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Introducing Unix Operating Systems

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Jem reviews the operating systems (OS) and why a UNIX-based OS such as Ubuntu is preferred.

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Transcript from the "Introducing Unix Operating Systems" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Jem: I know, some people's domains probably aren't resolving yet, but give it a few minutes, they'll resolve eventually. But our server's not really doing anything, so let's go ahead and get it set up. Right now we're on the Ubuntu operating system. There's two main types of operating systems.

[00:00:13] There's Windows based systems and there's POSIX based systems, or we'll say Unix in this particular case. Windows, there's some flavors. There's Windows NT, Windows Server. But most of the world uses Unix servers because they're ubiquitous and they work. Like, the commands on your Mac work on a Ubuntu just as well.

[00:00:35] And that's what's great about using a Unix based system. Mac OS is based on BSD which is a flavor of Unix, which is based, it's based on freeBSD, and that's what OS X is based on. Linux is a kind of cleaner, more user-friendly wrapper on a Unix system.

[00:00:52] Linux has a ton of flavors. There's Ubuntu, Debian, those are free. Red Hat is a paid type of operating system, but with Red Hat you get enterprise-level support. So they're the ones always patching bugs, things like that. But in this case, we're using Ubuntu as an operating system.

[00:01:08] But the great thing about when you get to the Linux world, there are so many different flavors of Linux, you're guaranteed to find one that fits your particular style. I like Ubuntu, it's the most popular one and it's easy to Google problems. But again, you're free to use any one you want.

[00:01:25] So, why Unix based system? Windows is pretty popular. Windows is by far the most popular operating system in the world, so why not use that for servers? Well, Unix is powerful and it's ubiquitous, which means it's everywhere. Unix servers are everywhere. Most of the Fortune 500 companies run some sort of Unix server.

[00:01:46] And it's open source, which is awesome. The people that work on Unix are just mind-blowing smart. People that have been doing this for 20, 30 years. They know things about things that, I can't even. Like they're, when you think of old-school hackers, that's the people that work on this type of stuff.

[00:02:07] We're talking about low level kernel things. They're very, very smart. And Unix is mostly free. You could download most of the flavors, other than Red Hat and a few other paid services. You could download most of them for free, which is great. You can go to Ubuntu and download, ubuntu.com, and then dual boot at home if you want to run Windows and Ubuntu.

[00:02:24] Mac, well, they're pretty proprietary, you can't really dual boot on Mac as easily. But that's why we're using Unix. And also what's great about Unix is, the commands work across all the flavors, so things like cd, crontab, mkdir, pwd. Basic commands will always work in every single flavor because Unix is Unix is Unix.

[00:02:46] Linux is a nice wrap around that and Mac OS is a nice wrap around BSD, but at the core, it's still Unix. So every command that you learn, that we're learning today, is gonna work across all the platforms. And that's cool cuz I, too, suffer from JavaScript fatigue.

[00:03:01] You know, webpack 2 is coming out, there's a great course coming up. But a year or two, they'll probably be on webpack 3, and webpack 4, and so on and so forth, and React 3, or whatever, Angular 4. And JavaScript fatigue's a real thing. But if you learn Unix systems, this does not change, this hasn't changed in 20, 30 years.

[00:03:20] And it won't change in another 20, 30 years. So this is valuable life knowledge, like how to swim, how to ride a bike, how to change a tire on a car. Things that won't change and you're probably gonna use in the future. Learning Unix is just, it's an extremely useful skill.

[00:03:35] I know I'm blathering on and on and on but it's just that powerful and it's that useful. So that's why we're using Ubuntu today. And Ubuntu has two basic flavors. It has a GUI, it has a desktop. And the desktop, it's kind of nice. It's a little clunky for me.

[00:03:51] But it also has a command line, which is what we're doing. So we don't have a GUI based system yet because GUIs are expensive. It's expensive to send all that graphical user information over the wire. So we use command lines, because they're short, sweet, and very lightweight. Honestly, I do my development on Mac, because it's what I want.

[00:04:13] It's a clean wrapper on a Unix-based system with a nice UI. And that's why I use a Mac and I don't use a Windows machine to develop. But lots of people use Ubuntu for their personal machines, and it's great, too. It's got a pretty solid core. It's backed by Canonical Foundation, which is they kind of own the trademark to Ubuntu and they work on it all the time.

[00:04:32] There's Ubuntu based phones, tablets, things like that. Sorry for going off the rails a bit. But if you're gonna get into Unix, I recommend Ubuntu. I'm sure there's someone out there, the people that are really into this are very passionate about their particular flavor of Linux and they're like, you're wrong Jem, this one's better.

[00:04:48] But, hey, I stand by my argument.
>> Speaker 2: Everyone on FreeBSD, yeah.
>> Jem: Do people still use FreeBSD other than? Yeah, that's true, yeah. And not to mention not only are there a lot of flavors of Unix, there's a lot of GUIs built on top of Unix as well.

[00:05:05] So this, again, can be customized any way you want. It's pretty fun. It's a pretty fun world to be in.