The two terms look similar but there are significant differences between both.
Unix is a proprietary operating system created in 1970, although there are now free derivative versions. UNIX is usually favored for largescale environments like universities, big enterprises or companies. The proprietary version today has a number of variants that developed over time but are mostly based on one of original editions. A few of the top ones are - Sun's Solaris, Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX, Mac OS X and IBM's AIX®
“Linux is a free source version of the same idea of UNIX, behaving similarly but not a clone per se“
The development of Linux started off with a desire to have a free alternative to Unix. In early 1980s the GNU project developed a free version of Unix, and decided to adopt the kernel which was being written by Linus Torvalds. Linux in itself is only a kernel while Unix is a complete operating system with all components coming from a single source. Linux in conjunction with GNU Project is a complete system, and the code is freely available.
A few popular names in Linux Distribution (Operating System) are Redhat Enterprise Linux, Debian Linux, Fedora Linux, Suse Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu Linux
Understanding the Differences
Although they share the same foundations, Linux & Unix have a number of technical differences.Primarily commercial Unix versions remain largely consistent as they follow published standards, retaining established norms. Linux on the other hand is more diverse. Different developers have developed different versions modifying elements as required. This often makes it difficult for developers to switch between versions or keep track of changes.
Both software packages come with their own set of tools, firewall systems, backup software, and other applications.
A major difference is in the filesystems support. Linux was created for personal computer but it’s more flexible than UNIX as it supports far many more file-system types than UNIX. This flexibility has made Linux an extremely popular and powerful tool. Commercial Unix versions usually supports two or three filesystem types but Linux supports almost all the different filesystem types that are available under any form of operating system. Not surprisingly, Linux is today used on a wide variety of hardware ranging from mobile phones, or video game systems to supercomputers.
Linux has numerous forms of operating systems available– both free and paid. Cheaper than the commercial versions, the paid versions offer support, training and consultancy services. For Unix, a commercial license would need to be procured for deploying the software.
Read more about UNIX - Unix inDetail
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