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Mac OS X Leopard receives Unix certification

updated 03:45 am EDT, Thu August 2, 2007

Leopard: Unix certified

Apple's Mac OS X Leopard has received the stamp of approval as an official unix operating system. The official UNIX 03 certification, which entitled the company to use the Unix brand,d came from the Open Group thanks in part to the efforts of Apple's OS boss Kevin Van Vechten and his team and puts Mac OS X Leopard alongside the Big Three: Sun, IBM, and HP, according to Infoworld. The certification for the delayed operating system came in mid-May, but was only recently publicized. A publicly available document certifies that "Apple has entered into a Trademark License Agreement with X/Open Company Limited in accordance with which the following are registered under the X/Open Brand Program: UNIX 03, Registration P1190; Mac OS X Version 10.5 Leopard on Intel-based Macintosh Computers."

The Open Brand is the internationally accepted guarantee of conformance to recognized standards, elevating Apple's status to a tier-one Unix operating system.

"Mac users, realize that qualifying for UNIX is no small feat, especially for an open source, BSD-based OS," Infoworld's Tom Yager wrote.

According to the report, the UNIX 03 specifications cover libraries, system calls, terminal interfaces, commands and utilities, internationalization and the C language.



The certification means that Leopard, which was delayed until October as Apple diverted resources to iPhone development, conforms to the Single UNIX Specification Version 3 (SUS), which defines how components such as the command shell, the compiler, and C APIs should function.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    YEAH!

    Nice work Apple!

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    have no clue what....

    this means but YIPEE!

    DIE M$ DIE!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What about PPC?

    This is great news... but, it specifically mentions Intel based Macs! Does this mean that PPC based Macs are not using certified UNIX? or worse, does this mean Leopard will only run on Intel Macs?

  1. defined tech

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Leopard Will Run on PPC

    Leopard will run on PPC, as well as Intell Macs. The Last build shows the minum requirements will be a G4 867 MHZ with 500 megs. Sorry G3's, no support. I do hope the final release will still support the current requirments.

  1. himself

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: what about ppc?

    it is strange that 10.5 PPC isn't mentioned... hopefully it is just an oversight. If not, it suggests that the PPC version will lack some features theat the Intel version will have, specifically pertaining to UNIX capabilities.

  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: what about ppc?

    I wonder how much conformity testing actually needs to be done to get this certification? By the wording, it looks more like a license to use a trademark - something you generally throw money rather than technology at.

    it is strange that 10.5 PPC isn't mentioned... hopefully it is just an oversight. If not, it suggests that the PPC version will lack some features theat the Intel version will have, specifically pertaining to UNIX capabilities.

    It's unlikely. I think it just has more to do with what they submitted for approval - I imagine that any tests that had to be done for certification they did on fairly modern machines (a new iMac/MacBook Pro perhaps). Because there are two different builds of the OS for different processors, they probably wanted to specifically certify the one they actually tested.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Another one?

    We don't know that Apple hasn't received two certificates. One for PPC and one for Intel. Technically it is different software, so it would probably have to be certified separately.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    subpop...

    ...you may want to refrain from commenting if you are uninformed on a subject. while it may be fun to blithely state that something looks like only a "buy-in" (and you hope that your statement makes others doubt the importance of this announcement), it makes you look stupid.

    1) this group is who determines what can be called "UNIX" (specifically Single UNIX Specification Version 3 (SUS)). it does cost money - but that is not the core of it. it fundamentally means that there is significant portability between these big UNIXes, now including Apple's.

    2) Apple has been pushing the "Based on UNIX" thing for several years now - if they could just "buy in" to certification, they would have LONG ago.

    3) this makes the "Big 3 UNIXes" now essentially a "Big 4", as Apple joins the other true, big UNIXes (Sun, IBM and HP).

    4) while consumers may not care, this matters hugely in Enterprise IT - giving Apple more credibility and sellability within the datacenters of corporate america and the rest of the world.

  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    rtbarry...

    ...you may want to refrain from commenting if you are uninformed on a subject. while it may be fun to blithely state that something looks like only a "buy-in" (and you hope that your statement makes others doubt the importance of this announcement), it makes you look stupid.

    And the words "I wonder.." didn't clue you in that I didn't know this? Remember, what you say about another person says more about your personality and intelligence than that of the other person.

    I will fully agree that this is the first time I've ever heard of such a UNIX designation. Chances are pretty good that many, if not most, of the readers in this forum are on my side of that boat. Being that this is an article praising Apple, you're not going to see many people raising any kind of cynical question as to the validity of the certification, but beleive me, in the real world, a certification such as this which requires a fee to be paid and worded as a "trademark agreement" is, and should be, questioned. Consumers may not care, but many "uninformed consumers" double as MIS Project managers and pay the wages and guide the buying hand of your "Enterprise IT" types - so it should be a concern that they don't care.

    Now personal knowledge and criticism aside - thank you for the information: If the technical requirements to get this certification are indeed as stringent as you say (and the article suggests) then it is a good thing for Apple to achieve this interoperability. Will we see Xserves replacing SUN or IBM Z-Series servers because of it?

    A bigger question is "why are some of the larger Linux and BSD variants excluded from this list?". If the Open Source developers are to be beleived, no doubt it is a money issue, not a technological issue. It sounds like you would disagree with this, and I would probably be in the same boat as you here.

    If SCO is to be beleived (who claim to own "UNIX") then this group is taking licensing fees for a trademark that they do not own (unless this group is part of SCO or given permission to license this trademark, which would be odd).

    In any case, don't you think these are important questions to ask?

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Touched a nerve...

    sorry :-)

    However, there is a difference between asking a question and tossing out a back-handed implication. The information about the certification is pretty readily available on the web, I'm sure. I just nipped it in the bud a little bit too hard, methinks.

    As for "exclusions" from the list, money might be a factor for some (minor distros, etc), but in reality Linux is not UNIX, by its own definition, and is the kernel for many Linux/GNU OSes; GNU being a recursive acronym meaning: GNU's Not Unix. Hard to make it any clearer than that name ;-)

    Also with the various Linuxes and BSD variants, there is the issue of so much constant change, due to the collaborative nature of the projects, that it is hard to pin down a release for certification. This versus a corporate-controlled release like a Solaris or an OS X, that has solid, regular broad milestones that are easier to freeze, submit for certification and release.

    As for those jokers at SCO... lol. They made every effort to make it appear that they "owned UNIX", when in fact they bought the IP rights, from Novell, for UNIX source code. The Open Group actually owns the UNIX trademark and issues current UNIX certifications, as I understand it. The modern SCO has barely pretended to be a software company and I think stopped keeping up with current UNIX certifications. They are really in the business of litigating money away people who actually make stuff. So it's no surpirse that they are not on the UNIX 3 list. I think the last cert they had was UNIX95.

    I am far from a UNIX expert, but since my career has been heavily dependent on those who are, I try to keep up.

    Cheers.

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