Friday, December 2, 2022

Unix vs Linux: Comparison Between Unix and Linux

The IT world is transforming swiftly and so is the engine that runs it i.e. the Operating System. Two of the prominent OSs are Unix and Linux. Unix vs Linux, which is better?

People often mistake Unix for Linux. However, this is not the case. Many operating systems were created to be similar to Unix, but none of them were as popular as Linux. Think of Linux as a Unix clone. It has several characteristics that are comparable to Unix.

Unix vs Linux: Difference between Unix and Linux

Despite the overlap, there is a lot of difference between Unix vs Linux. Unix ruled the computing world before Linux and Windows. Unix is a trademarked brand, and the only Unix OS still in use are IBM AIX, Sun Solaris, and HP-UX. To get to the gist of Linux vs Unix, it’s important to know what they are, their features, and their pros and cons.

What is Unix?

Well, it’s a strong operating system that has been around since 1970. It is a brainchild of Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie when working at AT&T Bell Labs. It is a popular scientific, technical, and educational organization known for in-depth R&D, versatility, and adaptability. The file system in UNIX is an organizational system of files and folders that users may utilize to save and acquire information.

The following system structure helps you arrive at the Unix definition.

  • Layer 1 – Hardware

It has data related to all hardware.

  • Layer 2 – Kernel

It works with hardware and performs most operations, such as memory supervision, job scheduling, and management.

  • Layer 3 – Shell commands

The software that handles your queries is called Shell. When you input a query into the terminal, the shell analyses it and invokes the desired program. There are several commands available, including cp, cat, grep, wc, a.out, and others.

  • Layer 4 – Application Layer

It executes the specified apps from different sources.

Features of Unix

Let’s take a deep look at some of the features of Unix. It’s important to understand Unix vs Linux differences.

  • Multitasking

The UNIX OS is a multipurpose operating system that allows launching several tasks from the same terminal. It operates with one activity functioning in the front and the other in the backdrop.

  • Multi-User

The UNIX allows many users to access system resources, such as primary memory, disk drives, cassette drives, and more. Multiple users can access the system from different interfaces and conduct multiple roles that share the capabilities of a command terminal. It has much to do with the time-sharing theory. A scheduler splits the CPU time into numerous segments. They call it slices. It assigns each piece to each user periodically.

  • Portability

This capability enables UNIX to run on a variety of computers and platforms, allowing for the simple transfer of code to any computing device. That’s because a major chunk of UNIX is written in C and only a small fraction is programmed in assembly code for specialized hardware.

  • Command structure

UNIX commands are straightforward to comprehend and utilize. UNIX statements are case-sensitive and must be entered in lowercase letters while working in a UNIX ecosystem.

  • Communication

Communication is a great feature in UNIX that allows users to contact others all around the world. It provides numerous communication capabilities.

  • Open-source

The UNIX operating system is freely accessible to everybody and is the result of a community-based development endeavor.

UNIX Tools and Utilities

The UNIX system has a variety of tools and utilities, such as UNIX grep and awk, among others. Compilers, translators, and network programs are examples of general-purpose instruments. It also comprises several server packages that offer remote and management capabilities.

Advantages of Unix

Here’re a few plausible reasons why Unix Linux makes sense.

  1. Provides multiple tasks with saved memory
  2. Offers virtual memory effectively
  3. Ensures security and proper controls
  4. Features a unified file structure
  5. Offers program control and development
  6. Very consistent

Disadvantages of Unix

Here’re a few loopholes inherent in Unix.

  1. The user interface is very aggressive.
  2. All primary features are required to be accessed.
  3. Cryptic commands can be challenging.

What is Linux Operating System?

Think of it as one of the leading operating systems out there. When Linux was unleashed in 1991, it was well-received by users globally. The OS was designed to provide users with a free open-source system that could be used for a variety of purposes. Because Linux came out before Ubuntu, it was difficult for it to get into the industry at the time because Microsoft ruled the roost in the industry. Although Linux was not as well-known as Microsoft, it was created to become Microsoft’s direct rival.

Linux can be considered as an umbrella term for Unix-like OSs. Linux can be loaded on almost every gadget, even on a smartphone. Video game systems, computers, servers, embedded devices, and tablets all utilize Linux. It drew even more recognition following the debut of its Ubuntu version.

Linux is the most extensively supported operating system in the market, and it runs on almost all computer systems. Linux has also grown in prominence as a result of its user-friendly layout, which makes it simple to use. This was a crucial factor in Linux’s ability to keep its consumers satisfied. Linux, too, offers free services and is available in a customized version.

Features of Linux

Let’s factor in the salient features of Linux. Again, it will give you a better picture of Unix vs Linux.

  • Multi-user capabilities

Multiple individuals can share system resources, such as RAM, hard drive, and so on. However, they must work on distinct interfaces.

  • Portability

This signifies that it can work with a number of different hardware.

  • Security

It secures data in three ways:

  1. Authentication (by allocating passwords and login Ids),
  2. Authorization (by granting reading, writing, and execution permissions), and
  3. Encryption (transforming a file into a format that is not readable).
  • File system

It can provide a hierarchy of files systems in which the files are arranged.

  • Open Source

Linux is available in a free mode and is accessible for community-based dev. Projects.

  • App support

It has its own software library where users may install and run several programs.

Advantages of Linux

Let’s discuss Linux/Unix advantages.

  1. It is an open-source operating system, which allows programmers to create their own customized OS.
  2. It provides you with a variety of applications with various characteristics, allowing you to pick the application based on your requirements.
  3. It is available for free, and you may install it on multiple systems.
  4. It is a totally trouble-free OS that doesn’t cause viruses, spyware, or system slowdown.
  5. A worldwide development group is looking at numerous methods to improve its security. As such, it is safe and strong, and you don’t need to scan it on a regular basis with an anti-virus program.

Disadvantages of Linux

Knowing the cons of Linux is important for informed decisions.

  1. Various Windows programs are unable to function on Linux.
  2. The range of peripheral hardware drivers is restricted to just a few.
  3. Many Internet service providers don’t support Linux.
  4. There is a scarcity of commercial software for Linux.
  5. A large number of games are not available on this OS.

Unix vs Linux: Head to Head Comparison

Now that you know what is Unix and Linux, it’s time to focus on Unix vs Linux.

Parameters Unix Linux
Definition It is only used by the ones who have its copyrights. It is accessible freely to everyone.
Users It was developed specifically for servers, mainframes, and working platforms. It can be used by anyone, whether a student, developer, or businessman.
Cost Unix copyright manufacturers set varying prices for their own Unix OS. Linux is freely available, may be downloaded, and is also delivered through periodicals.
Development AT&T Labs, many commercial suppliers, and non-profit groups collaborated to create Unix. Because it is openly accessible, it is created through the sharing and cooperation of codes by developers all over the world.
Manufacturer Unix comes in three variants: IBM AIX, Sun solaris, and HP-UX. Apple’s OSX OS is likewise built on Unix. The Linux kernel is created by a community of people from all around the world. Linus Torvalds keeps monitoring the activities.
GUI Earlier, it was a command-based operating system, but subsequently, the Common Desktop Interface was developed. Gnome is used by the vast majority of Unix distributions. Although Linux is command-based, several distributions include graphical user interfaces (GUIs). KDE and Gnome are the most often used graphical user interfaces.
Interface Initially, it made use of the Bourne shell. It is compatible with various graphical user interfaces. BASH is the default interface. However, several distributions have created their unique interfaces.


The comparison between Unix vs Linux is the highlight of this article. Both operating systems have their share of pros and cons, making them invaluable for users. We can conclude that both Unix and Linux OS are well-designed and fulfill the demands of their users.

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Mamoor Ahmad
Mamoor Ahmad
My name is Mamoor Ahmad, and I graduated as a Mechanical Engineer. My passion for researching and writing about technological breakthroughs, tourist destinations, traveling, and new innovations allows me to provide enterprises, websites, and startups with the boost they need to grow their business.

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