What Are the Differences Between Linux and Windows?

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Both Linux and Windows are operating systems used all over the world, but these two operating systems have a few minor functional differences. It is difficult to say which one is the best between Linux and Windows. This article will discuss every criterion of distinction between Linux and Windows.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source and cost-free operating system (OS) that offers its customers compatibility with the C programming language and user interface. It is based on Unix standards and is made up of numerous independently developed components. These developed components do not have any proprietary code and are almost compatible with all the systems.

What is Windows?

It is a licensed operating system with a locked source code. For all individuals with very little to no computer experience, Windows functions rather effectively. Due to its simplicity and ease of use, it is suitable for both personal and commercial use by businesses.

Linus Torvalds, a Finland student, developed Linux to develop an open-source operating system kernel that anybody could use. It debuted in 1991 and was distributed by GNU General Public License in the next year.

Even so, it was still viewed as a relatively basic operating system because it lacked Windows’ graphical user interface. From its initial release, which contained only a few lines of source code, to its current state, which includes more than 23 million lines of source code, Linux has expanded significantly.

Differences between Linux and Windows:

User account:

Linux operating system has three kinds of users. These kinds are regular, administrative, and just users.

Windows have four kinds of users. Administrator, children, standard, and guest.


Linux runs on the monolithic kernel. This type of kernel requires huge running space.

Windows runs on the micro-kernel. It requires less space; however, it slows down the system as compared to Linux operating system.

The number of users:

Almost 92 percent of world PCs are running on windows. Just one percent of people are using Linux operating systems. However, these numbers could grow in the coming years.

Ease to use:

Windows is easy to use. Windows has acquired a large market. There is a good probability that a new laptop or computer you purchase already has Windows 10 installed. Users find it incredibly challenging to switch because they have grown accustomed to accessing their favorite programmers by clicking the toolbar for so long that it is very easy.

The number of Linux users is limited because people say it is not so easy to use like Windows. Linux is not for home PCs. It is designed for complex operations Including server software. The servers of businesses tend to run in Linux.

Linux is now making efforts to make its installation and setup process easier to attract non-technical clients also. Distributors like Linux Mint and Ubuntu are taking steps.

Licensing agreement:

Windows manufacturer Microsoft has made licensing agreements with many computer manufacturers. They are entitled to give the windows operating system with their pcs and laptops. HP and Dell have now started providing Linux as an operating system for their new models.

System of files:

In Microsoft Windows, the files are stored on hard drives like D, C and these are stored in directories or folders.

The files on Linux are organized in a tree structure and stored on multiple hard drives. It consists of a root directory that is divided into multiple other sub-directories.

Everything is regarded as a file in Linux. Directories files and peripherals that are connected externally are also files.


Linux operating system gives a hundred percent privacy. The system belongs to the user only. Most Linux systems are made with built-in military-grade encryption, ensuring that the user’s data cannot be stolen if a device is left or stolen.

Windows are keeping an eye on what its users are doing. Windows do it by offering its users Microsoft One-Drive service that synchronizes.

Source code:

It is an open-source OS, and it has access to source code and changes the source code as per the user’s requirements.

In Linux, the users are authorized to the kernel’s source code and are changed according to their tasks. It Provides multiple benefits. The OS’s bugs are adjusted within no time.

Windows is a commercial operating system, and it does not have access to a source code.


A large number of organizations use Linux. It is not only open, but also free to use.  Companies ask for payment if a client uses their distros, but the installation is free.

The licensed copy of Windows is sold between US$100 and US$200.


Windows becomes corrupt and slow with time, and the user has to refresh their windows for smooth operations. At times, the system crashes too.

Windows users also have to reboot the system after some time to keep the system working smoothly.

Linux runs your computer and laptop for a longer time, and you do not have to refresh and reinstall it. The system remains faster than ever.


Windows can run with any system and gives its users ease of working on any gadget. Linux users say that the operating system is not compatible with most devices.


Because Linux is open source, anyone can alter or modify the operating system to suit their needs. This is why there are millions of customized Linux-based operating systems, also known as “distros.” Due to this, it is much more difficult to choose between them than simply selecting Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Linux has a default distribution system. The best thing about Linux is that the Linux operating system cannot be easily corrupted and hacked by anyone.

Which operating system is for you? Windows or Linux?

Which operating system is the best, depends on your needs? If you are someone who is fond of using multimedia on your gadget, Linux can be a less likely option. Windows supports all kinds of multimedia. However, on Linux operating system, most multimedia applications are free.

If you are a gamer, then Windows will probably be the better option. The reason is that Windows is compatible with all kinds of systems, and it is easy to use as compared to Linux. In addition, Windows systems are more frequently supported by graphics card manufacturers than Linux. They offer new features and timely upgrades, which don’t always trickle down to other OS.

But it also depends on exactly what games you like. Graphically intensive games might be better on windows, but browser-based games like Everygame online casino don’t need such intense hardware and can run fine on an average PC regardless of OS.

If you are a programmer, Linux will probably be your first choice. The operating system supports all major computer programming languages, like Java, C, C+ +, Ruby, Perl, and Python. Linux is far superior in supporting programming languages, and a lot of libraries are created in Linux. The package manager on Linux is highly appreciated by the programmers, and they recommend using Linux over all versions of windows.


Both the Linux and Windows operating systems offer benefits and drawbacks. In contrast to Linux, which is free, open source, configurable, and secure but can be somewhat complex for those without programming experience, Windows is easy to use but is not a free and open-source operating system. Windows is less dependable than Linux.


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Co-founder of Kifarunix.com, Linux Tips and Tutorials. Linux/Unix admin and author at Kifarunix.com.

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