Difference Between UNIX and LINUX


UNIX and LINUX are both open source operating systems. Open source means that the source code of the operating system can be inspected as well as improved. The UNIX operating system was developed before LINUX. There are certain differences between the two.


The UNIX operating system was developed in 1969 at Bell labs. Now, UNIX is owned by The Open Group which sees its development. A single UNIX specification is published by this group. There are many other operating systems that are similar to UNIX or share its features. The operating systems called UNIX-like.

Generally, network servers or workstations have UNIX installed on them. UNIX served as a backbone of early internet and today, it plays an important part in the functioning of it. It is a portable system that allows multiprocessing in a computer and even multiple users can log in at the same time.

Text input was employed in early UNIX systems and a hierarchical file system for storage was used. Since then, the system has changed a lot but still some commands are same. The Open Group purchased UNIX from Novell in 1994. There are number of other kernels of operating system that are based on UNIX.

The most famous among these is the LINUX kernel. Linus Torvalds made a free version of LINUX kernel in 1992. It was released under the GNU license and it was a complete open source OS. Other distributions of this popular kernel are Ubuntu, Red hat and Fedora.


LINUX is UNIX-like and an open source operating system. This operating system can be inspected and improvements can be made as desired. Open source platforms have an added advantage especially regarding security as programmers around the world provide their creative inputs. Also, open source platforms can be tested by computer programmers around the globe. It is not possible in closed system like Microsoft Windows.

There are different iterations of the LINUX kernel such as Ubuntu, Red hat and Fedora. Most of them have common features but they have been tailored according to specific needs.

In 1991, Linus Torvalds made the LINUX operating system when he was just an undergraduate at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Even now, he is improving the system with the help of hackers and programmers. The licensing of this operating system allows the user to copy as well as distribute it freely with the source code.

Difference between UNIX and LINUX:

• The UNIX operating system is used in internet servers and workstations while LINUX is mostly used on personal computers.

• The UNIX operating system was developed at Bell labs while LINUX operating system is made by LINUX Torvalds.

• The LINUX operating system is based on the kernel of UNIX operating system.

• Although both the operating systems are open source but UNIX is relatively closed one as compared to LINUX.

  • Gusthy

    It is unfortunately not true that Linux is based on the kernel of the Unix operating system. In fact, Linux is nothing else than the kernel, which is totally independent of any Unix kernel codebases – it is intentionally so.
    On the top of the Linux kernel there are different distributions, mostly based on GNU software, which is usually compatible with their Unix equivalent.

  • Hajeerabegam92

    can any one say what s the difference between unix and dos

    • Yuri da Silva

      Unix is has various users and permissions (like root, your name, nobody), and DOS only has one user (everything can do everything on DOS).

  • Batchuanilkumar

    it’s good