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Old 03-03-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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Question Linux vs Unix

For an average user like myself, is there this GIANT, glaring difference I'll notice running Unix vs. Linux on my home pc?

Currently running Mandriva 2008.1 and the only thing I know about running unix is FreeBSD 7.1 [downloaded, but not installed]

Can't get clear cut answer. Current hardware:

P4 2.4ghz, 1gb Ram 60gb HD. Nvidia Geoforce 6200 vid card. Nothing fancy
Old 03-03-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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The core concepts of UNIX are quite similar on BSD and Linux systems. As a matter of fact, there are even differences between BSD distro's like FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin. Traditional UNIX systems have also their own ways of implementation: Sun's Solaris is certainly different from SCO's UNIX implementation.

The point is: the biggest difference between Linux and BSD systems is mainly the license. Other then that, all of them rely on the GNU tools, and all of them allow to build from source right for your own system. When running Gnome or KDE, it is for the larger part irrelevant if the underlying system is BSD or Linux.


Arch Linux

Last edited by T74marcell; 03-14-2009 at 12:43 AM.
Old 03-03-2009, 08:51 PM   #3
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Unix, of course, is the 1970's-esque "grandaddy of them all." A descendent of the ill-fated MULTICS system. The greatest thing that ever happened to a PDP-7.

Linux started as the by-product of a college kid's effort to build a Unix-derivative operating-system kernel in his dorm-room.

As you can plainly see, Linus used the Unix operating-system as his model, and he availed himself of "all that had been done before." Yet he used none of the original Unix source-code.

The resulting system is "largely Unix-compatible" without being (or attempting to be...) "exactly Unix." And of course, it has since become the trend-setter of the two... the "ten thousand pound elephant," albeit a benevolent one.
Old 03-03-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Unix, of course, is the 1970's-esque "grandaddy of them all." A descendent of the ill-fated MULTICS system.
I've seen that quoted a lot, but I also saw (just a few years after the dates) dated backups of work in progress on both, so I'm sure Unix was not a descendant of MULTICS. Both were descendants of ITS and to a small extent MULTICS was a descendant of Unix.

Unix was apparently named from MULTICS and long after the MULTICS project was started. But the MULTICS project had a very slow start. Unix was a usable system first and in time for MULTICS design to copy things from it.

The greatest thing that ever happened to a PDP-7.
On that PDP-7 I thought ITS was a more useful OS. But the really great OS of the time (early 70's) was ITS on the PDP-6. Unix obviously became more popular than ITS quickly, but it took years of evolution before Unix was as good an OS as ITS.
Old 03-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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All depends on what definition of Unix you choose.

Unix used to be an Operating System written by Bell Labs guys but is nowadays a set of standards defining APIs. Every OS that officially comply to these standards can be called Unix.
Most Gnu/Linux distributions are probably very close to be able to successfully pass the certification but don't do it for various reasons. *BSDs neither do it, but are ofter called anyway Unix because they are connected to the Unix family tree and thus share some code with the original releases.

Current commercial Unix like AIX, HP-UX, MAC OS/X and Solaris do comply. Solaris is likely the only compliant OS being Open Sourced.

Finally, compliance doesn't matter that much to a casual user who usually doesn't care using OS specific programming interfaces. It is more important to developers as sticking to the standards helps writing portables scripts and applications.


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