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While reading about a Windows 8.1 tips & tricks blog, I came across this conversation in the comment section where they were joking about the possibility of Linux being Batcomputer's choice of OS. Could it be true? A customized OS perhaps? Could the utility belt be running Java? I've searched for an answer which yielded nothing but some vague description of it being a supercomputer and that was it! Batcomputer

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3 Answers 3

up vote 83 down vote accepted

I've found one in-universe and one out-of-universe instance of Batman using an actual computer (e.g. as opposed to a Hollywood computer with customised graphic interface)

1960's Batman

The 1960s Batman series used a modified Burroughs Corporation B205.

Burroughs Corporation B205

The Batcomputer in that case was running the CTOS/BTOS Operation System.

Comicbook Version - 1990s

The panel below shows that the BatComputer uses seven Cray T932 "plug-in units" to provide backup processing power.

BATCOMPUTER COMPONENTS

In order to interface with his own BatComputer, Batman must be quite proficient in using Cray's own unix-based operating system; UNICOS

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6  
So Batman didn't used Linux :( –  Braiam Apr 26 at 21:33
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@Braiam: Well, at least in the 1960s and 1980s there simply was no Linux. –  Joey Apr 26 at 21:37
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Oh no! TVTropes link! There goes an hour... –  bb010g Apr 27 at 16:36
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@bb010g - Sorry for the lack of warning - tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVTropesWillRuinYourLife –  Richard Apr 27 at 16:36
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@MichaelPaulukonis - Yes, I've just spotted the typo. Fixed now. –  Richard Apr 28 at 21:01

Expanding on the answer of @jrg and @Richard, I think we can safely assume that we should consider the question as referring to times beginning from 1980s, since that's UNIX systems actually appeared on the wide user/corporate market. Obviously neither *n*x OS was an option earlier than this rough date due to movie/comix readers/watchers (not to mention creative staff's) perception of the whole computer science; we got mainly blinkenlichten in movies from pre-1980 era due to little recognition of actual computer operating systems' looks.

To sum up:

a) Since we can assume Batcomputer was a mainframe during 1980-1990 era, it's highly probable it was shipped with some custom UNIX clone, however it is not unheard of entirely machine-specific systems, especially with high-end machines. He certainly hasn't used Linux during that time, because Linux hasn't been created by Torvalds yet.

b) Beginning with ca. 1995, Batman used T932, a most powerful variant of T90 supercomputer, running UNICOS, which is in turn based on UNIX ("CRAY T90 systems run Cray Research's industry-leading UNICOS operating system based on UNIX system V"); we can safely consider he ended doing so somewhere about 2005, when it was obsoleted by Cray X1; thus he most probably wasn't using Linux for this time (even though Linux already existed).

BATCOMPUTER COMPONENTS

c) Batman's Wayne Enterprise Mainframe (which is, most probably, used as the Batcomputer, since most of Batstuff is actually disguised as actual corporate property one or another) uses *n*x OS currently; see

n-map close-up

Wayne Enterprise Mainframe:~ en$ nmap -v 192.168.23.10

with

username:path$

being the common command prompt of e.g. bash shell.

Since custom *n*x OSes are ATM the usual choice for supercomputers nowadays, mainly due to maintainability and security provided, it's quite obvious Batman would choose one for his Batcomputer. Hard to say if it's Linux or Unix/BSD clone due to lack of data - but saying it's a Unix-like OS is quite a good guess IMO.

(as as side note, I'd also assume it's a custom-tailored, highly personalized distribution - mostly because that's the way a power admin would go with his personal mainframe)

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3  
UNIX was available well before 'the 1980s'. –  Miles Rout Apr 28 at 5:06
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@MilesRout: Quite so. A major clue is that all UNIX timestamps are calculated from 00:00 on 1 Jan 1970. According to this timeline it originated in 1969 and was "widely available outside of Bell Labs" by 1975: unix.org/what_is_unix/history_timeline.html –  Royal Canadian Bandit Apr 28 at 8:38
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This answer is basically copy of the other to answers how is it useful? –  Lego Stormtroopr Apr 28 at 9:50
    
@MilesRout "beginning from 1980s, when UNIX systems actually appeared on the market" - I'm not saying that there weren't any UNIX before that date, only that they didn't contribute to a serious market share, quote: "During the late 1970s and 1980s, Unix developed into a standard operating system for academia." - first UNIX appeared ca. 1974; you're right it was available, you're wrong if you're trying to point my inacurracy, because there isn't one; being "wideliy available outside Bell Labs" doesn't mean anything, as it's the 7th ed, ca. 1979, that actually defined Unix in userspace. –  vaxquis Apr 28 at 11:28
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@LegoStormtroopr I've created this answer per user request (this was originally a comment); I consider compiling answers with additional data a valid way to provide a solution to a problem. –  vaxquis Apr 28 at 11:47

However, Batman does use nmap (bottom of the page).

enter image description here (click to zoom).

Therefore, it is entirely likely and possible that he uses a Linux distro of some sort.

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5  
nmap is available for all platforms. –  Lèse majesté Apr 27 at 6:28
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It's interesting though that even Batman forgets what services are running on his own network. –  Peter Apr 27 at 8:25
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the command line on the screenshot is clearly *n*x - the 'username:path$' prompt shown on the shot is rather uncommon on Win boxes... with rather uncommon meaning you won't see it until somebody decides to intentionally change his prompt in WinDOS to mislead you –  vaxquis Apr 27 at 16:41
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@vaxquis you should post that as an answer, since unlike this one about using nmap, that point actually does provide a pretty significant argument in favor of Linux on the Batcomputer. –  Matthew Najmon Apr 27 at 17:11
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This says "Wayne Enterprises Mainframe". Is that necessarily "Batman's computer"? –  jpmc26 Apr 27 at 19:34

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