Whether you are an expert in Unix/Linux environment or a complete newbie into Black & White screen world, it’s some time hard to answer this basic question. If you have that feeling, please read on!
Before we understand the difference between Unix & Linux, let me share the origin of “Uni”x name.
Before UNIX came into the Industry, there used be an Operating Sytem (OS) called “Multics” (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service). If you observe the word “Multi”cs, there is a little word inside it called “Multi”, which means more than one. That was exactly this MULTICS operating system used to do; It tried to balance all operating system features such as response time, user interfaces, etc.
But, our UNIX Inventors – Brain kernighan and Ken Thompson @AT&T Bell Laboratories in early 1970’s – wanted to have an operating system that delivers faster response time for their academic project; Unfortunately, MULTICS was not designed for this single purpose of giving faster response time. Hence, these inventors started writing a platform with concentration on only one feature, faster response time. Hence, the name “Uni”x.
If you ask me the authenticity of the above 2 paragraphs, I might be wrong! But it at least helped me to remember the “Unix” meaning permanently.
To add further, 1970’s was the same time, Dennis Ritchie invented “C” programming language. So, Unix has got 90% of it code developed in “C” language and 10% in machine specific assembly code.
After their academic project, the source code for UNIX was kept open, which eventually received wider acceptance from Industry leaders such as IBM, SCO, SUN, Berkley, HP, etc. From then, each vendor/industry leader developed its own operating system.
Few examples of such UNIX operating systems: IBM AIX, SUN Solaris, HP-Ux, SCO
Then, What is LINUX?
Linux is a Unix clone written from SCRATCH by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. Taking the first name – Linux- of this inventor, this operating system has been named as “Linu”x. In my opinion, Linux included Unix functionality PLUS GUI capabilities that lacked in Unix platforms. Probably, to take out the market share from Windows GUI platform.
Few example LINUX operating systems: Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat, etc
Hope this helps. Feel free to comment if any queries/changes you think are needed.
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