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Unix Vs Linux: How Are They Different?

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Unix Vs Linux

If you are just starting to search for information about Linux, then it is possible that the term “Unix” has appeared among the choices available to you. Although these two relations are very similar, there is a big difference amongst them. Here we will say you what they are.

Although related, Linux and Unix are terms that mean very different things. How are they related? For starters, they are both operational systems and one is based on the other. Here we will express you the history of both operating systems. The history of Unix and Linux

The history of Unix and LinuxThe history of Unix and Linux

Development of Unix began in the late 1960s and early 1970s at the computer research department of AT&T Bell Labs in the United States. MIT and General Electric, along with Bell Labs, were developing a new operating system. Some researchers did not agree with the project. So they retired and began to develop a new operating system on their own. In 1970, Unix was born, a new operating system that was completely rewritten in C language two years later. This feature made it popular with developers because it allowed them to port Unix to different computing platforms. Unix Vs Linux

The owner of the new Unix system was officially AT&T, a company that sold the licenses to universities and later to commercial providers. This means that not everyone was allowed to distribute it or modify its code. It was not yet an open source system. Anyway, the different adaptations of Unix to different purposes with their own licenses were not long in coming. Probably the best known version was the distributed BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution). Surely the Free BSD system sounds familiar to many of you.

Unix was used on servers, large mainframes, and expensive computers at various institutions, while Linux was developed for personal computers, with much simpler hardware. Yet today it runs on more platforms than any other operating system, including servers, embedded systems, and mobile phones.

What is Unix?

The term Unix can mention to the following:

  • The original operating structure developed by AT&T Bell Labs, from which all other operating systems are derived.
  • The UNIX trademark, written in capital letters, owned by The Open Group, which has also developed a series of standards for operating systems called the Single Unix Specification. Only operating systems that comply with these standards can legally bear the name “Unix”. Certification is not free, and developers who want to include the Unix name in their operating system will have to pay a fee.
  • It also refers to all operating systems registered under the name “Unix” because they comply with the standards mentioned in the previous paragraph. They are: AIX, A/UX, Inspur K-UX, UnixWare, Tru64, Reliant UNIX, Solaris, IRIX, z/OS, and OS X. As you may have already noticed, the operating system that runs on Mac computers is also Unix.

What is Linux?

When we refer to the term Linux strictly, we are only referring to the kernel. But without a desktop environment and applications, an operating system is not complete. And since most applications are developed by the GNU Project, the full name of the operating system is GNU/Linux.

However, most people just say Linux when they mean one of the Linux distributions . That is, they use that name for operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Version 4.0 of the Linux kernel remains currently under development and recently Linus Torvalds has decided to change the kernel version numbering system.

Linux is a system of the same type as Unix. That is, Linux behaves in the same way as Unix but does not include its code.

Unix operating systems remain generally named Un*x, *NIX, or *N?X. In some languages ​​they remain also called “Unixoids”. Linux is not Unix certified. Moreover, it is said that GNU represents the acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix” (GNU is not Unix). Instead, OS X is a system that is more Unix than Linux.

Functionally, the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux operating system are very similar to Unix. They follow the same principles of philosophy, such as having code that is human readable, configuration files being stored in plain text files, based on simplicity, including small command line tools, or having a user interface, sessions, and a session manager. Unix Vs Linux

It is important to note that it is possible for a Unix-like system to obtain the Unix certificate. In the same context, all Unix-based or derived operating systems remain often referred to as Unix-like, regardless of whether or not they have the Unix certificate. They can also be free and free or commercial operating systems.

Difference between Unix and Linux


  • Different variants maintained by changed communities; with the core merging with the branch held by Linus
  • Linux discusses to the kernel of the GNU/Linux functioning system. More generally, it mentions to the family of derived distributions.
  • Original code developed by Linus and the GNU Foundation
  • The Linux brand remain owned by Linus Trovalds and managed by the Linux Mark Institute under the Linux Foundation.
  • The Linux Standard Base (LSB), available as ISO/IEC 23360, is a standardization effort by various Linux vendors. LSB is primarily an extension to POSIX, but it has some differences. However, there is not much of a need for LSB certification, since the various distributions use the same kernel in any case.


  • Different variants maintained by different companies; each maintains its own kernel
  • Unix refers to the original operating system developed by AT&T. More generally, it refers to the family of derived operating systems.
  • Original code developed by AT&T
  • The UNIX trademark is certified by the Open Group. List of certified operating systems.
  • UNIX certification based on the ‘Single Unix Specification’, which is an extension of IEEE 1003 (POSIX), also available as ISO/IEC 9945. POSIX specifies programming APIs and shell and utility interfaces. POSIX remain developed as a method to allow interoperability between different UNIX vendors.


Unix is ​​a family of operating systems. The first version of Linux remain developed from 1969. Unix remain​​characterized by being portable and multitasking. Unix Vs Linux

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