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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  kingmystic90 3 years, 2 months ago.

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    Shiv Singh Panwar

    I have learnt everywhere that Linux is Unix,the only difference is that Linux has Linux kernel.I want to know is there any other major functionality difference or not?



    Interesting question but difficult to answer. The truth is that Unix has evolved over time and gone through a number of competing versions/variants some of which were linked to the hardware vendors. Similarly there are a number of Linux distributions which include slightly different GUI’s and tools.

    To understand the basic differences between Unix and Linux you have to look at their histories.

    From the mid-1980’s there was a growing movement through the GNU project for a unix like operating system that was freely available and could be modified and redistributed. The GNU project developed a number of impressive tools towards this end but were struggling to develop the operating system kernel. Meanwhile Linus Torvalds had begun working on coding a Unix like kernel which he named Linux.

    So there are a number of systems based on orginal Unix kernel codes that include operating systems like Solaris and MacOSX which are called Unix. Other systems are based on Torvalds’s Linux kernal and GNU tools. All these systems however, by design, have very similar functionality. Nonetheless you need to check when planning to use a particular software application that it is compatible with the flavour that you have.


    Paul Rouk

    That is a very difficult question to answer. To understand why, you should look at the diagram linked below which gives a simplified history of Unix.


    There have been dozens of different versions of Unix and literally hundreds of different Linux distributions. Each of these can be slightly different or can be so incredibly different that you don’t even realize they are a type of Unix. For example, your average user probably doesn’t realize that their Apple computer is running a type of Unix with OS X. You could literally write several books describing the differences between different versions.

    There have been various attempt over the years to try and standardize Unix / Linux with varying degrees of success. For example, there is the POSIX standard and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

    http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/ — POSIX standard

    http://www.pathname.com/fhs/ — Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

    If you want to learn a version of Unix / Linux, typically it is best to pick one version and stick with it until you are comfortable. Then you can branch out and start learning how other versions are different from your primary version.





    Paul Rouk

    It looks like my original link is dead now, so here is an alternate source for a Unix history diagram. They call their diagram a “simplified” history which is interesting since their version looks like a bowl of spaghetti with lines going every which way.




    Good question, your nick reminded me of a tool that saved my life in 2000’s, panwar brontoq



    Thanks for the explanations.

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