Sunday, August 12, 2012

Is Linux, an Unix like operating system?

It is astonishing to note that over the past couple of years there are a few bug of uncertainty among the techno loving generation in conceptualizing UNIX and Linux. Most often Linux is viewed as an UNIX like operating system which is strongly disagreed by “open group, an industry standards consortium” and they weigh it as an attempt to misuse unix trademark. 

UNIX is copyrighted name where only big companies are allowed to use the UNIX copyright and name, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris and HP-UX all are UNIX operating systems. This operating system is mostly commercial in nature. The Open Group holds the UNIX trademark in trust for the industry, and manages the UNIX trademark licensing program.

Admit all the reportage of the argument of all forums and groups, Linux as read from official Linux kernel README file is stated as ”Linux is a Unix clone written from scratch by Linus Torvalds” aiming toward POSIX compliance. While Unix is originally developed by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Lab in 1968 and initially ported to government commercial firms and educational institution. The Unix operating system are complete operating system which has many utilities inbuilt along with kernel the master control program.

Linux is just a kernel and Linux distribution makes it complete usable operating systems by adding various applications. Hence all linux distribution includes GUI system, GNU utilities (such as cp, mv, ls, date, bash…etc), installation & management tools, GNU c/c++ Compilers, Editors (vi), and various applications (such as OpenOffice, Firefox) etc.

Regarding the file system, Linux by default supports and use ext3 or ext4 file systems while UNIX comes with various file systems such as jfs, gpfs (AIX), jfs, gpfs (HP-UX), jfs, gpfs. When comparing the system administration tools and security firewall, Unix system comes with its own tools and products like SAM on HP-UX.for sys admin and ipfilter based firewall. While Linux uses open source netfilter/iptables based firewall. While analyzing on the end user perspective the difference is not big on an average, both uses same shell (e.g. bash or ksh) and other development tools such as Perl or Eclipse development tool.

While diagnosing it from a cost frame Linux is free you can download it from the Internet or redistribute it under GNU licenses. You will see the best community support for Linux. Most UNIX like operating systems are not free (but this is changing fast, for example OpenSolaris UNIX). However, some Linux distributions such as Redhat / Novell provides additional Linux support, consultancy, bug fixing, and training for additional fees.

At the enterprise level linux flavor grids most of the server and cloud platform where RHEL tops the tally. To know more about the advantages of RHEL visit advantages of RHEL


  1. sir i completed my B.E(I.T) in 2012 , side by side i completed RHEL6 now m confused what to go nxt for..should i go for RHCSS or AIX ?? or should i go for mcitp or ccna...?

  2. Hi Nishant, I could read that you are seeking a better prospects in System Administration...Your choice RHEL is good as Redhat is one of the leading vendors managing major servers, cloud etc...It is better you opt a specialization in Redhat security (RHCSS)