Difference Between Unix and Linux

Computer World came up with an operating system way back in the year 1956. The synergy of the operating system was a fantastic feature that took the IT industry to the next level.


IT Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to technology

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The conductivity of semiconductor materials

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A process that is repeated, evaluated, and refined is called __________

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Saving a file from the Internet onto your desktop is called

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Which of these is not a social media platform?

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The main function of smart assistants like Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa is

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The intention of Machine Learning is

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Which of the following AI domain attempts to extract information from spoken and written words using algorithms?

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'.BAK' extension usually refers to what kind of file?

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Geo-stationary satellite revolves at –

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Many operating systems are available to date, close to a thousand.

Various operating systems are available worldwide: Single and Multi-tasking OS, Single and Multi-user OS, Distributed OS, Templated OS, Embedded OS, Real-time and Library OS.

The advent of technology and the curiosity of scientists made way for a few of the comprehensive Operating systems in the computer world. Two of which are to be named are UNIX and Linux.

Unix and Linux came in different timelines; however, each has its own characteristic features that the IT world cannot deny.

UNIX came to the world first, and Linux is a clone of Linux and has advanced user interface features that developers most seek.

Key Takeaways

  1. Unix is a family of multitasking, multi-user operating systems originally developed in the 1970s, known for its stability, portability, and modularity, and used primarily in servers, mainframes, and workstations.
  2. Linux is an open-source Unix-like operating system created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. It has gained popularity for its flexibility, customizability, and widespread community support, used in various devices from servers and desktop computers to smartphones and embedded systems.
  3. The main difference between Unix and Linux is their licensing and development. Unix is a proprietary system developed by various companies, while Linux is open-source and freely available for modification and distribution.

Unix vs Linux

Linux is an open-source operating system. This OS offers numerous software features that manage computer resources. Linux is supported on a variety of computer platforms. While Unix operating system functions as a link between the user and the computer and is robust and multitasking.

Unix vs

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonUnixLinux
History of Manufacture and developmentUNIX was developed in the year 1970 at Bell Labs. It was prepared for Bell Labs’ internal use and later started distributing to various companies.Linux came into existence in 1991. It is an open-source software developed by sharing the code and collaborating with various developers.
Primary FocusUNIX initially and for a long time worked primarily on Command Line Interface (CLI), though in recent years, Graphical User Interface has been developed on UNIX systems but not as effective as its counterpartsLinux is an open-source OS based on UNIX. Linux had both CLI and GUI right from the beginning making it comprehensive. CLI is optional in Linux
Flexibility in UsageUNIX has minimal compatibility with many different types of hardware.Linux is very flexible and compatible with most of the hardware systems available.
Installation EaseUNIX always requires well-defined hardware machinery. It can be installed only on selected CPUsLinux is a free download software. It can be downloaded easily too. Minimum system requirements are to be met for Linux Installation.
PriceUNIX is not free. There are many flavours of UNIX available in the market, and every flavour is priced at different rates.Linux is free. A few versions of Linux, like the Red hat Linux are charged; however, they are very less expensive than Windows.


What is Unix?

UNIX is a multi-tasking and multi-user operating system developed in Bell Labs. It was prepared to use internally for Bell Systems, but later the licensed version of it was distributed to many companies.

UNIX is the first portable operating system to reach numerous platforms. The operating system can provide simple tools that perform specific limited functions; these tools are combined with the command language to perform complex functions too.

The UNIX system is based on the UNIX philosophy, which is unique for this operating system. It uses a hierarchical file handling system, while the data storage is facilitated by using a plain text format.

The Kernel is the master control for UNIX; it has the entire control over the system. The Kernel acts as an interface between the user and the hardware of the system.

Apart from the kernel, the shell plays a vital role in the operating system. It acts as the interface between the kernel and the user.

There are many variants of UNIX distributed to many companies at different levels. Each variant maintains its kernel.

Unix-operated systems are aligned with their systems. This means to say that the hardware is also shipped along with the software.

UNIX, by far, is designed for a minimal audience and also for specific applications and functions. The interfaces available are eventually stable.


What is Linux?

Linux functions on a beautiful package management system. It is developed from the collection of many software that is built upon the kernel.

The software used in the development of the Linux Kernel is open-source and free. Linux consists of the following: A Linux Kernel, a GNU system and utilities, a compiler for library functions, and a window system and desktop environment.

Linux is free to download by anyone. The source code can be seen by anyone too.

This operating system is considered to be faster than many other operating systems existing at the moment. Indeed, it is portable to many hardware systems.

Installation of Linux is pretty simple. Not many hardware specifications are required for the installation. Linux is available for free of cost, and a few distros of the same are very economical too.

The interfaces available in Linux systems evolve time and again, and it is dynamic. The best part is Linux supports most of the file systems available in other operating systems. The threat detection and bug fixing aspects are speedy with Linux.

A cluster of programs supported by the Linux kernel is a comprehensive operating system for many IT firms.


Main Differences Between Unix and Linux

  1. The difference between UNIX and Linux is a family of derived distributions, whereas UNIX is the family of derived operating systems.
  2. In the case of Linux, there are different variants maintained by different communities that merge into one kernel. While different companies maintain UNIX’s variants, and they have their kernel.
  3. The installation of Linux is almost effortless; it can be installed with minimum system requirements, whereas UNIX can be installed strictly with selected hardware systems.
  4. Linux is preferred mainly for economic reasons, and it is especially sought for cloud deployment of data. UNIX is preferred for specific purposes, severe requirements, and the availability of specific applications.
  5. Linux is free except for a few variants, which are also cheap compared to Windows operating systems. UNIX is never free, and the cost structures are different from different variants.
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  1. https://www.usenix.org/system/files/login/issues/login_fall18_issue.pdf#page=61
  2. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=945769
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