Choosing the best platform – Linux or Windows is complicated because both systems are versatile and capable of doing many mission-oriented and regular tasks. 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 to this addiction. So why have I given this entirely off-topic example?
As we all know, humanity is a slave of habit, and accordingly, most users are quite habituated to using 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 thousands of overriding factors that can prove the best platform over the Windows system. Here, I want to clarify that Linux is a kernel, and with the compilation of many essential software and drivers, it makes a distro.
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Hundreds of Linux distributions are available in the market, which stands apart from the crowd and compete with Windows OS or macOS. In this article, I will tell you some of the best things to know when choosing the best OS platform between Linux and Windows. So sit tight and learn all the facts and findings that will unchain you and let you feel free.
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 the Linux Foundation, where lots of community volunteers around the world are involved and make their best contribution.
Linux distros are what we usually see as Linux OS. Many companies and volunteers have created these Linux distros worldwide by compiling desktop environments, software, and hardware drivers with the core Kernel.
Each Linux distribution has a development cycle unrelated to kernel development. Moreover, many organizations and community enthusiasts have created desktop environments and window managers. Linux kernel and distros became popular, widely used, and adored by the mass people because of the support and contribution of its vast community.
Now let me say something about the Windows system. There is only one company – Microsoft- 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 useful or not.
2. System Stability
Windows system is not lightweight or speedy; instead tends to get sluggish over time. You may feel your system is 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 to ensure 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 will 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, I strongly suggest you use a lightweight Linux distro like Lubuntu or Peppermint OS to give it a second life. You can use that older machine as a media server or FTP server.
Linux Kernel comes with a 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 issues, system freezing issues, hardware-related drivers problems, etc. Moreover, Linux is 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 beginners and advanced users. Windows is user-friendly because, from childhood, you have only seen it in your home, school, or friend’s computer; you never saw a Linux system 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 using 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. There is also some freeware software available for Windows OS, but eventually, it will cost you a 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 files and folders. But in the Windows system, malware and viruses get access to the system files easily and can damage a large scale.
Linux kernel is open source; thus, it’s more secure and well maintained due to the involvement of a large community that scans the flaws regularly. Moreover, maximum viruses or threats are being created for the Windows system keeping in mind.
That’s why you need a good antivirus for Windows OS, just at the beginning. Linux is immune from 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 step and footprint are tracked 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 the 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, you search 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 quickly.
8. Linux or Windows: Customization
Linux is much more customizable than Windows OS. In the Windows system, everything comes pre-configured and as a closed source. There is hardly anything that you can change as per your needs. There is a command shell “cmd,” still it’s not useful to make any root-level changes. Now a day, 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 come as open source, and users can make any modification under specific rules. Linux CLI environment is too robust to perform root-level tasks. Moreover, you can change your Linux distros’ overall look and feel 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 tasks effortlessly. With the help of root access, you can change every bit of things in the Linux ecosystem. But in the Windows system, everything is pre-set by Microsoft. You hardly have any administrative privileges to perform root-level tasks.
10. Programming Platform for Developers
If you are a programmer or intend to do programming, I highly suggest using Linux instead of Windows OS. You will find lots of programming languages or IDEs here. All those developers’ tools are made considering the Linux environment first. Hence they work efficiently and smoothly on the Linux platform.
11. Install, Update, and Upgrade
It’s easy 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, making it safe and more accessible to update the system and software.
But in a Windows system, updating the system and third-party applications is hell difficult and time-consuming. Windows don’t only pull the updates from the Microsoft site but also takes every software update from app-specific software protocol.
12. Different Flavors for Different Needs
Linux is more capable than Windows OS in this sector. There are hundreds of Linux distros based on different needs and various desktop flavors. If you are a Windows user, then Linux has Zorin OS or Linux Mint to make a smooth transition from the previous continuation.
And If you are a macOS user, Linux also covers you with Ubuntu or Elementary OS. Or you can even use one specific Linux distro with some Linux desktop environments. 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 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 the Linux ecosystem, I bet you that Linux wins the crown. Linux covers all 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 alternatives to Adobe Photoshop in Linux distros, including GIMP, Darktable, Krita, etc.
16. Alternative To Office Suite
Like Photoshop, the MS Office suite is also such an outstanding software that also keeps the appeal to use Windows OS. A lot of users and organizations depend 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 get many options for editing multimedia files in the Windows system, Linux also provides the same amount of choice and sometimes even more. Here you can check a list of the 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 the Linux system. In Windows OS, you have to go to the software-specific site to get 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 authenticated.
On the other hand, Linux distros provide a centralized software center for installing any applications. The community thoroughly checks the software, and there is hardly any possibility of including adware, malware, adverts, etc. Moreover, there are many ways to install the software in the Linux system. If one process doesn’t work or you are uncomfortable with command-line tools, anytime you can use another one.
20. Linux Server or Windows Server
If you consider server security, stability, freedom of choice, hardware compatibility, and cost-effectiveness, then the Linux server beats the Windows-based server in every way. Windows is a popular option for desktop usage (novices think so), and Linux is the best option for a 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 vulnerable than Windows server regarding malware and online threats. It’s impossible to create any backdoor in the Linux kernel, whereas the Windows system is sensitive to that situation.
21. Blue Screen and De-fragmentation
Blue screen with fsck running and disk defragmentation are known issues 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 affect 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 of on the file extension like Windows.
23. Linux or Windows: Task Automation
There are many tools and command cheat sheets in the Linux system to make your task as automatic as it can’t be on Windows. Many servers or IT experts prefer to use Linux over Windows to automate their routine system-side tasks.
24. Process and Resource Management
In Linux, the software process management is much more 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 problems. 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 more effectively than a Windows system. When software is installed in Linux, it downloads all the required dependencies. Next time you install any other software, it doesn’t again download the dependencies if they match the previous one.
This is how Linux keeps the software interlinked, cleaned, and lightweight. 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
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 is faced.
Regarding Windows OS, Microsoft is the only vendor to provide documentation for the users, and sometimes you may feel lost in finding the exact information. Like Linux, the Windows system also has a huge fanbase that provides tweaks, tutorials, and tips to solve or customize the system.
Linux has come a long way. There was a saying that Linux is not user-friendly, doesn’t offer many software choices, needs 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 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 distro experience with us in the comment section.