View Full Version : linux vs. windows

04-01-2002, 02:40 PM
Govt, dont delete this, Im not trying to start an argument, Im just wondering.

What is the reason that some people like linux more than windows, other than to mess around with, dont say stability cause thats not true anymore. Also, note that I dont mean windows 9x as that is no longer the standard.

Please no arguments, Im just wondering what makes some people prefer linux to windows.

04-01-2002, 06:36 PM
Sorry muttski, but I will have to say stability as, regardless of Microsoft marketing, Linux is still more stable than Microsoft. In fact, my Linux box has been running over 100 days as a firewall and a well used server. I'm not familiar with a Microsoft OS that can do that. My box would have been up for much longer had my 2 year old not found the reset button ;)

Licensing. I can do whatever I want with Linux in a personal or business environment and not have to worry about some Software Pirating Protection organization hassling me to prove what I own or don't own.

Understanding. I don't have to guess how any part of my OS works. I have the source code right here. This is not a benefit for most users, but it is a selling point for me. I also demand a higher salary because of the understanding I have gained from "getting my hands dirty" from *nix experience. sidenote: a recruiter once told me that if MCSE's were logs of wood, he could burn them forever and never get cold.

Cost. My Linux distribution came with a mail server, SQL server, and web server (among many other things). A quick check on buy.com shows the same from Microsoft costs over $3,000(USD).

I don't have to register my copy of Linux with Linus Torvalds if I want to use it after 30 days (or whatever it is with XP). I also like the fact that I don't have to reboot my Linux box for software installations/removals. My system only goes down when I want to make a hardware change, or my baby girl pushes the magic button.

I am not anti-Microsoft. I am a professional working in the real world with plenty of experience with both Windows and UNIX/Linux. Windows is easier to use than Linux (or UNIX, for that matter), and Windows has a place in the world. I think that place is the desktop, and non-mission critical servers. When (if) Microsoft comes out with something as great as (or better) than *nix, I will sing its praises.

I'm an observer in the Windows/*nix war, and I have a really great view at center ice.

04-01-2002, 08:30 PM
I have to agree with everything Deckard says he has provided excellent reasons too. Although I probably don't understand *nix systems as well as him, because i've been using them for much less time than any windows system, there are all very valid reasons.

I use both Windows XP and Linux RH7.1. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Although XP has the right idea, and is pretty stable I still prefer NT4 for stability, but sadly i can't use it for many games.

My linux system is also very stable and i haven't updated it much, definitely no where near as much as I have to update XP.

Linux systems protects itself from innocent stupidity, where as Microsoft has tried but not really succeeded. I say innocent because if you have a malicious person who really wants to see your files they will sometimes.

Windows any joe blog can see your files. It really ain't that hard to hack into someones windows especially 9x, ME.

I really believe it comes down to personal taste and your comfort zone.

I could go on and on but i don't feel like it at the moment.


04-01-2002, 08:53 PM
I have to agree with deckard also, Linux is extremely stable even compared to XP which now multi-tasking. I've run a linux server before and also a server in windows. Linux ran faster and stayed up longer.

When it comes to customizability, linux takes my vote. Since Linux is open-source, and most software products for it, you can make it do what ever you want.

Virus's are alot easier to make for the Windows operating system, because of all the holes in it.

One downside, Linux has a steep learning curve.

What Deckard said, Linux is cheaper, alot cheaper.

04-01-2002, 09:40 PM
Try looking into the various BSDs. They're another UNIX variant. I've been looking into FreeBSD and OpenBSD lately and I'm thinking of converting from Linux to one of them. OpenBSD is supposed to be extremely secure and FreeBSD is the backbone of many big websites like Sony, Yahoo and Microsoft's Hotmail :). Plus the license agreement (BSD) is much more flexible than the GPL which Linux usually uses.
Mac OS X is partly based on BSD too.


I think as more devices start getting connected, there will be a push for standardization which will help UNIX OSs take the market, unless MS decides to play nice (yeah right).

I think the next generation of OS should be standardized.
Can't we all just get along?

04-01-2002, 09:50 PM
*nix systems do have a standard, sort of. POSIX i believe is the standard.

As far as open source goes if there is a problem it is fixed alot faster, due to the open source, open sourcer's look out for each other i believe.

Viruses ...mmm... An attack at microsoft maybe. There is alot less viruses for *nix systems. I have a feeling that alot of viruses (not all though) are created for windows yes due to the holes and yes because windows isn't liked alot by some UNIX and UNIX variant programmers. And also because some programmer might of got fired tried to crash the old bosses network and whoops it spread from there. Too many reason for the writing of viruses, yet none a valid reasons in my opinion. This is another topic altogether though.

Yes and I strongly agree

One downside, Linux has a steep learning curve.

But linux isn't really for computer illiterate either.


04-01-2002, 11:17 PM
I am learning unix/linux at the moment, and its great. Although windows had dos, there is no comparison, LINUX rules. I plan on making a dual boot system, since I am just learning how to use Linux, I dont want to rely on it. Any suggestions for the installations.

ALso how come computers that run on linux, dont have to be rebooted so often, is it because of the lack of controlling all the memory on windows operating systems?

04-02-2002, 02:07 PM
ANyone know bill gates email address, gotta send him this thread :)

04-02-2002, 10:53 PM
The biggest reason that linux machines don't have to be rebooted so often is that they are far more modular. That is, if you have a problem with one program, the memory management system is such that it will not let that program cross certain bounds into kernel memory. The program may crash, but the OS goes on ticking.

This also comes into play when installing software. Becausre the OS is as modular as it is, it doesn't need a complete system reboot to update all systems.

Of course this also has something to do with the linux security model. Joe user can't install a program that has system-wide implications... it's just not secure. A program only has as much access as the user who runs it, which means that Joe user can't run a program with system wide repercussions (unless root is a world class fool).

This also brings up the issue of virus'... but that's another story.


04-04-2002, 12:02 PM
Windows is an OS for people who just are not interested in computers - they are a tool to help them write letters, do accounts and play games - whereas Linux is for people who are only happy when they know how to adjust things to their own needs.

I think that covers everything in one sentance.

Imagine that you were a motor enthusiast - u would not find driving a bland mid range saloon up and down the road for hours on end paticualry exciting - but you would find looking at the engine of an old V8 muscle car almost as enjoyable as driving it for a 1/4 of a mile. Or, you might find that you button is pushed by riding a jeep in the desert etc.

The point is that Linux is for people who want the best or are ready to adapt it to make it the best OS for their needs and Microsoft do not make such a product - and the fact that Linux is a lot cheaper is a bonus!

04-04-2002, 12:17 PM
Windows is an OS for people who just are not interested in computers - they are a tool to help them write letters, do accounts and play games - whereas Linux is for people who are only happy when they know how to adjust things to their own needs.

Not wanting to start an argument...but what part of windows are you being stopped from changing?.........OK...the GUI.....but is there anything really important that you would like to change?

04-04-2002, 12:41 PM
>>In fact, my Linux box has been running over 100 days as a firewall and a well used server. I'm not familiar with a Microsoft OS that can do that. My box would have been up for much longer had my 2 year old not found the reset button ;)

My NT4 server I am runing here at work that do a firewall and domain server have been runing for mm lets see..2 years now.

And my wifes w2k have never crashed sense installed when it was released. If it wasn't for the power outage we have in the winters.

Although this really don't prove anything and I don't really have a point I want to make more then maybee that the NT kernel is pretty good and 9X should not be mentioned when comparing to Linux.

04-04-2002, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Barjor
My NT4 server I am runing here at work that do a firewall and domain server have been runing for mm lets see..2 years now.If that is two years without a reboot, I'm not sure if I'm more skeptical or impressed ;)

04-04-2002, 03:57 PM
The only reboots have been 3 scheduled maintances for virus and service packs. Never any failurs or crashes ever.

04-04-2002, 05:07 PM
The NT architecture is much closer to UNIX than the 9x systems were. I have yet to have a problem with my Windows 2K system, I even recommend it to others.

However, I think if you loaded any major Linux distro nowdays (with a GUI like KDE or GNOME) on someone's computer they'd proably be able to use it just fine (for word processing, email and stuff).

It's the configuring that most people are scared of with *nix systems.

04-05-2002, 07:29 PM
Oooh. Yeah. I happen to be anti-microsoft. I bought a linux distribution, only $80 canadian for the equivilent amount of software that microsoft would charge about $500 for. And even though I was planning to keep windows because of games and old school work files, when I copied (maybe deleted) the files from the system backup partition which comes with ME and up to free up space for Linux, I tell myself, Windows didn't like this and when I was formatting partitions, the table couldn't be read and I ended up wiping my drive. Since then, I've found that, with a few grey areas, but excusable considering that linux is contributed to worldwide, linux is 200% better than windows.

First of all, most of the progams I got in my package are actually open source. Including the core linux os. Yes, linux is free, stable and if you add in gnome/kde, better than windows. I've run it for 2 days straight so far, no problems. With windows, you leave it on overnight and in the morning you'll have to reboot (The secret MSELVES.exe). If a program chrashes in windows, the computer usually takes a fall too, with linux, no problems. Microsoft hypes itself with pretty pictures, well, linux has that and more. In KDE and GNOME, the look'n'feel is above that of windows, and it never even slows down. With the advent of wine (WIN Emulator, or officially, Wine is not an emulator), soon enough linux will be fully backward compatible with Windows, including with it's programs if you must have them, and no one will have an excuse to keep windows discounting stupidity.

04-06-2002, 07:08 PM
Well I just upped my computer with Windows XP, 2000 98 and ME, and also linux.
I'm very new to linux--been using it for a week now. From what I hear, it can really screw up your computer. That's why i dont use root. so i can't really mount any drives, and as far as i'm concerned, if more people use windows, then ill develop for windows. If it weren't for KDE, I'd be screwed!

04-07-2002, 04:47 PM
i use linux about 75% of the time and ME as little as possible, that said i think you need to look at this thing from a different point of view:
windoze is without question better for the average pc user that wants to plug in a disk and let it set itself up.
linux is without question better for the more advanced user that wants to harness complete control of all aspects of thier enviro.
windoze has many many more apps available however they come at a $$$ price.
linux uses open source code that is usually free. but less apps.
windoze is teribly arrogant as far as interacting with any body but its self.
linux makes different file systems available as a standard feature.
windoze is suseptable to most viruses running around the web.
linux has (in my humble opinion) much better firewall protection.

so as far as which is better it depends on how you use it and how much you are willing and able to learn.


04-07-2002, 09:03 PM
there are many apps for linux, too.
linux is without doubt more stable than win98se (my other os). wine is very far from perfect, but like any other open source project it'll get better.
i have a 1ghz athlon amd, a voodoo3 3000 agp, and a 3 gb hard disk dedicated to linux + swap. extra space is obtained from another 45 gb hard drive (windows, fat32) using huge 1 gb files, then mounting them like a filesystem.
the kernel is a work of art. takes 10 minutes to recompile, and i can tune it to my computer. need to work with macintosh diskettes? insmod the hfs driver.
my problems come from compatibility and speed.
my voodoo3 3000 agp card is supported, allegedly well, but my computer does nothing accelarated. in both kde and gnome, the desktop responds a second after i do anything in nautilus(like windows explorer). at least windows spins the disk to offer me white noise.
my tv tuner card (cph063, bt878) works fine in windows. perfectly (except for video capture, where it stalls under high stress). under windows, following all the instruction's best intent, it still doesn't work right. i can show video full-screen, in x, in the framebuffer console (of which i have little to complain about), and in the regular console using aalib (ascii characters). but in the graphical framebuffer and in x it stalls over a period.
in linux i have to install and/or configure every supplemental piece of equipment. finding my on-mainboard sound card type was trial-and-error. you have to know everything about your system before doing anything about it. (although redhat makes this much easier provided you never recompile the kernel)
linux is much slower graphicly. why it takes a few seconds to navigate through folders i have no idea. i can't work with files like in explorer.
rpms are hard to work with. i have no idea how to use the gnome rpm tool, although the command line interface is pretty straightforward. because i mostly download tarballs and compile binaries on the go it seems weird working with rpms.

i can't end on a bad note about it, though. good points:
open-source, mostly bug free except for hardware and/or new stuff.
very customizable.
supports almost any normal piece of equipment, albeit at different rates
programs can stall and the kernel is unaffected
wide-range filesystem support.