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Unix Versus Linux OS and their limitations

Unix and Linux OS
Most of the time many peoples get challenged about Unix and Linux OS, they treat this two different flavors as same entity. But both of this OS have their own features and limitation. The following section clearly define and differentiate this two OS in details.
Unix is a proprietary OS, born in the late 1960s, written in C language, which is stable, multi-user, multi-tasking system for servers, Desktops and laptops PCs by Solaris, Intel, HP etc. it is very popular in universities, companies, big enterprises etc. It can be used as the master control program in workstations and servers
Linux is built by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki in 1991. its open source, community developed, multiple users, free to use, widely used for computer hardware and software, game development, tablet PCs, mainframes etc. It is a replica of UNIX but does not use its code. Programs consist of one or more processes, and each process have one or more threads.

Linux OS is great for small- to medium-sized operations, and today it is also used in large enterprises where UNIX was considered previously as the only option. A few years back, Linux was considered as an interesting academic project, but most big enterprises where networking and multiple user computing are the main concerns; But today, with major software vendors porting their applications to Linux, and as it can be freely distributed, the OS has entered the mainstream as a viable option for Web serving and office applications.
There are some situations where UNIX is the more preferable choice. If an enterprise used massive symmetric multiprocessing systems, or systems with more than eight CPUs, they needed to run UNIX in the past. UNIX was far more capable in handling all the processes more effectively than Linux. However, since 2004 more of the world’s biggest supercomputers now run Linux than Unix. Since 2011 Linux powers over 90% of the top 500 servers.
Limitation of Unix

  • Unfriendly User Interface.
  • Designed for a slow computer system, slow systems performance.
  • Versions on various machines are slightly different, so it lacks consistency.
  • Lacks consistency
  • Doesn’t support Real-Time Response Systems.

Limitation of Linux

  • No standard edition Available
  • Patchy support for drivers
  • Many of the programs we are using for Windows will only run on Linux only with the help of a complex Emulator For example. Microsoft Office.
  • For new users at least, not as easy to use as Windows.
  • Harder to use in a non-corporate Environment

Comparison of Unix Vs. Linux OS

Basis of difference UnixLinux
UserMainly developed for mainframes, internet servers, workstations and PCs except OSX, which is designed for everyone.Everyone from home user to developers and computer enthusiasts
UsageThe UNIX operating system is used in internet servers, workstations & PCs. Backbone of the majority of finance infrastructure and many 24x365 high availability solutionsIt can be installed on a wide variety of computer hardware, ranging from mobile phones, tablet computers and video game consoles, to mainframes and supercomputers.
Development & DistributionMostly developed by AT&T, Various commercial vendors, non-profit organizations Developed by open Source development and distributed by various vendors
ArchitectureAvailable on PA-RISC and Itanium machinesOriginally developed for Intel’s x86 hardware, ports available for several CPU types
ProcessorX86/x64 sparc, Power, Itanium, PA-RISC, PowerPC, and many otheers Several kinds of processors are used
ManufacturerThree biggest distributions are Solaris (Oracle), AIX (IBM) & HP-UX Hewlett Packard. And Apple Makes OSX, an Unix based OS.Linux kernel is developed by the community. Linus Torvalds oversees things.
File system Supportjfs, gpfs, hfs, hfs+,ufs, xfs, zfs, formatExt2,Ext3, Ext4, Jfs, RegisterFS, Xfs, Btrfs, FAT, NTFS, etc
Shell interfaceBASH (Bourne Again Shell) is Linux default shell. It can support multiple command interpreters Originally Bourne shell. Also compatible with many others including BASH, Korn, etc
GUIInitially it was command based, later a GUI was created called command Desktop Environment. most distributions now ship with Gnome. Typically provides two GUIs, KDE & Gnome. But there are millions of choices. Such as LXDE, Xfce, Unity, Mate, twm etc.
Portability Not portable Portable and can be booted from a USB stick
Security There are b/n 80 to 120 viruses reported till date in UnixLinux has had about 60-100 viruses listed to date w/c are currently not spreading.
Threat detectionBecause of the proprietary nature of the original Unix, users have to wait for a while to get the proper bug fixing patch. But these are not as common. Threat detection and solution is very fast. Whenever any Linux user posts any kind of threat, several developers start working on it from d/t parts of the world
Source codeNot available to any oneAvailable to everyone.
License or costDifferent flavors of Unix have different cost structures according to vendorsFreely distributed, downloaded and paid versions as well.
ExamplesDifferent Versions of Unix are HP-UX, AIS, BSD, etc.Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, Debian, Archlinux, Android etc.


My name is Dawit Uta (David). I am Computer Science Professional. I am interested on research & project work, website designing and development, teaching of any programming languages at any level, helping and encouraging the students, tutoring, consulting about tech. My research areas are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Internet of Things (IoT), Data Science and BigData Technologies.

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