UNIX vs LINUX- What Is The Difference Between UNIX and LINUX?

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,Programming & Software

Linux & Unix –

LINUX and UNIX are known as 2 comparable and robust operating systems. In fact, Linux is considered a very close cousin of UNIX OS.

While LINUX and UNIX have quite a few similarities, still there is plenty of difference between both.

In this article, we will discuss UNIX vs LINUX and compare various features of these 2 flavors to understand how one is in contrast to others.


UNIX system began in the year 1969 when AT&T developed the version of the UNIX operating system, which was completely written in C language.

On the other hand, LINUX is quite a newbie to the IT market since it came to inception in the year 1991.

In term of standards, LINUX is an Open Source OS whereas UNIX is only limited to its copywriters.

When LINUX was developed, the intent was to spread the product equally amongst home users, developers etc. and UNIX was developed mainly for servers, workstations and mainframes.

Related- LINUX Interview Questions

While comparing cost in Unix vs Linux, LINUX is freely available in the market with no hidden or associated cost. On the contrary, UNIX incurs cost based on the type of variant.

From a security perspective in Linux vs Unix, 60-100 viruses are enlisted for LINUX OS and 85-120 for UNIX OS. A command-line interface is used by both the OS, however, LINUX users prefer GUI more.

Related- Windows vs LINUX

The good thing about Linux is that it is pretty much portable and can be executed on various hard drives. On the other hand, UNIX OS is not at all portable.

Further, some of LINUX variants are Ubuntu, RedHat, Solaris, OpenSuse, etc. while variants of UNIX are AIS, HP-UX, BSD, etc.


Having discussed how both the Operating systems are unlike, below table enlists a detailed difference between Linux and UNIX in a tabular format –

Inception Year
Open source operating system which is freely available
Operating system can only be used by its copywriters
System type
Just the kernel
Complete Operating system
Target use
Can be used by anyone including home user and developer.
Developed mainly for servers, workstations and mainframes.
LINUX is freely available and distributed with no associated cost.
UNIX variants come as customized cost.
60-100 viruses listed till date
85-120 viruses listed till date
Interface type
Primarily uses GUI with option of CLI
Primarily uses CLI
Not portable
Ubuntu, RedHat, Solaris, OpenSuse, etc.
AIS, HP-UX, BSD, etc
Source Code
The source code of Linux is available in general public.
The source code not available in general public.

Download the comparison table here.

unix vs linux


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