What is the Difference between UNIX and LINUX with Examples ?

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Linux is an open source, free to use operating system widely used for computer hardware and software, game development, tablet PCS, mainframes etc. Unix is an operating system commonly used in internet servers, workstations and PCs by Solaris, Intel, HP etc.

Here you will learn about difference between unix and linux i.e. unix vs linux…

Unix OS

Unix is a proprietary software and it is a complete operating system.

The Unix OS works primarily on Command Line Interface. Recently, there have been developments for GUI on Unix systems.

Unix is not as flexible as Linux. It has less compatibility with different types of hardware. Unix installation requires a strict and well-defined hardware machinery and works only on specific CPU machines.

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 installation is comparatively much costlier than Linux since it requires special hardware and can be run only on specific CPU processors.

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

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

The Unix Operating System is not portable.

There are comparatively less distributions or versions of Unix operating systems.

Different versions of Unix are as follows:

  • AIS (IBM)
  • BSD
  • HP – UX
  • Solaris
  • Iris

Unix OS was created in the early 1970s at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the United States.

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.

Linux OS

Linux is an open source operating system based on Unix. Linux is basically the name of the Kernel. The graphical user interface and the applications make it a complete operating system.

The Linux OS has both Graphical User Interface (GUI) as well as Command Line Interface (CLI). Linux comes with KDE and Gnome as its GUI environment. The Command Line Interface is optional in Linux.

Linux is a very flexible operating system and is compatible with most hardware systems. Linux OS can be installed and executed on most of the CPU machines.

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.

Linux has a good scope of scalability and supports a really large set of file systems. Linux installation is generally very economical as compared to Unix since it does not require special hardware for it to run.

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:

  • Redhat
  • Slackware
  • Debian
  • Solaris
  • Ubuntu
  • CentOS
  • Fedora

The Linux Kernel was created by Linux Torvalds in 1990s. However, the complete OS with GNU GPL license also had a huge contribution by Richard Stallman.

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.

Unix vs Linux – Difference between Unix and Linux

The Source Code of Linux is freely available to its Users. The Source Code of Unix is not available for the general public.
Linux primarily uses Graphical User Interface with an optional Command Line Interface. Unix primarily uses Command Line Interface.
Linux OS is portable and can be executed in different Hard Drives. Unix is not portable.
Linux is very flexible and can be installed on most of the Home Based Pcs. Unix has a rigid requirement of the Hardware. Hence, cannot be installed on every other machine.
Linux is mainly used in Home Based PC, Mobile Phones, Desktops, etc. Unix is mainly used in Server Systems, Mainframes and High End Computers.
Different Versions of Linux are: Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse, Redhat, Solaris, etc. Different Versions of Unix are: AIS, HP-UX, BSD, Iris, etc.
Linux Installation is economical and doesn’t require much specific and high end hardware. Unix Installation is comparatively costlier as it requires more specific hardware circuitry.
The Filesystems supported by Linux are as follows: xfs, ramfs, nfs, vfat, cramfsm ext3, ext4, ext2, ext1, ufs, autofs, devpts, ntfs The Filesystems supported by Unix are as follows: zfs, js, hfx, gps, xfs, gps, xfs, vxfs.
Linux is development by an active Linux Community worldwide. Unix is developed by AT&T Developers.

Example: Solaris vs. Linux


Now that you have a good idea of the general differences between Linux and Unix, let’s take a look at some more specific examples. First, let’s compare Solaris, made by Oracle (formerly made by Sun Microsystems), with Linux. Linux is more portable, meaning that it can run on more system architectures (think x86 and ARM) than Solaris can. Solaris is known for better stability and hardware integration, but Linux is still good enough in those areas. Linux also has a much faster rate of development than Solaris.

There are also several other differences between them, but this can occur even among different Linux distributions. For example, they use different package managers, different default file systems, and more. There are also various differences in the respective kernels on how they deal with things such as I/O and network, but those differences are extremely technical.





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