Choosing the best platform – Linux or Windows is complicated. Because both the system is versatile and capable of doing many mission-oriented and regular task. So if I ask you which one is the best system between Linux and Windows? On this topic, you can start an ever ending discussion. Windows OS is the most used operating system in the desktop world, no doubt in this statement, but “most used” can’t prove itself to be the best option in a bigger prospect.
We all know that cigarette is one of the “most used” consumer product in the world but still, it’s not good for health. It’s challenging to leave smoking because people are habituated with this addiction. So why I have given this example which is entirely off topic? Because we all know, humanity is a slave of habit, and accordingly, most of the users are quite habituated with the use of a Windows system for quite a long time. Now they can’t leave it just like smoking. If a bird remains in a case, how will it enjoy freedom? Even one day the bird will forget, he can fly.
Linux or Windows: Which One is the Best Platform?
Linux has thousand of overriding factors that can prove; it’s the best platform than the Windows system. Here, I want to clear one thing that Linux is a kernel, and with the compilation of many essential software and drivers, it makes a distro.
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There are hundreds of Linux distributions available in the market which itself stands apart from the crowd and capable to compete with Windows OS or MacOS. In this article, I will tell you some of the best things to know when you go for choosing the best OS platform between Linux or Windows. So sit tight and get known all the facts and findings that are going to unchain you and let you feel the freedom.
1. Linux vs Windows: Basic Foundation
Linux follows a distinguishing trait; its un-unified development process. No single entity has a complete grip on Linux. The Linux kernel, the base of the operating system, is developed and maintained by Linux Foundation where lots of community volunteer around the world are involved and make their best contribution. Linux distros are what we usually see as Linux OS. Around the world, many company and volunteers have created these Linux distros with compiling desktop environments, software, hardware drivers with the core Kernel.
Each Linux distribution has its development cycle, which is not related to the kernel development. Moreover, there are also many organizations and community enthusiasts who have created the desktop environment and window managers. Linux kernel and distros became popular, widely used and adored by the mass people because of the support and contribution from its vast community.
Now let me say something about the Windows system. There is only one company – Microsoft, who is doing all the development and maintenance for the whole OS; kernel, desktop environment, and much of the pre-installed software. You have to accept whatever they offer you; whether it’s useful or not.
2. System Stability
Windows system is not a lightweight or speedy instead tends to get sluggish over time. You may feel your system outdated if not adequately maintained. Linux system is much quicker and doesn’t demand lots of resources. It can run on age-old hardware and modern high-end machines as well.
Many distros come with bare bone elements for ensuring the best performances for the ultimate users. If you install a Linux distro and run it for a long time without any update or upgrade, you will not face a single problem, and yet you find the system as new as it was.
3. Hardware Support
Windows OS demands high configuration for optimal performance. But if you have an age-old desktop or laptop with lower-end hardware, then I strongly suggest you use lightweight Linux distro like Lubuntu or Peppermint OS for giving it a second life. You can use that older machine as a media server or FTP server.
Linux Kernel comes with full-fledged driver solution inbuilt for the age-old machine. But in the case of a Windows system, you will face driver and software compatibility issue, system freezing issue, hardware related drivers problem, etc. Moreover, Linux is also fully compatible with the most recent devices ensuring the highest performance.
4. Linux vs Windows: Targeted User Group
Windows OS is commonly said as the best OS for novice users, but Linux can be suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Windows is user-friendly because, from your childhood, you have only seen it in your home, school or friends computer; you never saw a Linux system in around.
So it was difficult for you to understand that there were many other far better options available on the other side of the coin. I suggest you use a Linux distro like Ubuntu or Linux Mint, and I bet, you will never look back again to get either Windows OS or MacOS.
5. F.O.S.S vs. Proprietary
The motto of Linux is to let you feel the freedom of getting free and open source software. On the other hand, most of the software used in Windows and MacOS are paid or proprietary in nature. There is also some freeware software available for Windows OS, but eventually, it will cost you the penny when you need the essential tools or features on that specific application.
6. Linux vs Windows Security and Privacy
Security and personal privacy are the cornerstone factors for the Linux OS. That’s why it has enormous popularity among IT professionals. Linux system doesn’t provide root access or administrative privilege to the users by default. This is why the threats can’t hit the core of the Linux system except for some file and folders. But in Windows system, malware and viruses get access to the system files easily and can damage in large scale.
Linux kernel is open source thus it’s more secure and well maintained due to the involvement of a large community who scans the flaws regularly. Moreover, maximum viruses or threats are being created for Windows system keeping in mind. That’s why you need a good antivirus for Windows OS just at the beginning. Linux is not also immune from the threats, but if you follow the best practices, you probably will be safe than a Windows system.
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In a container of Windows OS, your every steps and footprint are traced and recorded. Microsoft does keep all the personal information, and we don’t know with whom, it shares the information. On the other hand, it’s quite impossible to make any backdoor in Linux kernel.
7. Antivirus and Malware Threat
Windows OS is the best home for viruses and malware threats. I believe you know it. After completing the Windows installation, I know you go searching for a good antivirus to protect the system. But in the case of Linux, you hardly need to think about it. Linux security and malware protection are hardened to some extent “fresh-out-of-the-box.”
But you know; the threat is a threat, it may come anywhere anytime. Linux has a huge community to help you out. Whenever any malware or threats go into the Linux system, the community will provide you with a security patch to remove it within no time.
8. Linux or Windows: Customization
Linux is much more customizable than Windows OS. In Windows system, everything comes pre-configured and as closed source. There is hardly anything that you can change as per your needs. There are a command shell “cmd,” still it’s not useful to make any root level changes. Now a day, the things are changing a bit with the tools of “PowerShell.” But that’s not enough to attract the developers’ community.
On the other hand, you can change every bit of the Linux system as per your requirements. The Linux kernel itself and all the software used in Linux comes as open source, and users can do any modification under specific rules. Linux CLI environment is too robust to perform root level task. Moreover, you can change overall look and feel of your Linux distros via distro specific tweak tools.
9. Administrative Privilege and Root Access
Linux provides root-level administrative access through a command line interface where users can perform mission-oriented task effortlessly. With the help of root access, you can change every bit of things in the Linux ecosystem. But in Windows system, everything is pre-set by Microsoft. You hardly have any administrative privileges to perform root level task.
10. Programming Platform for Developers
If you are a programmer or intend to do programming, then I highly suggest you use Linux instead of Windows OS. You will find lots of programming language or IDEs here. All those developers tools are made keeping in mind the Linux environment first. Hence they work efficiently and smoothly on Linux platform.
11. Install, Update and Upgrade
It’s easy and effortless to install and update systems or any third party software in Linux. All the software and system update files are included in a centralized repository which makes it safe and more accessible to update the system and software as well.
But in a Windows system, it’s hell difficult and time-consuming to update the system and third-party applications. Windows don’t only pull the updates from Microsoft site, but also it takes every software updates from app-specific software protocol.
12. Different Flavors for Different Need
Linux is more capable than Windows OS in this sector. There are hundreds of Linux distros basing on different needs and various desktop flavors. If you are a Windows users, then Linux has Zorin OS or Linux Mint for you to make a smooth transition of the previous continuation.
And If you are a MacOS user, then Linux also covers you as well with Ubuntu or Elementary OS. Or you can even use one specific Linux distro with some Linux desktop environments in a choice. Moreover, there are some task-specific Linux distros available out there like Kali Linux for penetration testing or hacking.
13. Linux vs Windows: Gaming Area
Yes, I confess that there was a time when Linux was not a good choice as a gaming platform. Game developers were not interested in developing their games for this platform. But now the time has changed. Most of the latest and trending games, you will find it for Linux. Now you can play all the best Linux games or Steam games both offline and online. Moreover, it’s effortless to play games on Linux and about the gaming experience! You let me know in the comment section.
14. Software Availability and Compatibility
If you ask me about the software availability and compatibility in Linux ecosystem, I bet you that Linux wins the crown. Linux covers all the sectors including personal software, media software, business suites, design materials, server tools, productivity applications, programming and app development software, and what’s not. You can check a detailed editorial list on Best Linux Software.
15. Photoshop Alternative
Image editing software Photoshop is one of the vital elements that don’t let the users adopt any other OS except Windows. Photoshop doesn’t support Linux. But you get a lot of good alternative to Adobe Photoshop in Linux distros including GIMP, Darktable, Krita, etc.
16. Alternative To Office Suite
Like Photoshop, MS office suite is also such an outstanding software that also keeps the appeal to use Windows OS. A lot of users and organizations depends on this sort of productivity software. In the Linux world, there are many better options available to the MS office suite. LibreOffice is one of them which can give a good fight to the Microsoft Office suite.
17. Multimedia Editor
If you are getting lots of options for editing multimedia files in Windows system, Linux is also providing the same amount of choice and sometimes even more. Here you can check by yourself a list of Best Video Editing Software for Linux.
18. Support of Windows Software via Wine or PlayOnLinux
As I have said earlier that there are lots of choices of each Windows software in Linux but still if you want to use some custom made Windows app or any app in Linux; there is a way out to do that tricks. Wine and PlayOnLinux are there for you to perform this Windows hack. With the help of these two Linux software, you can run many essential Windows software in Linux. Moreover, you can also play some Windows OS specific games on Linux via PlayOnLinux.
19. Software Management System
A software management system is an essential element for any OS. System stability and flexibility depend on software management. In this regard, Windows OS remains far behind than the Linux system. In Windows OS, you have to go to the software specific site for getting the installer file for downloading and installing that software. This file may be tempered or includes many adware, malware, adverts, etc.; you may not know it. That’s time-consuming and not safe if the vendor is not an authenticated one.
On the other hand, Linux distros provide a centralized software center for installing any applications. This software is thoroughly checked by the community, and there is hardly any possibility to include any adware, malware, adverts, etc. Moreover, there are lots of ways to install the software in the Linux system. If one process doesn’t work or you are not comfortable with command line tools; anytime you can use another one.
20. Linux Server or Windows Server
If you consider about server security, stability, freedom of choices, hardware compatibility and cost-effectiveness, then Linux server beats the Windows-based server in every way. Windows is a popular option for desktop usages (novice think so), and Linux is the best option for server mode system.
Linux server system offers a lot of customization options with a wide range of effective monitoring and analyzing tools. Linux server is less more vulnerable than Windows server regarding malware and online threats. It’s quite impossible to create any backdoor in Linux kernel whereas Windows system is sensitive to that situation.
21. Blue Screen and De-fragmentation
Blue screen with fsck running and disk defragmentation are known issues that you may get in your Windows OS. But in the Linux distros, you may get hardly any problem like this one. Linux system handles all the file layouts or file system efficiently, and most of the time, you don’t even require to run de-fragmentation at all.
22. File Extension To “run” The File
Windows or DOS rely on the file extension to run any file type. But Linux doesn’t depend on that process. You can give a file any name, and it will not have any effect on the type of file it is. Linux uses a filesystem called “execute bit.” Whenever A user tries to run a file, the Linux process system looks at the file header information for more pieces of information on how to run it instead on the file extension like Windows.
23. Linux or Windows: Task Automation
In the Linux system, there are many tools and command cheat sheet to make your task as automatic as it can’t be on Windows. That’s why many servers or IT expert prefer to use Linux over Windows to automate their routine system-side task.
24. Process and Resource Management
In Linux, the software process management is much powerful and effective. With the help of a simple command, you can kill or abort any software to run into the background if it causes any problem. But in Windows, it’s easy to run a task manager but not sufficient as Linux because the Windows task manager can’t always kill or stop the problematic software running in the backend.
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Linux manages its resources effectively than a Windows system. When software is installed in Linux, it downloads all the required dependencies. Next time, you go for installing any other software, it doesn’t again download the dependencies if that matches the previous one.
This how Linux keeps the software interlinked, cleaned and lightweight but on the other hand, Windows download each dependency related to an individual software and doesn’t cross-check with other similar dependencies on the system. That makes the file system heavy and unmanageable sometimes.
25. Community Support
As Linux is an outcome of dedicated and passionate community fans. Thus it has a considerable volume of information and documentation that covers everything about Linux. Moreover, there are distro specific tutorials, tips, tweaks and forums from developers and enthusiasts to help you out if any problem faced.
In regards to Windows OS, Microsoft is the only vendor to provide documentation for the users which sometimes you may feel lost to find the exact information. Like Linux, Windows system also has a huge fanbase who provides tweaks, tutorials, and tips to solve or customize the system a bit.
Linux has come a long way. There was a saying that Linux is not user-friendly, doesn’t offer much software choices, need expert-level knowledge, the user interface is not beautiful, not easy to use, etc. But all those things mentioned above are now void. Linux is now user-friendly, offers an intuitive and easy to use interface and provides a centralized software management system with hundreds of different choices. I want to share a joke with you; “What are air-conditioning and computers have in common ???!!! They are both useless when you open Windows.”
Did you like this comparison article on Linux or Windows OS? If so, then please do me a favor by sharing it on your social media. And don’t forget to share your Linux distros experience with us in the comment section.