Difference Between Linux and Unix

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : July 8th, 2022

Difference Between Linux and Unix: Both Linux and Unix are multi-user operating systems. Both Linux and Unix are widely used operating systems. The major difference between Linux and Unix is that Linux is an open-source operating system whereas Unix is proprietary. 

Here, we will first discuss the difference between Linux and Unix based on various factors, thereafter we will discuss what is Linux and Unix in order to understand the difference between them deeply. 

Table of Content

What is the Difference Between Linux and Unix?

There exist various differences between both the operating systems as the basic characteristics and ideation regarding formulation are different from each other. The difference between Linux and Unix are explained in the table given below:

Differenciate Between Linux and Unix



The Broader public has access to the Linux source code.

The source code for Unix is private.

Linus Torvalds created the Linux operating system in 1991 at the University of Helsinki.

At AT&T Bell Labs, UNIX OS was developed in the late 1960s. 

BASH is Linux's default shell.

Bourne Shell is the Unix shell.

Linux offers quick threat identification and resolution.

Wait time for the correct bug-fixing patch is longer for Unix users.

The important Linux releases are Redhat, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, and Solaris.

The Unix versions HP-UX, AIS, BSD, etc. are significant ones.

Numerous devices, including desktops, servers, cellphones, and mainframes, run Linux.

Most servers, workstations, and PCs run Unix.

The use of Linux is free.

Unix is a licensed OS.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system widely in use nowadays. It was developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. This operating system is free to use. The Linux operating system is a multi-user, multi-tasking, open-source operating system. 

Linux is sometimes called a clone of Unix, designed to act as the Unix operating system. It is essential to know that Linux is just a Kernal, not a complete operating system. Linux kernel is used to build the iteration of the Android OS.

A few examples of the Linux operating systems are Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Debian GNU, etc.

What is Unix?

Unix is the mother of a few operating systems as it is the base for creating those operating systems such as Linux. The basic characteristic of Unix is that it uses plain text for storing data and follows a hierarchical file system approach. This is not free to use as Linux operating system and is only used by licensed users. 

The kernel of the Unix operating system is known as the heart of the system as it has complete control over the system. A few examples of Unix operating systems are AIX, HP/UX, ULTRIX, SunOS, Solaris, SCO UNIX, etc.

Here are a few articles related to the differences between Linux and Unix:

Difference Between Hard Copy and Soft CopyDifference Between stack and queue
Difference Between overloading and overriding
Difference Between Encoder and Decoder Difference between div and span
Difference between keyword and identifier
Difference Between Structure and union Difference Between Algorithm, Pseudocode, and Program
Difference Between hub and switch Difference Between Java and JavaScript


write a comment

FAQs on Difference Between Linux and Unix

  • The key difference between Linux and Unix is that Linux provides broader access to the public since it is open-source and is free to use whereas Unix is accessible to limited users as it requires a license to access this operating system.

  • The difference between Unix and Linux based on threat identification is that Linux provides quick identification of the threat whereas Unix does not provide as quick identification as Linux. The wait time is longer in Unix.

  • Linux is free to use whereas Unix is not available for free. Unix is a licensed Operating system whereas Linux is an open-source OS.

  • Linux is an open-source multi-tasking and multi-user operating system. It was written on the codes to create a similar OS as the Unix. Various mobile phones, servers, and desktops run on the Linux OS.

  • Technically Linux and Unix are the same operating systems as they are built on similar ideation but are totally different since Linux is open-source whereas Unix is proprietary. Linux was developed to create a similar OS to Unix OS.

Follow us for latest updates