I think you have a bit of a misconception about Unix and Linux. For all intents and purposes, Linux is a Unix. The label "Unix" has kind of faded and been replaced by Posix. Most operating systems are Posix-compliant now (with the advent of Mac OS X, Windows is pretty much the only one that isn't). So, there is no difference between Linux and Unix, Linux is merely one example of a Unix. However, there is still a need to choose what to use . . . There are so many choices, although a lot of that is beginning to fade. SGI and IBM, for example,are beginning to move away from their operating systems in favor of Linux. Apple is replacing the lower-level portions of Mac OS with a Mach-based BSD. SCO has started distributing Linux. Sun, with Solaris, seems to be the only company fighting the Open Source OSes. However, in the meantime, the decision is more complex than Solaris, BSD, or Linux. I know I haven't answered the question at all, but really, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. I use Linux and OpenBSD, but at work I have a Solaris box because I have to make sure our software runs on Solaris. Other than that, just make sure the software you need runs on the platform you decide on.
posted 18 years ago
If I am going to build a system, that will deal with thousand or more users, like a ISP, can I use Linux? Thanks!
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Sure, you can use Linux for an ISP with thousands of users, and lots do. If you plan on using proprietary hardware (large, poweful boxes from Sun, HP etc.) then it may be the best decision to use their own provided OS, but if you plan to use commodity hardware (almost all Intel/AMD and even many Sparc or Alpha systems) then Linux or BSD is (IMHO) a better choice. I don't know why, but Solaris software always seems huge. Some of my own example software uses a few hundred KB when built under Linux, and a few MB of RAM on Solaris. This means that Solaris boxes typically need a lot more memory than a Linux system doing the same job. If you are concerned abour security, the various BSD versions have a slighly better reputation, but Linux develops faster and is generally better supported and more versatile.