From Academic Kids

Tru64 is HP's (formerly Compaq; formerly DEC) 64-bit UNIX for the Alpha AXP platform. It was previously known as Digital UNIX, before that as OSF/1. DEC's prior Unix product was known as Ultrix.

It is unique among common commercial UNIX implementations in being built on the Mach kernel often associated with NeXT, and now Mac OS X. It is sometimes criticized for POSIX compatibility holes.



In 1988, during the so-called "Unix wars", DEC joined with IBM, HP and others formed the Open Software Foundation (OSF) to develop a version of Unix to compete with AT&T and Sun Microsystems. OSF/1 was one of the first operating systems to use the Mach kernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University, and is probably best known as the root of the third major branch of the Unix family tree, after System V and BSD.

DEC's original release of OSF/1 was in 1991 for their line of MIPS workstations; it was never really a fully supported product and it was cancelled before the end of 1992. DEC moved OSF/1 to their new line of Alpha workstations, and this was the original version (V1.2) of what is most commonly known as OSF/1.

HP also worked on a product they called OSF/1 designed for early versions of their PA-RISC workstations, but this project never really got off the ground due to the complex nature of the hardware.

In 1994, after the Unix wars had splintered the Unix market, the Open Software Foundation ceased funding of research and development of OSF/1.

Digital UNIX

After the OSF gave up on OSF/1, DEC renamed it Digital UNIX and made it the main operating system for the company's Alpha processors. It was 64-bit and retained the basis on the Mach kernel but with components from BSD, System V and other sources.


After Compaq's purchase of DEC in early 1998, Digital UNIX was renamed to Tru64 to emphasise its 64-bit-clean nature.

Future plans

With HP's purchase of Compaq in 2002, HP announced the intention to migrate many of Tru64's more unique features (including its file system) to HP-UX, HP's proprietary Unix. As of December 2004, however, HP appears to have cancelled this project, instead choosing to use the Veritas file system and abandon the rest of the Tru64 advanced features. In the process, many of the remaining Tru64 developers have been laid-off (made redundant).

External links

  • Tru64 UNIX ( - HP's official Tru64 site
  • ( - Industry news, events, links, etc. related to HP's Tru64 UNIX operating system running on AlphaServers (
  • Tru64 FAQ ( from (
  • Tru64 UNIX FAQ ( from (
  • comp.unix.tru64 - Newsgroup on running, owning and administering Tru64 UNIX (web-accessible via Google Groups (
  • comp.unix.osf.osf1 - Newsgroup on running, owning and administering OSF/1 (web-accessible via Google Groups (

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