Updated June 1, 2023
Introduction to Uses of Unix
Unix is an operating system. It supports multitasking and multi-user functionality. Unix is most widely used in all forms of computing systems such as desktop, laptop, and servers. On Unix, there is a Graphical user interface similar to windows that support easy navigation and support environment. Using a Unix-based system with GUI is easy, but one should still know the Unix commands for cases where a GUI is unavailable, such as a telnet session.
There are several different versions of UNIX. However, there are many similarities. The most popular varieties of UNIX systems are Sun Solaris, Linux/GNU, and MacOS X.
Any UNIX operating system consists of three parts, and these are as below: –
- shell and
In this article, we shall discuss some of the important Uses:
Top 10 Uses of Unix
In this section, we shall mention the top 10 uses: –
Unix is designed for high-performance computing. It is designed to keep the concept of sharing in mind. Multiple people can log in to the same machine simultaneously, and some people can log in from different locations to the same machine. Unix has less burden than the Windows system, is highly customizable, and is better secured. It is most commonly used in web servers.
2. A backbone of modern technologies
Unix is the backbone of the Internet and other services, such as chat and Netflix. Red Hat, which is a popular version of Linux, is an instance of Unix with a command line and GUI available for its disposal. UNIX or Linux command prompt tools are much superior to Windows counterpart in terms of flexibility, speed, versatility, etc.
3. Impactful towards other OS
In its initial days, Unix significantly impacted other operating systems. An achievement such as interactivity, free usages, educational use at a nominal fee, inexpensive hardware, easy adaptability, etc., were huge benefits of Unix. Unix inspired many other computing systems.
4. An invention of Linux
In 1991, Linus Torvalds delivered the Linux kernel as free software. It was released under the General Public License of GNU. Apart from being used in the Linux operating system, Unix provides other GNU packages such as the GNU Compiler Collection and other such toolchains, GNU C library, and GNU core utilities. These offerings have also been central to many other free Unix-based systems. Linux distributions consist of the Linux kernel and, apart from this, a large collection of free software. Linux is popular with prominent developers, individual users, communities, and businesses. Many popular distributions of Linux include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux, Linux Mint, Slackware Linux, Mandriva Linux, Arch Linux, Gentoo, etc.
5. A host of services
Uses Of Unix has successfully simplified the file model compared to many other operating systems of its era. It did so by treating all sorts of files as nothing but simple byte arrays. This file system hierarchy usually contained machine services and devices, be it printers, floppy drives, or terminals, and provided a uniform interface. All this was done at the expense of requiring a few additional mechanisms, such as ioctl and mode flags occasionally, to access those features of the hardware that did not fit the Unix Philosophy of the simple stream of bytes model.
6. Command-line functionality
Unix popularized the idea of making the command interpreter so easy that any ordinary user can use it. It was done so by a set of additional commands provided as separate programs. The Unix shell implemented the same language for interactive commands and scripting. Unix had an innovative command-line syntax to create modular chains of pipeline processes that gave birth to a powerful programming paradigm called coroutines. The Unix shell inspired several command-line interpreters that came later.
7. Text-based processes
A simplistic and fundamental assumption of Unix was to create a newline-delimited text for almost all file formats. In the original version of Unix, there were no binary editors. What it means is that the entire system was based on textual shell command scripts. The common denominator in the input-output system was the byte. Text-based processes made Unix pipes quite useful and promoted the development of simple and general tools to perform more complicated tasks. Unix’s dedication to text and bytes made it very scalable and portable. Text-based applications have gained popularity in various areas, including printing languages like PostScript or ODF. Unix also contributed to the application layer of the Internet protocols such as FTP, HTTP, SMTP, SIP and SOAP, etc.
8. Regular Expression
Unix popularized regular expressions syntax that later became quite widespread. The use of the Unix programming interface is now the basis for designing an operating system interface standard.
9. Modularity and reusability
Early Unix developers brought concepts like modularity and reusability into software engineering practice which was a great contribution actually. The leading developers of Unix later established a set of cultural norms to develop software. These norms became an indispensable and influential guideline to Unix too.
10. Network protocol
Unix also contributed to the TCP/IP networking protocols, making sure that the relatively inexpensive computers became popular and widely used by the community. This created an Internet boom worldwide with real-time connectivity and formed the basis for deployment on many other platforms.
Unix is indispensable. From simple command-line applications to connecting and talking to servers, Unix made it possible, which GUI based other operating systems could not do. Unix exists in all sorts of applications and systems, like Android, iOS, PlayStation, etc.
Those prospective candidates working with server technology and administration should learn Unix and get familiar with its commands, use cases, and core principle. Particularly, those who handle Linux or Ubuntu systems or even those who want to go for big data analytics should surely learn the uses of Unix. All computer science graduates or computer enthusiasts should know simple applications of Unix commands, including pwd, chdir, dir, ls, ls-l, and passwd.
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