UNICOS is the name of a range of Unix-like operating system variants developed by Cray for its supercomputers. UNICOS is the successor of the Cray Operating System (COS). It provides network clustering and source code compatibility layers for some other Unixes. UNICOS was originally introduced in 1985 with the Cray-2 system and later ported to other Cray models. The original UNICOS was based on UNIX System V Release 2, and had numerous BSD features (e.g., networking and file system enhancements) added to it.

CX-OS was the original name given to what is now UNICOS. This was a prototype system which ran on a Cray X-MP in 1984 before the Cray-2 port. It was used to demonstrate the feasibility of using Unix on a supercomputer system, prior to the availability of Cray-2 hardware.

The operating system revamp was part of a larger movement inside Cray Research to modernize their corporate software: including rewriting their most important Fortran compiler (cft to cft77) in a higher-level language (Pascal) with more modern optimizations and vectorizations.

As a migration path for existing COS customers wishing to transition to UNICOS, a Guest Operating System capability was introduced into COS. The only guest operating system that was ever supported was UNICOS. A COS batch job would be submitted to start up UNICOS, which would then run as a subsystem under COS - using a subset of the systems CPUs, memory, and peripheral devices. The UNICOS that ran under GOS was exactly the same as when it ran stand-alone - the difference was that the kernel would make certain low-level hardware requests through the COS GOS hook, rather than directly to the hardware.

One of the sites that ran very early versions of UNICOS was Bell Labs, where Unix pioneers including Dennis Ritchie ported parts of their Eighth Edition Unix (including stream I/O) to UNICOS. They also experimented with a guest facility within UNICOS, allowing the stand-alone version of the OS to host itself.

Read more about UNICOS:  Variants

Other articles related to "unicos":

UNICOS - Variants
... several different OSs under the name UNICOS, including UNICOS the original Cray Unix, based on System V ... UNICOS MAX a Mach-based microkernel used on the T3D's processing elements, in conjunction with UNICOS on the host Y-MP or C90 system ... UNICOS/mk a "serverized" version of UNICOS using the Chorus microkernel to make a distributed operating system ...
Cray XT3
... The XT3 runs an operating system called UNICOS/lc that partitions the machine into three sections, the largest comprising the Compute nodes, and two smaller sections for Service nodes and ... In UNICOS/lc 1.x, the Compute PEs run a Sandia developed microkernel called Catamount, which is descended from the SUNMOS OS of the Intel Paragon in UNICOS/lc 2.0, Catamount was replaced by a specially tuned ...