What is Unix?

Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as Unix or Unix® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy.

It is important because counting all of the various flavors of UNIX (freeBSD, openBSD, Solaris, HP-UX,etc. also sort of Mac OS-X) and all of the Linux Flavors (which are sort of descendants of UNIX systems) would make up a large portion of all of the computers in operation.

Unix is important in and of itself because it was designed to handle multiple stations connecting to a central hub which, in turn, may itself be connected to other hubs. This defines a network with a star topology which, amazingly enough, is the same as the basic structure of the entire internet.

In a nut shell UNIX is an operating system which at one point in time, was the most prevalent operating system in use. It is still widely used in scientific and professional circles. Unix is one of the oldest but still most popular Operating Systems. It was invented in 1969 at AT&T Bell Labs by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. All the contemporary operating systems of Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, AIX are variants of Unix. Unix is a family of multi-user operating systems. It was originally developed by AT&T in the 1970s. Unix has a very strong security and model and relatively simple design, making it popular and fairly easy to implement. Many operating systems are either based on or modeled after the first Unix systems, such as Linux, Solaris, or Mac OS X.