UNIX is a multiuser, multitasking Operating System which was developed by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and their colleagues at Bell Labs in 1969. Earlier UNIX was owned by Bell labs and with the transferring of the ownership, now UNIX is owned by The Open Group and they used it as a Trade Mark too. UNIX is the first Operating System to be programmed in a high level language. UNIX was developed using ‘C’.


As UNIX is a free and Open Source Operating System there are many versions of the UNIX Operating System customized by different users and user groups according to their preferences. Any one who has the code has the privilege to change as they want. Because of this reason, UNIX has become popular among the workstations. Also there is a commercial version of the UNIX as well. But it is not much popular.


As I already mentioned, UNIX is a free and Open Source Operating System, where no limitations in using the Operating System. This is the main reason why UNIX has become popular over the time. UNIX is used as the Operating System in many mainframes, servers and etc. Because using UNIX over any other Proprietary Operating System is very cost effective.

Also as UNIX is written in, a high level language, C , UNIX will run on any platform where a C compiler is present, without any issue. Some other reasons, why UNIX has become much more popular among workstations are, its Portability and the Flexibility.


  • Use plain text to store data.
  • Using a hierarchical file system.
  • Treating Inter Process Communication as files.
  • Use large number of Software tools.
  • Small programs can be strung together through a Command Line Interpreter.



With the emerge of the UNIX as an Operating System, later there were so many other free and Open Source Operating Systems too. UNIX had to start the journey alone but with the time goes on so many other Operating Systems joined it’s way. Below there are some examples for UNIX like Operating Systems and variants,

  • Red hat enterprise LINUX
  • Fedora
  • SUSE LINUX Enterprise
  • openSUSE
  • Debian GNU/LINUX
  • LINUX Mint
  • OpenSolaris

Throughout this text I tried to give a basic knowledge about the UNIX Operating System. most of the students are used to Operating Systems such as Windows. But in the industry, they use UNIX or UNIX like Operating Systems. So it’s good to have at least a general idea about these type of Operating Systems. Hope to meet you  with another interesting topic soon. Thank You!


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