Introduction to Uses of Unix
Unix is an operating system. It supports multi-tasking 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. With GUI, using a Unix based system is easy but still one should know the Unix commands for the cases where a GUI is not available such as 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 Uses Of Unix article, we shall discuss some of the important Uses of Unix.
Top 10 Uses of Unix
In this section, we shall mention the top 10 uses of Unix: –
Unix is designed for high-performance computing. It is designed keeping the concept of sharing in mind. Multiple people can log in to the same machine at the same time and also, 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 services and all the various 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 and versatility etc.
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3. Impactful towards other OS:
Unix, in its initial days, created a significant impact on 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. Unix apart from being used in Linux operating system, also provide other GNU packages such as the GNU Compiler Collection and other such toolchains, GNU C library and also GNU core utilities. These offerings have played a central role in many other free Unix based systems too. Linux distributions which consist of the Linux kernel and apart from this a large collection of free software. Linux is quite popular both with prominent developers, individual users, communities as well as business. There are many popular distributions of Linux that include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux, Linux Mint, Slackware Linux, Mandriva Linux, Arch Linux, and Gentoo etc.
5. A host of services:
Uses Of Unix has been successful in drastically simplifying 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. These file system hierarchy usually contained machine services and devices be it printers or floppy drives or terminals and provided a uniform interface. All this was done at the expense of requiring 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 also called coroutines. Several command-line interpreters that came later was inspired by the Unix shell.
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 such 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 been proven quite popular in areas such as printing languages be it PostScript or ODF etc. 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 uses of Unix programming interface is now the basis for designing an operating system interface standard.
9. Modularity and reusability:
Early Unix developers brought the 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 as well to develop software. These norms became an indispensable and influential guideline to Unix too.
10. Network protocol:
Unix also contributed towards the TCP/IP networking protocols and this made sure that the relatively inexpensive computers became popular and widely used by the community. This created an Internet boom across worldwide with real-time connectivity and also formed the basis for deployment on so many other platforms.
Conclusion – Uses of Unix
Unix is indispensable. From simple command line applications to connecting and talking to servers, Unix made possible which GUI based other operating systems could not do. Unix is there in all sort of applications and systems be it Android, iOS, PlayStation etc.
Those prospective candidates who are to work with server technology and administration, should definitely learn Unix, 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 uses of Unix. Simple applications of Unix commands such as pwd, chdir, dir, ls, ls-l, passwd should be known to all computer science graduates or computer enthusiastic.
This has been a guide to the uses of Unix in the real world. Here we have discussed the Different applications of Unix like network protocol, command-line functionality, multitasking etc. You may also look at the following article to learn more –