Difference between Unix and Linux

Back in 1969, UNIX has evolved through a number of different versions and environment. One of the Original UNIX editors has licensed the most modern UNIX variants. It’s closed Source software. There are various flavors of UNIX are available in market like Sun’s Solaris, Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX, and IBM’s AIX all of these have their own Unique Foundation, all these flavors are optimized and incorporated with different tools which are most compatible with their hardware.

Linux is an open source (free to use and redistribute under GNU licenses) operating system widely used for computer hardware and software, game development, tablet PCS, mainframes etc. UNIX is a copyrighted name only big companies (IBM, HP etc…) are allowed to use the UNIX copyright and names. UNIX is commonly used in internet servers, workstations and PCs by Solaris, Intel, and HP etc.

Linux Kernel was designed by Linus Torvalds with an intention of developing a Unix-like operating system as an open source alternative of UNIX environment. An administrator or developer who supports Linux systems might find it uncomfortable to move to a commercial UNIX system. On the whole, the foundations of any UNIX-like operating system (tools, filesystem layout, programming APIs) are fairly standardized. However, some details of the systems show significant differences. The remainder of this article covers the details of these differences.

In The Box

Linux is designed as just kernel. All Linux distributions package includes GUI system, GNU utilities, installation & management tools, GNU C/C++ Compilers, Editors and various applications (e.g. OpenOffice, Firefox). However, most UNIX operating systems come as A-Z package everything is designed and distributed by the same vender.


Linux is considered as most user friendly UNIX like operating systems. It makes it easy to install sound card, flash players, and other desktop goodies. However, Apple OS X is most popular UNIX operating system for desktop usage.

Filesystem support

One of the reasons Linux has become such a powerful tool is its immense support for other operating systems. One of the most popular features is the plethora of filesystems that are available. Most commercial version of UNIX supports two, or possibly three, different local filesystem types. Linux, however, supports almost all of the filesystems that are currently available on any operating system.


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 where as The UNIX operating system is used in internet servers, workstations & PCs. Backbone of the majority of finance infrastructure and many 24×365 high availability solutions.

In Short

Clearly the general environment between UNIX and Linux is very similar. However they have differences in their filesystem and Kernel, but overall these differences are not major. They might need specialization in optimizing the work, but since the underlying concepts are so mature that changes are very rare. There are so many differences in UNIX itself among its variants that UNIX and Linux feel like they are one of the variant of each other.