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Linux and UNIX

Linux and UNIXLinux used in Enterprise environment has changed the face of a computing environment. Although Linux is very much closely resemble with UNIX, beyond similarities, they are different operating systems. Often people get confused between the two and pronounce Linux as ‘Look and Feel like UNIX.'

UNIX History

UNIX comes almost two decades earlier in 1969 and Linux appeared in 1991. MULTICS (Multiplexed Information and Computing System) project in collaboration with MIT General Electric and Bell Labs appeared in 1964, which initially failed as was large, unwieldy and buggy. In 1969, Ken Thomson, a programmer with Bell Labs with assistance from fellow programmers Dennis Ritchie and Joseph Ossanna improved it and called it UNIX. Again it was shaky in its initial stage, so the programmers wrote it in C-Programming. It worked, and the operating system was now easy to maintain and portable.

UNIX as a Commercial Operating System

The students after gaining experience brought the operating system to the marketplace in mainstream and further got evolved into a commercial operating system.

Ray Tomlinson of Bolt, Beranek, and Newman added electronic mail to UNIX.

Linux Kick Off

In 1970, the entire code was distributed to universities and incorporated into the computer science curriculum to do practice on it and gain experience. The operating system was available to students and educators in academic settings for training and experimentation. In 1991 Linux Torvalds a student of Suomen Tasavalta in the Republic of Finland, while working on UNIX like operating system MINIX found certain shortcomings and begun writing his operating system. He provided the source code to other freelance developers and independent programmers, thus from their Linux started kicking off.

The reason why people get confused between LINUX and UNIX

Standard Features of Linux and UNIX

  • Multi-tasking: Capability to handle multiple processes simultaneously, like playing games, downloading, uploading at the same instant of time.
  • Multi-User: multiple users can log in, and each can perform its task independently
  • Hierarchical File System: Directories hold sub-directories to form a tree-like structure like a hierarchy
  • Applications: Most UNIX applications ported to LINUX

Reasons for LINUX popularity over UNIX

  • Linux offers Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • It runs on every machine, while UNIX only on proprietary hardware.
  • UNIX licensing is restrictive, and they charge around $17,000 from developers for industry-standard programming libraries. With LINUX no such restriction is there.

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