Solaris (operating system)
Solaris is a Unix operating system developed by Sun Microsystems. It superseded their earlier SunOS in 1993. In 2010, after the Sun acquisition by Oracle, it was renamed Oracle Solaris. Solaris is known for its scalability on SPARC systems, for originating many innovative features such as DTrace, ZFS and Time Slider. Solaris supports SPARC and x86-64 servers from Oracle and other vendors. Solaris is registered as compliant with the Single UNIX Specification. Solaris was developed as proprietary software. In June 2005, Sun Microsystems released most of the codebase under the CDDL license, founded the OpenSolaris open-source project. With OpenSolaris, Sun wanted to build a user community around the software. After the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January 2010, Oracle decided to discontinue the OpenSolaris distribution and the development model. In August 2010, Oracle discontinued providing public updates to the source code of the Solaris kernel turning Solaris 11 back into a closed source proprietary operating system.
Following that, in 2011 the Solaris 11 kernel source code leaked to BitTorrent. However, through the Oracle Technology Network, industry partners can still gain access to the in-development Solaris source code. Source code for the open source components of Solaris 11 is available for download from Oracle. In 1987, AT&T Corporation and Sun announced that they were collaborating on a project to merge the most popular Unix variants on the market at that time: Berkeley Software Distribution, UNIX System V, Xenix; this became Unix System V Release 4. On September 4, 1991, Sun announced that it would replace its existing BSD-derived Unix, SunOS 4, with one based on SVR4; this was identified internally as SunOS 5, but a new marketing name was introduced at the same time: Solaris 2. The justification for this new overbrand was that it encompassed not only SunOS, but the OpenWindows graphical user interface and Open Network Computing functionality. Although SunOS 4.1.x micro releases were retroactively named Solaris 1 by Sun, the Solaris name is used exclusively to refer only to the releases based on SVR4-derived SunOS 5.0 and later.
For releases based on SunOS 5, the SunOS minor version is included in the Solaris release number. For example, Solaris 2.4 incorporates SunOS 5.4. After Solaris 2.6, the 2. was dropped from the release name, so Solaris 7 incorporates SunOS 5.7, the latest release SunOS 5.11 forms the core of Solaris 11.4. Although SunSoft stated in its initial Solaris 2 press release their intent to support both SPARC and x86 systems, the first two Solaris 2 releases, 2.0 and 2.1, were SPARC-only. An x86 version of Solaris 2.1 was released in June 1993, about 6 months after the SPARC version, as a desktop and uniprocessor workgroup server operating system. It included the Wabi emulator to support Windows applications. At the time, Sun offered the Interactive Unix system that it had acquired from Interactive Systems Corporation. In 1994, Sun released Solaris 2.4, supporting both SPARC and x86 systems from a unified source code base. On September 2, 2017, Simon Phipps, a former Sun Microsystems employee not hired by Oracle in the acquisition, reported on Twitter that Oracle had laid off the Solaris core development staff, which many interpreted as sign that Oracle no longer intended to support future development of the platform.
While Oracle did have a large layoff of Solaris development engineering staff, development continues today of which Solaris 11.4 was released in 2018. Solaris uses a common code base for the platforms it supports: i86pc. Solaris has a reputation for being well-suited to symmetric multiprocessing, supporting a large number of CPUs, it has been integrated with Sun's SPARC hardware, with which it is marketed as a combined package. This has led to more reliable systems, but at a cost premium compared to commodity PC hardware. However, it has supported x86 systems since Solaris 2.1 and 64-bit x86 applications since Solaris 10, allowing Sun to capitalize on the availability of commodity 64-bit CPUs based on the x86-64 architecture. Sun has marketed Solaris for use with both its own "x64" workstations and servers based on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors, as well as x86 systems manufactured by companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM; as of 2009, the following vendors support Solaris for their x86 server systems: Dell – will "test and optimize Solaris and OpenSolaris on its rack and blade servers and offer them as one of several choices in the overall Dell software menu" Intel Hewlett Packard Enterprise – distributes and provides software technical support for Solaris on BL, DL, SL platforms Fujitsu SiemensAs of July 2010, Dell and HP certify and resell Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM on their respective x86 platforms, IBM stopped direct support for Solaris on x64 kit.
Solaris 2.5.1 included support for the PowerPC platform, but the port was canceled before the Solaris 2.6 release. In January 2006, a community of developers at Blastwave began work on a PowerPC port which they named Polaris. In October 2006, an OpenSolaris community project based on the Blastwave efforts and Sun Labs' Project Pulsar, which re-integrated the relevant parts from Solaris 2.5.1 into OpenSolaris, announced its first official source code release. A port of Solaris to the Intel Itanium architecture was announced in 1997 but never brought to market. On November 28, 2007, IBM, Sine Nomine Associates demonstrated a preview of OpenSolaris for System z running on an IBM System z mainframe under z/VM, called Sirius
AIX is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms. Released for the IBM RT PC RISC workstation, AIX now supports or has supported a wide variety of hardware platforms, including the IBM RS/6000 series and POWER and PowerPC-based systems, IBM System i, System/370 mainframes, PS/2 personal computers, the Apple Network Server. AIX is based on UNIX System V with 4.3BSD-compatible extensions. It is one of six commercial operating systems that have versions certified to The Open Group's UNIX 03 standard; the AIX family of operating systems debuted in 1986, became the standard operating system for the RS/6000 series on its launch in 1990, is still developed by IBM. It is supported on IBM Power Systems alongside IBM i and Linux. AIX was the first operating system to have a journaling file system, IBM has continuously enhanced the software with features such as processor and network virtualization, dynamic hardware resource allocation, reliability engineering ported from its mainframe designs.
Unix started life at AT&T's Bell Labs research center in the early 1970s, running on DEC minicomputers. By 1976, the operating system was in use at various academic institutions, including Princeton, where Tom Lyon and others ported it to the S/370, to run as a guest OS under VM/370; this port would grow out to become UTS, a mainframe Unix offering by IBM's competitor Amdahl Corporation. IBM's own involvement in Unix can be dated to 1979, when it assisted Bell Labs in doing its own Unix port to the 370. In the process, IBM made modifications to the TSS/370 hypervisor to better support Unix, it took until 1985 for IBM to offer its own Unix on the S/370 platform, IX/370, developed by Interactive Systems Corporation and intended by IBM to compete with Amdahl UTS. The operating system offered special facilities for interoperating with PC/IX, Interactive/IBM's version of Unix for IBM PC compatible hardware, was licensed at $10,000 per sixteen concurrent users. AIX Version 1, introduced in 1986 for the IBM RT PC workstation, was based on UNIX System V Releases 1 and 2.
In developing AIX, IBM and Interactive Systems Corporation incorporated source code from 4.2 and 4.3 BSD UNIX. Among other variants, IBM produced AIX Version 3, based on System V Release 3, for their POWER-based RS/6000 platform. Since 1990, AIX has served as the primary operating system for the RS/6000 series. AIX Version 4, introduced in 1994, added symmetric multiprocessing with the introduction of the first RS/6000 SMP servers and continued to evolve through the 1990s, culminating with AIX 4.3.3 in 1999. Version 4.1, in a modified form, was the standard operating system for the Apple Network Server systems sold by Apple Computer to complement the Macintosh line. In the late 1990s, under Project Monterey, IBM and the Santa Cruz Operation planned to integrate AIX and UnixWare into a single 32-bit/64-bit multiplatform UNIX with particular emphasis on running on Intel IA-64 architecture CPUs. A beta test version of AIX 5L for IA-64 systems was released, but according to documents released in the SCO v. IBM lawsuit, less than forty licenses for the finished Monterey Unix were sold before the project was terminated in 2002.
In 2003, the SCO Group alleged that IBM had misappropriated licensed source code from UNIX System V Release 4 for incorporation into AIX. IBM maintains that their license was irrevocable, continued to sell and support the product until the litigation was adjudicated. AIX was a component of the 2003 SCO v. IBM lawsuit, in which the SCO Group filed a lawsuit against IBM, alleging IBM contributed SCO's intellectual property to the Linux codebase; the SCO Group, who argued they were the rightful owners of the copyrights covering the Unix operating system, attempted to revoke IBM's license to sell or distribute the AIX operating system. In March 2010, a jury returned a verdict finding that Novell, not the SCO Group, owns the rights to Unix. AIX 6 was announced in May 2007, it ran as an open beta from June 2007 until the general availability of AIX 6.1 on November 9, 2007. Major new features in AIX 6.1 included full role-based access control, workload partitions, enhanced security, Live Partition Mobility on the POWER6 hardware.
AIX 7.1 was announced in April 2010, an open beta ran until general availability of AIX 7.1 in September 2010. Several new features, including better scalability, enhanced clustering and management capabilities were added. AIX 7.1 includes a new built-in clustering capability called Cluster Aware AIX. AIX is able to organize multiple LPARs through the multipath communications channel to neighboring CPUs, enabling high-speed communication between processors; this enables multi-terabyte memory address range and page table access to support global petabyte shared memory space for AIX POWER7 clusters so that software developers can program a cluster as if it were a single system, without using message passing. AIX administrators can use this new capability to cluster a pool of AIX nodes. By default, AIX V7.1 pins kernel memory and includes support to allow applications to pin their kernel stack. Pinning kernel memory and the kernel
An operating system is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage and other resources. For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is executed directly by the hardware and makes system calls to an OS function or is interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on many devices that contain a computer – from cellular phones and video game consoles to web servers and supercomputers; the dominant desktop operating system is Microsoft Windows with a market share of around 82.74%. MacOS by Apple Inc. is in second place, the varieties of Linux are collectively in third place. In the mobile sector, use in 2017 is up to 70% of Google's Android and according to third quarter 2016 data, Android on smartphones is dominant with 87.5 percent and a growth rate 10.3 percent per year, followed by Apple's iOS with 12.1 percent and a per year decrease in market share of 5.2 percent, while other operating systems amount to just 0.3 percent.
Linux distributions are dominant in supercomputing sectors. Other specialized classes of operating systems, such as embedded and real-time systems, exist for many applications. A single-tasking system can only run one program at a time, while a multi-tasking operating system allows more than one program to be running in concurrency; this is achieved by time-sharing, where the available processor time is divided between multiple processes. These processes are each interrupted in time slices by a task-scheduling subsystem of the operating system. Multi-tasking may be characterized in co-operative types. In preemptive multitasking, the operating system slices the CPU time and dedicates a slot to each of the programs. Unix-like operating systems, such as Solaris and Linux—as well as non-Unix-like, such as AmigaOS—support preemptive multitasking. Cooperative multitasking is achieved by relying on each process to provide time to the other processes in a defined manner. 16-bit versions of Microsoft Windows used cooperative multi-tasking.
32-bit versions of both Windows NT and Win9x, used preemptive multi-tasking. Single-user operating systems have no facilities to distinguish users, but may allow multiple programs to run in tandem. A multi-user operating system extends the basic concept of multi-tasking with facilities that identify processes and resources, such as disk space, belonging to multiple users, the system permits multiple users to interact with the system at the same time. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage and other resources to multiple users. A distributed operating system manages a group of distinct computers and makes them appear to be a single computer; the development of networked computers that could be linked and communicate with each other gave rise to distributed computing. Distributed computations are carried out on more than one machine; when computers in a group work in cooperation, they form a distributed system.
In an OS, distributed and cloud computing context, templating refers to creating a single virtual machine image as a guest operating system saving it as a tool for multiple running virtual machines. The technique is used both in virtualization and cloud computing management, is common in large server warehouses. Embedded operating systems are designed to be used in embedded computer systems, they are designed to operate on small machines like PDAs with less autonomy. They are able to operate with a limited number of resources, they are compact and efficient by design. Windows CE and Minix 3 are some examples of embedded operating systems. A real-time operating system is an operating system that guarantees to process events or data by a specific moment in time. A real-time operating system may be single- or multi-tasking, but when multitasking, it uses specialized scheduling algorithms so that a deterministic nature of behavior is achieved. An event-driven system switches between tasks based on their priorities or external events while time-sharing operating systems switch tasks based on clock interrupts.
A library operating system is one in which the services that a typical operating system provides, such as networking, are provided in the form of libraries and composed with the application and configuration code to construct a unikernel: a specialized, single address space, machine image that can be deployed to cloud or embedded environments. Early computers were built to perform a series of single tasks, like a calculator. Basic operating system features were developed in the 1950s, such as resident monitor functions that could automatically run different programs in succession to speed up processing. Operating systems did not exist in their more complex forms until the early 1960s. Hardware features were added, that enabled use of runtime libraries and parallel processing; when personal computers became popular in the 1980s, operating systems were made for them similar in concept to those used on larger computers. In the 1940s, the earliest electronic digital systems had no operating systems.
Electronic systems of this time were programmed on rows of mechanical switches or by jumper wires on plug boards. These were special-purpose systems that, for example, generated ballistics tables for the military or controlled the pri
Research Unix refers to early versions of the Unix operating system for DEC PDP-7, PDP-11, VAX and Interdata 7/32 and 8/32 computers, developed in the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center. The term Research Unix first appeared in the Bell System Technical Journal to distinguish it from other versions internal to Bell Labs whose code-base had diverged from the primary CSRC version. However, that term was little-used until Version 8 Unix, but has been retroactively applied to earlier versions as well. Prior to V8, the operating system was most called UNIX or the UNIX Time-Sharing System. AT&T licensed Version 5 to educational institutions, Version 6 to commercial sites. Schools paid $200 and others $20,000, discouraging most commercial use, but Version 6 was the most used version into the 1980s. Research Unix versions are referred to by the edition of the manual that describes them, because early versions and the last few were never released outside of Bell Labs, grew organically. So, the first Research Unix would be the First Edition, the last the Tenth Edition.
Another common way of referring to them is Version x Unix. All modern editions of Unix—excepting Unix-like implementations such as Coherent and Linux—derive from the 7th Edition. Starting with the 8th Edition, versions of Research Unix had a close relationship to BSD; this began by using 4.1cBSD as the basis for the 8th Edition. In a Usenet post from 2000, Dennis Ritchie described these versions of Research Unix as being closer to BSD than they were to UNIX System V, which included some BSD code: Research Unix 8th Edition started from BSD 4.1c, but with enormous amounts scooped out and replaced by our own stuff. This continued with 10th; the ordinary user command-set was, I guess, a bit more BSD-flavored than SysVish, but it was pretty eclectic. In 2002, Caldera International released Unix V1-7 and 32V as FOSS under a permissive BSD-like software license. In 2017, Unix Heritage Society and Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. on behalf of itself and Nokia Bell Laboratories, released v8, v9, v10 under the condition: "will not assert its copyright rights with respect to any non-commercial copying, performance, display or creation of derivative works of Research Unix®1 Editions 8, 9, 10".
Ancient UNIX Systems History of Unix Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, with Source Code Inferno - Another operating system from the same team UNIX Evolution by Ian F. Darwin and Geoffrey Collyer Unix heritage - More links and source code for some Research Unix versions The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System by Dennis M. Ritchie The Restoration of Early UNIX Artifacts by Warren Toomey, School of IT, Bond University Full Manual Pages documentation for Research Unix 8th Edition. List of new features in Research Unix 9th Edition
NetBSD is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system based on the Berkeley Software Distribution. It was the first open-source BSD descendant released after 386BSD was forked, it continues to be developed and is available for many platforms, including servers, handheld devices, embedded systems. The NetBSD project focuses on code clarity, careful design, portability across many computer architectures, its source code is permissively licensed. NetBSD was derived from the 4.3BSD-Reno release of the Berkeley Software Distribution from the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California, via their Net/2 source code release and the 386BSD project. The NetBSD project began as a result of frustration within the 386BSD developer community with the pace and direction of the operating system's development; the four founders of the NetBSD project, Chris Demetriou, Theo de Raadt, Adam Glass, Charles Hannum, felt that a more open development model would benefit the project: one centered on portable, correct code.
They aimed to produce a multi-platform, production-quality, BSD-based operating system. The name "NetBSD" was suggested by De Raadt, based on the importance and growth of networks such as the Internet at that time, the distributed, collaborative nature of its development; the NetBSD source code repository was established on 21 March 1993 and the first official release, NetBSD 0.8, was made on 19 April 1993. This was derived from 386BSD 0.1 plus the version 0.2.2 unofficial patchkit, with several programs from the Net/2 release missing from 386BSD re-integrated, various other improvements. The first multi-platform release, NetBSD 1.0, was made in October 1994, being updated with 4.4BSD-Lite sources, it was free of all encumbered 4.3BSD Net/2 code. In 1994, for disputed reasons, one of the founders, Theo de Raadt, was removed from the project, he founded a new project, OpenBSD, from a forked version of NetBSD 1.0 near the end of 1995. In 1998, NetBSD 1.3 introduced the pkgsrc packages collection.
Until 2004, NetBSD 1.x releases were made at annual intervals, with minor "patch" releases in between. From release 2.0 onwards, NetBSD uses semantic versioning, each major NetBSD release corresponds to an incremented major version number, i.e. the major releases following 2.0 are 3.0, 4.0 and so on. The previous minor releases are now divided into two categories: x.y "stable" maintenance releases and x.y.z releases containing only security and critical fixes. As the project's motto suggests, NetBSD has been ported to a large number of 32- and 64-bit architectures; these range from VAX minicomputers to Pocket PC PDAs. As of 2009, NetBSD supports 57 hardware platforms; the kernel and userland for these platforms are all built from a central unified source-code tree managed by CVS. Unlike other kernels such as μClinux, the NetBSD kernel requires the presence of an MMU in any given target architecture. NetBSD's portability is aided by the use of hardware abstraction layer interfaces for low-level hardware access such as bus input/output or DMA.
Using this portability layer, device drivers can be split into "machine-independent" and "machine-dependent" components. This makes a single driver usable on several platforms by hiding hardware access details, reduces the work to port it to a new system; this permits a particular device driver for a PCI card to work without modifications, whether it is in a PCI slot on an IA-32, PowerPC, SPARC, or other architecture with a PCI bus. A single driver for a specific device can operate via several different buses, like ISA, PCI, or PC Card. In comparison, Linux device driver code must be reworked for each new architecture; as a consequence, in porting efforts by NetBSD and Linux developers, NetBSD has taken much less time to port to new hardware. This platform independence aids the development of embedded systems since NetBSD 1.6, when the entire toolchain of compilers, assemblers and other tools support cross-compiling. In 2005, as a demonstration of NetBSD's portability and suitability for embedded applications, Technologic Systems, a vendor of embedded systems hardware and demonstrated a NetBSD-powered kitchen toaster.
Commercial ports to embedded platforms, including the AMD Geode LX800, Freescale PowerQUICC processors, Marvell Orion, AMCC 405 family of PowerPC processors, Intel XScale IOP and IXP series, were available from and supported by Wasabi Systems. The NetBSD cross-compiling framework lets a developer build a complete NetBSD system for an architecture from a more powerful system of different architecture, including on a different operating system. Several embedded systems using NetBSD have required no additional software development other than toolchain and target rehost. NetBSD features pkgsrc, a framework for building and managing third-party application software packages; the pkgsrc collection consists of more than 18,000 packages as of April 2018. Building and installing packages such as KDE, GNOME, the Apache HTTP Server or Perl is performed through the use of a system of makefiles; this can automatically fetch the source code, patch, configure and install the package such that it can be removed again later.
An alternative to compiling from source is to use a precompiled binary package. In either case, any prerequisites/dependencies will be installed automatically by the package system, without need for manual intervention. Pkgsrc supports not only NetBSD, but several other BSD variants like
UNIX System V
UNIX System V is one of the first commercial versions of the Unix operating system. It was developed by AT&T and first released in 1983. Four major versions of System V were released, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. System V Release 4, or SVR4, was commercially the most successful version, being the result of an effort, marketed as "Unix System Unification", which solicited the collaboration of the major Unix vendors, it was the source of several common commercial Unix features. System V is sometimes abbreviated to SysV; as of 2012, the Unix market is divided between five System V variants: IBM's AIX, Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX, Oracle's Solaris, Xinuos's UnixWare and illumos distributions being the open-source OpenSolaris continuation. System V was the successor to 1982's UNIX System III. While AT&T sold their own hardware that ran System V, most customers instead ran a version from a reseller, based on AT&T's reference implementation. A standards document called the System V Interface Definition outlined the default features and behavior of implementations.
During its formative years, AT&T went through several phases of System V software groups, beginning with the Unix Support Group, followed by Unix System Development Laboratory, followed by AT&T Information Systems, Unix System Laboratories. In the 1980s and early-1990s, System V was considered one of the two major versions of UNIX, the other being the Berkeley Software Distribution. BSD was commonly called "BSD Unix" or "Berkeley Unix". Eric S. Raymond summarizes the longstanding relationship and rivalry between System V and BSD during the early period: In fact, for years after divestiture the Unix community was preoccupied with the first phase of the Unix wars – an internal dispute, the rivalry between System V Unix and BSD Unix; the dispute had several levels, some technical and some cultural. The divide was between longhairs and shorthairs. While HP, IBM and others chose System V as the basis for their Unix offerings, other vendors such as Sun Microsystems and DEC extended BSD. Throughout its development, System V was infused with features from BSD, while BSD variants such as DEC's Ultrix received System V features.
AT&T and Sun Microsystems worked together to merge System V with BSD-based SunOS to produce Solaris, one of the primary System V descendants still in use today. Since the early 1990s, due to standardization efforts such as POSIX and the commercial success of Linux, the division between System V and BSD has become less important. System V, known inside Bell Labs as Unix 5.0, succeeded AT&T's previous commercial Unix called System III in January, 1983. There was never an external release of Unix 4.0, which would have been System IV. This first release of System V was developed by AT&T's UNIX Support Group and based on the Bell Labs internal USG UNIX 5.0. System V included features such as the vi editor and curses from 4.1 BSD, developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It added support for inter-process communication using messages and shared memory, developed earlier for the Bell-internal CB UNIX. SVR1 ran on DEC VAX minicomputers. AT&T's UNIX Support Group transformed into the UNIX System Development Laboratory, which released System V Release 2 in 1984.
SVR2 added shell functions and the SVID. SVR2.4 added demand paging, copy-on-write, shared memory, record and file locking. The concept of the "porting base" was formalized, the DEC VAX-11/780 was chosen for this release; the "porting base" is the so-called original version of a release, from which all porting efforts for other machines emanate. Educational source licenses for SVR2 were offered by AT&T for US$800 for the first CPU, $400 for each additional CPU. A commercial source license was offered for $43,000, with three months of support, a $16,000 price per additional CPU. Apple Computer's A/UX operating system was based on this release. SCO XENIX used SVR2 as its basis; the first release of HP-UX was an SVR2 derivative. Maurice J. Bach's book, The Design of the UNIX Operating System, is the definitive description of the SVR2 kernel. AT&T's UNIX System Development Laboratory was succeeded by AT&T Information Systems, which distributed UNIX System V, Release 3, in 1987. SVR3 included STREAMS, the Remote File System, the File System Switch virtual file system mechanism, a restricted form of shared libraries, the Transport Layer Interface network API.
The final version was Release 3.2 in 1988, which added binary compatibility to Xenix on Intel platforms. User interface improvements included the "layers" windowing system for the DMD 5620 graphics terminal, the SVR3.2 curses libraries that offered eight or more color pairs and other at this time important features. The AT&T 3B2 became the official "porting base." SCO UNIX was based upon SVR3.2. Among the more obscure distributions of SVR3.2 for the 386 were ESIX 3.2 by Everex and "System V, Release 3.2" sold by Intel themselves. IBM's AIX operating system is an SVR3 derivative. System V Release 4.0 was announced on October 18, 1988 and was incorporated into a variety of commercial Unix products from early 1989 onwards. A joint project of AT&T Unix System Laboratories and Sun Microsystems, it combined technology from: SVR3 4.3BSD Xenix SunOSNew features
The Macintosh is a family of personal computers designed and sold by Apple Inc. since January 1984. The original Macintosh was the first mass-market personal computer that featured a graphical user interface, built-in screen and mouse. Apple sold the Macintosh alongside its popular Apple II family of computers for ten years before they were discontinued in 1993. Early Macintosh models were expensive, hindering its competitiveness in a market dominated by the Commodore 64 for consumers, as well as the IBM Personal Computer and its accompanying clone market for businesses. Macintosh systems still found success in education and desktop publishing and kept Apple as the second-largest PC manufacturer for the next decade. In the early 1990s, Apple introduced models such as the Macintosh LC II and Color Classic which were price-competitive with Wintel machines at the time. However, the introduction of Windows 3.1 and Intel's Pentium processor which beat the Motorola 68040 in most benchmarks took market share from Apple, by the end of 1994 Apple was relegated to third place as Compaq became the top PC manufacturer.
After the transition to the superior PowerPC-based Power Macintosh line in the mid-1990s, the falling prices of commodity PC components, poor inventory management with the Macintosh Performa, the release of Windows 95 saw the Macintosh user base decline. Prompted by the returning Steve Jobs' belief that the Macintosh line had become too complex, Apple consolidated nearly twenty models in mid-1997 down to four in mid-1999: The Power Macintosh G3, iMac, 14.1" PowerBook G3, 12" iBook. All four products were critically and commercially successful due to their high performance, competitive prices and aesthetic designs, helped return Apple to profitability. Around this time, Apple phased out the Macintosh name in favor of "Mac", a nickname, in common use since the development of the first model. Since their transition to Intel processors in 2006, the complete lineup is based on said processors and associated systems, its current lineup includes four desktops, three laptops. Its Xserve server was discontinued in 2011 in favor of the Mac Mac Pro.
Apple has developed a series of Macintosh operating systems. The first versions had no name but came to be known as the "Macintosh System Software" in 1988, "Mac OS" in 1997 with the release of Mac OS 7.6, retrospectively called "Classic Mac OS". In 2001, Apple released Mac OS X, a modern Unix-based operating system, rebranded to OS X in 2012, macOS in 2016; the current version is macOS Mojave, released on September 24, 2018. Intel-based Macs are capable of running non-Apple operating systems such as Linux, OpenBSD, Microsoft Windows with the aid of Boot Camp or third-party software. Apple produced a Unix-based operating system for the Macintosh called A/UX from 1988 to 1995, which resembled contemporary versions of the Macintosh system software. Apple does not license macOS for use on non-Apple computers, however System 7 was licensed to various companies through Apple's Macintosh clone program from 1995 to 1997. Only one company, UMAX Technologies was licensed to ship clones running Mac OS 8.
Since Apple's transition to Intel processors, there is a sizeable community around the world that specialises in hacking macOS to run on non-Apple computers, which are called "Hackintoshes". The Macintosh project began in 1979 when Jef Raskin, an Apple employee, envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer, he wanted to name the computer after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh, but the spelling was changed to "Macintosh" for legal reasons as the original was the same spelling as that used by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. the audio equipment manufacturer. Steve Jobs requested that McIntosh Laboratory give Apple a release for the newly spelled name, thus allowing Apple to use it; the request was denied, forcing Apple to buy the rights to use this name. In 1978, Apple began to organize the Apple Lisa project, aiming to build a next-generation machine similar to an advanced Apple II or the yet-to-be-introduced IBM PC. In 1979, Steve Jobs learned of the advanced work on graphical user interfaces taking place at Xerox PARC.
He arranged for Apple engineers to be allowed to visit PARC to see the systems in action. The Apple Lisa project was redirected to utilize a GUI, which at that time was well beyond the state of the art for microprocessor capabilities. Things had changed with the introduction of the 32-bit Motorola 68000 in 1979, which offered at least an order of magnitude better performance than existing designs, made a software GUI machine a practical possibility; the basic layout of the Lisa was complete by 1982, at which point Jobs's continual suggestions for improvements led to him being kicked off the project. At the same time that the Lisa was becoming a GUI machine in 1979, Jef Raskin started the Macintosh project; the design at that time was for a easy-to-use machine for the average consumer. In