Unix VS Linux Operating Systems: Comparison

What is Unix?

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Unix is a multitasking operating system, much like Microsoft Windows. It was developed in the 1960s in AT&T labs by Kenn Thompson and Denis Ritchie. Over the years, its popularity continues to grow globally, where Microsoft Windows is still the dominant operating system. Moreover, the graphic user interface of Unix resembles that of Microsoft Windows. Unix is made up of three very essential components, which are; the kernel, the shell, and the programs or file systems, with the kernel being the heart of the operating system. Unix has various versions that one can choose from, ranging from Sun Solaris to GNU/Linux and macOS X. Thus, these varieties offer Unix adaptability to operate under different machines.

What is Linux?

Linux is one of the few operating systems in the market that has been in operation since 1990s. Linux comes with various versions or distributions to choose from, commonly known as “distros,” and they are suitable for any user. Those distributions range from Ubuntu to Linux Mint, Solus, and Fedora, among others. The Linux operating system is comprised of different pieces such as the kernel, bootloader, daemons, graphical server, desktop, and applications. All these are integrated to provide the user with an operating system called Linux.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Unix

Unix operating system has several advantages that make it preferable. First, it allows for full multitasking with its protected memory. It also allows for multiple programs to be run by multiple users without the risk of crushing or interfering with each other. According to Gkrekos et al. Unix has fewer chances of collapsing than Windows because viruses or spywares hardly attack it (2). Second, its efficient virtue memory is very sustainable in that with a small amount of physical memory, and one can run many programs simultaneously. However, it still has its shortcomings in that its command-line shell interface was not created for the casual user but only for programmers, which makes it a bit hostile. Another disadvantage of using the Unix operating system is that one needs a deep understanding of its main design features, unlike other operating systems that are user-friendly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Linux

Linux is one of the cheapest operating systems when compared to other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. According to Leppinen, Linux comes with vendor independence of an open vendor licensing, and its adoption is not costly (10). This is a unique feature that is not common to many operating system features. It is due to the availability of many general-purpose facilities that makes Linux more unique. A good example of the general facilities available for Linux users includes data bus interfaces and interprocess communications. However, there is a disadvantage that comes with using Linux, which is that it limits the user from the choice of hardware such there the processor is supposed to have a memory management unit (Leppinen 11). Therefore, it might limit the functionality of some embedded software.

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What is a Unix Kernel?

Unix kernel is the hub of the Unix operating system. It is always loaded into the RAM every time the system is powered. Its main functions are scheduling tasks by ensuring every task is executed as promptly as possible. It also manages the memory by allocating it to running programs, handling data transfer from one location to another, and handling communication responses to system calls. Besides, it enforces all the access permissions that are contained in the file system. Finally, Unix Kernel integrates CPU, RAM, USB ports, and network interfaces by availing essential software applications to help them communicate.

What is a Linux Kernel?

Linux kernel is the main component or the core of Linux operating system. It manages the CPU by determining which program can use the central processing unit and schedules timelines for the same. Linux kernel performs another function by determining the amount of memory used or required for use by an application or for storage and where to store data. Moreover, it also performs interpretation roles between the peripheral devices and the drivers for efficient processing. Additionally, the kernel is always receiving requests from the processes and services them.

Works Cited

Gkrekos, Ilias, et al. “Uses and Applications of Ubuntu: A Technical Guide.” International Journal Of Engineering Applied Sciences And Technology, vol 04, no. 05, 2019, pp. 444-454.

Leppinen, Hannu. “Current Use Of Linux In Spacecraft Flight Software”. IEEE Aerospace And Electronic Systems Magazine, vol 32, no. 10, 2017, pp. 4-13.

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