Nov 22

Linux vs Unix

Posix: "a set of formal descriptions that provide a standard for the design of operating systems, especially ones that are compatible with Unix.". Considering POSIX, Linux can be thought as Unix. Though Unix is copyrighted.

Unix Linux
Is Complete Operating System?
Yes,  everything comes from a single vendor Linux is kinda Kernel only then All Linux distributions includes GUI system + GNU utilities + installation & management tools + GNU c/c++ Compilers + Editors (vi) + and various applications (such as OpenOffice, Firefox)
License and cost
Costs money Free
Yes Yes
Security Firewall Software?
Own firewall though you can use 3rd party firewall Comes with open source netfilter/iptables based firewall tool
Backup and Recovery Software
Yes. Common in both:  tar, dump/restore, and cpio Yes. Common in both  tar, dump/restore, and cpio
File Systems
ext3, ext4  jfs, gpfs (AIX), jfs, gpfs (HP-UX), jfs, gpfs (Solaris)
System Administration Tools
own tools such as SAM on HP-UX. Suse: Yast

Red Hat: redhat-config-*

System Startup Scripts
  1. HP-UX – /sbin/init.d
  2. /etc/rc.d/init.d
End User Perspective
Not much difference. They will use the same shell (e.g. bash or ksh) and other development tools such as Perl or Eclipse development tool.
System Administrator Perspective
 Will have differences in the following areas:

  1. Software installation procedure
  2. Hardware device names
  3. Various admin commands or utilities
  4. Software RAID devices and mirroring
  5. Logical volume management
  6. Package management
  7. Patch management



UNIX Operating System Names

  1. HP-UX
  2. IBM AIX
  3. Sun Solairs
  4. Mac OS X
  5. IRIX

A few popular names:

  1. Redhat Enterprise Linux
  2. Fedora Linux
  3. Debian Linux
  4. Suse Enterprise Linux
  5. Ubuntu Linux


Common Things Between Linux & UNIX

Both share many common applications such as:

  1. GUI, file, and windows managers (KDE, Gnome)
  2. Shells (ksh, csh, bash)
  3. Various office applications such as
  4. Development tools (perl, php, python, GNU c/c++ compilers)
  5. Posix interface



UNIX and Linux Hardware

UNIX hardware might have advanced initial boot options such as:

  • Decide how to boot
  • Check system health
  • Set hardware parameters etc


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