Linux vs Windows – Which Operating System is Best For You?

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Linux has a prestige for being fast and smooth while Windows 10 is known to become slow and slow over time. Linux runs faster than Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 along with a modern desktop environment and qualities of the operating system while windows are slow on older hardware and Linux is the fastest operating system in the world. In fact, one of the most popular platforms on the planet, Android, is powered by the Linux.

An operating system is low-level system software that handles the computer’s hardware and software resources and facilitates the computer’s basic functions like task scheduling, resource management, memory management, controlling peripherals, networking, etc.

Linux vs Windows Introduction

There are many operating systems available in this world. Here in the desktops, the most dominant OS is the Microsoft Windows which hold a market share of approx. 85%. We have macOS by Apple Inc and Linux in the second and third place respectively.

Windows OS has two varients 32 bits and 64 bits and is available in both clients as well as server versions. Windows was first released in the year 1985. The latest client version of windows in Windows 10 which was released in the year 2015. Talking about the most recent server version, we have Windows server 2019.

Linux is a group of Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel. It belongs to the family of free and open source software. It is usually packaged in a Linux distribution. Linux was first released in the year 1991. It is most commonly used for servers, however, a desktop version of Linux is also available.

Differences Between Linux And Windows

  Windows Linux
Developer Microsoft Corporation Linus Torvalds, community.
Written in C++, Assembly Assembly language, C
OS family Graphical Operating system family Unix-like OS family
License Proprietary commercial software GPL(GNU General Public License)v2 and others.
Default user interface Windows shell Unix shell
Kernel type Windows NT family has a hybrid kernel (combination of microkernel and monolithic kernel); Windows CE(Embedded compact) also have hybrid kernel; Windows 9x and earlier series has a monolithic kernel (MS-DOS). Monolithic kernel (whole operating system works in the kernel space).
Source model Closed source software; source available (through shared source initiative). Open source software
Initial release November 20, 1985. Windows is older than Linux. September 17, 1991
Marketing target Majorly Personal computing. Majorly Cloud computing, servers, supercomputers, embedded systems, mainframes, mobile phones, PCs.
Available in 138 languages Multi-lingual
Platforms ARM, IA-32, Itanium, x86-64, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC. Alpha, H8/300, Hexagon, Itanium, m68k, Microblaze, MIPS, PA-RISC, PowerPC, RISC-V, s390, SuperH, NDS32, Nios II, OpenRISC, SPARC, ARC Unicore32, x86, Xtensa, ARM, C6x.
Official website Microsoft Linux
Package manager Windows Installer (.msi), Windows Store (.appx). Packaged in a Linux distribution (distro).
Case Sensitive File names are not case-sensitive in Windows. File names are case-sensitive in Linux.
Booting Can only be done from the prime disk. Can be done from any disk.
Default command line Windows PowerShell BASH
Ease of use Windows has a rich GUI and can be easily used by technical as well as non-technical persons. It is very simple and user-friendly. It is mostly used by technical people because you should know various Linux commands to be able to work with Linux OS. For an average user, it will require significant time to learn Linux. Also, the troubleshooting process on Linux is complicated than on Windows.
Installation Easy to set up. Requires far fewer user inputs during installation. However, it takes longer to install Windows as compared to Linux installation. Complicated to set up. Requires a lot of user inputs for installation.
Reliability Windows is less reliable than Linux. Over the recent years, Windows reliability has been improved a lot. However, it still has some system instabilities and security weaknesses because of it’s oversimplified design. Highly reliable and secure. It has a deep-rooted emphasis on process management, system security, and uptime.
Customization Windows has very limited customization options available. Linux has many flavors or variety distributions which are highly customizable based on the user’s requirements.
Software Windows direct the greatest number of desktop users, and so the biggest selection of commercial software from third-party developers, many of which are not Linux compatible. It also leads in video games by a broad margin. There are lots of software offered for Linux, and most of them are available as completely free and easy-to-install software packages.
Additionally, various Windows programs can be executed on Linux with the help of compatibility layers for instance WINE. Linux is compatible with a broader range of free software than Windows.
Support Both Linux and Windows offer extensive support. Windows 10 support is more easily accessible.
If more extensive help is required, Microsoft offers support contract to its customers.
The best assistant is often found in peers, websites, and forums. Linux likely has an edge here due to the collaborative culture of open source community. Some Linux companies like RedHat also do offer support contracts to customers.
Update Windows update happens in the current moment which may be sometimes inconvenient to users.
Takes more time to install and requires a reboot.
Users have full control when an update is made. Installation takes less time and no reboot is required.
Access Every user does not have access to the source code. Only the selected members of the group have access to the source code. Users have access over the source code of kernel and can modify it accordingly. This gives a benefit that bugs in OS will be fixed faster. However, the drawback is that the developers may take undue advantage of the loophole.
Privacy Windows collect all the user data. Linux distros do not collect user data.
Price Microsoft Windows typically costs between $99.00 and $199.00 USD for every single licensed copy.
Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade for existing Windows owners, however, the deadline for that offer has long since elapsed.
Windows server 2016 data center has a price starting at $6155.
Linux license remains completely free.
However, organizations that need Linux support can choose for paid subscriptions for platforms like RedHat and SUSE. It’s better to go with these subscriptions, otherwise, competent in-house Linux expertise can be expensive.
Talking about the infrastructure cost, other things remaining equal (being on-premise or on the cloud), Linux being lightweight, we can expect 20% more throughput on Linux as compared to Windows.

Why is Linux Faster than Windows?

Linux is very lightweight while Windows is fatty. In windows, a lot of programs run in the background and they eat up the RAM. also here the file system is very much organized. Files are located in chunks which are very close to each other. This makes the read-write operations very fast. On the other hand, Windows is dumpster and files are present all over the place.

Linux And Windows Security Comparison

About security feature, here Linux is open source, however, it is very difficult to break through and hence it is a highly secure OS when compared to the other operating systems. Its high-tech security is one of the main reasons for Linux popularity and enormous use. Linux users will investigate and fix the issue and there as it is open source. This way, Linux receives a great level of maintenance from its community of developers.

In Windows, the users have full admin access over the accounts. Thus, when a virus attacks the system, it quickly corrupts the whole system. So, everything is at risk in case of Windows. we do have a UAC (user account control) mechanism to control the access privileges, though it is not as robust as Linux.

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