If unix and linux are supposed to be so different, why are they sharing a category on this web site? This pairing of two OS on one stackexchange topic makes it seem that they are indistinguishable and a question concerning Linux can apply to Unix.
6Linux is a Unix-like operating system. There are many many similarities between the two, many solutions will apply equally to both.– terdon on strike ModOct 1, 2013 at 18:01
Just because some questions can be relevant to both Unix and Linux, doesn't mean all questions about one apply equally to the other. I think it's clear that there is a lot of overlap.– Greg HewgillOct 1, 2013 at 20:44
see also unix.stackexchange.com/questions/4091/is-linux-a-unix– strugeeOct 11, 2013 at 23:27
Unix is not an operating system, it's a family of operating systems. Linux is not an operating system, it's the kernel found in a number of Unix-like and non-Unix-like operating systems.
There's as much difference between one non-Linux-based Unix system and the next as between one Linux-based one and the next, but they all share very similar interfaces and have a lot concepts in common.
It makes sense to have both. I find the Unix & Linux name confusing and misleading myself though because it mixes operating systems and kernels and seem to imply that things like GNU would be off-topic and that your TV, printer or smart phone running Linux would be on-topic.
Unix-like operating systems would have been a better name IMO.
I suppose the name was chosen because few people suspect Debian or Fedora for instance are Unix-like operating systems, while more may have heard that they are built around a Linux kernel (though for Debian, Linux is not the only supported kernel).
4Kernel Panic would have been the best name IMO, but then they stopped doing fancy names. Oct 1, 2013 at 22:04
5Or we could have called it Largely compliant with POSIX operating systems and software that will run in that environment Oct 1, 2013 at 22:09
UNIX is an operating system, originally from AT&T Bell Laboratories, later sold to Novell. Wikipedia a history of Unix that explains fairly well.– derobertOct 17, 2013 at 13:44
1Name was probably also chosen to get those sweet, sweet search engine clicks. Pragmatic.– phkJan 8, 2017 at 22:46
The name is a useful reminder that GNU/Linux is not the only unix-like environment around and that, unless a particular flavour of unix or particular Linux distribution is mentioned in the question, answers should be careful to at least make note of any non-POSIX features used in the answer or provide both POSIX and non-POSIX versions of the answer.
e.g. if your answer includes a shell script that uses features only available in bash, then mention that it is a
bash script, not a
sh script. Similarly, if you use features of
grep or some other tool that are only available in the GNU versions of that tool, then mention it. Bonus points for providing a variation of your answer that works using only POSIX features of the tool(s).
GNU/Linux is a UNIX clone. UNIX is a big family and consist other family such as BSD, systemV, SVR and so on. for more information you can visit: unix history
2note: GNU's Not UNIX! also, what is SVR?– strugeeOct 11, 2013 at 23:26