Unix workstations

Amiga Unix

Commodore-Amiga, Inc., in 1990, did a full port of AT&T Unix System V Release 4 for the Amiga computer family (in addition to the proprietary AmigaOS shipping with these systems by default), informally known as Amix. Bundled with the Amiga 3000UX, Commodore's Unix was one of the first ports of SVR4 to the 68k architecture. The Amiga A3000UX model even got the attention of Sun Microsystems, though ultimately nothing came of it.

Unlike Apple's A/UX, Amiga Unix contained no compatibility layer to allow AmigaOS applications to run under Unix. With few native applications available to take advantage of the Amiga's significant multimedia capabilities, it failed to find a niche in the quite-competitive Unix workstation market of the early 1990s. The A3000UX's price tag of approximately $7,000 was also not very attractive compared to other Unix workstations at the time, such as the NeXTstation ($5,000 for a base system, with many times the number of applications available), the SGI Indigo (starting at $8,000), or the Personal DECstation 5000 Model 25 (starting at $5,000). Sun, HP, and IBM had similarly priced systems. The A3000UX's 68030 was noticeably underpowered compared to most of its RISC-based competitors.

Unlike typical commercial Unix distributions of the time, Amiga Unix included the source code to the vendor-specific enhancements and platform-dependent device drivers (essentially any part that wasn't owned by AT&T), allowing interested users to study or enhance those parts of the system. However this source code was subject to the same license terms as the binary part of the system - it was not open source. Amiga Unix also incorporated and depended upon many open source components, such as the GNU C Compiler and X Window System, and included their source code.

Like many other Unix variants with small market shares, Amiga Unix vanished into the mists of computer history when its vendor, Commodore, went out of business. Today, Unix-like operating systems such as Minix, NetBSD, and Linux are available for the Amiga platform, but the commercial and AT&T-licensed Amiga Unix has not been revived.

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