Operating Systems run the computer and provide us with an interface with which to issue commands to the computer system. There are many varieties of operating systems. The differences between them stem from the hardware they were originally designed to run on and who engineers and manufactures the software.

IBM Produced a number of operating systems including OS/360 for mainframes and OS/2 for desktop and personal computers. To sell their Personal Computers (PC's), IBM contracted with Microsoft to install a variation of "Quick and Dirty DOS" on all IBM PC's sold. This "Quick and Dirty DOS" became Microsoft DOS.

Microsoft is the most well know manufacturer of operating systems today. Microsoft got their lead by making an exclusive deal with IBM in 1981 to include their variation of "Quick and Dirty DOS" operating system on every "IBM Personal Computer" microcomputer sold. Ever since that time, the vast majority of Intel-processor based computers have shipped with Microsoft operating systems on them. The most recent version is Microsoft Windows XP.

AT&T produced what has become the System V version of the UNIX operating system designed to run on Digital Equipment Corporation computers (PDP-11). LINUX, or "Linus Torvald's UNIX" was inspired by UNIX, but written for the Intel processor.

Apple computer corporation produces MacOS and OS X exclusively for their MacIntosh computers (which run on Motorola processors). Sun produces Solaris Unix for their Sparc (their own chip design) and Intel based Sun platforms. HP produces HP-UX for their computers (which utilize either an Intel or DEC RISC architecture).

Digital Equipment Corporation (now HP) produced two operating systems called

Silicon Graphics Incorporated produces an operating system for thier computers called IRIX.

I have intentionally left out the so-called 'owner' of Unix as they are doing their level best to destroy Unix as a viable operating system. They are using the legal system to crush creative software development and reverse the OpenSource trends in computing; they are using the legal system to reap huge awards in court rather than earn their profits by competing fairly in the marketplace. The company taking these actions shall remain unseen and unmentioned in this site. At least until they start suing me..

    -- InetDaemon

Types of Operating Systems

Operating systems can be divided into two broad categories. Those that are designed to run on workstations, PC's and microcomputers and those designed to run on massive computers often referred to as 'big iron', or mainframes. This section currently focuses on those operating systems that run on workstations and smaller, non-mainframe servers.

Mainframe Operating Systems

  • IBM System 370, 380, 390
  • AIX (IBM Unix)
  • VMS (VAX)
  • DEC Operating System

Computer Operating Systems



  • Debian Linux
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux
  • Suse
  • Slackware
  • YellowDog (Linux on MacIntosh)
  • OS2/Warp
  • Mach

Microsoft Windows Operating Systems

Apple Operating Systems (MacOS)

  • Mac OS 7
  • Mac OS 8
  • Mac OS 9
  • Mac OS X (10.x)
    • Jaguar (10.2)
    • Panther (10.3)
    • Tiger (10.4)
    • Leopard (10.5)
    • Snow Leopard (10.6)
    • Lion

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