Well, simply speaking, I guess it won't be wrong to say that Linux has its 'roots' in the UNIX systems; but apart from that they both have different historic background, system design and licensing system as well. I recommend that you should read this wonderful writeup on IBM that talks about the main differences between the UNIX and Linux operating systems: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/aix/library/au-unix-difflinux.html
Linus Torvalds wrote Linux (Linux Is Not Unix) from scratch, that acts like unix but not a single line of unix code was in it. He did see minix source before he thought of developing something like that, but again not a single line of code of minix is found in Linux. Obviously 'cuz Unix is proprietary, Linux is not. Also, Linux is kernel, not an Operating system.Maheshkaranamwhat is the exact difference between unix and linux ?
If anything that comes closer to Unix is BSD. BSD actually have Unix source code (the freely licensed one), while remaining part was written from scratch by BSD devs. Mac OS X is certified Unix. FreeBSD & OS X share lot of common code, that obviously doesn't mean OS X is FreeBSD with pretty GUI.
Inshort, you can call Linux as free/opensource version that act like Unix with no actual unix code, totally written from scratch. While there is another too, *BSD which has free licensed unix code in it and other was written from scratch. Then comes Mac OS X who have used FreeBSD source and with custom modifications claimed it as proprietary.
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