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Is A Mac Unix or Linux

Linux, UNIX, and macOS some of the most commonly used operating systems worldwide. While UNIX and Linux are open-source operating systems that are used in servers and personal computers, macOS is the operating system used in Apple’s Macintosh computers.

One question that often arises is whether macOS, also known as simply Mac, is a UNIX or Linux-based operating system. As a user, it’s crucial that you are able to clarify the concept, and for that, the article here is going to explore UNIX, Linux, and macOS and help you understand whether a Mac is a UNIX or Linux-based operating system.

What is UNIX?

In 1969, AT&T Bell Labs created UNIX as an operating system that could be easily moved to different hardware platforms. It introduced the concept of a shell, which allowed users to interact with the system via a command-line interface.

UNIX is known for its stability, security, and scalability, which make it popular in enterprise environments. It is also highly customizable, which has led to the development of many different UNIX variants.

What is Linux?

Introduced in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, Linux is an open-source and freely available operating system that, similar to UNIX, employs the concept of a shell and offers a command-line interface for system interaction. The system’s adaptability and customization capabilities have made it a favorite among developers and advanced users. It is also highly secure and stable, which has led to its adoption in enterprise environments.

What is a Mac?

Mac is a line of personal computers and operating systems developed and produced by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh computer was introduced in 1984, and since then, the Mac has become known for its sleek design, high-quality hardware, and user-friendly interface.

Mac computers run on Apple’s proprietary macOS operating system, which offers a number of unique features and tools. One of the most notable aspects of the macOS is the integration with other Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads, through the use of the iCloud service.

Is a Mac a UNIX or Linux?

Technically speaking, a Mac is a UNIX operating system. This is because macOS is certified as a UNIX operating system by The Open Group, which is the organization responsible for maintaining the Single UNIX Specification (SUS).

The SUS defines a set of standards that a UNIX operating system must meet to be considered UNIX certified. macOS meets these standards, which means it can be considered a UNIX operating system.

It is worth noting that disparities exist between macOS and other UNIX derivatives. For example, macOS uses Apple’s proprietary user interface, Aqua, which sets it apart from other UNIX-based operating systems.


The Open Group has certified Mac as a UNIX operating system. While there are differences between macOS and other UNIX variants, using a Mac has several benefits, including its user-friendly interface, UNIX-based stability and security, compatibility with other Apple devices, and wide range of available software.


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