The Ultimate Guide To Linux Vs Windows


The Ultimate Guide To Linux Vs Windows

If you’ve ever been to a tech-related online forum, likelihood is that you’ve witnessed a thread called “Linux vs Windows” or similar, where users of every OS insulted one another in an effort to prove which OS is best . Perhaps this isn’t so surprising in any case . People get attached to the OS they use a day , and that they want to convince the opposing side that it’s really great. It’s easy to urge over excited when others start bashing something you wish .

This comparison won’t be like that. The aim of this text is to assist people decide which OS is best for his or her current needs, because that’s the sole sensible thanks to compare operating systems – by relating them to a selected context. i feel we will agree that an ideal OS doesn’t exist; all of them have issues, and there isn’t one one that’s “best for everything”. we should always search for features that make each OS suitable to differing types of users: students, beginners or programmers. It’s also important to think about hardware limitations, since not every OS can run on any quite hardware.

How to compare Linux and Windows?

The biggest problem is that the 2 operating systems are very different. Originally, the term “Linux” wont to refer only to the kernel, but today we use it interchangeably with “Linux distribution”. There are numerous distributions, and although they’re all supported an equivalent kernel, they use different desktop environments, package managers and are available bundled with different software. Windows is more homogeneous, although there are different versions of Windows, too (XP, Vista, 7, 8…).

Trying to match every version of Windows to each popular Linux distribution would be time-consuming and futile, since old versions of Windows are getting obsolete and Windows would probably lose that “battle”. On the opposite hand, comparing Windows and Linux on a too general level doesn’t work well either, because Linux is so modular and a few features are available only in one DE or distribution. If your generalized comparison doesn’t mention that, Linux will likely seem “worse” than Windows.

Therefore, i think it’s better to form a comparison focused on only one version of every OS as a “sample”.

In this text, I’ll compare Windows 10 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. However, i will be able to mention if some features are available in other versions, if that information has relevancy .

Final disclaimer: I’ve been a Linux user for nearly ten years, and before this comparison of Linux vs Windows, I haven’t touched Windows during a long while. If there’s something within the text that I misrepresented, please believe that it’s not out of malice, but just because I don’t have much experience with Windows. Of course, you’re always welcome to correct and inform me about it – during a respectful, constructive way – down within the comments.

System requirements

Before installing any OS, you’ve got to form sure your system supports it, a minimum of on some basic level. Official system requirements for Windows 10 are as follows:

1 GHz or faster processor;
1 GB of RAM;
16 GB of free hard disc space;
a graphics card that supports DirectX 9 with WDDM 1.0 or higher.
Not too demanding, right? Let’s see what Ubuntu 14.04 needs:

1 GHz processor;
1.5 GB RAM;
7 GB of free disk drive space for installation;
3D Acceleration Capable Videocard with a minimum of 256 MB.

Ubuntu seems more RAM-hungry, but it requires half the disc space that Windows needs. Also, note that different flavors of Ubuntu have different requirements – lightweight environments won’t need the maximum amount RAM or disc space , and if you don’t want desktop effects, you don’t need the newest graphics card.

If you’ve got an old PC, Ubuntu may be a more sensible choice , but if you’ve got a configuration that’s strong enough to handle both systems, don’t worry an excessive amount of about this. We’ll provides a point to every OS since they’re similar during this aspect.

Linux: 1
Windows: 1

Which version to install?

Previously I’ve mentioned “flavors”. they’re versions of Ubuntu with different DEs installed by default. you’ll choose Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (XFCE), Lubuntu (LXDE), or Ubuntu GNOME. There’s also Mythbuntu (a home theater PC version of Ubuntu), Edubuntu (bundled with educational sotfware) and Ubuntu Studio (for multimedia creators). Then there’s Ubuntu for servers, for the cloud, for smartphones, and Ubuntu Core, which may be a very minimal implementation (only 20 MB) that you simply can use to put in software. apart from all this, you’ll install the other desktop environment, like Enlightenment or Cinnamon, on Ubuntu if you so desire.

Windows 10 comes in four editions: Basic, Pro, RT and Enterprise.

Only the 2 first ones are aimed toward regular, desktop users. all of them look more or less an equivalent , but they don’t offer an equivalent features, and Windows RT can only be installed on ARM-based devices. There’s also Windows to travel , which may be a portable version of Windows intended to run from USB drives. However, this feature is supported only by the Enterprise version, which sucks for everybody else. Ubuntu, like all other Linux distribution, allows you to install it on a USB drive and run it without restrictions.
The multitude of Ubuntu flavors might sound like an overkill, especially for beginners who don’t fully grasp the desktop environment concept or the differences between DEs. However, i feel this flexibility and freedom of choice, as against Windows’ limited options, earns some extent for Ubuntu.

Linux: 2
Windows: 1


Installing both Linux and Windows wont to be a nightmare – the previous didn’t even have a graphical installer, while the latter took ages and a dozen restarts to put in . The installation process of Windows 10 and Ubuntu 14.04 is visually pretty similar, consisting of step-by-step, user-friendly dialogs. However, nearly every Linux distribution offers the Live CD/DVD mode, which you’ll use to undertake out the OS before installation. Windows doesn’t have such a thing, although there’s Windows PE, about which Microsoft features a really strict policy:

“To prevent its use as a production OS , Windows PE automatically stops running the shell and restarts after 72 hours of continuous use. this era isn’t configurable.”

Basically, you’re only allowed to use Windows PE for recovery and installation, but not as a full-fledged OS . I’d say Linux deserves some extent here.

Linux: 3
Windows: 1

Hardware support and drivers

Ubuntu offers support for an enormous number of devices out-of-the-box because of the kernel and its modules. generally , Linux is far better at supporting old devices, so if you’re trying to revive an old PC, try Ubuntu first.

However, if you’ve got new hardware, Windows could be a far better choice. There are workarounds and solutions, but Linux still has problems with UEFI and Secure Boot. an equivalent goes for brand spanking new graphics technologies like Nvidia Optimus – there’s support on Linux, but Windows users have it easier. There’s also that whole mess with proprietary and open-source AMD drivers on Linux. In short, if you’re getting to use your computer for gaming or anything that needs stable graphics support, Windows is your best bet.

Linux: 3
Windows: 2

Appearance and customization

Windows 10 allows you to choose from two interfaces: the normal desktop and therefore the Start (Metro) interface with tiles. Also, the normal start menu is gone – although the button remains present within the taskbar, it leads you back to the beginning interface. Here you’ll look for apps to open them, which seems to be an effort to end desktop shortcuts.

Ubuntu can have completely different interfaces counting on which version and DE you put in . Most DEs support a standard look with one or two panels, letting you place icons on the desktop and use regular menus with links to all or any applications. Ubuntu also has the Dash, which works almost exactly like checking out apps in Windows – it’s a desktop overlay that is a launcher. Gnome Shell has essentially an equivalent functionality, and you’ll add it to other DEs (KDE, for example) by installing widgets.
Overall, i might say that Ubuntu is more customizable, as you get several desktop and icon themes by default, and you’ll install everything from one centralized dialog.

Windows offers themes also , but they don’t affect as many desktop elements. Changing the whole look & feel of the Windows desktop requires special third-party software.
In short, it’s much easier to form Ubuntu appear as if Windows than the other way around . If you’re into desktop modding, Ubuntu is your heaven. However, not many users care about window borders and panel transparency. Since this is often an aesthetic and quite subjective category, we’ll provides a point to every .

Linux: 4
Windows: 3


Windows 10 divides traditional desktop apps and Windows 10 apps – full-screen apps that run in Metro mode and need to be installed separately for every user. This makes them inconvenient, in my opinion.
On Ubuntu, you’ll install almost any application that exists for Linux from the repositories. Applications within the repositories are tested and support your exact version of Ubuntu, so you don’t need to worry about backwards (in)compatibility. On the opposite hand, Windows 10 supports applications for older versions of Windows, but not all of them and not always.
Other comparisons often mention the very fact that Windows users need to find and download each installation package manually, for each application they need to put in . Ubuntu isn’t that different, though – if an application is missing from the default repositories, you’ll need to add a replacement repository, or download the .deb package and install it manually. Worst case scenario, you’ll need to compile the ASCII text file , but this rarely happens on Ubuntu.

Since Windows 10 introduced the concept of the App Store, it’s become much closer to Ubuntu, which had an equivalent thing for a short time . Still, the very fact remains – Ubuntu offers more software out-of-the-box, including a full-fledged office suite and a torrent client. While Windows 10 has many apps within the Store, it’s unlikely to ever allow you to just install Microsoft Office or Photoshop for free of charge . Of course, there’s the free Online Office version, but it’s not as powerful.

Two things surprised me, and not during a great way , once I tried Windows 10. First, File Explorer didn’t have tabs! this is often incredible to me, because even the only , most lightweight file managers for Linux support tabs. Second, the text editor (Notepad) is extremely limited compared to gedit that ships as default Ubuntu. Gedit supports syntax highlighting, plugins, and guess what – tabs. Yes, you’ll install the other text editor from the Windows Store, but if we specialise in just the essential software and functions, Ubuntu gets some extent .

Linux Vs Windows Final Score: Linux: 5, Windows: 3

And the verdict is…?

For a user like me, Linux may be a reasonable choice, because i would like to tweak every little detail of my system. Another important factor is that the price – I cannot afford a licensed Windows product, and Linux is free.

My impression after a brief session with Windows 10 is that it feels very oriented towards touchscreen devices, almost like it’s trying to form the normal desktop (and its users) a neighborhood of history. people that own such devices are obviously its audience . an equivalent applies to gamers and users who aren’t curious about maintaining their system. On the opposite hand, if you’re a poor writer with an old laptop who only wants to browse the online , hear music and finish his novel, Linux are going to be much lighter on your system resources – and your pocket – than Windows.

To conclude, there’s an OS for each sort of user. Sometimes it happens to be Windows, other times it’s Linux. Don’t fight with others over their choice of OS; keep an open mind and provides every OS an opportunity , or a minimum of try it to see what you’re (not) missing out on.

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