Linux Vs. Unix: What's the Difference? - LinuxConfig.org

Linux and Unix are often compared to each other. If the similarity in their names wasn't enough, Linux is technically a descendant of Unix, and they share a number of similarities in tool kits and overall structure. They aren't exactly the same, though, and the approaches and philosophies behind them are radically different.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://linuxconfig.org/linux-vs-unix

You might want to include BSD in this discussion of Unix and Linux.

No discussion of the history of Unix, no matter how brief, should fail to mention the influence of Multics, from which it took numerous ideas. Check out the Multicians web site (I’m not allowed to post the link) for more information.

It was only when Bell Labs pulled out of the Multics project in 1969 that Ken Thompson built what he at first called Unics.

That first version was implemented on a PDP-7, in assembler, and it was when porting it to the PDP-11 that he realised that they needed an implementation language with at least weak typechecking.

Incidentally, the DEC PDP-11 was a minicomputer, not a mainframe.

The reason so many universities started to run linux was twofold: firstly, it was superior to DEC’s proprietary OS, secondly, as Bell at this pre-anti-trust-case time were not allowed to sell anything computer-related, educational establishments could get the system complete with source code for some trivial amount, $100 rings a bell.

“In 1991, a computer science student at the University of Helsinki named Linux Torvalds grew frustrated with the restrictive licensing of MINIX, another operating system descended from Unix.”

I’m sure most people reading this article will spot this goof, but the name of the developer of the Linux kernel is Linus Torvalds not Linux Torvalds.

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:joy: Thanks for picking up that typo. Author has been notified and the article will be updated shortly.

Here are some differences between Linux & Unix below:
Development: Linux is Open Source, and thousands of programmers collaborate online and contribute to its development.
Unix systems have different versions. These versions are primarily developed by AT&T as well as other commercial vendors.

User: Everyone. From home users to developers and computer enthusiasts alike.
UNIX can be used in internet servers, workstations, and PCs.

The text made interface: BASH is the Linux default shell. It offers support for multiple command interpreters.
Unix: Originally made to work in Bourne Shell. However, it is now compatible with much other software.

Viruses: Linux has had about 60-100 viruses listed to date which are currently not spreading.
There are between 80 to 120 viruses reported to date in Unix.

GUI Linux provides two GUIs,viz., KDE and Gnome. Though there are many alternatives such as Mate, LXDE, Xfce, etc
Unix Common Desktop Environment and also has Gnome.

Usage: Linux OS can be installed on various types of devices like mobile, tablet computers.
The UNIX operating system is used for internet servers, workstations & PCs.