Is there a fundamental difference between minix and linux and unix at the kernel level - Minix

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Thread: Is there a fundamental difference between minix and linux and unix at the kernel level

  1. Is there a fundamental difference between minix and linux and unix at the kernel level

    Is there a fundamental difference between minix and linux and unix at
    the kernel level.
    regards
    AK


  2. Re: Is there a fundamental difference between minix and linux and unix at the kernel level

    It really depends on where you want to draw the line as to where
    fundamental and non-fundamental differences lay. I'll only talk about
    Linux and Minix, because, in as far as I know, there's no reference
    implementation of Unix any longer, only the POSIX standard and an
    expensive certification.

    If you draw the line at language and the more general coding practices
    (focus on clearish code, mostly documented, with at least a slight
    emphasis on maintainability) then no, there's not. Both Linux and Minix
    are coded in ANSI C and a little assembler, are POSIX compliant, and
    work in a GNU environment. Of course, there are exceptions to these
    statements. Linux has GNU extensions to C scattered throughout if I
    remember correctly, being POSIX compliant is a difficult and a big
    task, and I am unsure as to weither all GNU applications compile
    without a bit of hacking on a Minix system.

    If you draw the line at kernel design then yes. Linux is a traditional
    monolithic kernel whereas Minix is a microkernel. The difference
    between these are elaborated upon pretty well in the wikipedia
    Microkernel and Monolithic Kernel articles.

    If you draw the line at development goals, then yes. Linux aims to be a
    general platform, which is why the kernel has so many neat doo-dads and
    kiddel-spoonks but can be somewhat unreliable unless the kernel version
    has been around for more than a couple of years. Minix, on the other
    hand, aims to be stable and reliable, kind of like QNX in addition to
    being simple enough to be understood by students (which, incidentally,
    is why I currently hold interest in it). Minix probably won't ever
    support the latest and greatest hardware of filesystems, but it may
    well one day power x-ray machines or other things that _cannot_ ****
    up, ever.

    If you're asking about how one writes programs to interface directly
    with the kernel, then I'm not so sure. Someone else will have to answer
    that.


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