Linux vs. Windows: An Objective Look at Both Operating Systems

Linux Vs Windows Featured

Linux vs. Windows, the age-old battle of the operating systems that caused many flame wars, disagreements and almost fanatical behaviour on Internet forums and blogs for what seems like forever. I think it is important to stress that this article will discuss not which is, “best” because it is impossible to come to that conclusion. Subjective opinion will never be correct to anyone who isn’t that person holding that belief. There are also some age-old cliches about the respective systems that serve no one; therefore, what follows is hopefully a fair review or comparison with a view to where both excel or not, based on specific criteria.


This is one of the most common cliches cited by Linux users over Windows. While there is some small kernel of truth in this, no system is “safe” from a determined attacker. As I said within my antivirus article, security is a concept, not a product. Working within the IT industry for many years has demonstrated to me that users pose the greatest threat to system security.


Linux has the use of a root (or superuser) account that must be given a password when installing software or making changes to the OS. Generally, this is a secure option, as it needs positive input to work. Windows, however, can also achieve the same results by making a separate administration account.

Despite the respective administration accounts, software installation can still pose a risk. Anyone can create an application or script on both sides of the OS fence that can trick users into executing, despite being from an alleged reputable source. Linux fortunately has curated apps within application stores or repositories, and the open-source nature of Linux means that anyone can review the code if they understand what they are looking for.

Windows however is a much more widely-used OS; therefore, it will be popular for attackers given its larger user base. Linux is still a minority OS (for desktop), even in 2018 and therefore is often overlooked. Note that security by obscurity is still not true security.


Windows shoots and scores. Here is where the Redmond offering wipes the floor with Linux. Despite recent improvements in software being ported or developed to Linux, Windows is still the king.

Users of Windows can be certain that most software will work, and even obscure outdated software will continue to work even when it is abandoned by developers. Windows has good legacy support, plain and simple. I know of commercial software that still relies on technologies like Silverlight, Active X and Internet Explorer 11. Linux, on the other hand, can struggle with basics that Windows users take for granted. Adobe Flash Player was missing on Linux for a long time, and even when it did appear within repositories, it was not as actively developed as Windows versions.

With regard to file systems, Linux can also read and write to NTFS- and FAT-formatted devices and USB sticks, whereas Windows will have no idea what Ext4 is.



Hands down, Windows wins again. Steam, among other clients and options, provides a huge number of games both from AAA publishers and small indie developers. While Steam for Linux now allows you to install Windows games, it is still in beta, and not all Windows games will work. It can be frustrating for Linux users, and no doubt the situation will change in the future, but for now in 2018, many Linux users miss out on the top games with their choice of OS. The graphics card vendors also tend to support Windows platforms rather than Linux. They provide timely updates and new features that don’t always filter to other OSes.


This one would have to go to Linux. Given the way Linux operates, it tends to get less “bogged down” with multiple processes, garbage collection in temp files and alike. The common file system of Ext4 is inherently efficient and helps by keeping files together on the disk. Defragmentation is a thing of the past on Linux. It isn’t a cliche to say that even moderate use of a Windows system will slow it down to unbearable levels unless users follow a strict maintenance plan.


Linux users have a private operating system that doesn’t “spy” on them and does not “phone home” with any degree of seriousness. Choosing Linux means the system is yours and yours alone. Add to the mix that most Linux systems come with an option of built-in military grade encryption, and users can be sure that device theft poses no real problem to data.

As a contrast, increasingly over the last few years, Windows has gotten more advert driven. Users are given the choice to opt out, and there are some clever registry hacks that can help, but advertising is now a part of Redmond’s plan. Windows can also watch what users do, offering syncing to the Microsoft OneDrive service or to learn behaviour to make Cortana, the Microsoft personal assistant, better. Personally, I do not favour these intrusive tools, but some users like their features.

Ease of use

This is a tough one to call. Linux over recent years has made huge leaps in usability. Distributions like Linux Mint have made installation and setup simple. Even non-technical users can install software and do normal day-to-day activities like web browsing, answering email, playing music or watching video.

Windows, due to market proliferation, is the default OS on many devices. Buy a new laptop or PC, and there is a very high chance it comes with Windows 10 installed. Users are used to clicking the toolbar, opening favourite programs and alike, which makes it good for power and non-power users.

Which OS is suitable for you?

This depends on what you need to do. If you are a gamer, need 100% compatibility with a particular software or want a user-friendly system, then Windows will serve you well. If you are an advocate of open-source software, or your device is simply too old or lower spec to run Windows, or just plain tired of all the forced update and reboot in Windows, then Linux may be a viable option.

So there is the platform for the arguments. Pitchforks at the ready! I hope this has been a more objective look at both systems, showing situations where each has its benefits and disadvantages. I haven’t discussed every difference or area, as there are simply too many. I use Windows and Linux in equal measure based on what I need to do either by dual boot or virtualisation.

However, what do you do? We would love to hear your comments and ideas below.

Matthew Muller

Matt has worked in the tech industry for many years and is now a freelance writer. His experience is within Windows, Linux, Privacy and Android.


  1. I started using Linux back in 2009 and was quite happy with it. Then came Windows 10, in my opinion the best Windows version ever. I even payed for it (which I hadn’t done since Windows 95 :P ) I didn’t use Linux for five years. But suddenly round new year last year I decided to try it again after I realized I hadn’t used it for so long and wanted to see what has happened. I was getting a bit bored with Windows and didn’t really trust it even though I turned off all the “spying” features. Then lately there was the constant problem with security updates I had. Every month I had some updates that failed with a cryptic message. I just couldn’t bother to do a clean install again.

    And after a bit it all the nice things about Linux came back to me (it took a couple of days to adjust to the Linux way of thinking again). Only thing I missed gaming though (and Sandboxie). I found it very cumbersome to use wine or PlayonLinux. It was never just install and play, always needed some tweaking. Then came Steam Proton. Now I don’t see any need of Windows any more, haven’t booted into it for months and probably will erase it soon when I want to claim the 500 Gb SSD it is on. I see absolutely no reason to use Windows anymore. I think I can live without Sandboxie although I wish there was an identical sandbox program for Linux (yes I use Firejail, but I would love to have my browser session truly sandboxed, whatever happened in it, deleted every time I close the browser)

    1. Juha, I too use firejail for my browser session. I also use Tor browser extracted to a ramdrive. That is, I have

      tmpfs /ramdrive tmpfs noatime,nodiratime,nodev,nosuid,defaults 0 0

      in my fstab. I extract a 7 zipped copy of the Tor browser bundle to this location and run it from there. Whenever Tor updates, I zip up the files in the ramdrive and copy it to my desktop. This will do what Sandboxie did for you.

  2. Windows 8 is what made me go to Linux. I am no expert, but I do okay, so I fix friends and families computers still when Windows is screwed up. My biggest complaint about Windows is the registry. It will corrupt itself over time, slowing your computer and even having programs fail to operate.

    My biggest problem with Linux has been I like to tinker with my computer, and Linux will allow you to destroy your system if you are not careful ( I know, I have). Still I prefer the choice Linux gives me in Operating Systems, Desktop Environments and the ability to customize both.

    1. “Linux will allow you to destroy your system if you are not careful”
      LOL. If you tinker with anything, there is a chance you will destroy it. But that is how we learn, by making mistakes and then fixing them (hopefully). :-)

      A borked Linux system is easy to fix, just re-install the O/S. The nice thing is that all your applications will also be automatically re-installed unlike in Windows where you have to re-install them one by one.

    2. U r no expert but u claim that u fix other PCs. In other words, u admit u have no technical knowledge and yet u pretend to have that knowledge by experimenting actually on other PCs. Now based on this, other users are supposed to take seriously your opinion about windows registry which is irrelevant and wrong and u even have opinion about Linux which was designed mainly for people with actual technical knowledge.

      Registry does not corrupt itself over time, users do in moments and linux does not allow u to destroy the system without having knowledge on how to do that, but again, not easy, just like windows do.

      When we have people like u in this world, what do we need those who have spent years and have focused on IT, like i have? U do the “job”.

      I’m a car engineer too (sure)……doesn’t matter i don’t know how to change pistons or how to calibrate an engine,right?

      1. I have no idea what you are talking about. You are pretty incomprehensible.
        You don’t have to be an expert to fix most peoples problems.
        IT professionals are paid to work on business computers, not home computers of friends and family.
        None experts can change their own oil, even if they can’t rebuild and engine.
        You seem to like to attack others.

      2. This would have to be one of the most absurd comments I have read in a long time. Sorry mate, but you are an imbecile.

    3. To accredit this. You can destroy windows by simply removing one file, rendering it unable to boot. We did a test years ago and found that while tinkering in linux can break it..its a lot harder to do. We had to delete nearly every file in the system before it broke. So if you tinker in a system settings app, its affecting multiple files at once, not just the one .bat file that holds windows together.

  3. “Linux vs. Windows: An Objective Look at Both Operating Systems”
    How can a comparison that equates Linux and Windows on a one on one basis be objective? What is commonly called “Windows” is basically one monolithic O/S. What is commonly called “Linux” is actually many different O/Ss divided into groups depending on which original distro they based. (Slackware, Red Hat, Debian, Gentoo, Arch, SUSE, Linux from Scratch). They are all built on the GNU Linux kernel. A kernel connects the application software to the system hardware but is of no use by itself..

    Compatibility within distro groups is as good as it is in Windows.

    ” Despite recent improvements in software being ported or developed to Linux, Windows is still the king.”
    A specious statement. Is Windows software compatible with OS/X? Or the BSDs? Software developed for one O/S can rarely, if ever, be run under another O/S. “Porting” software means creatin a version that will run under the target O/S. A “ported” version of a program will no longer run on the source system. As an example, both GIMP and Libre Office have been ported from Linux to Windows. However, you cannot run the Windows versions on Linux. I agree that a lot of Windows software has not been ported to Linux. However, why must it be? To make things easier for Windows users? How many Linux programs have been ported to Windows??? Theoretically, compatibility should work both ways.

    “Windows however is a much more widely-used OS; therefore, it will be popular for attackers given its larger user base.”
    Only true up to a point. If a hacker compromises a Linux user account, it will be very hard for him to compromise the operating system. In Windows, it is much easier. A program running in user space and failing can easily bring down the entire system.

    “Ease of use”
    Both O/Ss are equality easy or hard to use. For beginner computer users it is as easy/hard to learn Linux as it to learn Windows. The “ease of use” problem rears its ugly head when users switch from using one O/S to using the other. The problem is not that it is easy or hard to learn a new O/S, the problem is that it is hard to UNlearn the habits acquired while using the old O/S. The common complaint of Windows users is that Linux is hard to use because “it does not do things the Windows way”. Well, Windows does not do things the Linux way. And neither O/S is supposed to work like the other.

    I used Windows starting with 3.1 and ending with XP. For the past 10 years I have used various Linux distros exclusively. Over the past couple of years, I have tried several times to use my kids’ Win 7 computers. No go. Trying to use Windows after using Linux exclusively for a long time is a cast iron b*tch. Where is the vaunted Windows “ease of use”?

    1. I completly agree with you. I have almoste the same story. Started with Win 3.1 and ended with WinXP. I also used several linux distros, an setlled now with Linux Mint.
      Easy of use, is really relative, depends where you started. If you are completly new to computers I would even state that Linux is easier. But that would be biased, I guess. In our home is no Windows installed in any computer, We use exclusively Linux, Me, my wife and the kids.

  4. As a user of both OSes, I give Linux the advantage in (1) Security, (2) Speed and (3) Privacy.

    Security based on the entire stack being Open Source. This is a huge advantage. Speed based on the flexibility of distros – many catering to speed and low-end machines (a few running entirely in RAM). Privacy… it’s no contest.

    Ease of Use: mostly depends on what you’re used to and how you break this down. I think someone coming from Mint (and many similar) would consider Windows 10 to be extremely messy – with multiple sub-architectures to deal with store apps, legacy apps, configurations, etc. When on Windows, I’m forced to hit the web and find apps. On Linux, software is generally centralized (and open source) via package managers.

    Windows users must also deal with extra layers for real-time malware scanners, privacy tools, interruption of focus based on these tools and the constant data-mining. I much prefer the no-nonsense and quiet Linux approach where you just get to work because you trust the OS (and it’s apps) aren’t weaponized against you.

    Linux, in essence, covers 4 of the core categories much better than Windows.

    Windows blows Linux away when it comes to legacy app support but… I’m not a diehard GNU user where everything must be Linux/FOSS. I happily use (time trusted) Windows apps via WINE to add to an already large selection of software. Plus there are now snap/flatpaks that could solve some of these legacy issues down the road.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that Linux just feels miles ahead of Windows these days as a Desktop OS. I say this as a one-time Windows user (over 20 years) who made the switch to improve his workflow. The benefits have been tremendous. Everytime I need to boot into Windows, the old frustrations kick in. Every. Time.

  5. In my line of work, I have to have one kettle on to boil or the other all the time – I’ve only got one Windows box, and I have to stay familiar with it for the sake of some of my clients. Microsoft only really ever built just a few Operating Systems that were manageable .. 98, XP, and 7 — That’s it, and even they were dogs when it came to scale. Windows could never move like Linux ..

    My wife bought me a new HP ProBook for my birthday last week, and I didn’t even waste my time booting into the pre-installed Windows 10 build – I headed straight for the USB Drive and loaded Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon on it and never once looked back.

    Even still — At the end of the day, we’re left wondering why Microsoft is embracing Open Source so much these days – Why it suddenly decided to release 30k or some odd number of patents in the Open Source bucket. We already know that Microsoft can’t compete – Anyone who’s ever used a Linux box, or a Linux based Android system already knows the writing is on the wall for Microsoft.

    Linux, and Linux based writes don’t constantly have to phone home, and they aren’t a huge drain on mobile data plans (bandwidth) like Windows is.

    Linux also writes to “everything” — Got an old box circa 2005? Even with the old 32 bit system, Linux will write to that supposed obsolete PCI slotted wireless card without so much as blinking an eye – On Windows, you have to search for those drivers in the wild, and risk infecting your system with nefarious driver download sites. Even then, you may not get the right driver, or you might not ever get a driver for the hardware you want to operate on at all. The last Windows build that had any good amounts of peripherals was XP, and even then you would still find yourself chasing down drivers in the wild.

  6. That article was ‘objective’?! If that was an objectively written article, I’m the king of England.

    I started using computers in 1993, IIRR, and my first was something that had Windows 3.1. It sucked but it was all I knew. It was also the start of a relationship I couldn’t stand.

    Then W95 came along and made it worse. I was only getting more and more frustrated with the garbage of the OS always giving trouble…often over the simplest thing like trying to make a picture a background image, or for completely unknown reasons and given cryptic answers/reason for the sudden BSD’s and freezes and needs to hard boot and start all over and lose all one was working on.

    Then W98 (and 98SE) came steam rolling along and brute forcing its way into everyones lives and screwing them up just as much. This is when I finally couldn’t stand it any longer and literally one day in February of 2000, on a dial-up connection, went searching for something else/better.

    I’d never heard of *any* other OS’s before but stumbled onto ‘Linux’ during the search (which, literally I started one night and kept up through the next morning – I’m disabled and had the time), and was hating Windows so much I downloaded the first one I saw which was Mandrake Linux.

    I burned it to a disk per the instructions and installed it, dual-booting so I didn’t lose anything I’d saved over the years on the Windows partition (I didn’t have many CD-R’s or RW’s at the time as I had no income from disability yet, so I couldn’t just put it all on discs).

    I tried it out and of course struggled a little because it was so different, but I was determined to get the hell away from Windows.

    I gave Mandrake a try for about a week, but it wasn’t quite ready yet for me…or maybe me for it, but I was so happy that I’d found something besides Windows that I searched for other Linux OS’s and discovered it came in ‘flavors’ so to speak, heh. I was ecstatic!

    I next tried Red Hat, I think it was, and it was okay but still not quite what I was wanting, but admittedly still better than Windows. So I searched some more after a week ofgiving Red Hat a try.

    I then found SuSE (as it was called then). I seemed to work with this distro *much* better than the others and really found YaST a great help. I’d found my distro! I stuck with this and suddenly realized one day it’d been about a month since I’d even gone to my Windows partition! Hell, I even sat there dumbfounded because I wasn’t all tense and anxious anymore like I always was when I was using Windows because I was always *waiting* for Windows to screw something up or me over by doing so!

    I was actually *HAVING FUN* on *MY* computer (that was another thing I despised about Windows, and still do of course…that they tried to own your system and making it so that you didn’t own anything but some cheap hardware from a store that caved in to their strong-arm practices!).

    I stuck with and used SuSE exclusively for several years, still keeping my Windows partition for reasons I wasn’t sure about, even though I rarely ever booted into it anymore.

    Once I’d become comfortable with Linux and learned that there was so much more out there than that crapware known as Windows, it opened a whole new world to me.

    When SuSE started to collaberate with Windows, I dropped them like a rock from a bonfire and went distro hunting again. Found Slackware and I’ve been with Slackware since 10.0 or maybe it was 10.1. Either way, it’s where I am now. It’s also when I decided I was doing nothing but wasting space on my hard drive and installed Slackware over the Windows partition. I’ve been Windows free for at least 13 years, and they’ve been wonderfully pleasant, anxiety free years. I’ve had untold numbers of brownouts and blackouts when I had no UPS and not lost anything on my system, unlike when it would happen on Windows and I’d be chewing my lip with worry that I wouldn’t have to completely reinstall Windows and lose everything I had on the hard drive (which happened with *almost* all blackouts that happened to me while using Windows).

    I’ve been able to do anything I want on my Linux system as I could on Windows, *except* the games. This is the one and *ONLY* thing Windows has over Linux. I do play my *old* W98 games on my Linux using CrossOver from CodeWeavers, and an online RPG I’ve been playing since my W98 days I use VirtualBox with Win7 on it because the game uses a propretary screen thing to play it…which sucks, but it’s a good game and I enjoy it. Either way, I’m not worrying about any Windows crashes or BSD’s as they’re running on my Linux.

    I don’t have to worry about the ‘finding drivers hell’ or anything else that Windows made me jump through flaming hoops to do just to make a simple program or device work properly.

    I don’t worry *at all* about viruses or any of that garbage that looks for Windows to infect. The whole inane and weak-minded argument about ‘windows being used by so many more people is why it’s attacked’ is nothing but BS. People write all the bad things for Windows (viruses, malware, ad nauseum) *BECAUSE WINDOWS IS SIMPLY EASY TO INFECT*! That’s all there is to it. Linux and the BSD’s are a PITA to try and get into and corrupt or get info from compared to Windows, so people go after the easy target, not the one who has more people using it (though in this case that’s true of the ‘easy target’).

    I’ve said it for years now – if Bill Gates were to come to my home and offer me a million dollar check to start using Windows again, I’d tear it up and throw it in his face, black his eye and sic my dog on him.

  7. I’m currently using a dual boot system on one laptop and Windows 10 on the other. I have tried Linux off and on over the last 20 years, desperately wanting to switch, but kept running into hardware incompatibilities. Sometimes I’d get one fixed, only to have it break with an update a few weeks later. For about a month now I’ve been using Fedora 28 almost exclusively on the dual boot machine and am mostly very happy with it. Why Fedora? Not because the Gome 3 desktop is a particularly happy experience (it’s OK), but because I couldn’t get any other distro to work because of hardware incompatibilities. I’m not a geek (say I) and getting under the hood of a Linux system is not something I really have time to learn.

    And then there are printers. Yes, my printer is working under Fedora and it wasn’t even hard to install, but it also lacks the bells and whistles that are available in Windows and that I sometimes need. So occasionally I have to boot into Windows to print.

    Having said that, the comment in the article regarding MS’s move to advertising is the biggest thing moving me away from Windows.

    1. My experience has been diametrically opposed to yours. No matter which distro I used, it always ran all my devices without problems. It is when I used Windows that I had to go looking for device drivers occasionally. Maybe, through blind luck, I have only used devices for which Linux has drivers and you have the misfortune of using devices that Linux has no drivers for.

      Maybe the generic device drivers that Linux offers do not exploit every device’s every esoteric feature but they have no problems with any device I plug in (Plug and Play rather than Plug and Pray)

    2. If you keep having issues with Fedora try Linux Mint with the cinnamon display environment (DE) I used it exclusively for about 2 years. I went back to windows for some windows only games to play them with my kids. Since then Windows 10 has failed due to one corrupt file. I re-installed it only to have it fail on a windows update 6 months later.
      I’ve found Windows has the most hardware issues with accessories/devices due to unavailable drivers (scanners in particular). On the Linux side it was nvidia and printer drivers, as well as game support where I had issues. However, Linux driver support seems to be getting better with printers and AMD graphics drivers. Steam is also making some game support even better with their proton software.
      In general Ubuntu and it’s derivatives are easier for Linux beginners. I like trying fedora from time to time but when I try to get some software I use installed or replaced with OSS I usually run into more issues than with Linux Mint.

  8. I used Windows up to Windows 7, though I was dual booting with Linux since XP. Games and a few other programs had ne keeping Windows around, but I was mostly using Linux. Gradually I got all of the games that I play to work in Linux. There was only one program that had me keeping Win7 on one machine at that point. It was a program that together with a USB cable let me program one of my handheld Ham radios with the computer rather than from the front panel of the radio. Then along came Chirp, a program that can be used to program many ham radios…including mine. Windows 7 got wiped! I have never looked back.

    At this point I would have to say that Linux is compatible with much more hardware than Windows is! Yes you need to do a little research to see if the hardware that you want is Linux compatible, but Lenovo and HP are pretty much a sure thing.

  9. I too am a dual boot person, between Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04. I like both OSs, though I prefer Linux on my latpop as it works faster than Windows. I keep Windows partly because for some syncing of my iDevices (though I’ve worked hard to make as much as possible dependent on the Internet and not on iTunes) and to remote into my Windows machine at work, which I currently cannot do via Linux. In some ways, I’d love to leave Windows behind, but various incompatibilities pull me back, though not permanently.

  10. I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re refering to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/LInux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

    Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

    There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux” distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

  11. Great article! I could not agree more. I spent many years as an MCSE. I ended up changing careers because of the stress. Even though I now mostly use Linux for my personal computers, my problem with Windows always stemmed from its users.

    Windows has some inherent security issues but they can be mitigated. In fact, most security issues are kept in check with some Linux-like administration, some of which you mentioned. Guest accounts are usually disabled or seriously curtailed in office workstations. Software installs are generally only performed by system administrators.

    Unfortunately, the users thwart much of the security with bad computing habits. Windows users have grown accustomed to malware, spyware, and slow systems. They have become complacent and tend to lay blame on IT personnel or the PC’s manufacturer. They refuse to heed any advice or recommendations and continue to everything they can to put the system at risk.

    It isn’t just the workstations that receive this treatment, either. Their home computers are a bigger wreck. I do not know how many times I went to an employee’s home to work on their system, only to find it in dire straights. Usually, returning the system to health only lasted a short time because they continued to do all the wrong things.

    Not even Linux could withstand that kind of onslaught. Linux is a much more secure system by default. It comes configured much like an IT pro has to configure Windows on a workstation. Most home users get their brand new Windows box home and just start using it. They do little, or nothing to further secure the system.

    Linux does have obscurity in its favor. t has such a small desktop market share footprint that helps keep it from being much of a target. This is only temporary because Linux dominates the server market and it’s becoming a bigger target. Linux users practice much secure computing habits than Windows users for the most part and until Windows users begin to change how they do things Windows will always suffer under the onslaught of bad computing.

  12. Gentle readers,
    The first thing to do with any distribution or distribution-upgrade is to install it on a USB drive (4MB or larger) and “live -boot” off of the USB drive — see It will be a valid (if somewhat slow) way to test for hardware problems!
    NOTE, it has been many years since I have had hardware problems and I have run linux on many different desktops, laptops, compact desktops, and even an old chromebook. I use Linux Mint Cinnamon ( Just my 2 cents worth..

    1. Ralph, I installed Linux Mint to a Sandisk Cruzer Fit USB drive as if it were a hard drive. I chose ext4, no swap file, rebooted into the live install media, and turned off journaling. Then edit fstab to put commonly written to locations into ram

      tmpfs /tmp tmpfs nodev,nosuid,noexec,noatime,defaults 0 0
      tmpfs /var/log tmpfs noatime,defaults 0 0
      tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs noatime,defaults 0 0
      tmpfs /var/run tmpfs noatime,defaults 0 0
      tmpfs /var/spool tmpfs noatime,defaults 0 0
      tmpfs /var/lock tmpfs noatime,defaults 0 0

      use preload and prelink. Use as big a USB as you can for wear leveling. My Mint 13 LTS version never gave me any problems and I booted it daily for 5 1/2 years. I occasionally back up to another USB using dd. This method runs as well as my Windows did on a real hard drive AND is portable enough that I had all my settings and desktop able to run on my work PC and my desktop PC as well as the laptop.

      YMMV, I don’t have UEFI yet.

      1. Cool! I have thought about trying to do what you describe. Maybe I will give it a try.

  13. Objectivity? SECURITY: I use LIgNUX desktop without ANTIVIRUS, and ZERO PROBLEMS EVER
    Can you run MS WOS even with anti virus without any problem?
    Can you read MS WOS passwords if you steal a computer?: YES
    With LIgNUX default not so easy, and very difficult if you know how to setup them.
    Almost 100% internet servers and supercomputers using LIgNUX can be a clue

  14. I have a few dual boot machines. The windows which I use occasionally takes hours to restart, configure, restart configure ad nauseum. Linux I update daily in seconds and maybe 5 minutes if there is a new kernel. No restarts required. I backup linux in minutes, same files windows bavkup days hours or days. Also time wasted running several cleanup and security apps that aren’t needed on linux.

  15. I use both systems. The only thing which keeps me using Windows is MS Access. Neither of Office suites for Linux has a database compatible with Access. I am curious why?

  16. Regarding compatibility, the article blatantly fails to mention all the software available on Linux. Virtually every piece of software you can buy on Windows you can get for free on Linux. And we’re not talking amateurish either. I’d put GIMP up against Photoshop any day. There are office apps (OpenOffice, LibreOffice) that work error-free with Word. There are 2-D (Inkscape) and 3-D (Blender) graphics that are easily as good as the costly Windows programs. I could go on and on, but I’ve made my point. Go ahead, spend those $$$$ on proprietary software. Just be aware that you may not be getting the best.

  17. “Linux users have a private operating system that doesn’t “spy” on them and does not “phone home” with any degree of seriousness.Linux users have a private operating system that doesn’t “spy” on them and does not “phone home” with any degree of seriousness.”

    That is just one of the more ridiculous lines from a clueless story. The author probably never heard of Red Star Linux (not related to Red Hat or Red Flag).

    Linux has a root account; Windows has ‘System’ and ‘Administrator’ a counts. There are similarities here. Windows Vista introduced UAC, allowing ordinary users to make changes to their systems. Linux has a similar feature. Linux is insecure; Windows can be secure, but that applies only to servers.

    Linux has rather good compatibility – most of your old Unix program should run with only small modifications. You can even run your old Windows applications on WinE. Windows was not compatible – until ReactOS came along. You can run your old Linux programs on Windows 10 with WSL. LibreOffice is compatible with MS Office; since 2007 MS Office has a ribbon interface which makes it quite hard to use.

    Speed? Depends on the compiler, I supppose. I have not seen any relevant figures recently.

    Ease of use? In the old days, nothing was easier than using Linux. There are still poor deluded souls who think that a mousey GUI like Apple is somehow userfriendly. Linux has GUIs for those who like them. Windows 2019 works fine without ‘windows’. What really determines ‘ease of use’ is how eady it is for the user (that’s what Unixistas call programmers) to develop an application. Linux scores well in this area.

  18. Grew up with MSDOS and win95. Did win 98 and XP. During PhD (had to use a NT 4 win install back then) I got introduced to UNIX and Linux. After 4 years I completely switched to Linux. Used All sorts of distros, SuSE, Mandrake, Slackware, Gentoo, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, more recently Arch and profesionally eventually settled using CentOS. Once I switched, no more long weekends of reinstalling windows, no more nail biting and no more worries regarding viri or malware eventhoug I do not assume complete immunity. SELinux works like a charm, automated installers work like the world is rocking and uptimes measured in months / years for some machines here (HPC clusters). Actually also got my RHCE after a few years. Nah, no more looking back for me : I want to work and not reboot and deal with rotten updates that go pear shaped on me deleteing files or switching outlook to swedish or something like that :P. Linux is lightyears ahead of dealing with updates and stability of them!

  19. Linux vs Windows speed:

    About 12 years ago I was writing C++ software used for building 3D models from scanner data and then viewing and manipulating the models. The “exact same” software had to run on linux (Red Hat) and windows. The software was compiled with different compilers – gcc on linux and the windows compiler Both compilers were set to produce the fastest code possible.. I ran the same code doing the exact same problem on the same machine booted in linux and in windows. The problem was triangulating a bunch of points to make surfaces. One would expect similar calculation times.
    The calculations took more than a minute in linux and several minutes in windows.. What was the difference? It seems that the windows code would allocate and de-allocate memory OFTEN, while linux/gcc did not. gcc was a far superior compiler at that time! This difference was seen in many other kinds of calculations associated with making 3D models and manipulating them. I suppose linux/gcc is still the superior compiler.

  20. I left the Windows universe around 2002 / 2003, and while I had to learn lots of lessons the hard way? And although there were times I wanted to just throw in the towel and go back to the “simpler” easier-to-use Windows? I’m glad I stuck it out and am now able to appreciate the advancements Linux has made.
    As for this article? I don’t think it should be “Linux vs. Windows” as that is like comparing apples to oranges kinda, instead it should be “Linux OR Windows”……showing that you can use one or the other, possibly even both (through the use of VirtualMachines) but to pit them against each other…..listen. Windows has nothing to prove regarding its value. The evidence?…the many iterations it has gone through within the corporate enterprise. On the other side of the same coin? Linux also has nothing to prove since it too….has resided on the bare metal servers and is now powering just about everything connected to the internet. So decide which path you want…and follow through….should you get bored with one or the other?…make a change. But this age old battle of which is “better”?….nah,…….that’s a moot issue nowadays.

  21. Linux isn’t an operating system, it’s a kernel. It’s the GNU utilities that make it an OS and tens of thousands of applications that make a distro.

    I get that this distinction is pedantic but it’s important that we never lose sight of it as we have with words like Hoover (to mean vacuum cleaner). We’re giving god-like reverence to what is a very small part of an enormous eco-system. Sure, it’s the engine that drives it – but without the rest of the software, Linux is pretty useless. We tend to forget that there are other, fully functional OSes out there – the most popular *Nix derived one being FreeBSD and it’s possible to run the BSD kernel with GNU software.

    Like *BSD, Windows is a kernel and a full operating system. Linux is not and it galls me to see the attention it receives like this because without GNU there would be no Linux distros.

  22. One aspect in comparing the two operating systems that I’ve come to notice is how a person with little understanding of computers is able to function. They just want it to work – like a toaster. My next door neighbor left with a Windows computer for a few months had it inoperable within a couple of months. This was a constant pattern, so much so they only used it for reading email. Switched him , and later his wife, over to Xubuntu and they have had very few problems for the last 4 years – tweaked things a bit to get a new printer/scanner working, helped out a couple of times when the wireless quit working (He now fixes that on his own). Updating Xubuntu is easy and it lets you know when you need to do so. Updating and maintaining Windows was beyond anything he and his wife were interested in comprehending. Recently switched them over to Xubuntu 18.04. They’re good for 5 more years.

    1. Couldn’t agree more!
      What is interesting is that I always refer to windows as
      – the easy to use,
      – safer for dumb users not looking under the hood
      – higher compatibility
      which comes at the price of more code, heavier system.
      But whilst it works for most, the dumbest are better served with Linux. These only browse, do home work, small word processing or excel files. Not looking to tune up or fancy SW. These users screw up Windows in less than 6 months. Open the door to troyans, spyware, useless toolbars, intrusive spam, etc… They are like all these people driving internal combustion engine cars and thinking about changing oils and greasing from time to time.
      Since I put on ‘bionic’ on my nephew’s laptop, 0 issues.

  23. I’ve been using Linux for a number of years and presently dual boot to Win 7 (for work) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. At home I almost always use Linux. The only time I boot to Win 7 is if I need to deal with something for work.

    My company has been slowly making the transition from Win 7 to Win 10, but there have been a growing number of us who have been setting up our machines to dual boot to Linux. It took quite a bit of convincing the corporate IT guys to allow us to do this, but in the end we got the go ahead. There’s only a few programs we have trouble running on Linux (assuming there isn’t a Linux version available), and those few programs aren’t ones we use very often.

    If I could I would dump Windows in a second if our shop changed over exclusively to Linux.

  24. Thank you for such useful article and interesting comments. It would be great to learn how to use or substitute most used soft like office, photoediting and video editing programs with Linux. At least in general.

Comments are closed.