Is Linux Unix?

Linux is a Unix-like operating system because it offers the same design and principles as the Unix operating system. But Linux is not the exact implementation of the Unix operating system. 

The Unix operating system was developed in the late 1960s while the Linux operating system was introduced (inspired by the Unix) in the 1990s.

This article will enlighten the saying, “Is Linux Unix?” with the following outline: 

Linux Operating System

Linux is a free, open-source, and Kernel-based operating system that is famous for its security, flexibility, and stability. Linux is used on various devices including servers, computers, supercomputers, smartphones, etc. Many Linux distributions are introduced now such as Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS Arch, etc. Moreover, an open-source community of developers for Linux is available that manages its development and support services.

Key Features of Linux:

Linux is famous for its various key features, some of which are described below:

Open Source: It is an open-source operating system which means it is accessible to every user and can be modified.

Multi-User: One of the most important features of Linux is multi-user, the user can create multiple users in one operating system and enable them to use the same resources.

Multitasking: Linux provides multitasking operations, and the user can run multiple tasks at a time.

Portability: Linux has high portability because it supports a variety of system architectures.

Security: Linux provides strong security to the user such as firewall, file permission, and software/packages based on security.

Unix Operating System

The Unix operating system was invented in 1969 by a group of collaborators and an organization (non-profit) at Bell Labs. In the beginning, it was totally based on CLI (Command Line Interface) and used as servers for workstations. Later on, the Graphical user interface of Unix was invented. The derivatives of Unix such as IBM, macOS, and Sun-Solaris are still in use.

Key Features of Unix:

Let’s discuss the key features of the Unix Operating system.

Multi-User: Unix also provides multi-user support and users can access the same computer resources.

Multitasking: Unix gives the facility to perform multiple operations simultaneously to the user.

Portability: Unix is not as portable as Linux because it has less support for system architecture.

Security: Unix has strong security features that give security to the user file permissions, and firewall, same as the Linux operating system.

Comparison of Linux and Unix

Both Linux and Unix operating systems work on Unix-like principles but there are a few similarities/differences between them given below.

MultitaskingLinux provides multitasking support to the user.It also provides multitasking support to the user.
Open SourceLinux is an open-source operating system and is accessible to everyoneUnix is not necessarily open-source.
Multi-UserMultiple users can be created in the Linux operating system.Provide the same multi-user support as Linux.
Interface (Default)The bash (Bourne Again Shell) is the default interface of Linux.The “Bourne Shell” is the default interface of the Unix operating system.
DerivativesLinux derivatives are Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, Arch, etc.The Unix derivatives are IBM, macOS, and Sun-Solaris.
SecurityLinux has strong high security.Provide the same security as Linux.
PortabilityHigh Portability due to the support of a variety of system architectures.Less portable than Linux due to the least support of the system architecture.
Kernel TypeLinux is based on the Monolithic Kernel.The Unix Operating system can be monolithic, hybrid, or microkernel.
GUI SupportLinux has the support of desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, Mate Xfce, etc.The few derivatives of the Unix operating system support only the GNOME environment (or support only CLI).


Linux is a Unix-like operating system because it works on the same design and principle as Unix, but it is not the exact implementation of Unix. As Linux is derived from Unix, thus Unix is said to be the ancestor of Linux. However, both operating systems have their own benefits and functionalities. This write-up has illustrated a brief description of Linux and Unix.