Linux vs Windows

 

Linux vs Windows has been a subject of debate since the inception of computers.

This article highlights the pros and cons of both the operating systems, given a set of requirements, it also attempts to show you which OS would be best suited for you. I have made an attempt to write this article without much tech-laden jargon, so for those of you are not very computer savvy, it will help you make informed decisions.

For this article, I will be comparing Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 – The most popular Linux distribution.
We will be comparing the operating systems from an average user’s perspective and not that of a  systems administrator.

Let me begin with an introduction of the Linux operating system as I imagine many of you must be pretty new to this. In fact, a common misconception is that Linux is ‘ridiculously complicated’. While I admit getting used to Linux may take a while for an average windows user, it is definitely easy to use.
Linux comes in various flavours, also known as ‘distributions’. The most popular Linux distribution is ‘Ubuntu’, pronounced as ‘oo-boon-tu.
You may notice that there are more screenshots of Ubuntu than  Windows 7, since I presume that everyone reading this would already be familiar with Windows 7

So lets being the comparison:

1) Look and feel -

Here is the home screen of  windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04

Windows 7 Home Screen - Linux vs Windows

Ubuntu 12.04 Home Screen - Linux vs Windows

Since the ‘look and feel’ is a personal choice, I leave it up to you to decide which is better.
Personally, I try not to pay attention to the looks of the operating system so much as the functionality and the features.

2) Bundled software -
Windows 7 by default has very minimal software set, the basic features that we need – word processor, spread sheet and a presentation software are not present. You’ll have to purchase and install the MS Office suite separately, this is something that should be bundled with the operating system. The question I ask is “What good is an operating system, if it doesn’t provide the basic features?”

On the other hand  Ubuntu 12.04 comes with the LibreOffice suite (a Microsoft Office Equivalent) preinstalled. It also has F-spot, an image editing program that and an Instant messaging client called Empathy – that has chat provisioning for Facebook, G-Talk, Yahoo,MSN and VOIP capabilities all under a single application.

LibreOffice in Ubuntu - Linux vs Windows

Drivers – One of the biggest advantages of Linux is its built-in driver set, or rather the ability of automatically downloading and installing them. This includes the drivers for your webcam, Wi-Fi, Ethernet Card, even your printer or scanner! We all know drivers is a big pain that comes when completing a fresh install of Windows 7. With Linux, there is rarely any need to download the drivers manually. Linux also has the ability to download proprietary drivers (The ones from Nvidia and ATI), unlike windows where we have to manually download and install a driver for everything.

Drivers and Software - Linux vs Windows

3) Media -
Windows comes with Windows media player, which is pretty much useless without codecs, as majority of the videos/movies that we watch require codecs like Xvid. So there is a need to download a codec pack before Windows media player becomes fully functional.

Ubuntu is bundled with Movie Player, and also requires downloading codecs.
However, in both the operating systems, it is very easy to watch videos by simply installing VLC media player.

4) Installing third party software – When it comes to installing third party software, the steps required to install a software in Ubuntu is considerably less. An illustration is shown here of installing software in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Software Center - Linux vs Windows

Ubuntu has a utility called Ubuntu software centre. This is one of the most loved features by Ubuntu users. It is as simple as installing an app in your phone from iTunes store or Android Market (now rebranded to Google Play). Just select the software that you need, hit install, and the software is ready to use.

Software Installation - Linux vs Windows

It is clear from the screen shots, that installing software in Ubuntu is a lot simpler than it is in windows. Moreover, Ubuntu will check for any dependencies that the software needs and it will be installed automatically.

However, an argument can be made for computers that don’t have internet access, ease of installing software in Windows outmatches as that of Ubuntu, as it is viewed a very complicated process that includes the terminal (command line interface). Although, it is very unlikely that someone will be without internet access these days.

5) Minimum Requirements -
Windows 7 requires a minimum of 1000 Mhz processor with 1GB of RAM, while Ubuntu requires a minimum of 700 Mhz processor with 384MB RAM. While these are the official requirements, in practice, the requirements are considerably higher. From my experience, If you install both the operating systems on identical hardware, Ubuntu’s performance is significantly higher than that of Windows 7.
In fact, if you were to pull out a 7 year old computer from a junkyard, Ubuntu will work flawlessly.
Moreover, the boot time of Ubuntu is considerably less than its Windows 7 counterpart.

Ever wondered why the world’s fastest computer runs Linux and not Windows? that’s right , its performance! check the specs here

6) Security -
I have been using Windows since windows the days of Windows 95, and I can tell you that Windows 7 has some pretty good security features that, if implemented properly, can give you quite a secure system to work with. Its firewall has advanced features that you can configure. However, there are many who believe that Windows still remains a weak operating system from a security standpoint.

Linux on the other hand , has always been a secure operating system since the early days. It has often been the subject of debate that an open source operating system cannot be as secure as a proprietary one, but Linux has proved  that belief to be untrue. Overall, I believe that Linux offers much more security by default.

Access Privileges -   Linux by default does not run as a root (the Windows ‘administrator’ equivalent)
This ensures that any automated program or script cannot make changes to the system without explicit
privileges from the user. Although Windows has implemented a similar mechanism called ‘User Account Control or UAC’, Which does provide good protection although not as robust as Linux does.

Viruses - Viruses and other malware continue to be a constant headache for windows users. Combating viruses is not only time consuming, but also expensive when we talk about using Windows in a large scale production environment. Moreover, there is always a need to purchase expensive antivirus software with yearly subscriptions, punching additional holes in your pocket.

Linux on the other hand has significantly less number of viruses, so you are considerable less likely to get infected.
In fact, I am yet to hear this from a friend or a fellow systems administrator, that they are using Linux, and that it has been infected! am sure most administrators or users  must have had a similar experience.

Overall Security - Overall,  I believe that Linux will always be much more secure than Windows operating system given the fact that its open-source.
It would interest you to know that there is something called as the ‘Linus Law’ – named after the creator of the Linux kernel Linus Torvalds , which states :

given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow

In simple terms it means given a large number of developers and beta testers, every problem will be identified quickly and that the solution of that problem will be obvious to someone.  I completely agree with this.

7) Availability of Software -
Since Ubuntu/Linux has a relatively less market share, availability of popular software for Ubuntu is a major concern. Some users are forced to stay with windows since their favourite software is not available on the Linux platform.Though this has recently changed and many commonly used  programs have now been ported to Ubuntu.
However, some advanced commercial software like the Adobe suite (Dreamweaver,Photoshop etc.) is not available on Linux, due to which, thousands of web developers and designers choose Windows over Linux.

8) Gaming -
Gaming support is another aspect of an operating system. While Linux does have many games, it certainly cannot match Windows 7 in this area. Most of the high-end games have been built for the Windows platform, that make extensive use of Microsoft DirectX.
So its not hard to say that Windows 7 should be definitely your choice if you are a gamer.

9) Ease of use -
This is the part that worries most users who are used to the Windows 7 User interface.
In case you are not pleased with the Ubuntu user interface, there is another distribution of Ubuntu called Kubuntu, which has a marvellous user interface,its very easy to use and is similar to the look and feel of Windows 7 in many aspects.

10) Cost  -
Windows 7 ranges from $100 to $300 (Rs. 5000 to Rs.15000) depending on the version you are buying.
On the other hand, Ubuntu/Kubuntu is free of cost. You can download it from the official website.

Cost of a entry level Linux and windows based laptops :

 

Linux Based Windows Based

Summary -

In conclusion, we saw the pros and cons of both the operating systems.
If you would ask for my recommendation, I  would tell you this:

If you are an average user, who uses the computer for some email, little bit of presentations or spread-sheets, movies and web browsing, Ubuntu/Linux is Definitely the operating system you should use. It enables you to accomplish everything that you normally do using Windows 7, its much more secure, has little or no maintenance, and its free of cost.

For advanced users, say web designers, gamers,programmers who develop software for the Microsoft platform, or have certain applications that only run on Windows, you should stick to Windows 7.
It may interest you to know that, Desktops and laptops that are shipped without a Windows license have a lower cost. (For obvious reasons that it does not include the cost of a Microsoft license)

So your next question would be, which OS do you (the author) use?
Well, I use both of them. I use Windows 7 for certain mission-critical applications and software that work only on Windows 7. Moreover, as a Microsoft Certified System’s administrator, I work with Windows almost everyday, as it is a part of every small to large sized businesses.

For most of my multimedia needs, emails, web browsing, weekly backups, NAS(network attached storage)  and more importantly some casual scripting, I use Ubuntu.  Moreover, my software development server, firewall, proxy server and VoIP server run on a Ubuntu sever machine.

Want to see a live demo of Ubuntu 12.04? check out this amazing Ubuntu tour
Want to install Ubuntu on your computer? Follow my next article on How to Install Ubuntu 12.04

So which is proves to be the better operating system after reading this article? Which operating system would you choose and why?
Please post your comments in the section below.

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    • bamzki

      ohh,, wow this is very use full in my research paper.. tnx a lot.
      .

    • my homework’s on the internet

      same i’ve got to write about them both and i also have them both on my computer i really like Ubuntu but sadly i’m a gamer and steams only just become available on Ubuntu

    • dheeraj

      how can i instal my epson L200 printer in linuxmint 14

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002505231679 Anurag Janbandhu

      Nice Article .. Except Gaming, Ubuntu rules in all the areas !

      • Yusuf

        Well am sure it will catch up soon, Steam is already available!

        • Chris

          this may have been 21 days but cant you use WINE for things like World of Warcraft and if so is it stable

          • WOW Lover

            World of Warcraft is better running ubuntu with wine than windows. I used this since Ubuntu 9.x…try it

      • petre

        Hello, I’m Peter from Romania, and I choose Ubuntu for the security, for speed, I dont need to worry about viruses and malware, I have all the codecs for audio and video, office, social and media,,, so… why windows ??

        • Yusuf

          That is precisely my point!

        • ssss

          because you are not pro :)

          Software on my PC cost more than your house and car for sure..

          • danny

            do the hell with pro

          • Robin

            Than you’re simply not the brightest person on this forum :)

    • aconfusedperson

      I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to operating systems, but is it possible to install 2 operating systems on the same computer or keep one on a memory stick? And will doing this affect the data on the hard disk? I know you can do it with the raspberry pi

      • Yusuf

        Sure, you can Install Ubuntu on a USB Stick. take a look at Unetbootin http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ You can even allocate some space on the USB Stick for your files and settings!

      • Ubuntu.7R011

        basically, you can (when installing Ubuntu) choose how much memory will be put into each “side” of the computer.

      • somekidstryingtobehelpful

        of course! you can always have two oses!

        • Alan Estes

          It is called dual booting and you can have more than two OS’s on a single computer and using unetbootin you can make bootable a USB with an OS and if it is Ubuntu it can actually save data like any other OS.

          • Emmanuel

            and how do u do that

      • jake

        Its called dual boot run both os when u start to install ubuntu will ask install alongside or partition or erase everything

      • Vola Tau’alupe

        Dude it’s possible to do triboot 3os on 1pc

        • David Mah

          yes.. i have triple booted mine with Win7-32bit; Win7-64bit and LinuxMint15-64bit.. i kept the Win7-32bit as I was concerned that some of y 32-bit older programs won’t work in Win7-64bit but my fears were unfounded.. i finally got a 64bit capable notebook 6 months ago and tried Linux for the first time.. i mainly spend 75% using LinuxMint and 25% Win7-64bit.. I am trying to see if I can wean off Windows fully for my type of computer usage..

      • Archie

        you can have 100s of OSes if u want..
        not at all an issue..
        and yeah..keep on experiment..u wont b newbie for more than a week..
        just dont fear that u might break ur pc…that never happens..
        wen u are playing around with softwares and OSes..hardware is not much effexted and hurt..so..keep getting ur hands dirty..

    • Shawn Eastman

      Actually Microsoft senses its end this is why they are branching out. They have been sued (fined) by other countries for breaking “Monopoly” type laws namely in Europe to the tune of a few billion dollars.

      I remember when Linux was just a geek toy in a basement and the thought of ever having it come pre-installed on any computer was less than a pipe dream. Also the fact that tons of their software was built on stolen code in the early days and today they are copying Linux heavily shows where this is going. The “Administrator” was an attempted copy of the Linux “Root” Program, “Visual c” uses the C programming language found on Linuxes, and the “swap space” Linux has had keeps reappearing in Windows under various names like “virtual memory” or “ready boost” or the hardware implemented “turbo boost”.

      Linuxes only are behind in Gaming because of Microsoft’s contracts with developers of games and the fact most people are raised on windows, therefore they only buy windows.

      Yes wine works for world of warcraft and many other windows only programs, but it doesn’t work for all of them. Many programs are more stable under wine than they are in windows but again, not all of them.

      I freed myself of Windows in 2008 and don’t plan on going back ever. I have found ways to get my games to work by searching the internet and by a lot of trial and error.

      • adrat203

        I’m a kid who was raised on Windows 7 and 8, but installed Ubuntu 13.04 LTS and loving it! Yeah, I use wine wine for MS Office 2010 Pro Plus and a few other programs.

        • zme

          There is no 13.04 LONG TERM SUPPORT, idiot!

          And for a kid it is good operating system – porn browsing is safer

          • Minecraftgirl

            I think he made A typo and said 13.04 LTS he meant to say 12.04 LTS

          • Pedro Rosado

            c’mon people, no need for insults here :)

            • Shawn Eastman

              agreed, I only reciently opened my email and saw these reponces and wow am I shocked at the lack of maturity you see. In respose to the hate messages I saw in responce to what I said and the douche bags that just post to troll others, seriously I pray for you, you need help. Especially those that are cyberbullying children.

              On to those that try to post like they are smarter than everyone else, your arrogance is makeing you look stupid, just fyi.

          • toto

            Dumbass . Do you know that #2 is very close to #3 on the keyboard and is very easy to make a typo?

          • kam hagh

            shame on you for talking like this to a kid. and it was a mistake you shouldn’t call him an idiot,

        • Vola Tau’alupe

          Raised on windows 7 and 8 dude you can’t be have on them for that long too be attached I was brought up on windows 94 XP and vista and windows 7 and now onto different flavours of Linux and I’m 16

          • jath

            I was raised on PopDos

        • kam hagh

          adrat lts is for Long term support and currently 14.04 and 12.04 are LTS for a high chance this is a typo but i wanted to inform you in case you didn’t know, personal i would be happy if someone corrected me

          anyway i don’t have wine because its sticky :D and slows my Ubuntu SO MUCH ! even thought i have a powerful pc, anyway im going to try it again now, coz last time i used it was like 3 years ago !

          anyway also a great FTP game TF2 is now available for Linux, im planning to somehow get it and try it!

          • kam hagh

            i dual boot anyway, for games and hearthstone-tf2-wow i go to windows, (also for downloading stuff, my net is extremely unstable and i need idm, ir makes my download speed from 10kb/s to 100 or 180 on some servers !

            ubuntu takes >10secs to boot and 1.5 sec max to shutdown, windows takes 30-27secs and 20-15 seconds too shut down;( i can switch os’s in only 40 sec :) so its so good, i remember i didn’t use Windows for a moth after i came back to windows ( i dont remember why!) i felt horrible coming back ! it was so horrible to work with !

    • Cypher

      how to use mts mblaze modem in ubuntu 11.04

    • Kaushik Datye

      I have used Ubuntu 12.04 and I loved it…. This is the most flexible OS I’ve ever seen. very smooth, very simple, very attractive user interface and very secure… Just like Android phones, thousands of apps are available in the software center and installation is painless. My ratings for Ubuntu are 4.5/5 over windows 3.5/5

      • Tim Sabin

        BTW – Android is based on Linux – just like Ubuntu.

        • DD

          No, Android kernel is based on a Linux. (It is not a Linux kernel) it is not GNU/Linux kernel like Ubuntu.

    • http://twitter.com/ajotep Joseph Mesenas

      I love Linux, hands down. Windows 7 slows down in a matter of months, which kind of sucks – the reason why I UPGRADED to Ubuntu. So far, I am and I will be loving Ubuntu. Hooray for OpenSource!

      • Yusuf

        Kudos!

        • Alan Estes

          I agree, I was forced to switch because of my dumb friend who took a magnet to my hard drive. After I install Ubuntu I realized it really is a great OS and you are free to do what you want. This is an amazing OS, too bad my family hates it.

    • Mint-User

      The biggest problem is with buying a new laptop/notebook (a desktop you can build yourself, unaffected by Redmond’s “tax”), that it is virtually impossible to buy one from the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer or Asus, where Windows doesn’t get shoved down your throat, if you want it or not.

      In many cases one gets to configure all kind of component choices, but there NEVER EVER is one “No Windows” available.

      In Europe at least, if one doesn’t agree with MS’ EULA and therefore wants to return the Windows license, the manufacturer has to take it back and reimburse the “MS tax” imposed on your new device by Redmond.

      As so often in the good old US of A, here you are on your own and good luck trying the same; you’ll gonna need it by the truck loads and still won’t succeed.

      • Tim Sabin

        Try System76. They have a full line of computers – including laptops and desktops – that run great and are completely free from the “MS Tax”.

    • chartax

      Good article! I feel that you should have definitely mentioned Wine though – it’s very significantly important to some users, especially businesses, that have some sort of a need for a specific Windows-only compatible software, which is possibly bespoke!

      I, like you, work with Windows on a daily basis as part of my job and would actually consider myself an expert in Microsoft operating systems, especially XP and 7, but I vastly prefer Linux and use Ubuntu at home and support it wherever I can!

      Everyone should try Ubuntu at least once. It’s far superior to the product that Microsoft has been putting out lately!

      • Yusuf

        True, but I haven’t really seen many businesses or companies using Wine in a production environment. These days I don’t really use windows much like I use to. The only area where windows still has an edge is gaming (With a market share of around 1% its difficult for game developers to make games on the linux platform). And yes, when you speak in terms of stability and performance, Windows is not even close.

        • das

          Yeaah right.
          Windows have an edge in many areas like: Better interface, driver support good luck finding the driver you need on your laptop when Ubuntu(which is not even Linux) can’t find any drivers and Windows 7 find all of them. Ubuntu is NOT more secured than Windows 7 it is actually even less secured with huge security holes but no one bothers using them because 1% uses Ubuntu. Bundle Software yeah great but that is all the SW that you get, oh and all of this programs are available for Windows for free!!!.
          The cost my friend is the only plus Ubuntu have over linux and some features that the average user will never use.
          Linux on the other hand is a whole different story

          • Vlyn

            Linux is a Kernel.

            Ubuntu is a distribution.

            Ubuntu is as much Linux as every other “Linux” out there. You’re talking crap.

          • DD

            You mean the drivers for my Toshiba, HP laptops and some of my desktops that Windows will not install? Funny as Ubuntu installed them all. Hmmm. Your right, it is not Linux, it is GNU/Linux. The GNU needs to be there when there is a desktop involved, but you knew that? But, it is still Linux, the Kernel was never rewrote like as in Android, for example that is Linux “BASED”. Which means they started with that Kernel, then stripped away and rewrote what they wanted. Default install of Ubuntu is far more secure then Windows will ever be. Show one instance it is not? Think you need to go look up the test they did with Professional hackers on all three of the top O.S.’s, Windows, MAC, Linux. You guessed it, Windows and MAC fell first and they were still working on Linux when they made them stop. MAC fell first by the way. But you knew that. Dont give me this crap because its a server so it is more secure. Bull crap. I run a Ubuntu Server, the only difference is they stripped away the GUI and added some server apps. Nothing more nothing less. Or my favourite, Windows is just sluggish because of all the features they installed with it? (I call this bloat because three quarters of it does not need to be there) What? What features? Where are they? Show me? Its sluggish because it caches to the HDD which is way slower then RAM and the registry fills with garbage and the NTFS file system is unstable. Hello blue screen when it comes and it will eventually. Oh, maybe they hid it with that new error dialogue that comes out now that it is trying to fix the problem. Ya right.

    • Sam

      I am a tech consultant and I would disagree with you on the point that web development requires Windows. I have often advised companies to move their web development team from Windows to Linux and they’re pretty pleased with the move. I’ve been told often by my clients that not only is the development simpler but the machines’ response is much better, and the developers tend to be more productive as they realize the power of shortcut keys, multiple desktops etc. Also the deployment is simpler since most (90%+) are linux based and porting their applications to the server is flawless as compared to earlier windows development where the concept of file permissions is screwed along with other minor annoyances.
      Web-Designing however is better on windows (my opinion), though a few of my clients have challenged me there too as they showed me how adept their designers have become at churning out beautiful css’ on tools like kompozer etc.

      • Yusuf

        Hello Sam,
        I have never mentioned web development *requires *Windows anywhere in the article. If you read correctly, here is what I said
        “However, some advanced commercial software like the Adobe suite (Dreamweaver,Photoshop etc.) is not available on Linux, due to which, thousands of web developers and designers choose Windows over Linux.” I am merely pointing out that many web developers (mainly people building websites and not “web-based” applications) *prefer *windows as they like to use fancy tools like Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Corel etc. Personally I do everything on linux, and as you rightly said – development is far better on the linux platform. Where I work full-time, all developers use linux/Free-BSD to make web-based applications. Only the people who work on the designing part (User Interface) use Windows.

        • chensun

          i was hope you would elaborate more on LAMP hosting… since majority of the websites are run on it.

    • Lazar Mitic

      I will use my PC with Windows 7 because of my need for programming software, on the other hand i will use Ubuntu on my Laptop for general media usage :D

      • maxm11

        There is a plethora of Linux programming tools that work very well, ,maybe even better than windows.

      • Robert Sandor

        As maxm11 said, there are IDEs for all programming languages on Ubuntu/Linux, that work better than on Windows. The only programming language that doesn’t work that well is C#, as it is proprietary and developed by MS, and the open source Mono is falling behind Visual Studio.

    • Petit Bordel Secondary

      Ubuntu is excellent software. We have internet access at our institution so the Ubuntu software center makes it so easy to install software. Furthermore, since we’ve been using this OS on over 200 netbooks we have never had an instance of virus infections (2 years). About a year ago we changed to the Ubuntu based OS Zorin 6 which the students loved because of its Windows 7 look and feel. I’ve not had a look at Kubuntu so don’t know how it compares to Kubuntu. It runs fast compared to Windows and provides all software needed for use at school. I have even installed it on my personal laptop alongside Windows and use it regularly.

      • Star Jammer

        Zorin 6.1 Educational is a great replacement for windows with lots of additional included software and similar GUI layout as Windows and extra as it’s called eye candy desktop features blows Windows away and its easy to search for additional software and install it with the Software Center plus it’ll work on much older PC’s . I recommend min 512 mb ram and video card with 256 mb , my old (1999) EMonster 500a (bios flashed) P-III 1.0 GHz Coppermine 512mb ram and GeForce 6200 w/512mb ram being honest rates around a 7 on overall performance including watching DVD movies with zero problems,so in my opinion try it odds are you’ll probably like it.

    • bang2tang

      I don’t really agree at driver part. Because I don’t need to install driver after I’ve installed Windows 7 back on 2009

      • Ji

        Tippany <3

      • DD

        I have a Toshiba Satellite, HP laptops and some other desktops and I have to install every driver when I install Win 7 and prior. WIFI, networking, bluetooth, video, sound everything, other wise it just installs a generic driver (Video, sound etc) just to make it work. Only very few computers, will it actually install the actual driver it take for you, and there is not that many out there. AMD is notorious for this as I have to search there site and download there driver for mine to work right.

        • bang2tang

          I’m using old intel core2duo, and my windows automatically install realtek for my internet & sound,

    • Josh Kennedy

      My six-year-old-son’s windows xp computer crashed due to a power outage. Since I am blind and since it crashed so badly that the screen reader program I had on there, NVDA no longer started up so I could fix it I told him I’m switching you over to Ubuntu or Vinux4 based on Ubuntu12.04 but with the latest linux kernel. Actually I just said ok you’re getting vinux. So I installed it. With windows xp the computer crawled and it took forever to open websites and run programs. It was a used xp machine. After Ubuntu what a difference! His 9 to 10 year old computer with 80gig hard drive and 1.5gig of ram flies lightning quick now! I easily installed flash with the built in orca screen reader to both install the OS and install flash, variety a wallpapers app, and the primary education pack. Ever since I got him vinux or ubuntu he actually wants to use his computer. with windows he hardly ever turned it on. Now with ubuntu he actually wants to use his computer. He goes in, turns it on shuts off the screen reader clicks firefox and plays games. Installing adobe flash was a snap. In fact with Ubuntu sometimes I have to pry him away from the computer maybe he enjoys vinux/ubuntu too much?

      • Yusuf

        Well that’s good to hear. For those of who feel that Ubuntu/Linux is too “difficult” or “not so user-friendly”, read the comment posted by Mr.Kennedy here. It’s just the ‘reluctance to change’ that people don’t try the good stuff.

        • adosdhuyuadvqwbd

          maybe that would have been a virus ?! or spyware or adware

          • Payback is bitch

            And on linux you don’t get virused so often.

          • Archie

            yeah..u dont get virus that easy..as long as u dont provide the root access.

    • Tim Sabin

      I am a musician – and Ubuntu works well for me. I use a variant called Ubuntu Studio – and have for a few years now. I create scores in Ubuntu (MuseScore), process MIDI files (LMMS, Muse), and process WAVE and MP3 files (Audacity). I also create microtonal works. The best program out there for this is Mus2, a Windows program. But, with Wine, this program works flawlessly on Ubuntu. There are also a couple of utilities that are Windows-only that run just fine through Wine.

      Don’t forget – for internet, Firefox, and for email, Thunderbird.

      I’m glad I switched, and pity my wife, ’cause she has stayed with a lowly PC.

    • Daniel m

      I would like to use Ubuntu but where ever I looked it seemed to lack the chipset driver and the acpi drivers for my laptop thermal zone and fan system so Ubuntu was overheating my computer, after just 30mins my laptop was hotter than it ever was when I was on windows not to mention I couldn’t get Nvidia optumus to install or work so my NVidia card ran while I was trying to use the intel one. Ubuntu is advanced but only if the user can customize the kernel to their hardware.

      • DD

        Not so much in tweaking as in as much as updating the kernel. There was an issue with that. I looked it up on Ubuntu’s forums and you just had to update it.11.10 had that problem as well. Sometimes the drivers are a little behind, not necessarily Ubuntu’s fault. It takes them a while to get them. Ubuntu 13.10 is suppose to support the Optumus.

    • Tupah AT

      I have been using Ubuntu for over a year already and I feel very comfortable with it…. It really is not as confusing or complicated as I used to think about it before deciding to migrate from the other most used operating system…. <3 it! :)

    • Rob Thomas

      I have been using both windows and Ubuntu machines for some time. Needless to say, I have to disagree with you on almost all of the points that you have made. I must point out that linux machines and ubuntu are not the same. The fastest computers do run Linux, but not Ubuntu or Windows. Ubuntu and Windows are pretty much toys these days.

      Its great that you are pitching for Ubuntu, but give these targeted reviews on a linux/ ubuntu websites. Enlightened technologist you are not !!

      Also note: Ubuntu forum was hacked 2 days ago and is still down. So much for secure linux/ubuntu experiences !

      • Yusuf

        Your comments are most welcome, However I am merely comparing the desktop experience of ubuntu and windows. Moreover, this is not an article for very advanced users, I am well aware that Ubuntu just uses the Linux Kernel and never said that Ubuntu = Linux. And as for your comment about Linux’s security, no system in the world is perfect. Other than that, you don’t even know the details of “WHY” and “How” Ubuntu forums was “Hacked”. Whether it was a Linux vulnerability or any other application level component (apache/php etc) you don’t know. I suggest you better do your homework before you even start commenting out of your hat on how secure Linux is or isn’t.

        • DD

          The site was running vBulletin and according to some sources, it was outdated and didn’t have the admin panel protected. So, if I am understanding that correctly, they made it in through as an admin, which was probably an open port the Admin’s were using, not as a real hacker that hacked a Linux Server. They were probably looking at the port and seen it was used and went in undetected.

    • Mike

      The one thing I don’t like about Linux is that no one is aware of the fact that while there are no viruses, or very little, there is spyware and adware. I can’t download SuperAntiSpyware or Malwarebytes onto Linux, which would find the spyware and adware in addition to saving Windows computers that have bad viruses. That is the only thing stopping me from using Linux. But I do feel more comfortable with Windows, since more programs and people support it, and I’m used to it. If I get a computer with no OS though, I would get Linux because of the huge cost difference…and on Windows, by the way, you do NOT need to install MS Office…just use OpenOffice. I like that Windows comes with the basics, it gives you more choice.

      • DD

        The spyware you can turn off. they use that to help tyou search inside of the unity lens, such as youtube videos, music, amazon. that can all be turned off. Only adware that I have seen is in the software center when it is open showing what new software is coming out. These become hazardous when you have them, you dont know it and they are doing damage to your system and giving out personal information, in which case neither one of these do from what I have seen. There spyware is only trying to help you in the next search, its not digging around for any personal information.

      • Payback is a bitch

        And you spend more time for crap software that will eventualy slow down your PC so badly and slow down the boot speed if you are noob and don’t turn them off from msconfig

    • Kaloyan

      I want so badly to move to UBUNTU, but i’m a student and i need programs like Visual Studio, Photoshop and some other Adobe programs. I don’t know what to do.

      • Yusuf

        Dual Boot!

        • Guest

          HOW!!

    • Jack

      I will try Ubuntu asap!

    • mimi

      One wouldn’t know what he/she is missing unless tried a new stuff.Ubuntu is the best.End of sentence,period,pens down….Does anyone else have a doubt or question?

    • Jay

      All the articles about comparing Windows and Ubuntu are always stupid. They just compare look and feel and boot up times. But what about software? Clearly Ubuntu is shit when it comes to software. I mean you can’t install adobe CS suites and other basic software like Filezilla (Double click on a file to rename it inside Filezilla window and it will crash), Libra office (Trying copying text containing UTF-8 characters in Writer) and even Ubuntu core (Name a week when Ubuntu hasn’t appeared with an error saying it got problems?) is full of bugs.

      Its not like all Ubuntu lovers have eliminated Windows and they do need it time to time. If Ubuntu is so best then why they need Windows? (This is false if you only use your PC for Youtube, Facebook, Emails and browsing).

      Also what about games? Can any of you Ubuntu lover play all of the great 3D games on Ubuntu?

      I agree that Ubuntu is more stable then Windows and it is so because you can’t do much with Ubuntu.

      • Robert Sandor

        First, these comparisons are not stupid. They show you that there is an alternative to Windows, which is considerably growing both in stability and user-friendly-ness. Now, as Steam got it’s client on Linux, you have enough games to keep you entertained, and there are more to come. Origin may be ported to Linux as well, alongside with BF4 (these are just rumors for now). So gaming shouldn’t be a problem.
        And all the applications that are very popular on Windows have their alternatives on Linux. These are free software (GIMP, Inkscape, etc), and have most features that Adobe CS and other similar software has. It is a little harder to work with them, but when you spare the amount of money required to buy Adobe CS, i believe it’s worth the effort.

        • HaloEliteLegend

          I am a developer and run the entirety of the Adobe Creative Cloud. The reason I refrain from Linux is because of it’s terrible support, and since clients all have Windows computers, and my software has to be compatible with theirs.

          • Robert Sandor

            Yes, this is the circle that keeps windows alive at the moment. Users have windows, so developers have to build for windows, where there’s market share, thus users will keep using windows because programs are better.
            Then again, Linux is gaining popularity. As far as i remember, Ubuntu had a spike of over 2.5 times the usual downloads when windows 8 was announced. People start to see that there is an alternative, that doesn’t force you into using something you don’t want to.

          • Truth Sayer

            And you sir… are a phony

        • Nigel

          Saying that a standard PC game is “rumored” doesn’t keep me entertained and it’s a problem. I’ve installed Steam for Linux and the selection is crap. There is no foreseeable future where Linux becomes a competent gaming OS. One can only play so much BZFlag.

          • Robert Sandor

            The selection of Linux games isn’t very appealing at the moment, i know. I myself run windows 8.1 in dual boot mainly for gaming. But this is going to change over the next year, as more and more games are coming to Linux, so that shouldn’t be a problem soon.

      • Archie

        Yeah..i agree…that there are no softwares for linux as they are for windows..but that does not means that ubuntu cannot.. if developers like adobe and others want then they can make great softwares for ubuntu too…its just..windows and mac have more users..hence more developer are interested in them and not linux..
        but again, that does not means that linux cant have those great application..
        and if a lot of people realize the potential of linux and move to it..surely one day linux will have all those apps..
        and other thing is that not everyone want these heavy apps..so yeah..u are a simple user who is using windows..will fall in love wid ubuntu..mayb not those who play a lot of games and use Adobe after effects and all

      • Gabriel Poole

        The fact that some games don’t run isn’t always a con. The Town of Turin has just decided to switch its entire administration to Linux as a cost-cutting measure. Gaming won’t be an issue because that’s not what town clerks do (or should be doing)!

    • manrayfan

      Windows seem happy to tell you your Pc, is out of date and you need a new Pc to run there new software.Were Linux however dos’nt fall into this con trick

    • nigaforbreakfast

      dx11.1 i love the graphics, suck on my hairy nuts linux i’m a pirater i’ve never paid for windows or antiviruses so why would i cry about not having uncuntu

    • seo

      ubuntu is good….but does not support some .exe files….even with wine installed….any solutions????

      • Argie-CS

        Use Wine Windows Program Loader as an alternative for running .exe files.

        • seo

          ty my frnd…but…
          i did install wine windows program loader….its still not working…..

    • Amy

      Thank you for such a concise comparison between the two – I have been very curious about Linux for a while. However, as someone who depends on Adobe for both school and work, I am forced to stick with Windows 7. :(

    • User from Latvia

      This is why I use both OS on my PC… :) Linux is fast, easy to work, secure, etc., but windows has few programs and games I play… :) you can set it on 2 HDD’s or on 2 partitions with parallel OS thingy… (sorry about my bad english).

    • Kai P

      I’m a new Linux user, and like it alot, except for the gaming aspect…have managed to use Wine to get around some of it, but it’s occasionally a bit buggy and my videocard doesn’t play as nicely as it should sometimes. I can tell you that drivers in general ARE far easier on Linux. The reason I went to Linux is proof of that.

      I was on Windows 8, the beta version. I had a backup DVD of Windows 7 and tried to re-install on my PC…little did I know that my daughter had decided to throw away the boxes containing my device driver CDs… I could not for the life of me get a driver that worked to get my system to recognize my hard-drives. Incorrect drivers… After trying nearly all possible Gigabyte model drivers (my motherboard) I got them to show up, but they would not let me install to them. So I decided to try Ubuntu. CD in…setup… boom, all done.

      I love Linux’ features for the average user. Highly recommend it. However, I do need to go back to at least dual boot Windows. I’m having trouble with some work-specific remote desktop issues, (they use a specific client security app) and need Microsoft Office and a few other things.

      So…what I’m wondering is…can anyone help me with an app or something that can identify exactly which drivers I need to install to get my Windows DVD to install to my hard drives? Something I can run from linux, lol…

      It saddens me greatly that I can’t seem to make Linux work for everything I need…cuz, it’s SO CLOSE.

    • Jacqui Moriarty

      Here’s a challenge for you. Find a MB with dual PCI slots, install two video cards, hook up or monitors of different resolutions, sit them at slightly varying heights, maybe put one above the other monitors

      Install Windows XP/Vista/7/8, any one of them.

      How difficult is it to get all four monitors working I their native resolutions and electronically lined up so that the cursor moves with minimal jumping around moving between monitors? I.e., if you drag it horizontally across the screens it will stay at the same height across all three or four monitors.

      Is there any problem maximizing a browser on any particular screen? Can you maximize a video and have it stay on the monitor you start it? Of course you can.

      Now try that with Ubuntu.

      • William

        Easily. Your point?

      • Paul B.

        Sorry, I’m not all that interested in having four monitors. But at work, where I run Ubuntu, I use two. When I plugged in a second monitor, I didn’t even have to log off, let alone reboot the machine. It worked immediately.

    • Bulelani

      I’m a windows user but I feel like I’m stuck with it. I just built a machine in January that had a boot-up time of 30 seconds. Since then, despite my best efforts in maintaining it, it now takes a good 2mins to boot up. Windows is honestly shit, but I’m a heavy gamer so I need it. Is there any way to run Ubuntu and windows on the same machine without uninstalling the windows os

      • Holden

        This is a late reply, but sure! You can dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows easily. You’d just want to back up your important files before installation in case it goes wrong. Anyway, you can order an Ubuntu Installation CD from the official website, http://www.ubuntu.com, or even from eBay. You can also put the installation files on a USB Drive and install it with that. Here’s a tutorial for the USB drive method: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick
        Hope I was of help!

    • John

      hmm. I have given a name to my pain. Windows!! The infection. When i was using Windows 8 and 8.1,i was asking this question “am i using a laptop or a smart phone?” Windows always asks me to buy buy buy buy upgrades from their store for a better future and how many times i told them i dont have a credit card! Linux, my fav, but the linux installation is so hungry to eat and partition my hdd and kill windows permanently.. Infection is gone now…

    • zmei

      Search on youtube “Richard Stallman Talks About Ubuntu” idiots.

      Everything is for MONEY and Ubuntu is not away from that. And as long as we speak what could be done with the OS I prefer to use, i definitely PREFER WINDOWS 7 or 8.1, not with great speed (greater than 13.04) and stability, not to mention the variety of pro software to use.

      So linux is good only for adult webpages – the people who complain viruses are totally no skilled or adult content fans :)

    • tadej petric

      Ok so if I dual-boot ubuntu with win 7, will it stil have 1.7gb RAM usage while using windows?
      For example, now my computer uses 1,71 GB with just net opened. When/if I install ubuntu will win 7 still have the same usage doing same stuff?

      • Yusuf

        Hello,

        Since you will only be running one operating system at a time, your RAM capacity will be the same.
        So yes, you will get the same ram in Ubuntu / Win 7

        • tadej

          Thanks!

      • BrainDeadMonkey

        your RAM would be completely unaffected . RAMis for processing. Its not permanent. Nothing is saved. only whats currently being used takes up space. on the upside, linux is considerably more efficient with RAM. one of many reasons why its faster than windows.

    • Hira

      As I’m a average user, I only required my laptop for email’s, net surfing etc. so think Ubuntu would be the best one for me becoz I expect my system to work fast however, which I’m not getting on Window’s 7.

      • Steve

        Get a cheap Android tablet instead,which is much lighter to carry around and will save you lots of money too.

    • oscar

      I’m a converted Windows user. I use Ubuntu 12.04. I use Oracle VM virtualbox to run windowsxp for my windows applications that I need for work. This runs inside of the Linux host and the speed is great. Also, I don’t use any anti virus software. I have a dual boot system with each OS on its own hard drive, but I rarely have to boot up in Windows because the Virtualbox runs so well. Best thing is that you can install it from the software center free. You will need a valid windows cd to install windows. works great.

    • William Zabel

      Also another fact not known to many is that Windows 7 users are in a minority compared to Windows XP since many businesses and consumers have refused to move from XP to Vista or 7 because they are both slow, error prone and Windows 7 has a nasty bug which cuts you off from the Internet after doing updates. There are efforts to port a lot of older software to Linux. First there Quake, Half Life. There is a concerted effort to make a Creative Suite type software for Linux. So Linux is catching up and with all of the security holes in Windows and its server versions, many businesses are definitely talking about moving to Linux.

      What is scary is that Windows server is known to be full of security holes but banks continue to use it anyway. And we wonder why banks are losing our data!

    • Sovietskya Sovietskya

      And that’s just Ubuntu, With other Linux distros it’s even better.

    • Serena

      I want to change from Win7 to Ubuntu but what will happen to my pictures and music and stuff?

      • Yusuf

        I suggest you dual boot, that way you can give yourself time to learn to use ubuntu. And you can access all your existing files in Ubuntu

        • Guest

          how do you dual boot

    • Emmanuel

      i want to use ubuntu and windows togeter and before u mention dual boot how do u do that?

    • jz

      Geez, I just finished reading all these replies and it seems most of them are petty shots at something due to a lack of knowledge. I have been using linux since 2004, and have watched it bloom. Currently have xubuntu 13.10 on this lappy and it has not blinked. I use gimp, libreoffice, xchat , firefox, and filezilla to name a few. All work flawlessly. Anyone needing programs that are windows only can install windows as a vurtual machine and run it simultaneously with linux, so all windows programs work on linux. Running windows in virtualbox cures all the virus and malware crap, and alot of the driver crap as well. Wake up and smell the roses. Educate yourself before blowing off about things you know nothing about. My lappy is an asus i7 quad, that came with win8. Win8 lasted approx 5 min, long emough to boot xubuntu live on usb and install it. Unetbootin is cool, but try multisys, which allows up to 10 os live on 1 usb stick. People that buy mac computers are foolish, osx is locked up linux. You can have better with an intel laptop and linux, just make it look like a mac if you want because all things linux can be changed. You can create your own world in linux if you take a few to read how.

    • Wendy

      I have an xp netbook which is not usable any more because it takes at least more than 10 minutes to turn it on and 4 minutes to shut down. I just installed ubuntu, My God, what a day and night difference!! it takes no more than 1 minute to turn on and 15 seconds to shut down! I am Converted! Will never look back to Windows again, the stone age OS.

      • Archie

        well…no doubt linux is faster…but that doesnt mean that windows take 10 mins to startup..
        probably..ur windows was full of viruses…and formatting it would have done the job..
        because with time..the junk on windows gets really heavy..so formating is required..
        however with linux..u wont need to format it so often

    • ak

      i have win 8.1 , i want to run ubunto along with it , can some one help me out

    • HaloEliteLegend

      If you have a lower-end computer, the performance and whatnot is going to matter.
      If you’re a techie like me, you can utilize Linux’s open-source to add some software compatibility.

      The thing is, I’m a developer, so I run the entirety of the Adobe Creative Cloud Program Suite, run various image editors, video editors, run a bunch of game engines, test/play a bunch of games, so my computer has to be relatively high-end.

      Really, the same speed that Linux/Ubuntu has can be achieved on Windows, if you know how to work with the OS well enough.
      There are a bunch of services and whatnot that can be disabled, as well as some background things that can also be removed.

    • Alisa Kurtz

      Would like to try this OS but sadly I have games like Diablo 2 and games like plants vs zombies would not play on this OS which kinda s*cks

    • vivek from India

      ubuntu 14.04 comes up with 5 years free support. why do we need to buy windows os with bunch of virus attack and purchase office program and antivirus,??

    • Windows is still king to me!

      The only reason why Linux Ubuntu is getting more credit and hype than it deserves is because it’s different and free!

      I remember when the “shinny mac OS” was the preferred alternative years ago, simply because it was new/different – which gave some dummies something to tinker with and show-off to Windows users that were unfamiliar with the mac OS.

      Now that mac OS is as popular as Windows, Linux Ubuntu (a shinny distro) is catching on and becoming the “new and different” cult OS!

      The other reason and probably the most notable is, “It’s a free OS!”.

      I too sought for something different and wanted a free OS, I mean who doesn’t want a free OS? To be honest, after 2 years of use along with the trials and errors, lots of research, visits to forums and discussions, and really trying to convince myself to switch over simply because it was free, I’ve learned that some things cost a lot for a reason!

      Linux Ubuntu problems I encountered: Lots of bugs, hardware incompatibilities, software/applications/games incompatibilities (despite of Wine), lack of “real” support, and security was a fail for me (my PC was hacked!). Some will argue that it’s the user’s end that makes any OS secured, and while this is true in some cases, the average PC user aren’t system administrators/power users and have not much time to be “playing with tech” to be configuring settings and what not all week.

      For a good out-of-the-box security, Microsoft Security Essentials is a good anti-virus/malware that comes with/downloadable as part of the out-of-the-box experience. Windows still wins along with “real” support from a “real” tech at your convenience!

      I could go on and on with this, but I wish the above drawbacks I’ve mentioned weren’t a factor so I can save myself the cost of Windows, and enjoy a free OS.

      But hey, Microsoft will soon offer a free version of Windows (maybe basic or so), just like they’re already offering the mobile Windows for free. I wonder how many Linux followers and wanna-be’s will go back to Windows once this happens… ;)

    • AveniddaGez

      Of course windows is more stable this days (win7, win8) but it seems nobody considers its really weak and dissaster of structure it has. The Use of Registry since its concept was very bad for the system administration, then its structure of AppData has been used in such a way that actual programs spread all around your computer, parts in windows directory like in system32, parts in AppData parts in Roaming, parts in Registry, besides your installation directory which if it happens to be Corel or Adobe for example, you will see more file spliting that you can immagine because of the use of Common Files.
      So it becomes practically impossible to have control on what and where something is really installed and what files belong to a program. I do not know how the structure of Linux is, but to my recall it does not lets you mix files in kernel areas. The complesx part in the case of Linux is the use of dependencies, this is the use of parts of other programs libraries or routines, but to my knowledge there are some options to administer them an to keep them updated. That comparisson is the oine I would like to see between Linux and windows, the structure, the services, the drivers, not their interfaces, becasue that is the desktop and has nothing to do with the OS.

    • Truth

      No way LINUX IS now better Steam to play games
      Blender for 3d editing is on par with cinema 3d
      Gimp for editing

      Bitwig for making music on par with DAW’s like ableton live 9 and Logic

    • noel

      i think ubuntu is better than windows but I’m more comfortable to windows.

    • Blazindave

      I use my laptop with Ubuntu for all my web browsing and my Windows 7 desktop for all my games. Ubuntu is by far my favorite and most used OS.

    • bio

      I’ve tried to install Ubuntu and other distro’s but my system kept crashing or gave
      mysterious error messages when booting up. I had to reinstall Win7 which went
      like a piece of cake. I’ll stick to MS from now one.

    • idk

      if i had minecraft on windows 8 could i download it and play it on lunux ? better on lunux or windows?

    • Callum Smith

      I love Linux , it’s beautiful and performs well if you have a slow computer.

    • on-med

      the selection of linux games isn’t very appealing at the moment ,But this is going to change over the next year.

    • On Med

      the selection of linux games isn’t very appealing at the moment ,But this is going to change over the next year.

    • mslisa627

      My mom is a beginner computer user. She currently has Windows XP on her machine. After reading this article, I think I am switching her over to Linux. Do you see this as a good idea for a beginner user?