In the words of a Slashdot reader, "It's more than an operating system! It's a religion!"

put in context, this was a reply to a certain Mac weenie who claimed UNIX was not an OS.

Technically, UNIX is a trademark of The Open Group. I spit on that trademark. So, when I say UNIX, I mean POSIXy UNIX-like operating systems, mmm'kay?

UNIX is an operating system that prides its history, with countless variants and a cult following of extremist zealots and bigots (I use such terms affectionately). It comes in countless flavors and runs on just about any hardware. Many dislike its philosophy and construction (such as jwz and Miguel de Icaza, particularly that of X11, and jwz seems to have issues with the whole philosophy of the platform), but IMHO it was designed rather nicely from the ground up, even if by accident. C and the internet as we know it both originated from UNIX.

There are two major UNIX camps: The Free Unices (*BSD, GNU/Linux), and the commercial UNIX that run on typically expensive hardware (SGI, HP-UX, Solaris SPARC, etc..) Commercial UNIX is almost a parallel universe from the free camp. UNIX can also be divided into System V-derived and BSD-derived, though some (like HP-UX) share code from both.

Zealots have been trying to push UNIX on the desktop for at least a good 15 years or so now. Be it with NeXT, or the more recent Mac OS X, GNOME, KDE.. Many have pointed to X11 as the reason why it has been unsuccessful. I myself wonder why they bother. Sure, mainstream consumers running real operating systems would be nice, but I just don't see it happening. Mac OS X seems as if it would get a significant niche, though (though they said that about NeXTSTEP, didn't they?). Regardless, I will continue to exclusively use UNIX-likes until you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Today, UNIX has gained enormous popularity (much hyped) through the works of Linux and the GNU Project. I feel very strongly against the Linux hype you see these days. When I hear people call Linux a "Windows alternative", I want to shoot them. Those people at, say, ZDNet make me sick. Windows users love to run the mouth about Linux, when really they should make up their minds: join the community or let the fuck alone. If Linux becomes a popular consumer OS, you'll see for yourself, until then please stop bullshitting. Do you see any OEM computers shipping with Linux? Do you see people buying them? Do you see suckers getting those boxed Red Hat CDs at CompUSA? Do they know what to do with them, do they throw them out a week later?