[TriLUG] Mac OS X is UNIX?
ranger at befunk.com
Mon Feb 11 18:14:30 EST 2002
gregbrown at mindspring.com [gregbrown at mindspring.com] wrote:
> Is anyone out there running Mac OS X?
> If so can you redirect your UNIX displays back to your Mac without
> 3rd party software?
Not native apps, no, but there is an XFree86 port to OSX, and any apps
there can be exported. There is also a VNC server for OSX.
> Can you mount drives?
Yes, you can access NFS and SMB mounts.
> And is there an honest-to-goodness command line interface in OS X?
Yup. It comes with tcsh as the default but you can get any number of
UNIX shells for it.
> Could Mac OS X be good enough as a UNIX machine to replace a Linux
It actually has for me. I use Linux at work but if you look at my
headers real carefully when I post from home, my X-Mailer is mutt on
I initially got an iBook because they're neat hardware and Linux is
platform-agnostic. I ended up falling in love with OSX and haven't
spent as much time in Linux as I used to (although I use it all day
> I haven't used a Mac in a LONG time but if they want to run UNIX on
> their desktop and not just at the core of the OS then I may have to
> seriously consider getting my hands on a Mac.
Yeah. Up until OSX I was not a big fan of Macs. Mac hardware has
traditionally been pretty well-engineered, but OS9 has been showing
it's age for a looooong time, and as a tinkerer, no command-line is
just not an option.
> I've heard about Yellow Dog Linux which can run on Mac hardware but
> I'm curious to hear how OS X compares to the more popular Linux
I've noticed that Yellow Dog was a tad flaky on my iBook; it's
essentially a port of RedHat to PPC, and I think they haven't gotten
all the platform-switch bugs worked out yet. It's not horrible, but
it was a bit unstable.
However, recent Debian woody snapshots have been running just great on
> Somehow I've it stuck in my head that Apple would never migrate Macs
> to be a genuine UNIX desktop workstation. I know they have had the
> rements of NeXT at their core for a long time but I've never been able
> to agree with the overall Mac vision (outside of it NOT being MS).
Up until Rhapsody (which was never released, and eventually morphed into
OSX) the only UNIX that Apple has had anything to do with is A/UX, a
mostly bad 68k UNIX, from what I've heard.
OSX is very much based on NeXT, which was originally based on one of the
BSDs (4.4BSD-lite, I think?), so there's a combination of BSD-isms and
NeXT-specific weirdness (like their LDAP-ish configuration system and
some other whacky stuff) that will take some getting used to coming from
Linux, but overall I've had a lot of fun, and now I get the wonderful
combination of a large (albeit not as large as Windows) base of Mac
software to run and a spiffy interface, on top of a UNIX base that I can
tinker with. It's the best of both worlds.
The thing that makes it most familiar is fink (at
http://fink.sourceforge.net). Fink is kind of a GNU "distribution" for
OSX. It uses dselect and apt and debian packages as a binary delivery
mechanism, but has a BSD ports-like "build-from-source" system for
keeping on the bleeding-edge. It's got most anything you could want
from UNIX/Linux available.
I'd be happy to bring the iBook in to the next meeting (won't be there
tonight) if you want to play with it a little.
Ben Reed a.k.a. Ranger Rick (ranger at befunk.com)
http://defiance.dyndns.org/ / http://radio.scenespot.org/
Frankenstein was the creator -- not the monster. It's a common
misconception, held by all truly stupid people. -- Kryten
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