I was asked today by a recruiter which versions of UNIX I was familiar with, and this got me thinking.  It seems that through my whole IT career, I’ve never worked on a mainstream release of UNIX – only derivatives!

It started at college with MINIX – a scaled down version that was released in the public domain with full source code available in the textbook that we used (I think it was called ‘Operating Systems and Data Structures’ or something equally inspiring…!).  I remember taking a copy of the disks home to my Atari ST and booting MINIX, then thinking “Cool!  Now what???” 😉

Next, I started working for a company that used computers manufactured by Tadpole.  These used a customised UNIX based on System V called TPIX.  We also ran systems from DEC, which ran their own variation called ULTRIX (for which I’m a certified sysadmin!!!)

From here, I moved to a compnay that had another DEC system, but this time from one of their subsidiaries, which again ran a variant of UNIX with a whole layer of utilities which the manuals marked as “unstable”!

Since then, whilst I’ve had to use the occasional UNIX system (such as HPUX or Solaris) my main UNIX-like experience has been on LINUX.  Once again though, when I chose to buy a copy for home use, for some reason I chose SuSE, rather than the more common Red-Hat.

So there we have it – my UNIX exposure in a nutshell – and not a mainstream flavor amongst the lot! 😀

About The Author


John is a Senior Solutions Engineer for a U.S. IT company, specialising in Software Defined IT Infrastructure. He has an extensive background in IT and spends way too much time sitting at his PC's, making videos for himself and other Internet marketers and dreaming of spending more time boating. He's also passionate about Jesus.

1 Comment

  • Tim Kissane

    3rd June, 2008

    It seems like you’ve had a good *NIX background – pretty varied. They each have their idiosyncrasies, but if you know one, you can learn another. I started with Linux in ’95 (switched from OS/2) and didn’t use another variant until ’99. I had a couple of jobs where I used Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX daily. My Linux experience was invaluable.

    I still use Linux as my main OS, but I also like FreeBSD, PC-BSD, and Solaris. There’s only one I won’t use, and you can probably guess what that might be. 😉 Great site, John!