CHAPTER 1Background

The UNIX computer operating system has had a fascinating history and evolution. Starting as a research project begun by a handful of people, it has become an important product used extensively in business, academia, and government. Today, people use operating systems with many different names that are variants of UNIX. Many of the commands and utilities in these different variants are identical and others are extremely similar. The differences between these variants often lie in the inner workings of the operating system, not seen by the user, as well as in special added capabilities for advanced users or system administrations.

This chapter provides a foundation for understanding what UNIX is and how it has evolved. It describes ...

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