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By nick021 at 2007-03-26 12:09
Most of you might have wondered what the difference between UNIX and Linux is.
Here is some of the information I found out while googling.

UNIX Vs Linux.

1. Most common difference: UNIX is propriety system while Linux is an
Open Source system.

2. Technical
a) In UNIX ‘Development’ is targeted toward specific audience and platform.
Linux development is diverse. Linux standard base was formed to alleviate this problem
but it wasn’t of much help.

b) UNIX maintains consistency b/w different versions. Have a published standard that they
follow for their customer.
Linux have inconsistencies b/w versions and no strict standards for tools, environment
and functionality.

c) In UNIX developers are bounded by standard while in Linux developers are free and have
no restriction.

d) In UNIX commands, tool and utilities etc are rarely changed over versions. Hence it is
easy to for administrator to update their skills. Moreover tools and application can
be used on new edition of OS without a large body of testing.
In Linux commands, tools and utilities may change over time.

3. Hardware
a) UNIX was coded for small handful h/w platform/architecture.
Linux was designed to be as compatible as possible. Runs on dozens of
Architecture and support numerous I/O devices & other external devices.
Supported devices are limitless.

b) Commercial UNIX is usually custom written for each system, making the
original cost quite high, but having the benefit of being exactly what you
need.
e.g.
HP-UX => PA-RISC & Itanium m/c
Solaris=> SPARC and x86
AIX=> Power Processor

Linux has base packages that are required, then you install more to get the
system you need. (In this respect, Linux is closer in model to windows than a
commercial UNIX OS is.)


4. Kernel
a) UNIX kernel is not freely available.
Linux kernel is freely available.

b) UNIX patches available are highly tested.
Linux patches are not highly tested as UNIX patches.

5. Updates and Bugs
a) Every OS, including UNIX and Linux, suffers from vulnerabilities and bugs that have to
be patched, fixed and updated.
But Linux enjoys a clear advantage over its elder sibling in this department.
Linux bugs tend to die an early death, because the OS undergoes an incredible
amount of scrutiny in the global open-source community

b) Constant peer review, proponents claim, allows one developer to leverage the
experience and knowledge of all other developers around the globe;
As a result, the software develops faster and becomes more robust over time.
This process has made Linux an incredibly stable OS.

by 2damncommon on Sun, 2008-02-24 20:59
Unfortunately, as I found in following the SCO vs. World lawsuits, defining *nix is complicated.

I still feel the OSI Position Paper a good source for history/definitions of UNIX.

Actually, UNIX is a specification while Linux is a kernel.

by chrism01 on Wed, 2008-07-09 02:37
Also, whilst versions of a specific Unix eg Solaris may be relatively consistent, there can be large differences (at the sys admin level) between Solaris vs HP-UX vs AIX...

by pinballwizard66 on Sun, 2008-10-12 16:43
nice article, cleared some of my questions.

Debian Development

by custangro on Sun, 2008-10-12 16:51
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon View Post
Actually, UNIX is a specification while Linux is a kernel.
Good point!

Many people forget this.

-C

by jlliagre on Sun, 2008-10-12 19:02
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick021
Here is some of the information I found out while googling.
Don't trust everything you found by googling
Quote:
1. Most common difference: UNIX is propriety system while Linux is an Open Source system.
This has already be corrected: UNIX is an Open Group specification while Linux is an Open Source kernel designed for an Open Source UNIX clone: Gnu/Linux.
Quote:
c) In UNIX developers are bounded by standard while in Linux developers are free and have no restriction.
The difference is less extreme. Actually Gnu/Linux is close to comply with most UNIX standards.
Quote:
3. Hardware
a) UNIX was coded for small handful h/w platform/architecture.
Linux was designed to be as compatible as possible. Runs on dozens of architecture and support numerous I/O devices & other external devices.
Supported devices are limitless.
UNIX (the OS) was the first operating system to be written in a high level language with the obvious goal to be portable to various architecture. It demonstrated this portability long before Linux birth.

Linux (the kernel) was originally designed to run only on the x86 architecture. It was modified several years later to be portable though (DEC Alpha, SPARC, m68k, ...).
Quote:
b) Commercial UNIX is usually custom written for each system, making the original cost quite high, but having the benefit of being exactly what you need.
e.g.
HP-UX => PA-RISC & Itanium m/c
Solaris=> SPARC and x86
AIX=> Power Processor
These UNIX OSes aren't custom written for a system. They all started from AT&T UNIX System V forks.
Quote:
Linux has base packages that are required, then you install more to get the system you need. (In this respect, Linux is closer in model to windows than a commercial UNIX OS is.)
All UNIX OSes have required base packages and optional ones. There is no fundamental difference there.
Quote:
4. Kernel
a) UNIX kernel is not freely available.
Linux kernel is freely available.
*BSD kernels are freely available and can be qualified as UNIX kernels given their pedigree.
(Open)Solaris kernel is freely available and open source. Solaris is UNIX compliant and is based on UNIX System V release 4.0 code.

by ichigo@tea on Sat, 2009-03-07 11:01
(I agree with jlliagre)

You forget to differentiate traditional Unix with Unix(Unix is not Unix)such as the *BSD family. The traditional Unix(TM) kernel is indeed closed source, however Unix is open. They operate in much the same way, almost clones of each other.

Thought I would let you know.

by ohanlp on Fri, 2010-04-23 21:12
Is the command language the same, close or different?

by jlliagre on Sat, 2010-04-24 08:37
There are many command languages, assuming you mean shell interpreters here, and most are equally available for both Unix and Gnu/Linux distributions.

by Cityscape on Sun, 2010-05-16 13:12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre View Post
Don't trust everything you found by googling
Linux (the kernel) was originally designed to run only on the x86 architecture. It was modified several years later to be portable though (DEC Alpha, SPARC, m68k, ...).
Actually Linux was originally only designed to work on one computer. The computer was owned by Linus Torvalds. It was designed to work only with his motherboard, hard drive etc.

by mnachaat on Sun, 2010-10-17 03:10
I can say that the most stable system I have ever worked with is HP-UX


  



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