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Can Someone Help Compare Windows vs. Linux for me?

By Jasio- · 14 replies
Jul 6, 2007
  1. I'm just wondering why Linux, or why Windows..
    what software works on which, what is so much better about one or the other.. and what is Linux commonly used for compared to Windows..
  2. magiclight

    magiclight TS Enthusiast Posts: 66

    well linux is free :)
  3. murzyn1975

    murzyn1975 TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Yeah, Linuz is free, but there are some disadvantages. Firstly if you are new to computers Linux will or could be too difficult to use. It is not as user friendly as Windows and a lot of things have to be done manually. If you want to give Linux a try, I would recommend downloading Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/. It is quite a popular Debian derived system. I have a dual system istalled and after trying lots of Linux distributions I find this one the best.

    Hope it helps.
  4. magiclight

    magiclight TS Enthusiast Posts: 66

    i agree with murzyn linux is more difficult to use, and theres much less software that works on linux. if your a gamer or new to compeuters windows is much more user-friendly
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    It's not more or less difficult to use if you start from zero.

    If you already have learnt to use Windows, you probably have accustomed to Windows way of doing things which is sometimes very different from Linux way. If you refuse to change the way you work, then yes, of course Linux will seem difficult.

    A lot of things don't need to be done manually anymore in Linux - and many new distributions recognize more hardware out of the box than Windows.

    Linux is commonly used in servers, but unless you use some specalized applications written only for Windows, nothing should prevent you from using Linux in desktop either.
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Do users really see that as a major advantage? Most computers come with Windows, so why couldn't that be seen as a free OS as well?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Compare what?

    GUI interfaces, Cost of Applications (eg Word/Excel), Maintenance, ease of configuration?

    IMO, the absence of the Windows Registry is a major benefit!

    If you're rather new to computers, go with Windows so you might have someone nearby that you can talk to or have come over to help you.

    If you're quick to learn new material, you should enjoy Linux.
  8. jim simon

    jim simon TS Rookie

    There are several reasons why I prefer Linux. It has become very user friendly. Knoppix, and PclinuxOS are very easy to use. You can even load them to a USB key with all your favorite applications and have a very portable computer in your pocket so to speak. You can't do that with Windows. Linux has no where near the viruses, trojans, spam, etc that Windows attracts like a magnet. You don't need all those extra anti-virus programs running in the background and slowing down your processor, not to mention the constant updating. As mentioned before, it is free. If you want a really professional version with personal attention and don't mind coughing up a measely 40 or 50 bucks in comparison to Microsoft $$$$$ for something like Vista that is pure garbage, then download or order Linspire. The free version is downloadable and is Freespire. Linux has tons of applications and all free. You can even order a new computer from Linux with Linux Operating system already installed. Real cheap prices also. I love Linux.
  9. Jasio-

    Jasio- TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    I am good with Windows, and I'm not new to computers.
    I'm just trying to understand what I can do in Linux that I cannot do in Microsoft, and visa versa.
    Does Linux run faster.. (I'm asuming), can I browse the internet the same.. I'm just tired of Windows and I was thinking since Linux is free it might be worth the time to learn how to use it and maybe completely convert to it.
  10. jim simon

    jim simon TS Rookie

    Hi Javio:

    Since you seem to know computers very well, probably better than I, Linux should be a breeze for you.
    You can do everything with Linux that you can do with Windows and maybe more, since you adapt it to what you need. It is also very fast. The cursor moves real fast and is very sensitive for example. Firefox is also available with PCLinuxOS version and others. There is just too many features for me to cover here. You obviously can not use Microsoft software using Linux Oper.Sys. and vice versa. Linux does provide a plethora of applications and all freeware. Only you can decide what you need and download only what you want to install. Here is a simple procedure to follow if you just want to see what Linux has to offer in the form of a “live CD”.
    The first thing you need to download is a small program called digestIT 2004. There may be a newer version. What it does is check to make a check (MD5Sum) of the data of any Linux software that you will be downloading in the future, to make certain that all of the downloaded data is correct and is all there, before you proceed to burn it to CD, install it or use it,etc. The two downloads listed below are for making “live CD’s”. That means you can view what the Operating System looks like (desktop, different buttons, etc) and use the mouse and cursor to open various applications. However, you can not actually use any of the applications, because it needs to be installed on a stick or your hard drive first. This may be a bit tricky and risky for a newbie, but for you it may be a piece of cake, and I would suggest maybe installing on a stick first. That way you don’t risk loosing or messing up your hard drive. After the download, right click on the downloaded file and select “digestIT”. It will give you the MD5Sum of the file. It should correspond with the correct MD5Sums that you also need to download from the same sites given below. Assuming the MD5Sums (a string of letters and numbers) from the digestIT checks the same as the one you downloaded, then the next step is to burn the file to a CD. If it is a zip file (Winrar), don’t unzip it. Just burn it as is. I use Nero burner. There are other burners. Make sure when you come to burn it that you choose “iso image” in the “file” block of your burner or you will get a bad burn and it will not boot up the computer later on. After burning, open the cd/rom drive, turn off computer, insert CD and close, turn on computer and it should boot up in Knoppix (PcLinuxOS). Play around and enjoy and if you decide to install it on a USB stick, below is a site for creating a Knoppix on a stick.


    Click on this (near bottom of list) :

    KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso 03-Jan-2007 18:58 696M

    Don't forget to also download the corresponding MD5Sum so you can later make the comparison with the result from the digestIT result.


    Then click on:


    Again, download the corresponding MD5Sum.

    Making a bootable stick from a Knoppix live CD:

    Register on the Knoppix forum and and PcLinuxOS (I think it's under Debian Linux Forum). Read and familiarize yourself with Linux also helps to get the feel of some of the userfriendly features of these two Operating Systems and what they offer. There may be others you may like better. Good Luck.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Because the code path lengths are shorter, yes Linux is faster on the same
    hardware than Windows would be.

    The biggest issues to most people were the Office Suite programs (word / excel),
    but now OpenOffice has plugged that issue. HOW-TO configure the various
    system components and to use YAM or RPM to install programs can be an issue for some.
  12. jim simon

    jim simon TS Rookie

    Linux has come a long way in the last couple of years and its getting more user friendly everyday. I'm hoping they come up with a live CD that will automatically erase Windows, partition the harddrive and do all other configurations, ask and let you to select which Office suite programs and others that you would like to install, select your favorite browser, all off of one or a set of live CD's. I, personally, don't get a thrill of having to use root codes to configure and partition,etc. It seems to me they could make a Linux installation so much easier by putting all that code on a live CD and thus attract many more fans to Linux.
  13. norsk

    norsk TS Rookie

    "linux" itself is an operating system. Distribution entities (link Redhat, ubunto, etc) take the operating and couple it with various (many) user space programs, libraries and other utilities and formulate a type of "distro". Each distro has a specific look, feel and mood to it, each of which appeals to different people.

    Linux systems tend to far more robust than windows and more responsive. The kernel developers, examine, re-examine and refactor the kernel code to be clean, lean and easily readable (by programmers of course).

    Take the case of USB devices, there is just one internal device driver model under linux to handle USB devices. Under windows, there are 3 different USB driver models that need to be maintained, because of the desire for backward compatibility of device drivers. Linux will change device driver interface (because the code is all there and can be refactored) but not the interface (system calls) to user programs. This allows linux change quickly and openly.

    For one of the kernel releases, 2.6.22, there were 900 contributors.

    For a good look at kernel development, look at https://ols2006.108.redhat.com/2007/Reprints/kroah-hartman-Reprint.pdf
    and look for Greg Kroah-Hartman's paper.

    Linux runs on more different types of processors than any other OS (the feature that this helps is that the OS is well tested, and thus operates well on x86 type of processors). There are more device drivers for linux than other OSes. In some cases, they are out before Windows comes out. Yeah there are warts, but major drivers proceed along.

    I run 6 computers at home on linux, and dual boot a Windows machine and a laptop. I also run Windows in a virtual partition under linux. (XEN). This is the way to get around dual booting - Always run linux, then startup a windows XEN virtual machine and run windows programs there. NO need to reboot.

    It helps to expand one's horizon.

    Admission: Old unix geek (1980) who used X-Windows long before Windows 3.1 existed. Now I love linux
  14. BlameCanada

    BlameCanada TS Rookie Posts: 320

    Windows - shallow learning curve,expensive.

    Linux - steep learning curve,sense of achievement,cheap.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

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