System Goats
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UNIX server & network consulting

System Goats provides a broad range of UNIX/Linux services, including onsite and remote system administration and technical support.

The firm has over twenty-five years of experience supporting a variety of UNIX platforms based on FreeBSD, Debian and Linux in general.


Count on System Goats for Disaster Recovery. System Goats can troubleshoot & repair server hardware & software, with immediate assistance through a secure network connection to your servers, often eliminating the need for delayed on-site solutions.

About Unix

Unix systems comprise the most robust and heavily used servers in the world. Unix systems afford great flexibility for maintenance, security and stability.

Unix runs on a wide variety of machine architectures and is used heavily for Internet services, web-hosted business applications, office workstations and Scientific Computing for research and engineering.

Derived from Unix is Linux, the most ubiquitous operating system in the world today. Linux is everywhere, from cell phones (Android) to desktop PCs and home WiFi routers. Of the top 500 supercomputers in the world today, all run the Linux OS. Most Internet servers are run by Unix or Linux. If you use Google or Facebook, you indirectly use Linux. Chromebook is Linux. (Your Mac is technically Unix.)

Development of Unix goes back to the later 1960's at AT&T by Ken Thompson, Dennis Richie and Brian Kerrighan. In 1972 at the University of California Berkeley, Unix was written in the C programming language and made portable to various machine architectures. At Berkeley, the system was re-written with new utilities, such as the vi editor and C shell, and features were added such as symbolic links and TCP/IP, a prerequisite for the Internet. That system is known as BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution). You can download and use one of several freely available BSD's, such as FreeBSD. Unix derivations include System V Release 4 (SVR4 at AT&T), Solaris (now maintained by Oracle), AIX (at IBM), and Linux. More Unix history.

What makes these Unix systems ubiquitous? It has much to do with the licensing, which is generally considered as Free & Open Source. Combine that with the human nature to innovate and we get substantial software development, as well as new Unix systems. Because Linux is free and open source software, many people have derived their their own operating systems from it. See for yourself at DistroWatch.

The name UNIX, with upper case letters, is a trademark of The Open Group.

The Unix kernel & shell

As the name suggests, the kernel is that software that is closest to the hardware. When the system is booted, the kernel is loaded into memory. See kernel. The shell is used to interact with the kernel via the system's command-line terminal. It is invoked when a user logs in. Did you know that much Unix system administration takes place in a command-line terminal? To see what that is like, check out our psuedo terminal.