In the world of Operating Systems, there has always been a debate on which is the better Operating System, especially for Developers, out of GNU/Linux and Windows. In this module, we will discuss 10 reasons why GNU/Linux is better than Windows.
Table of Contents
GNU/Linux Is Open Source !
When using Windows, you don’t know what’s happening beneath the hood. The source code behind the Operating System is not available for inspection and hence one cannot fully trust Software with respect to Data Privacy where as the source code of GNU/Linux is freely available to anyone who is interested in viewing it. You can not only scrutinize the source code but can also modify it to fit your needs. Since you can actually see what’s the code at work behind running your Operating System, it adds to the credibility of the Operating System.
More Secure !
Since the source code of the Operating System is openly available for review by anyone, it is rigorously examined for potentially deadly bugs, security loopholes or critical vulnerabilities in the Operating System which can be exploited by malicious entities. On discovery of any such threat, it is quickly patched up whereas in case of Windows it might take up a long time for such vulnerabilities to be discovered. It is also more likely to be attacked my Viruses, RATs or any other malicious software.
A Wide Range Of Distros Available
GNU/Linux comes in MANY flavors: from something as Beginner Friendly as Mint/Ubuntu to advanced distributions like Arch/Gentoo. You can choose whichever distribution you deem perfect for your needs and install it on your devices. We also have distros designed for specific purposes to aid us in our tasks. In this regard, Windows fails miserably as it only has a handful of releases and even in sheer numbers, GNU/Linux has a gigantic advantage.
Huge Array Of Packages
Almost all GNU/Linux distributions come with a huge array of software packages. Most Linux distributions have certain Package Managers which can be used to install more free software from the Distro’s repositories. Other than that, you can always install and run a lot of different programs from Github.
In this regard, Windows also has a lot features to offer, especially now that most programs are written with cross platform compatibilty. However, it still has a long way to go before it can even match with the likes of AUR and such.
Best Suited For Programmers
Linux supports almost all of the major programming languages like C, Python, Rust, Ruby, etc. The Linux CLI provides an efficient way of carrying out various tasks which are not natively supported by the Windows Command Line like SSH.
The availability of such a huge number of packages, some of which are exclusively written for Linux, also helps in the development process and the easy installation methods via Package Managers also gives Linux the edge over Windows.
Most GNU/Linux-based distros give you complete control over your Desktop. You can choose from a vast array of Desktop Environments and Window Managers and customize almost every single aspect of it. You can customize your icons, cursors, themes, and whatnot! Windows OS on the other hand does not natively allow for such extensive customizability.
Supports Many Different Platforms
Linux can run on a lot of platforms: from big cloud servers to pocket android phones to even embedded devices in some cases whereas Windows is limited to mostly Desktops and Personal Computers (and Phones, but that is too statistically insignificant to be considered!)
Windows has its own server images as well but they aren’t even half as popular as Linux servers which keep dominating the field.
Easier On The Hardware
Linux can revive old computers with age-old hardware. There are some distributions that can run on as little as 256MB of RAM, unlike Windows which has certain minimum hardware requirements.
Even on high-end systems, Linux facilitates more efficient resource utilization than Windows and hence the majority of the servers these days run Linux as compared to Windows.
Updating packages and software on Linux is extremely easy and is usually a one line command. The updating procedure is very smooth and efficient and it’s completely upto the user’s choice which packages to updates and when, unlike Windows which forces it’s updates on the users and reboots the machine, thereby hindering the user’s workflow.
You can carry around your Linux Distro on a hard drive or a portable USB and take it wherever you want. You can even encrypt it for security and boot from it when required. Windows lacks tremendously in this aspect. You can carry most distros on your pendrives having as low as 8GB of storage, something Windows is a long way away from achieving in the foreseeable future.
Apart from all the topic listed, there are still many domains where Linux exceeds Windows. It even has an extensive Community which you can turn to for support in case you get stuck and if you are into anything Software, I highly recommend you switch to Linux as your daily driver.