DOS vs UNIX: Difference and Comparison

Technology is improving widely in the world. Gadgets operate by many operating systems. In the present world, we are using many operating systems. DOS and UNIX are the multitasker operating systems used for computers.  

Key Takeaways

  1. DOS is a single-tasking, single-user operating system, whereas UNIX is a multi-user system.
  2. DOS utilizes a command-line interface, while UNIX offers command-line and graphical user interface options.
  3. UNIX supports more file systems and has greater security features than DOS.


DOS is a single command-line operating system that runs from a disk drive and is only used in x86-based computers. UNIX is a powerful operating system designed for flexibility and adaptability that is used in all types of computers. It is a multitasking, multiuser system.


MS-DOS is an operating system primarily used in x86-based computers. The abbreviation of the DOS is Disk Operating System, and it runs from a hard disk drive.

The x86-based computers had designed by Microsoft and operated by the MS-DOS operating system. The rebranding of the MS-DOS is IBM PC DOS, where some OS had suited with MS-DOS and referred to as DOS.  

UNIX is a multitasker and multiuser operating system that had acquired from the original AT&T Unix. Unix OS is suitable for computers, and the development started in the 19th century at Bell Labs Research. The initial Unix operating system had released in November 1971.   

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDOS UNIX 
DOS is an operating system that had used in x86-based computers developed by Microsoft. UNIX is a multitasker, multiuser operating system that had used in computers.     
Released    DOS had released in 1981.  UNIX OS had initially released in November 1971. 
Operating     DOS operates on x86-based computers and runs from a hard disk device.  UNIX Operating system operates on computers and, it derives from the original AT&T Unix.  
DOS had defined as Disk Operating System.    UNIX is also referred to as UNICS and derived as UNiplexed Information Computing System. 
Difference     MS-DOS is a single-process Operating System. DOS used to consume less memory power compared to UNIX. UNIX is a multitasking process Operating System.  

What is DOS?  

DOS is an operating system that had used in the x86-based computers developed by Microsoft. Disk Operating System (DOS) had released in 1981, and it had a single-processing operating system.

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X86-based computers are personal computers expanded by the Microsoft Corporation. DOS will run from the hard disk device. The rebranding of the MS-DOS is IBM PC DOS, where some OS had suited with MS-DOS and referred to as DOS.

The x86-based computers had developed by Microsoft, which runs on the DOS operating system. The Disk Operating System (DOS) contains C Programming Language, Assembly Language, and x86-based language.

The developers of the Disk Operating System are Microsoft Corporation and Tim Paterson. The source models had released in DOS. DOS was initially released in 1981 and finally released in 2000 for Windows 8.0. The DOS has closed source and open source for selected versions from 2018.   

DOS consists of mono-spaced raster typefaces font size where it had compared with Courier. This type of Font size used cross zeros and had been designed as an MS-DOS font. The command used for the external code is Deltree, which Dir had used for the internal code.

Disk Operating System (DOS) was used for personal computers before Windows arrived. It is a single-command operating system where it cannot Operate multi-commands. DOS can use for Disk storage devices like Floppy disks, Optical disks, and Hard disk drives.

The Operating disk drives help to organize the file systems for reading and writing on the disk storage. Disk Operating System (DOS) is still in use because of some purposes they are  

  • DOS is convenient for classic games.   
  • It provides support for the legacy bus software.  
  • DOS can run the embedded systems.  

There is no commercial operating system that built the software like DOS. Disk Operating System is different from Windows because DOS consists of Command-line operating whereas Windows is a graphical operating system.  


What is UNIX?  

Unix is a multi-processor operating system used for computers. UNIX had obtained from the original AT&T Unix system that had developed in the 19th century. UNIX had progressed in the Bell Lab Research Center.

The developers of the UNIX operating system are FreeBSD, Nokia Bell Labs, Ken Thomson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas Mcllroy, and Joe Ossanna. UNIX operating system has some OS Versions like Plan 9 and Linux.

The programming language that had used for the UNIX operating system is C Programming and Assembly language. UNIX had initially released on November 3, 1971, and later, this operating system had awarded the Turning Award.

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The servers used for the UNIX operating system are Application Servers and Database Servers. The servers include SUN, IBM, HP, and others. UNIX OS operates medium-large scale computer systems with the help of servers.  

UNIX use the end-line system as (“/n”). UNIX consists of environment variables where some variables had been set by the system. Some variables operate by you, and some have worked by the shell and program.

UNIX had a regular expression having characters in the sequence that matched the text. UNIX OS has a multitasker and multiuser function. UNIX is useful for multi-purpose in all forms of computing systems like desktops, laptops, and servers.

UNIX has a graphical feature that is similar to the Windows system. UNIX is named UNICS, and the abbreviation of UNICS is UNiplexed Information Computing System. It started to work on programming in the 1960s and successfully operated in 1971.

UNIX operating system had widely used in complex, Key applications for some companies that positively run those apps. Data Enterprise Centre prefers the UNIX operating system. macOS uses the UNIX operating system.  

Main Differences Between DOS and UNIX  

  1. DOS is an operating system used in x86-based computers, whereas UNIX is an operating system used in all forms of computers.  
  2. DOS had released in 1981, whereas the UNIX operating system had initially released in November 1971.  
  3. DOS has been derived as Disk Operating System, whereas UNIX has been named UNICS, derived as a UNiplexed Information Computing System.  
  4. DOS is a single commanding line system, and UNIX is a multitasker, multiuser system.  
  5. DOS runs from the hard disk device where UNIX operating system had acquired from the original AT&T Unix.  
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Last Updated : 14 July, 2023

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