An operating system, more popularly referred to as OS, is an interface between the computer hardware and a computer user. It is a software responsible for performing all basic tasks such as memory management, handling output and input, file management, controlling peripheral devices (like printers and disk drives), and process management, amongst others.
There are many popular operating systems in the world and each of them have something unique to offer to its users. With the changing times, companies have started to focus more on what each of these operating systems have to offer and how the usage of each will affect their progress.
Amid all these talks about operating systems, the two names that always seen to stand out are Linux and Unix. In fact, many get confused in these two because of the similarity in their names. If you think your basic are not clear as well when it comes to knowing that what is the difference between Linux and Unix, then this is the perfect blog for you because we are going to give you a better look into the what is Linux and Unix, along with their differences and a little bit history about each of these.
So, without wasting our time, let us begin you educate you on what you came here for!
What is Linux and Unix?
Linux is one of the most trending open- source, operating systems being used for mainframes, computer hardware, game development, computer software and tablet PCS, amongst others.
Unix, on the other hand, is an operating system used majorly in workstations, internet servers, and PCs offered by HP, Intel, Solaris, etc.
What is the Difference between Linux and Unix?
Let us now compare Linux and Unix on the basis of certain standard measures for better clarity on which one will be a better fit for you.
Linux – Linux can be distributed, downloaded or even re-distributed freely or without any cost. Even the priced versions of Linux are quite cheap as compared to many of its competitors.
Unix – Since Unix has multiple flavors to offer, the price of each differs on the basis of the vendor offering them.
Linux – Linux kernel is developed by the Linux community. Everything is overseen by Linus Torvalds.
Unix – Talking about Unix, three big names are attached to it – HP-UX Hewlett Packard, AIX (IBM), and Solaris (Oracle). Also, Apple makes a Unix based OS names OSX.
Linux – Linux is known for its capability to be installed on quite a wide variety of computer hardware including but not limited to tablet computers, video game consoles, mobile phones to supercomputers and mainframes.
Unix – Unix is used in workstations, PCs and internet servers. It is also the backbone of a huge number of finance infrastructure and a lot of 24*365 high availability solutions.
Development & Distribution
Linux – The development of Linux occurs through open- source development, which basically means via collaborating and sharing the codes and features via forums. This is then distributed by multiple different vendors.
Unix – Unix gets divided into multiple flavors, which are majorly developed by AT&T, along with other non- profit organizations and commercial vendors.
Linux – Linux is used by everyone alike. Whether you are a home user or a developer or a computer enthusiast, Linux is for you.
Unix – Unix, on the other hand, was primarily developed for servers, workstations, and mainframes, except OSX, which has been designed for everyone.
File System Support
Linux – Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, FAT, FAT32, Jfs, Xfs, NTFS, ReiserFS, Btrfs
Unix – jfs, hfs, hfs+, xfs, zfs, ufs, gpfs
What is it?
Linux – Linux is an open- sources and free software development operating system.
Unix – Unix is an operating system highly popular in companies, universities, big enterprises, etc.
Linux – It is free of cost but you can seek additional support for a price.
Unix – Some of it is free for development use but you can seek support for an additional price.
Text Mode Interface
Linux – The default Linux shell is BASH (Bourne Again SHell) an is capable of supporting multiple command interpreters.
Unix – While it was originally the Bourne Shell, it is not compatible with a lot of others as well as such Korn & C., BASH, etc.
GUI (Graphic User Interface)
Linux – While two GUIs are typically provided (Gnome and KDE), millions of others are alternatively presented as well including Unity, twm, LDXE, Mate, Xfce, etc.
Unix – Unix was initially a command- based operating system but a GUI named Common Desktop Environment was later created. Maximum distributions are now shipped with Gnome.
Threat Detection & Solution
Linux – Since Linux is mainly community driven, threat detection and solution here is quite fast. This happens because whenever any Linux users posts about any kind of threat, a wide number of developers start working on that problem from multiple parts of the world.
Unix – Unix is of a proprietary nature and thus, to get the proper bug fixing patch, you will need to wait for a while. However, these are not as common.
Linux – Linux has somewhere around 60- 100 viruses listed in all these years. However, they are not actively spreading.
Unix – Somewhere around 85- 120 viruses have been reported for Unix till date.
Linux – While it was originally developed for Intel’s x86 hardware, now various ports are available for more than two dozen CPU types such as ARM.
Unix – Unix is available on PA-RISC and Itanium machines. OSX is PowerPC. Solaris is available for x86/x64 based systems.
Linux – It has dozens of different kinds of processors.
Unix – Sparc, PA-RISC, Power, x86/x64, Itanium, PowerPC, amongst others.
Linux – Linux was inspired by MINIX (a system quite similar to UNIX). Linux Torvalds added a lot of features of Drivers, GUI, etc. The framework for this OS was developed in to be called LINUX in 1992.
Unix – A group of AT&T employees at Dennis Ritchie and Bell Labs developed Unix in the year 1969. It was written in C language. It is designed in such as manner that makes it portable, multi- user and multi- tasking system in a time- sharing configuration.
Linux – Ubuntu, Red Hat, Android, Fedora, Debian, Archlinux, etc.
Unix – All Linux, Solaris, OS X
Usage of Linux and Unix
Previously considered only a great fit for small to medium sized companies, Linux today is being used by some of the biggest companies across the glove too. However, Unix has always been considered a great fit for big enterprises.
Until a few years ago, Linux was only looked on as a great academic project and was not the first choice for enterprises wherein networking and multiple user computing was in the question. However, today, this operating system has entered the market and how.
Having said that, some big names still had their reservations until around 2004 when it came to choosing between Linux and Unix, and usually ended up with Unix. With the changing times, Linux has proven itself to be a name that is trustworthy and a huge amount of the world’s supercomputers are run on Linux today. Also, it powers more than 90% of the top 500 servers.
The Market & Future of Linux and Unix
As per the reports released by International Data Corp. (IDC), the kind of growth Linux has showcased has been incomparable to the growth of any other operating system in the years that have gone by. More than 25 million machines have a Linux base, as compared to now meagre 5.5 million for combines Unix installations.
There are quite a few reasons why Linux has gained so much popularity in recent years and is continuing to do so. The way it offers a unique set of embedded technologies, is extremely easily available and is free to use have all led to its growth and success.
However, some top names such as HP, Sun and IBM are bringing about major customizations with user friendly interface and graphical user interface to compete with Linux.
So, what are your thoughts about the difference between Linux and Unix?
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