Windows-Linux Comparison

This is a discussion on Windows-Linux Comparison within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; From my years with Windows, and my 8 months with Linux, I've made an evaluation of their respective cons and ...

  1. #1
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Windows-Linux Comparison

    From my years with Windows, and my 8 months with Linux, I've made an evaluation of their respective cons and pros.
    You'll notice most of the points overlap a little.

    Windows

    No learning. Pretty much everything that can be done in Windows, uses a somewhat standardized GUI, that once you know, you know. With Linux, most programs/packages are by different people, and made with different styles & standards. So you get a lot of inconsistencies or plain weird stuff.

    No dependency hell. Almost all programs come with all the junk they need in their installation. On Linux you have to figure out what needs what, and some programs have inconsistent or complicated version dependency problems (though these are less of a problem using yum-like utility).

    Works out of the box. Usually, your good to go after an installation. Whereas with Linux you often have to do some compiling, configuration, or dependency resolving (though front-ends through packages do usually work out-of-the-box pretty well).

    Linux

    Free. 'nuff said.

    Do anything. You can do things, and make changes to part(s) of the system or programs, sometimes with little effort. Whereas with Windows everything is so cryptic and closed, you have to practically hack your way in with a kernel program just to accomplish the effect of editing a plain text config file on Linux.

    Front-end, back-end, or no-end. I love this, this may be my Linux favorite, actually. The ability to do things in a 'raw' manner by editing plain-text config files (sometimes very easy, sometimes impossible). The ability to use a back-end, which automates and unifies the operation(s) for you. And the ability to use a front-end (which usually uses a back-end), to get everything spoon fed to you is always nice, of course (but the front-end is the hardest to find for Linux). This is cool, because when you do have the 3 options, you can use what ever suits your need at that time, you can make new front-ends to existing back-ends, and sometimes even interchangeably use different front-ends with different back-ends (a lot of this I see with audio).

    Up to date. Staying up to date is pretty easy with the rapid release and development of packages and even OS versions. Windows waits 5 years for an update, and months for critical security patches. Long-term support is often desirable, and with things like the Fedora split, CentOS, you get the best of both worlds.

    What are your takes?

    P.S. I would like to check out FreeBSD, I read BSDers talking about Linux the way Linuxers talk about Windows. :P If anyone had any experience with a BSD, I would like to hear about it.
    A class that doesn't overload all operators just isn't finished yet. -- SmugCeePlusPlusWeenie
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  2. #2
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    My takes are:

    No learning. Pretty much everything that can be done in Windows, uses a somewhat standardized GUI, that once you know, you know. With Linux, most programs/packages are by different people, and made with different styles & standards. So you get a lot of inconsistencies or plain weird stuff.
    This one is #1 important. I hate to research or read manuals to find out how to use stuff. I like everything nice, pretty and consistent.

    No dependency hell. Almost all programs come with all the junk they need in their installation. On Linux you have to figure out what needs what, and some programs have inconsistent or complicated version dependency problems (though these are less of a problem using yum-like utility).
    Also very important. Having to hunt down dependencies, which are often difficult to find or configure or compile, as the usual Linux style, is a pain. I love installers.

    Works out of the box. Usually, your good to go after an installation. Whereas with Linux you often have to do some compiling, configuration, or dependency resolving (though front-ends through packages do usually work out-of-the-box pretty well).
    Windows does work, but rarely does it work like you want. You will always go to change settings, install programs, change program settings, etc. No change there.
    It's a pain, but there seems to be little way around it.

    Free. 'nuff said.
    Ah, that wouldn't be so bad had it not been that I get all Windows versions for free. At least for 5 years or so.

    Do anything. You can do things, and make changes to part(s) of the system or programs, sometimes with little effort. Whereas with Windows everything is so cryptic and closed, you have to practically hack your way in with a kernel program just to accomplish the effect of editing a plain text config file on Linux.
    Configuring is cool, but I'd rather not have the ability to shoot myself in the foot with no warnings.
    Bringing down a program (ie shooting yourself in the foot with a programming language) is much less severe than messing with an operating system.

    Front-end, back-end, or no-end. I love this, this may be my Linux favorite, actually. The ability to do things in a 'raw' manner by editing plain-text config files (sometimes very easy, sometimes impossible). The ability to use a back-end, which automates and unifies the operation(s) for you. And the ability to use a front-end (which usually uses a back-end), to get everything spoon fed to you is always nice, of course (but the front-end is the hardest to find for Linux). This is cool, because when you do have the 3 options, you can use what ever suits your need at that time, you can make new front-ends to existing back-ends, and sometimes even interchangeably use different front-ends with different back-ends (a lot of this I see with audio).
    No idea what it means

    Up to date. Staying up to date is pretty easy with the rapid release and development of packages and even OS versions. Windows waits 5 years for an update, and months for critical security patches. Long-term support is often desirable, and with things like the Fedora split, CentOS, you get the best of both worlds.
    Love smaller update windows. 'Nuff said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

  3. #3
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    I switched a few months ago to FreeBSD on my laptop and OpenBSD on my desktop. It doesn't have the same out-of-the-box-and-ready-to-go-ness that I got used to with Ubuntu (and for most people that's really the mos important factor), but I do like it a lot better for other reasons. As someone who likes to tinker with the kernel code, I have to say that the BSD code and documentation are vastly better and easier to work with. The system really is extremely reliable and deals well with issues that get other systems down.

    Where I work we've been converting a massive Java desktop application into a Flash front-end, and we've had tons of issues with memory leaks in the Adobe Flex libraries. On Windows and Linux - it used crash the browser within 20 minutes, and there were noticeable side-effects while trying to run other programs. I tried it on BSD? Used it for hours and never got a slow down or a crash. Now, that's more to do with the people who ported Flash player to FreeBSD - and I don't know what they did to make it work like that - but I think that's indicative of the higher value placed on reliability in the community.

    That being said, it's really not as bleeding-edge as Linux. It's slightly behind when it comes to hardware support, and getting software to work on it can be a little challenging until you know what you're doing. It chews through my battery WAY faster because it can't put the kernel a tickless-state like Linux can (haven't read much about that, so correct me if I'm wrong), and it is noticeably slower (though I'm running KDE now, and that's a huge memory hog by itself).

    One of the reasons I like OpenBSD is just that it's my style - so I make no attempt to convert anyone to it who doesn't automatically agree. It's an extremely minimalist UNIX, and has a good community full of people who really know what they're talking about. It has a HUGE emphasis on security, reliability, and correctness. It's hard to tell concretely how much better it actually is than other systems, but that's the kind of thing I'm interested in, so I enjoy learning about it's solutions.

    I think the reason some BSD users talk about Linux users that way, is that Linux has a huge number of users that think they're l33t because they use Linux. I think it's a great system, I loved using it, and it's achievements are phenomenal, but I think we've all seen those people that really think they're 'making a statement', and those people are just annoying. BSD is a lot less mainstream, so it doesn't have that so much, though I have noticed a lot more elitism with BSD then I did with Linux. I think a lot of people like the harder system so they can talk down to people - not because they want the features. But from a technical standpoint, I find it really hard to say why one is inferior - they're good at different things. Windows, on the other hand, I will have a hard time going back to - as I really dislike the lack of flexibility and all the politics, user-friendly though it may be. I have to use it at work, and I don't mind so much because all the software I need is provided fully-licensed, should it need to be so. It's also an extremely high-performance machine, and I have it customized to the teeth with cygwin, vim, etc...

  4. #4
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    What a pointless thread, seriously. Ideally you should only be comparing the kernels. In which case, read widefox / Kernel Comparison Linux vs Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    From my years with Windows, and my 8 months with Linux, I've made an evaluation of their respective cons and pros.
    You'll notice most of the points overlap a little.

    Windows

    No learning. Pretty much everything that can be done in Windows, uses a somewhat standardized GUI, that once you know, you know. With Linux, most programs/packages are by different people, and made with different styles & standards. So you get a lot of inconsistencies or plain weird stuff.
    Well that's flawed if I ever did hear. You've been using Windows for years, of course you're not learning how to do much now. On the contrary, if you were using Linux for years, and only just beginning Windows... then you'd probably find the GUIs equally as hard to use. Maybe even harder. Times are a plenty when I "grep" or "find" to search for a configuration option in Linux. In Windows, it's half in the registry and half in flat files, if you're lucky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    No dependency hell. Almost all programs come with all the junk they need in their installation. On Linux you have to figure out what needs what, and some programs have inconsistent or complicated version dependency problems (though these are less of a problem using yum-like utility).
    I don't know what package manager you're using... but there are certainly better ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Works out of the box. Usually, your good to go after an installation. Whereas with Linux you often have to do some compiling, configuration, or dependency resolving (though front-ends through packages do usually work out-of-the-box pretty well).
    Linux is just a kernel you know. What distro are you talking about?

    Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Free. 'nuff said.
    Doesn't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Do anything. You can do things, and make changes to part(s) of the system or programs, sometimes with little effort. Whereas with Windows everything is so cryptic and closed, you have to practically hack your way in with a kernel program just to accomplish the effect of editing a plain text config file on Linux.
    Which brings me back to my first point about learning Windows. You've already learnt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Front-end, back-end, or no-end. I love this, this may be my Linux favorite, actually. The ability to do things in a 'raw' manner by editing plain-text config files (sometimes very easy, sometimes impossible). The ability to use a back-end, which automates and unifies the operation(s) for you. And the ability to use a front-end (which usually uses a back-end), to get everything spoon fed to you is always nice, of course (but the front-end is the hardest to find for Linux). This is cool, because when you do have the 3 options, you can use what ever suits your need at that time, you can make new front-ends to existing back-ends, and sometimes even interchangeably use different front-ends with different back-ends (a lot of this I see with audio).
    Not much to do with Linux specifically. All though it is wonderful to be able to run a headless server with no GUI,. and still use most of your favourite programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Up to date. Staying up to date is pretty easy with the rapid release and development of packages and even OS versions. Windows waits 5 years for an update, and months for critical security patches. Long-term support is often desirable, and with things like the Fedora split, CentOS, you get the best of both worlds.
    Again, depends on your distro and package manager.

    What are your takes?

    it.[/QUOTE]

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    You've been using Windows for years, of course you're not learning how to do much now. On the contrary, if you were using Linux for years, and only just beginning Windows... then you'd probably find the GUIs equally as hard to use.
    Reminds me when I tried to switch from Gnome to KDE. I found KDE hard to use and couldn't understand it. It took me a few more months and being forced to use KDE because of a project I was trying to make portable to finally get to grips with it.

    Anyway, I use both Linux and Windows. I like them both. But I liked VAX/VMS more.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #6
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    Windows does work, but rarely does it work like you want. You will always go to change settings, install programs, change program settings, etc. No change there.
    It's a pain, but there seems to be little way around it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    Ah, that wouldn't be so bad had it not been that I get all Windows versions for free. At least for 5 years or so.
    That does sound nice, how do you do that? But I did have software in mind there, I guess I was just bosting an open source plus there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    Configuring is cool, but I'd rather not have the ability to shoot myself in the foot with no warnings.
    Bringing down a program (ie shooting yourself in the foot with a programming language) is much less severe than messing with an operating system.
    You need to have more faith in your abilites to faningle. If you mess with something sensitive, just keep a back up and a plan B for if the worst happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    No idea what it means
    Example: I can use "no-end" by editing /etc/group and /etc/passwd (and /etc/shadow), or use the "back-end", with useradd, usermod, and userdel, or I can use the "front-end" by going to Application Menu > Administration > Users and Groups. In this case, I can use whatever I want, and if I want to, I can make my own front-end to replace Users and Groups, or even for whatever reason my own back-end to replace user* and possibly get used by Users and Groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    Love smaller update windows. 'Nuff said.
    Sure, but one big is better than many, many small. :P

    sean: Sounds neat. Kind of the impression I've been getting elsewhere too.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    What a pointless thread, seriously. Ideally you should only be comparing the kernels. In which case, read widefox / Kernel Comparison Linux vs Windows
    I'm comparing the whole experience, not the kernels.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    Well that's flawed if I ever did hear. You've been using Windows for years, of course you're not learning how to do much now. On the contrary, if you were using Linux for years, and only just beginning Windows... then you'd probably find the GUIs equally as hard to use. Maybe even harder. Times are a plenty when I "grep" or "find" to search for a configuration option in Linux. In Windows, it's half in the registry and half in flat files, if you're lucky.
    Good point. Though I do agree that Linux is often actually easier, I was really refering to the how long it takes to get to know something part. It's harder to remember a long table of commands and arguments that to just look through a menu or dialog for what you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    I don't know what package manager you're using... but there are certainly better ones.
    Indeed, this is probably just my problem. Haven't had any trouble with yum so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    Linux is just a kernel you know. What distro are you talking about?
    I know. No distro in specific. Maybe I should've used "The Linux Experience" instead of just "Linux", and for Windows too.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    Not much to do with Linux specifically. All though it is wonderful to be able to run a headless server with no GUI,. and still use most of your favourite programs.
    There's one plus, among many more. But sure, I guess that's not just Linux thing, but you have in Linux, whereas you don't in Windows. It's just a respective comparison.
    A class that doesn't overload all operators just isn't finished yet. -- SmugCeePlusPlusWeenie
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  7. #7
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    That does sound nice, how do you do that? But I did have software in mind there, I guess I was just bosting an open source plus there.
    You mean how I get Windows (including other software) free?

    You need to have more faith in your abilites to faningle. If you mess with something sensitive, just keep a back up and a plan B for if the worst happens.
    Not that I'd count something like this as a negative. It's quite nice to have the power.
    Actually, come to think of it, you can kill Windows in the same way. But you can probably do worse things in Linux...

    Example: I can use "no-end" by editing /etc/group and /etc/passwd (and /etc/shadow), or use the "back-end", with useradd, usermod, and userdel, or I can use the "front-end" by going to Application Menu > Administration > Users and Groups. In this case, I can use whatever I want, and if I want to, I can make my own front-end to replace Users and Groups, or even for whatever reason my own back-end to replace user* and possibly get used by Users and Groups.
    I see. Yes, flexibility is very nice. I would use what fancied me.
    Easy to change settings with a mere shortcut would be cool.

    Sure, but one big is better than many, many small. :P
    True, true, but I don't like waiting 4-5 years for updates.
    I like many, smaller updates instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

  8. #8
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Hey the thread I've always been waiting for! I'll keep this short!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    The ability to do things in a 'raw' manner by editing plain-text config files (sometimes very easy, sometimes impossible).
    This was the number one thing that attracted me to it too, and that was long before I was a programmer. Well, that, and the fact you have so many alternatives on so many levels were kind of conflated for me: like look, I have all this stuff to choose from and then configure the heck out of Using text files was just much more intuitive for me than using a GUI (and still is). As long as the config is well annotated.

    Which lately I have been realizing all that heterogeneity is a bit of a pain as a developer, because (for example) you have like half a dozen commonly used window managers. There are some standards for doing common things to them via Xlib, unfortunately: more than one of those too Like try and figure out a way to FULLSCREEN a window that will work the same on:

    -fvwm
    -metacity
    -openbox
    -enlightenment
    ...etc.

    In this sense, there are a lot of portability issues from linux, to linux.

    On the other hand, the transparency may make up for it: if you are a real smart person, you can always just keep going thru the sources until you get it figured out

    Vis, BSD and such: great logo is all I can say. But one thing I would recommend is actually taking the distro you are familiar with, installing it again, but setting it up totally differently. You could use a different distro, but IMO there is a lot of malarky about different distros that in reality all default to GNOME, so in essence are near identical out of the box. The "variety" is in the optional packages (the individual distros actually make little to no software). Like if you really like maximum configurability, use fvwm. The apparent difference between distros is I think mostly about what they have pop out of the box -- if you understand all the parts, the distro is somewhat irrelevant, you can get what you want out of it. Which I guess means you need to experiment and find out what that is. ($0.02) The whole debian tree (which includes ubuntu) is a good example of this: each one is just skewed with a slightly different philosophy. The idea that they are "in competition" is sort of fallacious. I think the "skew" of Ubuntu is aimed at users totally new to Linux. Then the others present themselves as special alternatives -- most likely, you could make all of them look and feel exactly like any one of the others if you know what you are doing.

    One thing I did a few months ago that I'll HIGHLY recommend was set up an extra partition on my hard drive to hold most of the things in my home directory, such as FF settings, various other app configs, all my files, all my mail, etc. Then I mount that at boot time and use symlinks in my home directory. I do the same thing with /var/www, etc. This has made it a lot easier for me to try out new distros and different installs, since I can basically pick one when I turn the computer on, and all the essential details I need in order to be productive are the same as I left them when I last logged out, regardless of which primary partition I was on. This has worked amazingly well, even using different versions of (eg) firefox, my MUA*, etc. and I'm getting a much better feel for what little details I appreciate the most, by doing more or less the same kinds of things all day in a few dissimilar environments. It also leaves me more free to compile and test new releases for crucial stuff -- which crucial stuff is usually what I'm most interested in, but if I have a build that's been working well for a while, I'm always hesitant to try a new one and face a headache that requires reversing, etc. Like vim is something I always have to source build because of my preferences, and if it ain't working right, who wants to waste 10:00-10:30 sorting out yer stupid editor.** Not to mention something more fundamental (like the window manager). This way it doesn't matter -- I don't have to deal with it right away, I just boot into a different install and keep working on what is foremost in my mind right now.

    * still too timid/lazy to have tried setting up my mail so I can use different MUA's on each install, but it probably wouldn't be too hard. On the other hand, I've already fooled around with a bunch of them and kind of settled on the one I like best

    ** esp. when I can be posting to the web instead
    Last edited by MK27; 02-11-2010 at 03:37 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  9. #9
    Registered User jeffcobb's Avatar
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    Reprinting from my website but it is relevant:
    1. Education. Linux is free because the code is free and because of that, you can have a complete software environment for the cost of a CD and some bandwidth. Thousands of dollars worth of software. And the folks who make it are eager for you to use it. But it’s not free; in fact it comes at a price that some folks are not willing to pay…and that is that you have to use your mind and you cannot be an idiot. You can survive and get by as you would with Windows by using Mepis or Ubuntu or Fedora or any of the mainstream distributions but for some people, “getting by” just isn’t enough. I want to learn, I want to master my domain. With Windows you are forever a user, a temporary participant in that world. With Linux you can be a part of it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I joined the Army immediately after high school and never had time for college but for whatever reason, I have never stopped wanting to learn and Linux gives me an almost infinite realm to explore. I have learned so much about my system and how operating systems *should* work from Linux and all I had to invest (because that is all I had TO invest at times) was time and a desire to learn. But more than operating systems, open source is incredible; want to learn how the database systems that drives much of the internet works? The source is there. Want to see how a first-class operating system does its scheduling? The source is there. Want to learn about how image manipulation works? Look at the GIMP source. Encryption? Games? Video processing? It is all there, just look at the source. That is just so cool.
    2. Choice. Life is about change and I like being able to change my environment about every three months. The Windows you install today is the one you will have in 5 years. Yes you can change themes and stuff but it is still Windows. Linux rightly so separates the operating system (Linux or GNU/Linux), from the video presentation manager (X) from the actual display engine (maybe a poor description but think Metacity or Enlightenment or KDE or…..) and you begin to see the vast number of opportunities for change. The opposite of change is stagnation, by the way. Things that refuse to change tends to die; just ask the dinosaurs. Sometimes I like a minimalist environment, sometimes I love all the eye-candy and toys. It’s all there for the asking.
    3. Flexibility. I think it is so cool that I can use Linux on the desktop, Linux as my media-playing device, Linux as my NAS, my firewall, my document storage solution. The same Linux.
    4. Remote administration. Yes Windows is starting to get this but there is a huge difference between an operating system with remote administration that has been designed into it and one that has had it tacked on after the fact.
    5. Upgrades that truly upgrade. Let me explain. With Windows updates, you get automatic updates for Windows. Seems kinda obvious. The same mechanism in Linux however upgrades (if you wish) EVERYTHING. Think about it. If something goes wrong with Windows (and Microsoft deigns to admit error and fix it), you get a fix. But what about that game you bought? or the Office suite? or the image manipulation software? or even video drivers, network drivers, anything? If there is even a fix available you have to track it down, download it, and install it. With Linux, you automatically get fixes for everything on your system. Man that is hard to beat.
    6. Application integration. Something that Microsoft loves to talk about is how integrated their apps are; Linux (mostly due to the UNIX-like heritage) everything can be piped into nearly everything else.
    7. Applications I cannot live without: Emacs (my bread and butter), Avidemux (my video editor), Midnight Commander (for when I need simple and fast file management), Open Office (for larger documents and spreadsheets), gFTP (for when I need easy and secure remote access to files; of course, Midnight Commander does this too), Ice Weasel (Firefox), Ice Dove (email), openvpn for connecting to the office, Virtual Box (for free and frankly better virtual machines than VMWare), CMake/make/autotools (for building software), Python/Eric for fast cross-platform scripting development, GIMP for image manipulation (and frankly for most of the public, who give a fig if it doesn’t have CKMY or DNKY or whatever the hell I hear Photoshop fans whinge about?). I love the fact that I can with a single command install a full DOS emulator (for playing older games), a playstation emulator, a Sega emulator, an Atari emulator, you name it. GL-117 for fighter simulation; bcrypt for fast blowfish encryption, hell, pluggable user space file systems…like encfs for an instant secure system. Xmms for thin and light MP3 playing, Grip for ripping, Xine for video viewing, Freevo for Tivo-like functionality. I could go on but you get the idea. Open source runs this weblog (WordPress), the OS it runs on (Debian Sarge) and the database in between (MySQL). I am thankful for nmap for security scanning, Apt for the coolest package management; GCC, GDB, DDD, etc for allowing me to get the source to my kernel, recompile it and get a whopping 3% speed gain. Whoop-de-doo you say, why go through all that to get a 3% gain? Because I *can*. No matter what you do (short of buying more hardware) can you get a speed gain out of Windows or a Mac. Also I have a lot of different kinds of hardware; some 32-bit, some 64; some AMD, some Intel. And a Power PC. Recompiling your kernel means you have a kernel that is tuned for your exact hardware, not the one size fits all approach you are stuck with in Windows land. Which reminds me:
    8. No viruses, no malware, no barrage of adverts to buy this or that or worse, like with Vista you get all kinds of trial ware to make your system work better but if you do not pay up, it all goes away after nagging you for weeks or months. No or very little product registration. Forget to register your Windows and it quits working.
    9. A comprehensive software universe. The days of Windows having the best hardware support are over. One CD you you have hundreds of video, audio, network and other drivers installed. Automatically. Take a standard Windows CD, install it on a laptop that came with Windows (I am not talking about a restore CD but a fully paid-for copy) and out of the box, barely anything works; Why on earth should things like USB, CD drivers, video drivers and more be unavailable? I don’t know either but it is…see my story of 3.5 installations. So if the drivers and such are missing from an Windows install CD, what is there? Not much. Not a fully functional office suite, few games, NO advanced software. You get all this and more with Linux and open source.
    10. Multiple ways of skinning the cat. Many Windows fanboys point at the multiple editors, email clients, browsers, like its a bad thing and if we were all the same, they would be right. There is a lot of truth to the adage of ” one mans meat is another mans poison".
    11. Lack of class distinction. The struggling mom and pop business that uses Windows is struggling with an entry-level version of Word, the leader of a company with billions of dollars of business have the high-end suite. With Linux and open source, the mom and pop get to use the same level of tools as the CEO of the billion dollar company. It is the great equalizer.
    12. It is a thorn in Bill Gates side. Look at the news: since Microsoft cannot compete on quality they do it by disparaging Linux and the people who use it. Because that is all they have left. I pity them. Do I hate Bill Gates? No, believe it or not I don’t. Steve Ballmer is a bit of a weeny but there is an old Chinese saying that goes: a villain is never a villain in their own eyes. Thus, Messrs Gates and Ballmer are doing what they think is right and are not actively trying to be villains. However, the more apt question is: do I trust my operating system (and by extension many of the tools of the trade that I use to put food on the table) from Linus Torvalds (and Richard Stallman and Robert Love and a cast of millions) who are people like me (curious about the world, programmers) or from people like Ballmer and Gates, people who are so rich that they realistically don’t even live in the same universe as I do? Another way to look at it is this. We all need to eat and sometimes a meal is just a meal but when you really want that meal to be special, better than most, who would you really rather have it prepared by, someone who loves to cook and takes personal pride in creating a culinary masterpiece or someone who cares more about how much they can charge for it?
    This list just scratches the surface of things I love about open source; expect more in the future because there ARE more, lots more. These are just the reasons that come to mind. But the final reason I want to leave you with for now: if I loved Windows as much as I love Linux and wanted to share that love in an evangelistic sort of way with a friend of coworker by making and handing out copies I would be breaking the law. With Linux and open source, just give it away.

    I wrote those reasons some time ago. One other thing that is a result of being on a Debian-based system is software installation. Since the business model of free software vs proprietary is different, it changes the way software is distributed. When I need a new application I don't hit Google, go to the store or get the credit card out. Say I needed a Non-linear video editor and don't have one. I pop open a terminal and with one command I am presented with a whole list of available video editors (18 as a matter of fact). I pick one that looks interesting and so with another single command, that editor and everything it depends on is installed flawlessly in seconds. Think about that: from the moment that I decided that I needed a video editor it took less than 2 minutes to search out the one I wanted and install it. In 3 minutes I am using it. There are more than 17,000 packages all available with that kind of ease. That is powerful.
    C/C++ Environment: GNU CC/Emacs
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  10. #10
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    LOL. It wouldn't take long until the usual BS started.
    This thread just gained momentum... into the abyss.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #11
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    You mean how I get Windows (including other software) free?
    I am also interested in the answer to this because I am almost convinced that you aren't taking something into account. If you have a subscription to something that entitles you to releases, that's cool, but that isn't free. It may even be that your school (or perhaps your government if not the school) pays the price. In economics there is no free lunch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin I think
    I love this, this may be my Linux favorite, actually. The ability to do things in a 'raw' manner by editing plain-text config files
    Windows was actually intended to work this way I think. At least there is no reason to prefer registry hacks to config files that I can see, but corporations will have their way. It's not unheard of to have config files for windows programs, either. If you want to edit them you can. If you want to do it by hand, have something better than notepad to use.

    I'm more willing to blame a culture of ignorance that microsoft promotes than blame it on windows. People just don't know half the time, even though the DNA can be a lot similar.

  12. #12
    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    I've found lack of drivers to be a sore point with linux.

    I love Windows. I can actually get work done instead of having to read man pages or having to hack endless configuration files.

    *turns towards Redmond and bows*
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown View Post
    I've found lack of drivers to be a sore point with linux.

    I love Windows. I can actually get work done instead of having to read man pages or having to hack endless configuration files.

    *turns towards Redmond and bows*
    The last time I had a driver issue with Linux was over 5 years ago. Just out of curiosity, what drivers have you found Linux to be lacking in?

    I use both Linux and Windows regularly (one at work, one at home). I prefer Linux, but there are some programs that Linux just can't run which I want to use. Once virtual machine implementations reach a certain level of functionality, this will be a moot point.
    bit∙hub [bit-huhb] n. A source and destination for information.

  14. #14
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    This one is #1 important. I hate to research or read manuals to find out how to use stuff. I like everything nice, pretty and consistent.
    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown View Post
    I love Windows. I can actually get work done instead of having to read man pages or having to hack endless configuration files.
    Are you guys too cool to use the help menu? I've never once announced, "I don't want to read!" proudly. Any GUI can be consistent but that's not really what matters.

    I can't communicate this better than actually going into my experience as a user I guess, so I'm sorry if this beleaguers the point. Using things like IRC, not everything is completely intuitive in the client (for me), but rather than irrationally deciding I can't use IRC ever I read the help files. I more often than not turn to my help files when I need to decide how to use a feature, or if something can be done. I feel like you're trying to compare help documents.

    PEBKAC.

    One thing I do like about Linux, and I imagine this comes from the kernel, is the file permission system. In windows, the extension determines the permissions unless you go into properties for individual files. In Linux, one of the reasons viruses can't work is because executable permissions are rarely granted. I like that. I also like that the OS doesn't need to defrag the filesystem. I read a benchmark in PC mag which only confirmed what I thought I knew. Defragging for me has never led to noticeable performance gains and I just do it routinely as part of a maintenance checklist.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 02-11-2010 at 06:27 PM.

  15. #15
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    The last time I had a driver issue with Linux was over 5 years ago. Just out of curiosity, what drivers have you found Linux to be lacking in?.
    I get them all the time. Most recently, a TV dongle.

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