cared about
the right picture.  And all the bugs fixed.

I've worked in lots of other kernel source bases.  They all sucked in
comparison.  Including Solaris, fuck that shit, Bryan will yell at me
but Solaris sucked.  Yeah, they made it useful with all the work they
did but it was never "home" and I think that even the people that worked
on it get that.  Or not, it was never home for me.

SunOS had so much love and so much carefulness poured into it.  And I
can't claim any credit, it was the people who came before me, Rusty, Rob,
Joe, Steve, those guys did the work that made me see the architecture
that they left for me to see.

Guy Harris worked on it, he left right around the time I joined, I think
he went to Auspex (sp?) but he would come back and pound on the door
to building 5 at around 6 or 7pm.  Pope or I would go down and let him
in and he'd find a machine and look at the source and start screaming
about why haven't they fixed this bug?  And he'd just fix it.  He didn't
work here and he fixed bugs.  I get it, it took me years after I left 
Sun to stop saying "we" when we were talking about Sun.

The level of love, as measured by the amount of time we all spent to make
it better, was over the top.  And it was because of the super stars who
showed us what an OS could be.

Today?  Favorite?   Grumble.  It's sort of shitty.  Linux is the obvious
winner but is it what I like?  It's what I run.  Have to give it credit.
It is pretty good.  I'd prefer to be running a SunOS derived OS.



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