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This is a central point for Linux related tipsheets, resources and FAQ.
UNIX is the precursor to modern Linux. It was/is an operating system that was designed at AT&T's Bell Laboratories in 1969. While that makes UNIX very old by computer standards, it is still popular today because of its power, flexibility, and portability. UNIX can run on platforms ranging from PCs and Macs to Cray supercomputers.
Linux is a "flavor" of UNIX, which has evolved into the most widely used variant used today.
Kernel. Today you'll find several flavors of the UNIX operating system, also known as the kernel. AT&T's original version evolved into System V. The version that AT&T licensed to the University of California at Berkeley is called BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution). It is now the de facto standard in the academic community, i.e. it's free. Other versions are also available from commercial vendors: Sun's Solaris, SCO and Microsoft's XENIX, IBM's AIX, DEC's ULTRIX, Apple's A/UX, and the free Intel-based Linux.
The Math Department uses Ubuntu Linux, and has historically used Debian Linux.