A/UX (from Apple Unix) was Apple Computer's implementation of the Unix operating system for some of their Macintosh computers. The later versions of A/UX ran on the Macintosh II, Quadra and Centris series of machines. A/UX was first released in 1988, with the final version (3.1.1) released in 1995. A/UX required a 68k-based Macintosh with an FPU and a paged memory management unit (PMMU).
The operating system was based on UNIX System V Release 2.2, with some additional features from System V Releases 3 and 4, and 4.2 and 4.3 BSD. It was POSIX and System V Interface Definition (SVID) compliant and included TCP/IP networking from version 2 onward. There were rumors of a later version using OSF/1 as its primary code base, but this system was never released to the public, if it even existed.
By including a compatibility layer, A/UX could run Macintosh System 7.0.1, Unix, and "hybrid" applications. A hybrid application used both Macintosh and Unix system functions: for example, a Macintosh application which called Unix system functions, or a Unix application which called Macintosh Toolbox (e.g. QuickDraw) functions. The compatibility layer used some existing Toolbox functions in the computer's ROM, while other function calls were translated into native Unix system calls.
A/UX included a utility called Commando (similar to a tool of the same name included with MPW) to assist users with entering Unix commands. Opening a Unix executable file from the Finder would open a dialog box that allowed the user to choose command-line options for the program using standard controls such as radio buttons and check boxes, and display the resulting command line argument for the user before executing the command or program. This feature was intended to ease the learning curve for users new to Unix, and decrease the user's reliance on the Unix manual.
A/UX users had one central source for most A/UX applications, a server at NASA called "Jagubox" administered by Jim Jagielski, who was also the editor of the A/UX FAQ. Although Jagubox is down, some mirrors are still maintained. Aside from a few isolated servers still running it, A/UX is essentially extinct, and is considered to be abandonware.
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