Unix vs Linux


Most of us think that Unix and Linux both are same and are different versions. Is it so? No its not so, there are lots of differences between them.  Hope I will be able to make you understand the difference clearly. So lets start with


Unix Operating System works primarily on command line Interface and was created in the early 1970s at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the United States. But recently there have been development for GUI(Graphical User Interface). It is a proprietary software and is a complete OS.

It is not compatible with all types of hardware. So, it is less flexible as compared to Linux. Its installation requires a strict and well defined machinery and works only on few types of processors. The Unix OS is not a freeware and therefore its source code is not available. You cannot modify and sell your version of Unix therefore.

Unix comparatively supports very fewer File systems. It supports the following File systems:

zfs, js, hfx, gps, xfs, gps, xfs, vxfs

Different versions of Unix are as follows:

  1. AIS (IBM)
  2. BSD
  3. HP – UX
  4. Solaris
  5. Iris

The Unix OS is mainly used on large server systems, mainframes, expensive and high-end computer systems at big MNCs and institutions.

Unix is being developed, maintained and updated by AT&T developers. They don’t encourage open source developments.


The Linux Kernel was created by Linux Torvalds in 1990s. Unlike Unix, it is a open source OS based on Unix . Linux is the name of kernel and GUI and applications makes it a complete OS.

It also has a command line interface as optional with GUI. It is very flexible with all type of hardware that is why it is used in wide range of devices. As it is very easy to install and is cost effective so now a days it is also used in homes and offices. 

Linux OS being an open source OS, its source code is available for free. You can, therefore, read, modify and implement it on your machine. However, you cannot sell it as it comes under the GNU GPL License.

The File systems supported by Linux are as follows:

xfs, ramfs, nfs, vfat, cramfsm ext3, ext4, ext2, ext1, ufs, autofs, devpts, ntfs and many more.

There are comparatively more distributions or versions of Linux operating systems. The distributions available for Linux are as follows:

  1. Redhat
  2. Slackware
  3. Debian
  4. Solaris
  5. Ubuntu
  6. CentOS
  7. Fedora

The Linux OS mainly focused on home based PCs and laptops. However, due to its popularity and stability, it started being used in offices and high-end systems including mobile phones, servers and even embedded systems.

The developments in Linux are contributed by a community of developers worldwide without any cost. However, the authority to implement the development lies with the founder of Linux – Linus Torvalds.

Linux Unix
Linux is an example of Open Source software development and Free Operating System (OS). Unix is an operating system that is very popular in universities, companies, big enterprises etc.
Cost: Linux can be freely distributed, downloaded freely, distributed through magazines, Books etc. There are priced versions for Linux also, but they are normally cheaper than Windows. Cost: Different flavors of Unix have different cost structures
Price: Free but support is available for a price. Price: Some free for development use (Solaris) but support is available for a price.
User: Everyone. From home users to developers and computer enthusiasts alike. User: Unix operating systems were developed mainly for mainframes, servers and workstations. The Unix environment and the client-server program model were essential elements in the development of the Internet
Manufacturer: Linux kernel is developed by the community. Linus Torvalds oversees things. Manufacturer: Three bigest distributions are Solaris (Oracle), AIX (IBM) & HP-UX Hewlett Packard.
Usage: Linux can be installed on a wide variety of computer hardware, ranging from mobile phones, tablet computers and video game consoles, to mainframes and supercomputers. Usage: The UNIX operating system is used in internet servers, workstations & PCs. Backbone of the majority of finance infastructure and many 24×365 high availability solutions.
Processors: Dozens of different kinds. Processors: x86/x64, Sparc, Power, Itanium, PA-RISC and many others.
Architectures: Originally developed for Intel’s x86 hardware, ports available for over two dozen CPU types including ARM Processors: is available on PA-RISC and Itanium machines. Solaris also available for x86/x64 based systems.
Killer Features: Ksplice – kernel update without reboot Killer Features: ZFS – Next generation filesystem Dtrace – dynamic kernel tracing
GUI: Linux typically provides two GUIs, KDE and Gnome. But Linux GUI is optional. GUI: Initially Unix was a command based OS, but later a GUI was created called Common Desktop Environment. Most distributions now ship with Gnome.
File System Support: Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, Jfs, ReiserFS, Xfs, Btrfs, FAT, FAT32, NTFS File System Support: jfs,gpfs,hfs,ufs,xfs,zfs format
Text mode interface: BASH (Bourne Again SHell) is the Linux default shell. It can support multiple command interpreters. Text mode interface: Originally the Bourne Shell. Now it’s compatible with many others including BASH, Korn & C.
Security: Linux has had about 60-100 viruses listed till date. None of them actively spreading nowadays. Security: A rough estimate of UNIX viruses is between 85 -120 viruses reported till date.
Development and Distribution: Linux is developed by Open Source development i.e. through sharing and collaboration of code and features through forums etc and it is distributed by various vendors such as Debian, Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, GentuX etc. Development and Distribution: Unix systems are divided into various other flavors, mostly developed by AT&T as well as various commercial vendors and non-profit organizations.
Threat detection and solution: In case of Linux, threat detection and solution is very fast, as Linux is mainly community driven and whenever any Linux user posts any kind of threat, several developers start working on it from different parts of the world Thread detection and solution: Because of the proprietary nature of the original Unix, users has to wait for a while, to get the proper bug fixing patch. But these are not as common.
Inception: Inspired by MINIX (a Unix-like system) and eventually after adding many features of GUI, Drivers etc, Linus Torvalds developed the framework of the OS that became LINUX in 1992. The LINUX kernel was released on 17th September, 1991 Inception: In 1969, it was developed by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs and Dennis Ritchie. It was written in “C” language and was designed to be a portable, multi-tasking and multi-user system in a time-sharing configuration.


Source: withoutbook


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One Thought to “Unix vs Linux”

  1. Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

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