Browse Definitions:

Information Kit: Linux, Unix, and All the Little ixes

 In this Issue

>> Linux, Unix, and all the little ixes
>> The Unix versus Linux confusion
>> What does a Unix shop need to know about Linux?
>> The SCO vs. IBM Suit: A summary

Linux, Unix, and all the little ixes

by Jan Stafford

The family tree is a bit complicated. The original Unix, the brainchild of Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, gave birth in turn to many "little" Unixes such as BSD Unix, IBM's AIX, and SCO's Unix, each with its set of proprietary genes as well as the common genes of its parents.

Finally, the stork brought Linux (thanks to Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, and others) and left it on the threshold of the Enterprise as an orphan free to be adopted and loved by as many parents as possible.

All the other ixes were already owned or adopted including the original "Unix" (whose source code is owned by SCO and whose interface definition and trademark are owned by The Open Group on behalf of the IT industry).

So that's what it comes down to: taking care of a child that no one claims ownership of, but that many take care of (Linux) -- or a very nice child that you have to rent (all the other ixes and nixes).

Whether or not you think this metaphor is holding up, you may very well be someone that has to decide which child to adopt (or whether to switch the babies!). In the meantime, please think of this information kit as Dr. Spock's manual of child care.

Learn more:

>> Definition of Unix

>> Definition of Linux

>> Definition of BSD

>> Definition of AIX

>> Definition of The Open Group

 The Unix versus Linux Confusion

by Amy Kucharik

Whether you have Unix or Linux and are thinking of switching -- or are coming from another system or to a new product and have the option of one or the other, there is a lot to think about, according to our own experts and some of our readers. On, we continue to explore this subject and summarize the latest advice.

>> Decision Criteria: Linux Versus Unix

>> Researcher: Linux gaining on Unix

>> IBM's Stallings hears customers' Linux stories

>> Dell coaxing Penguin inside data center

>> Exec says Sun is a Linux believer

 What does a Unix shop need to know about Linux?

Kenneth Milberg
President/Unix Systems Consultant at UNIX Solutions

Dear Kenneth,
What does a Unix shop need to know about Linux?

First, you'll need to understand the history. Most Unix people know the story of Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and how they started Unix around the time that we first traveled to the moon. They were trying to get some game-type software ported to a different platform and came up with Unix, a pun on an operating system called Multics. Read more...

View Other answers from Kenneth Milberg

Ask Kenneth a question

 The SCO vs. IBM Suit: A summary

SCO's view

IBM's view

The Open Group's view

Linux analysts, users offer varied predictions on SCO suit

One-on-one with Richard Stallman (an interview)

SCO suit could offer nasty precedents for Linux

See a list of all our Information Kit topics
This was last updated in November 2006

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...


  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...


  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...


  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...


  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.