Both Linux and Windows are operating systems which enables the computer systems to run software for performing the tasks we want. You may be familiar with Windows as this is the most widely used operating system comparing to Linux and MacOS. On the Other hand if you want privacy, security and don’t want your system to get sluggish then you will fall in love with Linux Operating system.
This blog post “Linux vs Windows” is about to highlight the key differences between Linux and Windows operating systems. If you are interested in comparing windows and MacOS, you are most welcome to read this Best Operating System “Windows Vs MacOS”.
Difference Between Linux and Windows Operating System:
What is Linux:
Linux is a free and open source operating system based on Unix core, created by Linus Torvalds a Finnish student in 1991. Linus Torvalds created Linux kernel as a free operating system that can be used and modified by anyone. Initially it had no graphical user interface unlike windows in 1991, but today Linux comes with a powerful graphical user interface and also includes software’s and tools necessary for daily basic tasks.
What is Windows:
Windows is a licensed operating system distributed by Microsoft Incorporation. It means you have to pay for getting a copy of Windows and unlike Linux you can’t access and modify the source code of any version of Windows operating system. The first version of windows was created in 1985 by Microsoft Incorporation, Windows 1.0 was the first version of windows and was based on MS DOS core, followed by Windows 3.0 and Windows 95 in 1995 (the most widely used windows).
Windows Vs Linux File System:
If you are a windows user then you know that you can’t save two files with the same name in the same directory, while in Linux you can save two files with the same name, if both the names contain atleast one different case (capital or small) letter. For example you can have two files with the same name like upaae and Upaae.
Linux treat everything as a file, therefore there is no concept of directory/folder in Linux. In Linux directory or folder is a file even externally connected devices(Keyboard, mouse, printers and scanners) are considered as files.
Windows uses back slashes in directory path such as path to user directory in Windows is “c:\users\name”.
Linux uses forward slash for specifying a directory path i.e user home directory path in Linux is “/home/name”.
In Windows files and directories are kept under different partitions while in Linux everything is kept under “/” root directory.
Windows Vs Linux Privacy:
None of Windows users and MacOS users can be deadly sure that their privacy is intact, no one knows what is going on in the background but we believe what Microsoft says. If Microsoft need all the data of their users they can get it very easily. For moving on with the world, We are going to assume that Microsoft respects the privacy of their users.
You should know that Windows is watching what users are doing for syncing with the Microsoft one drive service and helping Cortana (The personal assistant of Microsoft in Windows) to learn better about user behavior.
In terms of privacy Linux users can be at ease and satisfied because Linux is open source which means anyone(with some programming knowledge) can access it’s source code and can look for what is going on. Linux does not collect any behavioral like Cortana in Windows.
Linux Vs Windows Usability:
As compared to Linux, From the start Windows is easy to use because of its easy to use GUI, but Ubuntu(a Linux Distribution) also provides a great GUI almost better than Windows.
Initially installation process of Linux was a bit complicate but today there are several varieties and distributions of Linux available with powerful installers, making it easy to install and setup Linux on machines.
Linux has a powerful command line which is really good for system administration, Windows also has command line but not as powerful as Linux.
Linux Vs Windows Security:
Windows is the most widely used operating system in use, that’s why it also has grabbed attention of the hackers. Several cyber attacks are recorded which targeted Windows running machines on a large scale, because previous versions of windows had no built in security features. Newer versions of windows have improved security by adding windows defender (later named to Microsoft Defender) in Windows 7 and 8, which is now a part of Windows Security in Windows 10.
On the other hand there had been cyber attacks registered against Linux but comparatively low than windows. Linux configuration files and log files are human readable, which makes it much harder for malware(to keep hidden) that launch automatically. Additionally Linux is open source and community driven if any new security issue arises in Linux, developers from different corners of the world produces security patches very quickly compared to Windows.
Linux VS Windows User Accounts:
In Linux there are three types of user roles namely 1. Administrative(Root) User, 2. Regular User, 3. Service User.
At the time of installation Linux create an account known as root account, which is a super user account and has the capabilities of installing, deleting files and can access restricted files. For making any system changes to a Linux operating system you need to log in with root user account.
Regular user accounts are created for performing general tasks like browsing internet, creating text files and playing music etc. Linux creates a home directory for every regular user, Being a regular user you can’t access directories of other users.
Service accounts are created by Linux for services such as email, squid and Apache. Most of the servers use Linux operating system that’s why separate individual service accounts are created for each service, results in an increase in security of the system.
Windows offers 4 types of user accounts, which are 1. Standard, 2. Administrator, 3. Guest and 4. Child Account. Standard user account have limited access in terms of installing and running new programs but compared to guest and child account standard account can access most of the pre installed programs.
Administrator user account can make any big changes to the system, from installing or uninstalling to restoring windows etc. Guest and child user accounts have limited access to system programs.
Linux VS Windows Compatibility:
If you are looking for software compatibility in an operating system than Windows is the best option. Outdated software and software’s that are no longer supported by their developers can smoothly run on windows, while Linux is still struggling for resolving compatibility issues. Fewer applications are designed for Linux, however some windows applications can also run on Linux.
Linux Vs Windows Speed:
Windows slows down after some time of use from the time of new installation and almost every Windows user face this issue at some point. If you want to make it faster again then you have to restore a copy of your windows from the restore point or you might have to install a fresh copy of windows.
On the other hand Linux does not slows down no matter how many apps you install, if you want your system to run smoothly without facing any sluggishness than Linux is the best choice.