Difference between Linux and Android

Linux is used in servers and desktops, while Android is used mostly in touchscreen devices such as mobiles, tablets etc., Android is also used in watches, TV, Cameras, etc.; while Linux is used in almost all electronic devices.

Android is actually a framework which is developed on the top of a Linux Kernel. A kernel is something which acts as an intermediate between user and system hardware. So, Linux kernel is used in all Android devices but Android is not used in all Linux devices. Linux kernel is used as foundation by all Android devices.

What is Linux?

Linux is a free and open-source operating system created and designed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux is a derived form of Unix. It is free of cost making it available for all users. It is open-source, means that the source code of Linux is available for all users. Users can add additional programs or modify the existing ones so that it can perform various other functions.

Linux is a unitary operating system. A unitary operating system is one that entirely operates from kernel. Linux uses monolithic kernel. It runs both kernel and user services in the same address space. It has many distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux mint, Fedora etc., Linux is written in C language and assembly language. It is more machine friendly meaning that users find it difficult to interact with it compared to other operating systems.

Linux has become the largest open-source software in the world. It provides high security and is mostly used for hacking purposes.

Some of the features of Linux include −

  • Multitasking

  • Portability

  • Security

  • Open-source

Linux runs on many devices like phones, computers and a variety of embedded systems.

Advantages of Linux

  • It is an open-source OS, so the source code is available for all.

  • It is available for free of cost.

  • It is a safe OS as it provides high security.

Disadvantages of Linux

  • It can’t run most of the windows programs.

  • Most of the internet service providers doesn’t support Linux.

  • Linux is hard to understand and difficult to learn for most of the users. Depending on its distributions, the difficulty level varies.

What is Android?

Android OS is a mobile operating system founded in October 2003 by Android Inc. Their main aim was then to create an advanced OS for cameras. Later it was taken by Google in 2005 and launched in 2008. It is a framework that is developed on Linux kernel. Android has a user-friendly GUI so it is easy to use. Users can download other applications easily and increases the functionality of OS. Android is the most popular and most used operating system now-a-days.

It was created in C, C++, Java and some other languages. Android is frequently updated and every release is associated with a new name. Android systems uses their own virtual machines called Dalvik Virtual Machine.

Some of the features of Android include −

  • Beautiful and user-friendly interface

  • Connectivity

  • Multi-tasking

  • Multi-touch

  • Multi-language

  • Near Field Communication (NFC)

Advantages of Android

  • It is open-source.

  • It has continuous feature improvement.

  • It supports external memory.

  • We can choose mobiles as there are a wide range of mobile phones available that supports Android.

Disadvantages of Android

  • It doesn’t provide more security. Viruses and malware can be easily affected.

  • Coding can’t be performed.

Difference between Linux and Android

The following table highlights the major differences between Linux and Android −





It is an open-source OS designed by Linus Torvalds

It is a framework developed on Linux kernel





Internet developers

Android Inc.

Target market


Mobiles and tablets


Smaller footprint

Larger footprint

Ease of use

Machine friendly

User friendly

Update frequency

Rarely updates

Updates frequently

Architectures supported

Multiple architectures

X86 and ARM only

Virtual Machines

No virtual machine used

Dalvik virtual machine


GNU C library is used

C library is used

Kernel type


Based on Linux frame used


Written using C and Assembly language

Written in C, C++, Java


Android is not one among the Linux distributions but its kernel is taken from Linux. Mobile phones and other touch-screen devices use an open-source OS known as Android which is a framework developed on a Linux kernel. In contrast Linux is an Operating system which is highly suitable for desktops, servers and other electronic devices.

Updated on: 19-Apr-2023


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