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Linux and Windows Difference: Which is Better

Linux is a project started to create an operating system that anyone can use or tamper with however they want. But you have to be a technical user to use Linux back then. Today millions of people find Linux an easy-to-use and more powerful alternative to Windows. But often users are confused when choosing Linux vs Windows? Let's take a look at the differences between Linux and Windows to help you decide which operating system is right for you.


1. Distribution

There is one current version of Windows, which comes in several different editions. The differences between these editions mostly have to do with additional features for use in enterprise or educational environments. Each edition has a different price.

There is not a single set of Linux versions. Instead, there are many different versions known as Linux "distributions" (distros). There are hundreds of different options, though you can narrow down the list of leading distributions that most people use. As for the cost of the Linux operating system? Almost all Linux distributions are free to use, with some of the company's options requiring a support contract.


2. Source Code

Source code is the main difference between Linux and Windows. That's because Windows is a proprietary operating system. The source code is closed, meaning you have to work for Microsoft or receive permission from Microsoft to view the code that supports your operating system. If you try to gain access to or redistribute this code without permission, you could face legal problems.

Linux is a free and open-source operating system. You are free to view the code, learn from it, make any changes you want, and share it with others. You still have to comply with the open-source license, but you are still free to take the code and repackage it into proprietary software.


3. Desktop Interface

Until Windows 8, the Windows interface had not undergone much innovation in a long time. The Start Menu, Taskbar, System Tray, Windows Explorer, are all basically the same thing, and they're all updated with Windows 10.

In Linux, interfaces are not part of the core system. You can change your interface without having to reinstall it. There are giants like GNOME and KDE, which come with a series of integrated applications. Then there are a number of lesser-known versions that all focus on different aspects.

Not only are there many interfaces to choose from, but you have greater freedom to customize them. You can set your desktop theme as you wish and it probably won't affect Linux speed performance.


4. Application

To install software on Windows, you need to visit several websites and then click on the download section. You run it, the program does its job, and that's when you consider it "installed". Sure, Microsoft also introduced an app store with Windows 8, but most of the apps you want aren't there.

With most Linux systems, you don't have to hunt for executables. Instead, you'll have something called a package manager. Package managers provide granular controls for browsing, installing, and removing program packages. The newer options are more like mobile app stores.

Things get more complicated when the app you want isn't in the package manager. Since there is no single version of Linux, there is no single package format that works in all Linux distributions. Thankfully that situation is starting to change thanks to the newer universal package format.

Linux has thousands of programs, but most of them are free and open-source programs that new users have never heard of. Popular commercial software tends to target Windows. While more of these apps are making their way to Linux than ever before.

Windows just have a wider library of desktop software. But if you can't find an adequate open-source replacement, you can use Wine or a virtual machine to run most Windows programs on Linux.


5. File Structure

The basic structure of Linux is completely different from that of Windows, as it should be considering it was developed on a separate codebase with separate developers. You won't find "My Document" on Ubuntu, nor will you find "Program Files" on Fedora. No C: or D: drives

Instead, there is a single file tree and your drives are mounted to that tree. Your "home" and "desktop" directories are both parts of that single file tree. Technically, you need to learn a completely new file system and its architecture. Doing so is not very difficult, but the difference is still there.

Windows uses the NTFS file system. On the other hand, Linux supports many different options. If you have Linux installed on your laptop, chances are you will be using EXT4. But if you want to run Linux on a server, you can try BTRFS or ZFS instead. These filesystems come with features that aren't necessarily beneficial for desktop users but are great for companies providing cloud services or people maintaining their own servers.


6. Registry

The Windows registry is the master database of all the settings on your computer. Its job is to store app information, user passwords, device information, and the like. If the information is not saved as a file, it is probably stored in the Windows registry.

Linux does not have a single monolithic registry. In general, applications store their settings on a program-by-program basis in a hidden folder within the user's home directory. There are some exceptions, such as the GNOME desktop environment, which has GSettings and the dconf configuration tool.


7. Drivers

Because Windows has such a broad understanding of the PC market, device manufacturers tend to focus their efforts on that one operating system. This means the company prioritizes Windows over Linux. Sometimes they don't provide Linux drivers that interact with their devices. Other times they may provide drivers but ignore some features. This means you have to be more careful when buying various peripherals or gadgets.

On Linux, most drivers come as part of the kernel. When you plug in the printer, there is a chance it will just work. You don't need to use an installation CD or download drivers from the web. Just when the driver is missing doesn't mean the problem will appear.

When it comes to graphics cards, this is the most common driver-related problem. While there are open source drivers for Nvidia and AMD cards, if you want maximum performance, you want the proprietary drivers. They are available, but they sometimes introduce problems with other aspects of the Linux desktop because developers don't have access to the source code.


8. Command & Development Tool

Both Windows and Linux have the ability to open a small black window for typing commands. This version of Windows is known as Windows PowerShell, which is aimed primarily at developers. This is not the primary way you would expect to interact with a Windows PC.

That's not the case with Linux. Here, it's more commonly known as Terminal, although you can also find it as a Linux shell. If you like typing commands, you can completely remove the graphic interface. This is how most sysadmins manage servers (most run Linux).

Linux is known as a developer-friendly environment. The terminal is a big part of this. So is the open-source nature of the operating system. You are only authorized to do whatever you want with your machine, assuming you have the knowledge or are willing to acquire it.

But it's also easier to set up a developer's environment on Linux. Whether you are a sysadmin or a web developer, you often work with Linux-powered machines. With a Linux desktop, you can install the same tools, use the same knowledge, and have a fully integrated computer.

Plus there are so many tools to choose from. You have full options for IDEs and text editors. You have Virtual Machines. And this is an area where the ability to swap your desktop environment comes in handy. With windows manager, coders can enter zones without bothering with windows. And much of what you need is waiting in the repository. Type a command in your terminal to download and install a program and you just have to run it.


Summary

So that's the difference between Linux and Windows. Maybe you guys still have a question about which one we should choose. The question depends on how comfortable you are using the operating system. If you use it for application compatibility, ease of use, and to run games, Windows is the right choice. But if you want to use an open-source, safe, lightweight operating system, and you need a full access system, Linux is an option that you can try.

Hopefully, this article about Linux and Windows Difference: Which is Better, gives you a little insight. Also, read an article about Linux Is? Let's Learn More about Linux that you may need to know. Thank you.

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