| by Jan Stafford
The family tree is a bit complicated. The original Unix, the brainchild of Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, gave birth in turn to many "little" Unixes such as BSD Unix, IBM's AIX, and SCO's Unix, each with its set of proprietary genes as well as the common genes of its parents.
Finally, the stork brought Linux (thanks to Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, and others) and left it on the threshold of the Enterprise as an orphan free to be adopted and loved by as many parents as possible.
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All the other ixes were already owned or adopted including the original "Unix" (whose source code is owned by SCO and whose interface definition and trademark are owned by The Open Group on behalf of the IT industry).
So that's what it comes down to: taking care of a child that no one claims ownership of, but that many take care of (Linux) -- or a very nice child that you have to rent (all the other ixes and nixes).
Whether or not you think this metaphor is holding up, you may very well be someone that has to decide which child to adopt (or whether to switch the babies!). In the meantime, please think of this information kit as Dr. Spock's manual of child care.
>> Definition of Unix
>> Definition of Linux
>> Definition of BSD
>> Definition of AIX
>> Definition of The Open Group