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Single UNIX Specification[edit]

I don't think it is a good idea to merge the POSIX and Single UNIX Specification articles. Judging by how many articles link to POSIX, it is a very current and wanted topic. note that even the article Single_UNIX_Specification itself links to POSIX ;). Even though POSIX is beeing "phased out" in favor of Single UNIX Specification, that doesn't mean that the article has to be too. Compare XFree86 and X.Org, virtually all Linux distros today are using the X.Org implementation, yet the article XFree86 still exists and should keep existing. 00:09, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Donald Axel writes:
No don't mix Posix and Single Unix. There are differences though mostly legal, as far as I know: Posix is ISO and is mandatory by DOD for any computer application system. (By ISO is meant a standard acknowledged and recommended by ISO or more precisely by International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission, ISO/IEC subcommittee 22.).
I would like to dig more into that question but do not have resources now. Google: POSIX "Portable Operating System Interface" "Cross Platform" yields (nr.2) Microsoft Solution Guide for Migrating High Performance Computing (HPC) Applications from UNIX to Windows
Additional: I don't know where to get the full story on POSIX and RMStallman, but I suspect that IX is the "Unix" hint and X is cross platform. RMS is notorious for multi-purpose acronyms.
At the moment I do not have access to ISO-2001-2002-2003, but will look up comments on the name as soon as possible.--d-axel (talk) 21:57, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
IX: lots of unices ended in IX (e.g. dynix, ultrix, minix, xenix); POS: Piece Of Shit. --moof 08:29, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
My humble opinion: saying that the POSIX article should be merged with Single UNIX Specification is like saying that because Bush now has Clinton's function, the article on Bill Clinton should be merged into George W. Bush.
Had the SUS been made, maintained and officially accepted as the successor to POSIX by the IEEE, then a merger would be more justified, but even then, they are two separate things. Heck, if we just said "oh, they're similar, let's just merge them!" to every article with remote connection to another one, I bet we could reduce all of Wikipedia to a single article. --Sir Link 22:03, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
After about half a decade, I would like to revive the discussion about the relation between SUS and POSIX. Both articles currently talk about POSIX:2001, POSIX:2004, and POSIX:2008, therefore adding unnecessary redundancy to Wikipedia. Referencing the Bush/Clinton argument: Sure, if there is historical significance to keep both the SUS and the POSIX article, then both articles should be kept. But we should add explicit information in both articles about how these two terms relate to each other. By the way: who is Donald Axel? --Abdull (talk) 19:19, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Donald Axel is a sysadm/lecturer and I have been member of a local ISO organization (ISO is rather business oriented, not so free, earns money by selling specifications and so on, you buy a membership or if you can give competent insight you get an invitation). --d-axel (talk) 21:57, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

POSIX compatibility[edit]

Which OS'es are certified as POSIX compatible? I only know of Windows NT, are there others?

I wasn't aware that NT was POSIX compatible. But mainly the UNIX-like OSes fit into that area. Things like Linux, BSD, Solaris, etc. As for certification, the article links to this, which may clarify. MichaelBillington 00:54, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

This part of the article needs some serious help. Saying something is POSIX compliant is a legal statement and most of the OSes listed are not certified. The article was missing 3 big ones here, AIX, HPUX, and Solaris. If you take a look at the list of compliant OSes maintained by IEEE and the Open Group you will not find BSD, OS X, or Windows. I think this part of the article is pretty misleading, especially when you put FreeBSD, Linux, etc as "aiming for compliance".

I fully agree. Some fact checking might be nice on this article, people. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:34, 28 December 2006 (UTC).
On the page it lists Mac OS X as fully compliant, but I don't think it is because the semaphores part of the pthreads library isn't implemented on it. I'm not 100% sure if that's a compliance issue; but everywhere I look says that pthreads is part of the POSIX standard.
This situation is not much better as of September 2007; Saying that Linux is "mostly compliant" is misleading also, since, for all intents and purposes, it is POSIX compliant, it's just that there are many flavours and no one distribution is going to pay IEEE's fees for certification. Some elaboration on this point would be useful and informative. --Rhombus 16:13, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

OpenVMS from Digital Equipment (now HP) is POSIX compliant. POSIX interface was implemented around 1990 starting from posix 1003.1 and going on with the others interfaces (shell and utilities, real time...) --Mimmetta 11:32, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

POSIX subsets[edit]

This should include the different subsets of POSIX. For instance, POSIX 2003 is the newest one, and only IBM AIX passes that one. Stuff like that should be mentioned. Someone who knows more about these things should add to the article!

Stallman's intended expansion of "POS"[edit]

From the article: "The term POSIX was suggested by Richard Stallman (not as a compliment) .... POSIX has been backronymed to Portable Operating System Interface". Is this implying Stallman expanded POS as "piece of shit"? If so, the article should say so explicitly. Indefatigable

I wondered the same thing. It isn't very clear the way the article explains it. Jdufresne 23:17, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
At the risk of saying "me too".. I will. If Stallman did intend for POS to stand for piece of shit, I'd like to know his reasons and have them at least referenced by the article. If not, then the article should be reworded. Workaphobia 04:35, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Uh.. or POSitive? Isn't HURD intended to be UNIX esque (and therefore presumably, POSIX compliant in its design) Hmm..? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Why the cleanup tag?[edit]

I don't see why it's there. Other than the acronyms this page seems fine to me. Anyone care to explain? MichaelBillington 00:47, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I removed it. I think there is a vast conspiracy to make Wikipedia look like crap by adding such tags to many articles. :P --Pmsyyz 23:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Conspiracy, eh?, perhaps the cabal would have something to say about this. Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 01:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Other OS'es[edit]

What about all the other distros and forks of Linux and FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, etc? 02:25, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

None of the above are POSIX compliant. NetBSD and FreeBSD are close, but not there yet.

Isn't BeOS POSIX compliant?

  -Mostly, but not entirely.  A brief (and unfortunately a bit dated) explanation can be found here (see #69 and #70) --Apophos (talk) 21:10, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

penOS/blagOS - do these exist or are they just persistent vandalism?

Is Windows really compliant?[edit]

Isn't POSIX compliance a facet of the operating system itself? Does POSIX compliance really count when added by separate payware software packages? Paul 04:04, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

 Windows is POSIX 1003.1 compliant since Windows NT. After Windows NT this compliance shall be activated using SFU 3.5. 
 Whatever this is free or not , has nothing to do with compliance. SFU 3.5 is neithertheless free if you have windows.
Free is interesting news to me. A few years back, I paid $99 for SFU 3.0.
With SFU 3.0, I found it had more surprises/incompatibilities than Cygwin. For example, the software links created by SFU were not compatible with Windows XP links! Rhmccullough (talk) 13:19, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • it's still provided through an addon of some sort, so windows should be in the "Compliant via compatibility feature" section, no?


Michael, with all due respect, the guys on freenode are hardly likely to have much of a footing in reality. Linux is not POSIX certified. See

Integrity, on the other hand, actually is, so you should put it back.

Linux is definitely NOT POSIX compliant, even with glibc and the GNU userspace tools added. It's very simple to make Linux non-compliant, disable Unix domain sockets (it's a kernel option). If anything it might be compliant with 'additional features' and 'added tools'.
Also interesting that someone added a link to for Linux, even though it isn't on the lists there. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:31, 28 December 2006 (UTC).
While it is probably true that Linux is not POSIX compliant, your logic is quite disingenuous: just because some builds are not compliant does not actually mean that all are! —SamB (talk) 04:27, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

It's a pity that from this article it seems like Microsoft Windows is more Unix than Linux is. I would like to propose that on the list of "POSIX-compliant" systems there must be only certified products. Additional software (patch!) which is compliant to POSIX does not mean that the system becomes compliant itself. Ask IEEE, do not make original research please! 13:12, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Linux and Windows[edit]

Without wanting to repeat the two above discussions, but with bringing them together:

  • It is strange that Windows is in a listing that appears as being more POSIX compliant than Linux
  • The listings of Windows seem to have a lot of exceptions in them ("When using ...", "Include the ....") that seem to be deliberatly vague.
  • If only certain editions of Vista support it, then it shouldn't say "Windows Vista" in the list, because having some editions of it be compliant doesn't make the complete "Windows Vista" POSIX compliant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Can the split up between the listings be made different, instead of having a list "Fully Compliant" and "Mostly Compliant"? The fact that some versions of Windows appear in a list as more compliant than Linux could be a sign that the criterium on which the two lists are based isn't so well chosen.

POSIX was created by the U.S. government (the DoD?) solely for procurement purposes.[citation needed] The U.S. federal procurements needed a way to legally specify the requirements for various sorts of calls for bids and contracts in a way that could be used to exclude systems to which a given existing code base would NOT be portable. So, for example, Microsoft's Windows NT was written with enough POSIX conformance to qualify for some government call for bids ... even though the POSIX subsystem was essentially useless in terms of practical portability and compatibility with UNIX® systems[citation needed]. But see my major rant ;-) It would be nice to find Wikipedia:RS for the first statement though. User:ScotXWt@lk 17:16, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX is not an operating system[edit]

The list "Fully POSIX-compliant" under "POSIX-oriented operating systems" includes "Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX". However, Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX isn't an Operating System but a software package. Why is this included in a list of Operating Systems?

-- 07:31, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

UNIX System Services[edit]

UNIX_System_Services should be added as it is fully POSIX certified. Is there any problem with adding this to the list? --Lindy 22:37, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Link need update or removal[edit]

The "OS Comparison" external link has outdated information on UNIX as it is since a couple of years available in a free, open source version (Solaris/OpenSolaris) which is not reflected. --Thommym (talk) 20:06, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Good catch. 2003? Removed. --Unixguy (talk) 19:19, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Inter-article conflict?[edit]

Does windows really Editor war#Claimed_benefits_of_vi-like_editors include vi? (talk) 14:46, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


Just a random observation… if you flip the word “god” around, you get an odd spelling of POSIX. Anyone know for sure whether that’s purely coincidental? —Frungi (talk) 14:20, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't even think you noticing it was a coincidence. Sam Barsoom 00:47, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

reference #8[edit]

this is so old, citing it is just pointless. According to it, *BSD costs ~$50, has only good connectivity and can't handle 'huge' systems. (talk) 07:25, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

PS: I forgot to quote (about *BSD systems)

They diverge from the mainstream UNIX (and POSIX) capabilities
They only run on x86 processors (talk) 07:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

MKS Toolkit[edit]

MKS is another popular UNIX for Windows system. I don't know how it rates against POSIX standards. I would guess pretty good, because it would be good marketing strategy. Rhmccullough (talk) 13:03, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

The MKS toolkit is only a set of commands; it does not provide the C API of the POSIX standard.Professor Tournesol (talk) 10:13, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Is Minix POSIX as stated - I very much doubt it?[edit]

The article says Minix is fully POSIX compliant, yet the Minux article says it is a Unix-like operating system. If if was POSIX compliant, I doubt it would be a Unix operating system would it not? I personally think Minix should be removed from the list, but will not do it until I get some feedback from others.

Dave Drkirkby (talk) 12:12, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

You might be confusing some facts. There's no reason an OS can't be both POSIX-compliant and Unix-like. C xong (talk) 03:42, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


Is the Controversies section of any use? I can think of a gazillion things most operating systems do differently than POSIX. Does anyone use SCCS? Has anyone ever noticed Linux ps isn't exactly as what POSIX describes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Linux is an operating system kernel delivering an interface to disk, net and other devices; "Linux" as such is not responsible for utilities like "ps" (process select and show). The system interface to the kernel is even "hidden" behind the Gnu Libc which implements Posix but also add when needed. The good thing is that Linux projects combine to a system on which you may find (almost?) all Posix specified functionality - and then some. Putting so many projects together in a way which actually works would not be possible without a strong Unix specification. --d-axel (talk) 21:48, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Mac OS X and POSIX[edit]

Mac OS X may have passed the POSIX copliance tests but it is not POSIX compliant as it only provides bash-3.x as a shell callable via "sh". Bash-3.x is known to have major bugs (e.g. bash -e is not implemented correctly which e.g. causes makefiles to continue after errors) that make it non-POSIX.

Mac OS X also comes with GNU make that is known for being not POSIX compliant because it's Makefile parser does not handle space characters correcty and because it calls commands via "sh -c cmd" instead of "sh -ce cmd". --Schily (talk) 09:06, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

On the other hand, the given source asserts "Full POSIX compliance and UNIX03 certification". Do you have a WP:RS source in mind, or is this merely a passing comment? TEDickey (talk) 10:53, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
A failing SW build process as a result from missing POSIX comliance is of course a reliable source. And BTW: I believe that you are on the POSIX mailing list where we did discuss the related problems. Should you have a problem to remember this discussion? In our case, "fully certified" obviously does not mean fully POSIX compliant. --Schily (talk) 11:30, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
You appear to be referring to a mailing list, which is not the actual deciding body. Individuals do make comments, some lead to documentation updates. From observation, it appears that the sponsors get to make the decisions. An example of WP:RS would be this TEDickey (talk) 22:43, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry to see that you repeatedly ignore facts. This is not how a scientific discussion works. Apple may have passed the test-suite but this just verifies that the test suite is incomplete and for this reason let's Mac OS X slip though... POSIX compliance means compliance to POSIX. Passing the test suite seems to be easier. BTW: the documents say: "Intel based system - default configuration", this leads to a configuration with a file system that is not POSIX compliant as it is not case sensitive. --Schily (talk) 09:12, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Lacking a WP:RS, you're still describing your WP:OR. TEDickey (talk) 09:44, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
You continue to act non-scientific by ignoring a scientific reliable source: a drescribed method to repeat things. This makes dicsussions with you aborious. Is your intention to make WP non-scientific and as a result intentionally wrong? --Schily (talk) 10:25, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually "scientific" is irrelevant for the point we're discussing. But in case it helps, you might also read Wikipedia:Scientific consensus and Wikipedia:Scientific standards TEDickey (talk) 10:49, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
To put this to rest, Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard for Intel based Macintosh computers is UNIX® 03 certified. Sorry, I hate OS X just as much as anyone else but it is certified. --J Grant Fox (talk) 21:56, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

expansion of acronym[edit]

The acronym is not defined in the given source. Also, contrary to the latest edit, it does not have any wording like "based on", but says:

The Austin Common Standards Revision Group (CSRG) is a joint technical working group established to develop and maintain the core open systems interfaces that are the POSIX® 1003.1 (and former 1003.2) standards, ISO/IEC 9945 parts 1 to 4, and the core of the Single UNIX Specification, Version 3. The approach to specification development is "write once, adopt everywhere", with the deliverables being a set of specifications that carry the IEEE POSIX designation, The Open Group's Technical Standard designation, and the ISO/IEC designation. The current set of specifications is simultaneously ISO/IEC 9945, IEEE Std 1003.1 and forms the core of the Single UNIX Specification Version 3 .

Perhaps a different source would give the acronym's expansion TEDickey (talk) 21:19, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I added a ref for the acronym and removed the erroneous "based on". I also tried to make the intro less awkward Bhny (talk) 08:21, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

General Meaning[edit]

It would be helpful to have a paragraph or two better explaining what POSIX is in practical terms. What is it for? What does it accomplish? What makes a system that is POSIX-compliant better (or worse) than other systems? Is there a drive for all operating systems to be POSIX-compliant? Why or why not? (talk) 22:08, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I came to this article not only to find out what POSIX is - which it answered - but also to learn: why should a POSIX set of standards exist? Of what utility is it to have a POSIX and to have OSes be in compliance with it? Who finds it useful, and for what purposes? I didn't get that question answered. A brief paragraph about this, for dumb newbs like me, would be an excellent addition to the article.

I think that POSIX was created to create compatibility between all the different flavors of Unix (AIX, Solaris, etc).CameronNemo (talk) 20:05, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Unix 03 certification versus marketing[edit]

this edit points to marketing literature. It is reflected in somewhat older releases in the register of certified products, which has no entry for Lion TEDickey (talk) 19:31, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

10.8 Mountain Lion is now on the list (as of at least 18 July 2012). Strange that 10.6 Snow Leopard is present but 10.7 Lion was skipped … (talk) 13:43, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

What is most current[edit]

The article has "As of 2009" statements. Something new was published in 2013. Do these statements need to be updated? ~KvnG 15:33, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

POSIX and G.R.O.S.S.[edit]

"'an acronym for "Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX" is reminiscent of G.R.O.S.S.. Is there a name for this kind on acronym? --Guy Macon (talk) 20:43, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Regarding these two edits,[1][2] we have a bit of a conflict. IEEE Std 1003.1 calls it "Portable Operating System Interface", but the following sources call it "Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX":
--Guy Macon (talk) 22:11, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, you have a choice: either use the explanation given by the people who are writing standards, or choose your own sources (there's a lot of that going on already in Wikipedia). TEDickey (talk) 22:40, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
No, we should go with what the majority of reliable secondary sources say. Wikipedia:No original research#Primary, secondary and tertiary sources applies. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:51, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
that's an amusing implication: that you can choose which facts to use primary sources on. I can see lots of problems (have fun) TEDickey (talk) 23:11, 19 January 2014 (UTC)


Resolved: reworded (according to citation) -- Heribert3 (talk) 01:13, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

"Richard Stallman suggested the name POSIX to the IEEE. The committee found it more easily pronounceable and memorable, so the committee adopted it." Found POSIX to be more memorable than what? either this whole sentence should be dropped, or expanded to actually matter IMO Bumblebritches57 (talk) 10:00, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

"POSIX" is more memorable then IEEE Std 1003.1 like "Ethernet" is more memorable then IEEE 802.3, though sadly the Wikipedia spreads bullshit again... "Bluetooth" is more memorable then IEEE 802.15.1, and "Firewire" more memorable then IEEE 1394. Sadly IEEE 802.11 has not such "more memorable name", so people call it however they want often WLAN (does it stand for "wave LAN", or really for "Wide area network"?) , and – of course – the Wikipedia makes night shifts to spread half-knowledge and bullshit. User:ScotXWt@lk 07:24, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

IEEEIX/POSIX source[edit]

Actually a third-party source is preferable to a first-person recollection. Looking for one, I found this: file Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2005, POSIX – Inside: A case study Jim Isaak TEDickey (talk) 01:15, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Nice finding, thank you! By "an environment that supported portability between systems" does he mean API = source-code portability or ABI = binary portability (cf. The Linux Programming Interface)? Sadly the Wikipedia is not very keen on respecting this decisive difference, especially when referring to the Windows API, the regularly mean the Windows ABI. Now how about POSIX/SUS? User:ScotXWt@lk 07:33, 29 June 2014 (UTC)


Whether the Wikipedia is used to spread and sow FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt) or whether there are just not enough people with the necessary knowledge willing to contribute, or both.

For example, when somebody reads all of the articles POSIX, Single UNIX Specification, UNIX and Unix-like, I doubt he will have understood the following, very simple and strait forward correlations:

  1. POSIX was created by the U.S. government (or the DOD) solely for procurement purposes; it is NOT an interface designed from scratch in a clean way[citation needed]
  2. The Single UNIX Specification (SUS) is a set of standards for an OS to be met, to qualify for the brand-name UNIX®.
  3. The specification described by POSIX and SUS are identical. Cf. "POSIX.1-2008 is simultaneously IEEE Std 1003.1™-2008 and The Open Group Technical Standard Base Specifications, Issue 7" The difference between POSIX and SUS are legal: The Open Group owns the brand-name UNIX®, to get it, you have to certify against SUS, not against, POSIX, since POSIX is a standard specified the IEEE...
  4. UNIX® is a registered trademark, a brand. It is used for certified operating systems compliant with the Single UNIX Specification.
  5. Unix-like is a term to describe operating system, that probably would comply with the Single UNIX Specification to be allowed to advertise themselves with the brand-name UNIX, but nobody payed the money to actually make sure they really do... While I personally don't mind people calling Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu "unix-like", the article Unix-like is far to long, if not superfluous. The article Linux is again total crap, its introduction should contain something like
    • The term "Linux" describes the family of Linux kernel-based operating systems, not any one operating system... the base components, such as the Linux kernel (its SCI, system call interface), the glibc, the GNU Core Utilities and some others, make many Linux operating systems "unix-like", i.e. = no money to get certified against SUS and actually get UNIX® brand-name.
    • the term "Linux-based" is braindead. It is either Linux kernel-based or simply "a Linux", another one.

First somebody has to know all of the above. Then he needs to gather references. Then he needs to do contribute to the Wikipedia and write articles, that reflect these facts in a clear language. BUT then, he needs to fight all the hard-working "Wikipedia-people" (let's not call them "contributors", since they don't contribute, they are more like, we are around, and stir the shit) that either willingly spread FUD or are simply fucking stupid. User:ScotXWt@lk 08:39, 29 June 2014 (UTC)