The origins of Linux

Linux borrowed many ideas and solutions from Unix. Both OSs follow the set of standards called POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface). POSIX defines the interfaces between applications and the operating system. The use of the same standards for Linux and Unix led to similarities in their behavior, so let’s go over the history of Unix first.


The Unix OS appeared in the late 1960s. It was created by two engineers, Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, from the Bell Labs company. Before Unix, however, they developed the Multics OS. This was a joint project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), General Electric (GE), and Bell Labs. Multics was planned as an OS for the new mainframe GE-645, shown in the figure below, by GE.

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