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The Differences Between a Linux System and a Windows System

Side by Side Comparison - Linux Versus Windows

One of the questions that I receive a lot is - "What is Linux/Peach OSI and how is it different than Windows?" It is a simple question that deserves a simple answer. Oh if life were that simple. None-the-less, with a little help from those far more adept at writing than me, below I've listed what most concur on the differences between Linux/Peach OSI and Windows. This article is especially for my father-in-law who drilled me recently to explain the differences.



Linux / Peach OSI


What is it? Linux is an example of Open Source software development and a Free Operating System (OS). In the case of Peach OSI - the OSI stands for Open Source Initiative. Windows is the family of operating systems (OS) from Microsoft, which is the with out a doubt the most famous OS in the world.
Cost Linux and thus Peach OSI can be freely distributed, downloaded freely, distributed through magazines, books etc. There are priced versions for Linux also, but they are normally cheaper than Windows. For desktop or home use, Windows can be expensive. A single copy can cost around $50 to $450 depending on the version of Windows you want to use.
User Everyone. From home users to developers and computer enthusiasts alike. Everyone. From home users to developers and computer enthusiasts alike.
Manufacturer The Linux kernel is developed by the community. Linus Torvalds, the original author of Linux, oversees things. Microsoft created the Windows operating system, but allows other computer manufactures to distribute their own computers with Windows pre-installed.
Usage Linux can be installed on a wide variety of computer hardware, ranging from netbooks, mobile phones, tablet computers and video game consoles, to mainframes and super computers. On PC's desktops, laptops, servers and some phones.
Development and Distribution Linux is developed by Open Source development i.e. through sharing and collaboration of code and features through forums etc. and it is distributed by various vendors. Windows is developed and distributed solely by Microsoft.
GUI Linux typically provides two GUIs, KDE and Gnome. But there are millions of alternatives such as LXDE, Xfce, Unity, Mate, twm, ect. Peach OSI focuses on the Xfce desktop environment with a little tweak here and there. The Windows GUI is an integral component of the OS and is not replaceable. This can be a con when it comes to Windows 8's Metro.
File Format System Support Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, Jfs, ReiserFS, Xfs, Btrfs, FAT, FAT32, NTFS FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT
Text mode interface BASH (Bourne Again SHell) is the Linux default shell. It can support multiple command interpreters. Windows uses a command shell and each version of Windows has a single command interpreter with dos-like commands, recently there is the addition of the optional PowerShell that uses more Unix-like commands.
Price Free but support is available often for a price. Peach OSI, to this point, does not charge for support. $50-$450
Security Linux - thus Peach OSI,  has had about 60-100 viruses listed till this date. However, none of them are actively spreading nowadays. According to Dr. Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell's “Analysis of the Impact of Open Source Software” there have been more than 60,000 viruses in Windows. Anti Virus cost about $20 to $400 - usually in an annual fee for protection.
Threat detection and solution In case of Linux, threat detection and solution is very fast, as Linux is mainly community driven and whenever any Linux user posts any kind of threat, several developers start working on it from different parts of the world, immediately. After detecting a major threat in Windows OS, Microsoft generally releases a patch that can fix the problem and it can take more than 2/3 months. Sometimes sooner, Microsoft releases patches and updates weekly.
Processors Dozens of different kinds. Limited but will run on most (80%)
Examples Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, Debian, Archlinux, Android, Peach OSI etc. Windows 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP
Gaming Very few games available natively. Some games can be played through Wine, but often not all features are available. Almost all games are compatible with Windows. Some CPU intensive and graphics intensive games are exclusive to Windows PC's.
User experience Although there are many GUI applications, most of the work is done through Terminal (a console window), and if a problem arises, a GUI is rarely usable to fix them. Everything can be controlled through a GUI and incompatibility problems are rare.
Graphics performance Because hardware manufacturers, such as NVidia, often do not provide documentation for Linux developers, drivers can often not use the full graphics card performance. Combined with newest DirectX versions and full graphics card support the performance is almost as good as it can get.
Company / developer Linus Torvalds Microsoft
Introduction (from Wikipedia) Linux is a Unix-like and POSIX-compliant computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel. Microsoft Windows is a series of graphical interface operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS.
Available language(s) Multilingual Multilingual
License GNU/Free Proprietary
Supported platforms All - but some distros have issues with some very old hardware. PowerPC: versions 1.0 - NT 4.0; DEC Alpha: versions 1.0 - NT 4.0; MIPS R4000: versions 1.0 - NT 4.0; IA-32: versions 1.0 - 8; IA-64: version XP; x86-64: versions XP - 8; ARM: version RT;
Default user interface Gnome or KDE (Depends on distro) Graphical (Windows Aero)
Preceded by Basic Terminal (CLI) MS-DOS
Source model Open Source Closed / Shared source
Update method Many update methods Windows Update
Terminal Multi Terminal Windows --

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