July 22, 2009

what is the standard difference b/w linux and unix

what is the standard difference b/w linux and unix

Answer to the question

Linux is an operating system kernel, and UNIX is a certification for operating systems.

The UNIX standard evolved from the original Unix system developed at Bell Labs. After Unix System V, it ceased to be developed as a single operating system, and was instead developed by various competing companies, such as Solaris (from Sun Microsystems), AIX (from IBM), HP-UX (from Hewlett-Packard), and IRIX (from Silicon Graphics). UNIX is a specification for baseline interoperability between these systems, even though there are many major architectural differences between them.

Linux has never been certified as being a version of UNIX, so it is described as being "Unix-like." A comprehensive list of differences between Linux and "UNIX" isn't possible, because there are several completely different "UNIX" systems.

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Answer to the question

Many a times we get confused with Unix and Linux also threat them as synonyms but that is not true. UNIX is copyrighted name only few of the companies are allowed it i.e. IBM AIX and Sun Solaris and HP-UX. This quote from Official Linux kernel README file confuses most:
Linux is a Unix clone written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX compliance.

In this article I am trying to describe the various differences between Unix and Linux under the following headings -

  1. History
  2. Usage
  3. Cost
  4. GUI
  5. Security
  6. Future OS


UNIX was created in the 1960s by the AT&T Bell Labs (Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie) and first commercially UNIX OS became available in 1970. First release of Unix was having a command line interpreter and some small utility programs with future extension for the multitasking and UNIX evolved from there.

In 1991, Linus Torvalds began working on a UNIX like OS known as Minix. The Minix source code was freely available under GNU GPL and he successfully modified this code for use on x86 PC systems. By September 1991, Torvalds has successfully completed the first Linux kernel designed for PCs. This kernel included various system utilities and libraries from the GNU project to create a usable operating system based completely on open source code.


The UNIX operating system is used in internet servers, workstations & PCs. Backbone of the majority of finance infastructure and many 24x365 high availability solutions.

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.


Linux is Free (as it is opensource, except the case where you need a supported version i.e. RHEL). You can download it from the Internet or redistribute it under GNU licenses. You will see the best community support for Linux. Most UNIX like operating systems are not free (but this is changing fast, for example OpenSolaris UNIX). However, some Linux distributions such as Redhat / Novell provides additional Linux support, consultancy, bug fixing, and training for additional fees.


Any modern system discussion can not be completed untill unless we discuss about graphical interface. Linux typically provides KDE and Gnome, but there are many alternatives such as LXDE, Xfce, Unity, Mate, twm, ect. where as Unix most distributions now ship with Gnome (initial GUI used to be called CDE i.e. Common Desktop Environment)

See More:-http://tech.queryhome.com/47860/comparison-between-linux-and-unix-operating-system

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One must learn what something is before asking what it is not; hmm?...

One must learn what something is before asking what it is not; hmm?



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Unix is primarily based on ATT's code (System V and such). It was originally...

Unix is primarily based on ATT's code (System V and such). It was originally created for the DEC PDP machines and now runs primarily midrange hardware from Sun, IBM, and HP.

Linux was created with more emphasis on microcomputers (Intel x86, for example) and hobbyist rather than corporate use. It's Unix like (as mentioned in the other comments), but is not Unix.

I believe the current arbiter of what is actually Unix is Novell, IIRC.

Both systems generally conform to the Open/POSIX standards (not Open like Open Source, but Open like documented standards).

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- Linux is free opensource software.. Unix is not.- General user can use...

- Linux is free opensource software.. Unix is not.
- General user can use Linux but wont be able to use Unix.
- Different design
- Lot more applications on Linux than Unix :)

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Let's see if I remember my history.Unix was a proprietary (non-free)...

Let's see if I remember my history.
Unix was a proprietary (non-free) operating system. The GNU project set out to create a free (open source) clone of Unix, but they didn't have a kernel ready.
Enter Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer. He wrote the Linux kernel as a hobby, releasing it under the GPL (general public license). The Linux kernel was similar to Unix, but not exactly the same. This kernel, coupled with the GNU applications, forms the basis for the many distributions we know today, generically referred to as 'Linux'.
So, short answer: Linux is open source, Unix is closed.

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Different kernel!Different System Design!Different historic period!...

Different kernel!
Different System Design!
Different historic period!

Linux comes from the Unix world, but it has also built its own way to be an Operating System.

Please, can you be more precise? Can you clarify your question?

Start also to read these pages:

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