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What are the differences between Unix and Windows?


Differences Between Unix and Windows – UNIX was originally developed at AT and Bell Laboratories. It is a multi-user, powerful, and multitasking operating system. Unix is widely used among engineering, scientific, and academic since it has great features such as portability, flexibility, networking, etc. On the other hand, the Microsoft window uses Graphical User Interface (GUI) based on the operating system for providing CLI alternatives. You can even install windows managers such as GNOME in order to make it extra user-friendly. Therefore, it is vital to know about the differences between Unix and Windows Operating Systems. Here is what will help you to know more about it.

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Differences between UNIX and Windows Operating System: 

Here are some of the differences between UNIX and Windows operating systems, based on several factors.

User Interface:

Unix operating system is comparatively difficult to comprehend, especially for newbies, because of multiple barriers. However, Linux distributions such as Ubuntu continuously change the perceptions by getting more GUI-based applications.

However, Windows Operating System is designed by keeping simple and user-friendly UI design, so that users who do not have an IT experience can also easily it for their work.


UNIX is an open-source Operating System that uses assembly languages. Being open-source, UNIX has many Linux distribution accounts for popular Operating Systems in the world. Therefore, you can easily avail yourself of Unix and its Linux distributions under the General Public License.

Windows Operating System is an exclusive software owned by Microsoft. Therefore it means that the source code is unavailable for everyone’s use.


UNIX is more secure when it considering design. The initial protection for the Unix system is for executing a “.exe” file, which is more difficult. It cannot be processed without any explicit permission since all processes are treated equally. As they are slowly changing the Unix distributions, it can be more towards GUI, which relies on the application security.

Windows is less secure since it is very simple to execute using minimal permission. It can even further lead to getting Malware on the system.

File System:

UNIX operating system uses STD.IO file systems, STD.ERR and UFS (Unix File System). It keeps the physical drives as one of the logical drives. Therefore it has an efficient and robust file system that represents a hierarchy under a similar root.

Windows uses New Technology File System(NTFS) as well as File Allocation Table (FAT32) systems to manage files. Hence, the owner executes files store in folders with different data drives, including C, D, E.


UNIX operating system is very useful for processing and executing tasks at the same time. While performing multiprocessing, each process has a distinct address space. In addition to this, you can add CPUs for increasing computing power.

There are multiple threads for increasing the computing power since windows support multithreading. Hence you can execute multiple threads with a common address space.

Users Accounts:

Linux system has three types of user accounts:

  • Regular: These accounts have moderate privileges, which are vital for routine works. Hence it can successfully perform a task for authorized files and services.
  • Root: Users use it as the main account for the Linux system since it has good privileges to work for on the administrative level by managing all such services. 
  • Service: The account generally uses services in the running process.

There are also three user account types for Windows Server:

  • Administrator: It controls all services and even allows the users to make additional changes for checking the additional activities for other users.
  • Child: This account type comes with Family Safety settings which are in control with the admin.
  • Guest: The account follows no standard accounts with privacy. Hence, it allows other people to use computers without even needing to change the PC settings and install applications.

Data Backup and Recovery:

In the previous UNIX, salvaging data in the system was inaccessible or even not possible. But now, in most distributions of Linux such as Ubuntu, the latest feature known as Live distribution is used for recovering data using inaccessible devices.

Backup and data recovery in the Windows system is very simple since it is inbuilt for GUI. Moreover, it has a OneDrive integration for data backup and recovery as well.

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Adam Smith
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