>I'm going to buy a used PC and put a "unix" on it (linux or FreeBSD or
>whatever... haven't decided yet). My question is, how close are the
>ports of the sh, ksh, and csh (or perl, tcl/tk, and nawk, for that
>matter) for Red Hat linux or NetBSD to those for the commercial OSs such
>as Solaris 2? Are there any hardware/os combinations to avoid or seek
In general (speaking from the point of view of a person who uses Linux),
you will find that almost all of the versions of awk, sh, tcl/tk, etc.,
are the same, if not better than their commercial Unix counterparts.
As someone else has already mentioned, the version of awk (and compilers
such as C, and C++, etc.) are the GNU (Free Software Foundation ?)
products, and they are every bit as good as any commercial product
(with perhaps the exception of developments at the leading edge of
technology ... usually the GNU product catches up some time later,
depending on how much interest there is in a new feature).
I have used Unix for over a decade now, and Linux for about 5 years,
and I find the Linux versions of everything to be as good, if not
better than anything I have come across in the commercial world.
Occasionally you may find a problem, but because it is based on Unix,
there will almost always be some other way of achieving what you need.
That, of course, is one of the best things about Unix/Linux ... that
you can solve the same problem in so many different ways, and the end
solution will be right for you, but may be simplified, or extended
to suit the needs of someone else.
If you have used any other Unix, I think you will be pleasantly
surprised by the quality of the software tools distributed with Linux.