Difference between Unix and Linux

5 pts.
What are the diffrences between Unix and Linux?

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I am surprised to find this question as a simple web search will return millions of hits with good comparisons, history, etc.
This goes back to UNIX itself and the storied history it has. One could almost ask the question “what are the differences with UNIX?” There are many “versions” of UNIX, both proprietory and open sourced. You can see the history starting back in 1969 with Bell Labs and Ken Thompson and the rest of the group designing an operating system. It later branched with BSD and now has many variations including Solaris, HP-UX and AIX.
While a student, Linus Torvalds wanted to improve an academic version of UNIX called MINIX. The version he started posting was called Linux.
To say Linux and UNIX share the same Kernel is not exactly correct. First off, which version of UNIX are we comparing. It is more accurate to say that it is Unix-like. They both use monolithic kernels which handles process control, networking, and peripheral and file system access. It is just that they are all writen, changed, modified, adapted by different groups. Many commands are common across most of these implementations, however, parameters and information returned may be slightly different to very different.

Usually a question like this would get you an RTFM. But I think people have become more polite on the web these days.
But, still, dont ask a question like that at work without at least having researched it on your own to an extent, and then phrasing it in the form of a discussion. “So I read that Unix and Linux have so and so difference, but I dont really agree with that, how would you describe the differences?”

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  • Mac | Difference between Unix and Linux | Download Free Software
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  • Sds9985
    Today, most of the various species of UNIX are some form of System V Release 4 (SVR4) or BSD. These Unix varieties are all interrelated and trace their common origin back to those early days AT&T and Bell Labs. While there are a few open source varieties of UNIX, such as OpenSolaris, most are proprietary and need to be licensed to be legally used. Most are specifically aimed at a particular manufacturer's hardware. Linux is a UNIX-like open-source operating system which was created from scratch, completely separate from the UNIX source tree. Linus only "improved" MINIX in the sense that he created a new operating system that worked in a similar fashion to and better than MINIX. Linux can be run freely, even for business purposes. Companies like Novell (Suse/SLES) and Red Hat (RHEL) offer their Linux distributions for free, but charge for support, training and other products. Business users need to have someone to hold responsible for the operating systems they run, so they either license one of the UNIX varieties or they run Linux and buy support from Red Hat or Novell. These days, most businesses use more than one UNIX/Linux species. AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, RHEL and SLES are all viable business platforms. From an operational and system administration perspective, there is often as much difference between UNIX varieties as there is between Linux and any of the UNIX flavors. The logical volume managers of Linux and HP-UX, for instance, are nealy identical, but are totally different from how one would manage volumes under Solaris or AIX. Solaris and Linux have a daemon call nscd, which caches name service requests, but HP-UX has no such thing. Most standard commands behave somewhat differently in each environment. A major part of the challenge of administering several flavors of UNIX / Linux is remembering and accounting for those differences.
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