What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows or on a Mac?

Someone asked me this recently. I don’t have just one answer. I compiled a list of things I thought of and emailed it to my friend…then I thought I would post it here for future reference. Feel free to add to the list! There is also a forums thread on the same topic, that I remembered as I complied my thoughts, so I stole some of the ideas posted there.

1. Upgrade to the newest version legally and without paying money
2. Have the latest version of the operating system run faster than the previous version on the same hardware
3. Easily install and run different graphical interfaces if I don’t like the default setup
4. Install twenty programs with one command
5. Have the system automatically update all my installed programs for me.
6. Install the same copy of my OS (Ubuntu) on multiple computers without worrying about license restrictions or activation keys
7. Give away copies of the operating system and other programs that run on it without breaking any laws, governmental or ethical or moral, because it was all intended to be used this way
8. Have full control over my computer hardware and know that there are no secret back doors in my software, put there by malicious software companies or governments
9. Run without using a virus scanner, adware/spyware protection, and not reboot my computer for months, even when I do keep up with all of the latest security updates
10. Run my computer without needing to defragment my hard drive, ever
11. Try out software, decide I don’t like it, uninstall it, and know that it didn’t leave little bits of stuff in a registry that can build up and slow down my machine
12. Make a major mistake that requires a complete reinstallation and be able to do it in less than an hour, because I put all of my data on a separate partition from the operating system and program files
13. Boot into a desktop with flash and effects as cool as Windows Vista on a three year old computer…in less than 40 seconds, including the time it takes me to type my username and password to login
14. Customize anything I want, legally, including my favorite programs. I can even track down the software developers to ask them questions, contribute ideas, and get involved in the actual design/software writing process if I want to
15. Have 4+ word processor windows open working on papers, listen to music, play with flashy desktop effects, have contact with a largely happy community and have firefox, instant messaging, and email clients all open at the same time, without ever having had to beg someone for a code to make my os work, and without the system running so slow it is useless
16. Use the command “dpkg –get-selections > pkg.list” to make a full, detailed list of all software I have installed, backup my /etc and /home directories on a separate partition, and you are able to recover your system any time, easily
17. Run multiple desktops simultaneously, or even allow multiple users to log in and use the computer simultaneously
18. Resize a hard disk partition without having to delete it and without losing the data on it
19. Use the same hardware for more than 5 years before it really needs to be replaced…I have some hardware that is nearly 10 years old, running Linux, and still useful
20. Browse the web while the OS is being installed!
21. Use almost any hardware and have a driver for it included with the operating system…eliminating the need to scour the internet to find the hardware manufacturer’s website to locate one
22. Get the source code for almost anything, including the OS kernel and most of my applications

I could go on, but that’s long enough. 🙂

EDIT on 11 March 2010: This post is now quite old. My friend Popey has a newer post with more current thoughts at http://popey.com/blog/2010/03/11/why-ubuntu-is-better-than-windows/

190 thoughts on “What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows or on a Mac?

  1. I saw something about windows users not being technical and it’s fairly true. Windows is very easy to use, but Ubuntu has destroyed windows in that department recently. The sad part is that because windows has held onto the mainstream market for a long time, it will hold on to it for another decade. Adults teach their kids what they know and that’s basically windows. Old people are so stuck in their ways that they refuse to learn anything new.

    Some people rant about things that they know little about. Maybe the mainstream market is running windows, but the server market definitely isn’t. Last I checked, most servers are running some linux distro. The reason being is that it’s more stable and has better memory management, which is crucial for a server applications.

    Sadly, I’ll always be forced to have windows running on dual boot for gaming purposes and those little things that force you to use it. People attribute that as a problem with linux, but it’s rather a problem with game developers being too lazy to put IFDEFs in their code because the majority of their audience knows how to use windows.

  2. If you want to play windows games on linux, but don’t have the know-how/patience to get them running in Wine, give Cedega a go.

    yes, it does cost money to use legitimately ($5 a month or something ludicrously cheap like that) and the linux community is a bit sniffy about it because it is commercial software originally based on the WineX codebase (it’s not anymore afaik). On the other hand, it works brilliantly in most cases.

    no linky, because this is a recommendation not a plug 😉

    as for the mainstream uptake of linux as a viable platform, look out for the major MMO publishers releasing linux clients for their next generation of titles. The ever-forward-facing CCP have a linux client for Eve Online already.

    And that is a plug, because Eve is great 🙂

  3. @jfw

    ” Discussion becoming boring.

    I think I might go and have a game of Oblivion.

    Bye.”

    🙂

  4. Learning Linux is a neat experience almost like being initiated into a cult. Learning the ins and outs of any operating system (actually any software) is an important part of using it powerfully and not wasting money on Geek Squad and Firedog because you can fix your own problems.

    I spent many years learning all of the ins and outs of Windows (with which I maintain a passive familiarity). And now I’m learning the ins and outs of Linux which has a lot more “gee whiz” stuff you can do (including remote shutdown of Windows boxes).

    If you are content with browsing the ‘net and sending emails and writing documents in a word processor it doesn’t really matter WHAT os you use because they all handle it the same way (i.e. all browsers have the same basic features)

    My qualms with Windows and Mac are politically motivated. They wanted me to reactivate my install after a hardware upgrade, I figured my hardware is my business and so I politely told them that I had an Ubuntu disc that I had just received in the mail (via ShipIt) and that I would never again touch their software (not that they really miss me) and that I would encourage my friends to boycott their products. I installed Ubuntu and after a slightly rocky start, I never looked back.

    Oh and Wine is absolutely amazing! I vote for Linux+Wine vs Windows any day.

    One final note: I’m only using Linux until ReactOS is mature enough use everyday.

  5. I have a dual-boot laptop running XP Pro and Ubuntu – mostly Ubuntu, as XP takes upward of 15 minutes to load compared to 40 sec for Ubuntu. The only thing I miss is Windows Media Player, which doesn’t seem to install in Wine without permission from M$, who will only allow it to run in Windows… if verified.

  6. linux is a good OS … but the problem with it is that is not easy for “stupid” people…the market where windows wins a lot….
    i have tried many distributions: fedora,suse, mandriva, debian , ubuntu and i think something are better (uses the full capacity of the sistem like memory not the damn swap) … but remember for windows applications you have: wine, crossover office, cedega and others … or you can use vmware player (it’s free but you have to configure in one file) ….i have run windows one of such vm …and it run faster than if i would have used it separatly….or you can use it for games …i don’t know how it runs … but i’ll give a try :D…so linux it’s not for “stupid” peoples…but if one linux is installed correctly you wouldn’t need to reinstall it … like windows which get a lot of crap….
    momentanly i use windows…i have tried linux…but i plan to move to linux (probably ubuntu…)

  7. Hmmm, I’d like to conduct an experiment:

    (1) Get somebody who never used a computer before
    (2) Get two computers for which there are windows and linux drivers available
    (3) Hook the computers up with an ethernet cable and internet connection
    (4) Put a Windows install cd and an Ubuntu Desktop CD into each computer
    (5) Set BIOS to boot from the CD
    (6) Have blank harddisks in there

    I wonder on where this person has less problems.

  8. I choose to not use Windows. That is a personal decision. But I am not out to convince anyone what they should use or which OS is better. If asked I will share my experience on the subject only. These type of conversations are way off base. I would like to add another meaning of “free”: free to choose the OS I want to use and “Free” to change my decision and switch. If we stuck to this then I think people would be more receptive and Linux would advance quicker.

  9. Sure linux is good for the things listed, but until it has compatability with programs like Dreamweaver and Photoshop ill be sticking with windows.

    I tried linux for a while, loved what it was about but it could never have the full compatability that i need.

  10. Ok. Here how it goes. It all depends from what u need from an operating system. I prefer windows for playing games. I can see Windows as a Gaming platform. When i need reliability i am switching to linux. Support is a big deal for Windows users. Linux is very very stable. It can work for months even if the hard disk has been completely out of use (it happened in our DNS server). How many times you will see a kernel crash? Almost never. Have u ever seen a blue screen?
    *Concluding, if you were to be supported in life by a machine would you like to be a windows or a Linux box?

  11. Don’t forget:

    1. Get more work done, because all the games suck, and look like they were written in 84.
    2. Get a better education, because when Linux fails it doesn’t throw an error message, it throws the GUI!
    3. Be free! Never ever have to work with any of those conformist mainstream people that run businesses!
    4. Be different! Just like everyone else, your like like so cool, like an anarchy club or something!

  12. Wow this article is really bad I don’t quiet know where to start….

    1st off if you believe that Windows AND Mac can’t do most of these things then you really don’t know much about OS’s and shouldn’t be posting.

    This is the truth about the list. (I really dislike OSX but I will painfully support it here)

    “2. Have the latest version of the operating system run faster than the previous version on the same hardware”
    —this is BS because Ubuntu 5.10 “breezy” runs twice as fast on my old P3 (800MHz) with 512 RAM than Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid”

    “3. Easily install and run different graphical interfaces if I don’t like the default setup”
    —If you have to open a command line for ANYTHING it’s NOT easy.

    “5. Have the system automatically update all my installed programs for me.”
    —Of course Windows doesn’t have an application for this but how could it when there are SO MANY different applications for Windows machines.

    “8. Have full control over my computer hardware and know that there are no secret back doors in my software, put there by malicious software companies or governments”
    —Mac users don’t have to worry about this, and SMART Windows users don’t either

    “9. Run without using a virus scanner, adware/spyware protection, and not reboot my computer for months, even when I do keep up with all of the latest security updates”
    —God your retarded. Macs don’t have this problem because there based off of Unix, which is the same exact thing Linux is based off of. My main machine (the one I’m on now) has been virus free for over 3 years and I DONT USE ANY ANTIVIRUS, OR ANTI MALWARE.
    —this applies to ALL machines: As long as the power source to a machine (including mine and the 5 others in my house) isn’t cut it will stay on. The only time this is isn’t the case is when you have a hardware failure EX: your PSU blows up, or Primary HD disk failure. (EVERY machine suffers from hardware defects)

    “10. Run my computer without needing to defragment my hard drive, ever”
    —This is true of course you could run your machine and NEVER defrag your hard drive. But that would be stupid; every hard drive over time becomes fragmented. Of course you don’t NEED to defragment it, but it would be the smart thing to do, it improves performance and frees up space. Kind of like how the paint on your car over time will chip, of course you don’t NEED to repaint it but it would be the smart thing.

    “11. Try out software, decide I don’t like it, uninstall it, and know that it didn’t leave little bits of stuff in a registry that can build up and slow down my machine”
    —sure you could do this with the limited supply of software out there for Linux and Mac based machine. But you could also do this with the HUGE supply of windows based software and a free registry cleaner (u could even use more than one)

    “12. Make a major mistake that requires a complete reinstallation and be able to do it in less than an hour, because I put all of my data on a separate partition from the operating system and program files”
    —You can do this with BOTH Windows and Macs. You can even direct your entire user profile, or individual folders to another drive or partion. Granted this may not be easy for the average user but I don’t ever have to once enter ANY commands.

    “13. Boot into a desktop with flash and effects as cool as Windows Vista on a three year old computer…in less than 40 seconds, including the time it takes me to type my username and password to login”
    —WOW U CAN??? Of course you can so can a Windows and a Mac. And just like a 3 year old Linux machine you would need hardware that is at least decent.

    “14. Customize anything I want, legally, including my favorite programs. I can even track down the software developers to ask them questions, contribute ideas, and get involved in the actual design/software writing process if I want to”
    —You can do this with ANY open source software, which is pretty much all Linux can run

    “15. Have 4+ word processor windows open working on papers, listen to music, play with flashy desktop effects, have contact with a largely happy community and have firefox, instant messaging, and email clients all open at the same time, without ever having had to beg someone for a code to make my os work, and without the system running so slow it is useless”
    —Your a moron, if you believe Windows and Macs can’t do this GTFO.

    “16. Use the command “dpkg –get-selections > pkg.list” to make a full, detailed list of all software I have installed, backup my /etc and /home directories on a separate partition, and you are able to recover your system any time, easily”
    —HOLY CRAP!!!! I can do this FREE 3rd party software that has tons of customizable options and it actually has a GUI.
    —Windows has this amazing tool called “sysprep”, go Google it and be properly educated.

    “17. Run multiple desktops simultaneously, or even allow multiple users to log in and use the computer simultaneously”
    —Macs CAN do this, so can windows it’s called “fast user switching”

    “18. Resize a hard disk partition without having to delete it and without losing the data on it”
    —I honestly believe you have never used a Windows or Mac machine. Windows may not have a native program for this but you can get one some of them are free, some of them are open source, and some of them cost money.

    “19. Use the same hardware for more than 5 years before it really needs to be replaced…I have some hardware that is nearly 10 years old, running Linux, and still useful”
    —As I previously stated I have a machine that has a Pentium 3 800MHz with 512 MB of ram. When I first got it in 2000 I doubled the ram (it came with 256) but since then I haven’t replaced any hardware in it, I’ve added a SCSI card just so I can use my 4 15,000RPM 30GB Ultra wide SCSI-3 HDs

    Ill give Linux some credit, it does do somethings that Windows and Macs cant do, but next time you write an article entitled “What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows or on a Mac?” know your facts.

  13. Wow. All I’ve heard here is how one OS is better than another. It’s pretty disconcerting.

    Let me give you a few things to think about:

    1) The command line: Yes, Windows still has it and, no – settings (that MS or someone else hasn’t written a program for or you don’t see it in “Control Panel”) won’t be available unless you use – you guessed it – the command prompt.

    2) If Linux “crashes”, it’s usually the X server. And upon crashing will usually default back to the command prompt.

    3) Upon a Windows crash – if the system is unworkable in it’s “normal” state, then one must boot into repair mode – which a CD is required. Upon booting to the CD, the user (now this is important…) MUST USE A COMMAND PROMPT.

    4) If Linux is in an unusable state, one can simply pop in a LIVE CD and have access to BOTH graphical interface AND command prompt. Not to mention, one can also graphically LOOK at Windows files from an NTFS-supported LIVE Linux distro. There is one of these distros named “Puppy Linux” and I have found it invaluable for repairing Windows boxes.

    Finally, why do we all have such penchant for one or the other???
    I mean, Windows is GREAT at what it does and it fills it’s niche very well, but to say that it is just better is like being brainwashed. It goes the same way with Linux. Its CONCEPT is better for sure – not to mention almost the whole internet pretty much runs on Linux. But to say it’s just better (like as with Windows) is not very convincing.

    I like Linux because it has saved me quite a few times from Windows (yes, I use Linux to FIX Windows). It IS more stable, but more user-intensive. But I also prefer Windows for its ease of use and miriad of applications.

    So here is my ultimate take:
    1) The CONCEPT behind Linux is DEFINITELY superior. Whether or not people are “turned on” to its usability is yet to be seen.

    2) Windows has a superior number of users and applications. It also has (when running healthily) a superior ease of use.

    Now given that, why not just view them like tools in a toolbox? Seriously. No GOOD mechanic in his right mind would EVER use a pair of pliers to try to do what a wrench could. You just can’t pretend that Windows has an edge on EVERYTHING just because more people like it. It COSTS and it is LIMITED. Period. But you can’t say Linux is better simply based on a superior concept. It is free and unlimited, but hasn’t quite filled the niche that Windows has…………

    YET : )

  14. Wow! I made this post nearly a year ago and it is still getting traffic. That’s cool!

    The post really was just a quick, not well thought out scribble that I only intended for a friend, but thought I would put on the blog for fun.

    It has created a lot of discussion, and that is something I am in favor of.

    Oh, and while I am not an operating system zealot, I am still convinced that for most applications, including all of the ones I use and care about or need, Linux is better. 🙂

  15. “12. Make a major mistake that requires a complete reinstallation and be able to do it in less than an hour, because I put all of my data on a separate partition from the operating system and program files”

    I’m fairly certain you can do that on Windows, chief.

  16. “Windows runs for months on end without reboots, and I have not found an adware, virus, or other malware in over 5 years. All of my programs, even expensive corporate editions, are updated automatically all by themselves the instant an update is available. I could, of course, download a free program to do it like Linux, but that’s slow and illogical. Multiple desktops, multiple simultaneous users, easy as pie. Run live from pendrive? Yep. Delete software without a trace left behind? Of course. There is a free Windows program to do everything you have ever done on linux – Plus 500,000 programs you can never have. Basically, your list comes down only to the fact that Linux is free. If it was as stable, useful, and enjoyable to use as Windows, you’d have a good point. Does Linux automatically move particular files from any location to the location of your choosing? How about move files to another partition is it gets crowded? Can you buy any piece of hardware, electronics, or software in the free world and use it right out of the box with no help from anyone? If Linux os so wonderful, why is it that (a) most people who try it (like me) can’t find a reason to keep it, (b) in 15 years of constant use, it’s still nearly unused by the public and business, and (c) you have to keep making these pages to promote it?”

    Soo… your telling me windows even with its security updates that NEEDS a reboot can keep running for months… Hows that…?

    Maybe windows 95…

    What software does that have the Linux hasn’t already mastered for free?

    and yeah… you can delete stuff without a trace but could some normal person know that? No…

    Linux is even more user friendly than windows or Mac…

    the reason we have to write things like this is because we don’t want people like you who see a commercial and just because of the commercial it is great…

  17. I dual boot my pc with xp and ubuntu.
    I use xp for my games (apart from EVE Online, which I have on both windows and ubuntu), and when I feel like tweaking something, I boot into ubuntu and have a tinker. I will eventually make the final leap onto the Linux train when I feel am competant enough to use it effectively, and get decent gaming experiences out of it without trawling through forums trying to find a command.
    This list does have many good points…in my interpretation anyway (I ignored everything Mac orientated as I despise Apple and to be honest couldnt really give two shits what it can and can’t do, so long as what I buy doesnt go put money in their pockets.
    From my years of using xp, I have tweaked it a lot, but have not had the ability to tweak it as much as I would have liked without having to download some third party software (some of which costs money, in these cases I chose the path of a pirate). Which is why I like Ubuntu as it lets the user tweak to theri hearts content with very little, even no need to download third party software.
    With all the programs (legit or not) that I have downloaded windows has taken a little longer to boot every time, and every 6 months or so, I wipe the slate clean and start again, tweaking just a little bit more every time, before the loading takes too long. I also find the need to use these programs VERY restricting, as all windows OSs are meant to be as is, hence the third party tools being needed. Yet with ubuntu, I have noticed very little difference in boot times since I installed it and have been slowly tinkering with it, and it feels a lot more free, my knowledge being the one restraint holding my machine back from its full potential.
    I download a lot with windows, have no anti-virus, no firewall etc etc and have been virus free for a good 2-3 years now, and it will hopefully stay that way until I make the final leap of faith away from teletubby land, and into the realm of the power rangers.
    Linux is not for everyone, and proabably never will be. There needs to be an easy to use and aesthetically pleasing OS for the masses, as most do not want to have to learn much to be able to use thier PC.

  18. s565rj32 says,
    “””It was recently revealed that a large portion of the Storm botnet is running on rooted Ubuntu boxes. Good luck…”””

    And that’s an all out lie!

  19. I run Linux where I can. I’m even moving my quad core 9950/ 4GB/ 320GB 8500GT etc onto Ubuntu/Mint tonight! I have a Webbook running ubuntu, a toshiba laptop running ubuntu studio, a dell pc running ubuntu server (with Apache/Mysql/PHP) and I did have it running on my old pc, but that’s for my girlfriends dad now and I run windows because linux confuses him.

    I thought that windows 7 would use all 4 cores, and I suppose it does with the relevant applications, but it’s hardly faster than my old machine although runs games better. Possibly the only games i’ll run on my machine are Guild wars and Garrysmod. There was a bug in Garrysmod when running it under WINE in windows, but that’s apparently fixed. Guild wars was front page on WINE for a while because it runs perfectly. So, there are the two reasons for my main machine running windows out of the window.

    I often do electronics projects, or computing projects (example being using a webcam as a multitouch trackpad), and sometimes they only work on windows, or i’ll need a machine to mess with. That’s what the dell computer is (runs windows and ubuntu)

    If linux dominates the market, it’ll get more attention, therefore more viruses, spyware etc. I believe that the linux community would address these issues, and the open-source nature of linux would allow users to fix any holes/security issues quickly with an update. This could even be an in-built antivirus to an extent, so they write code into the program that denies execution of a particular program and removes it.

  20. Alright, after reading half the comments, and getting tired and skipping to the end, I just have to say this. Yes, GNU/Linux(Linux is a kernel people), has made giant leaps and bounds in the past years, but it will largely remain used by us computer techs. Your average windows user is afraid of the command line, and knows little about computers (unless they’re some type of Win32 fanboy who uses ASP.NET on the regular). Thanks to the EeePC and gOS, GNU/Linux has made it to the desktop. Thanks to Mozilla Firefox, a huge amount of people use open source often. Thanks to OOo, there are now alternatives to MS Office. There are open source alternatives to everything today, and they are all moving into everyday use, but true GNU/Linux distros will not be on most school, workplace, library, etc. computers for years. When it is, it will be a toned down version. Most people just don’t want to deal with configuring their OS, so they let companies take care of those things. I love Ubuntu, I love Slackware and OpenSolaris, but your average desktop user is just too lazy. And I don’t care about whether or not they get a virus or a BSoD, because it just reminds me of why open source is superior. So stop arguing about this and get on with what life you have.

  21. Nice list. As with most others, I also find it hard to tell people why I use Linux. Thanks for the post 🙂

  22. the article is really very good
    i think the time has come for us to change to linux and throw all these money making companies aside.

  23. I still run windows because games don’t run on linux.

    For everything else I run Linux.

    What does that say about windows?

  24. I got frustrated with all the free comments halfway down so I figured I would comment. It seems to me that freedom just isn’t that important to people. Even in a country where people boast about it being a free country, I’ll use mine, the US, for example, people are willing to trade off their freedom/rights for a false sense of security. Read the patriot act, cable act, etc. Look at the government consistently making laws that just make you less free. Do you hear much about it? No. Why? Because people don’t care what it is free or what freedom is anymore. They take everything for granted.

    As for the malware/virus comments, would you feel comfortable letting someone who doesn’t know much about computers use your windows computer and not have to worry about getting some kind of virus/trojan/rootkit/worm?

    I like windows for some purposes, but I prefer linux and won’t even consider mac for cost reasons and tieing itself to specific hardware and charging an arm and a leg for an apple logo.

    Another comment, I just upgraded from Ubuntu 8.10 with gnome 2.24 to Ubuntu 9.04 with gnome 2.26 and I can assure you that my 6 year old computer runs faster with the new version of Ubuntu than it did with the old one, and that is with using more eye candy than I did in the old one as well.
    I will be fair on that front though, the new version allows for use of the Ext4 filesystem which handles large files differently than its predecessors Ext3 and Ext2 and I figure this is where all the increased performance comes from and it is a rather very dramatic increase in performance as well.

    I will not for a second think about putting vista on this machine to replace xp as I will not get a performance increase that way.

  25. Economy is tanking and folks have a lot of spare time 😉

    I have used (played) with Linux for years. It is a good toy as a desktop OS, not a serious contender for Windows. Now that 7 is released, who cares about getting the trouble with Linux?

    I am a happy Windows user. Never cared for Mac either. Mac users are like a cult group. However, Mac is a good OS as well. But not as good or as useful as Windows to me.

  26. All valid reasons why linux is great, but let’s be honest here, gaming in linux is almost nonexistent. That’s the only reason I keep windows installed on my pc. I dual boot win 7 and Ubuntu, but I find myself using ubuntu most of the time, especially for browsing the web and multimedia purposes.

  27. why are you guys having this discussion? Some feel windows is better(including me, couse im a gamer) and some this linux is great.. ok so no one is forcing anyone to use any OS so why the fight?if you like to use linux use linux. But dont post stuff like theese to “show off”.

  28. Good list. I am more of a Windows user myself, but I like to experiment with Linux distros. For example, when it comes to penetration testing and learning about security, Linux is unbeatable, no contest. But when it comes to being a regular “end-user”, e.g. using the best and most applications like Photoshop, being able to surf with Java or Flash that actually works, being able to use cryptographic software for banking services, and playing games that doesn’t suck, Windows is the only reasonable choice. While I do appreciate the development of distros like Ubuntu, I rarely recommend this to people I know. In my experience, people are more interested in sticking with Windows because they are used to it. “An old dog can’t learn new tricks”, if you know what I mean. Economy is rarely a problem for these people, since they got their Windows license when they bought the computer.

  29. ————————————————————————————————–
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    ————————————————————————————————–
    You guys are rediculous. Every OS has its pros and cons. And yes most of the stuff you listed can be done in Windows easily. Linux is a great OS and very useful for servers. Windows is great for easability. Mac OSX is used for media development more than anything else. Quit bickering. Multiple Desktop apps were developed in the Windows 2000 days, just because you were using Debian or Redhat at the time doesnt mean that programs were not written to do it. Linux is much more stable than Windows. But its also not for people that just want to watch DVD’s, play video games, email and listen to music.

    Linux is great because it runs on low hardware requisites, very stable and secure, and ridiculously customizable. A great server OS!

    Windows is great because of it’s ease of use, and more programs support it (like games–yes I know you can run most games designed for Windows under Linux, but not all flawlessly)

    Like I said, both have pro’s and con’s. You idiot “fan boys” should keep your “opinions” to yourself. Great list but somewhat ignorant and opinionated. But you did a couple of good points.

    Kev
    ————————————————————————————————–
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  30. One specific reason that I use Linux came up recently. I use Slackware most of the time but I ended up downloading something that was in img format and I wanted to convert it to iso. I thought I would try it in Windows first. It was a 3 GB file. I typed something about the conversion into google and downloaded the first link that looked relevant and usable. Turns out that it won’t convert anything over 860 MB unless you fork out money for the paid version. I went back to Google and found another link. This one wouldn’t convert anything over 300 MB unless you buy it. This was not mentioned on the download page for either application. I went back to Linux and found the software that I needed without too much trouble. For free. Point being…. if you paid $200 for an operating system you don’t want to pay extra for utilities to use within it. I remember seeing in the past as well that extensions to Windows Media Player cost money. What is is about Windows software writers that they assume they deserve money for every dumb utility they write. I would rather pay for a Linux distribution that can do everything out of the box. Even like playing DVD’s which cannot be done in WIndows without some codecs that you acquired by paying for a piece of software like PowerDVD.

  31. I am a linux lover and always like to find something like this. I have a very good article URL where they are saying to provide free education of LINUX, I think you should also add that thing in this article.
    You can’t find anything like this in windows or MAC.
    Free Linux Online Courses is the title;

  32. Only reason I even read this is because my OS professor directed me to this website and I have to write a paper over two of the topics.

    But, if an OS can’t play good games that would require a decent graphics card then its useless to me.
    Not to mention the Graphical Editor : GIMP is well gimpy compared to Photoshop, which can be run with ease on Windows or MAC

  33. Matthew Helmke posted a blog titled What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows or on a mac? Upon reviewing this blog I noticed things that you actually could do on a Windows computer that he claimed were not possible. In my paper I will be discussing a few of the linux exclusive features that can and have happened in the Windows environment.

    “Have the latest version of the operating system run faster than the previous version on the same hardware.” Taking into interpretation that later version meaning later releases of Windows, and not including service packs which do improve performance with the updates they provide, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7. With the upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 I found that my computer uses less system resources sense upgrading from Windows Vista.

    So just keeping in the speculation that it’s considering a completely new operating system and not an update or service pack we have managed to improve system performance by updating/upgrading the software without enhancing the hardware its self.

    “Easily install and run different graphical interfaces if I don’t like the default setup.” Assuming that one can find a place to download graphical add-ons either on the web or through the package manager built into Linux, yes this can be easily done, on the other hand it can also be easily done for windows as well. With windows graphical user interface being popular by default not everyone would like to change from the familiar look, but there are many options on the web that can be as easily as downloading the installer clicking through the setup and enjoying the new graphical interface that was downloaded.

    For instance, Alienware and Stardock released a free graphical user interface application with 3 free skins to choose from, Rocketdock is a Graphical User Interface add-on that allows shortcuts to be organized and look good. Some of these applications are free for use from websites such as http://www.guimods.com but some are purchased through websites such as http://www.Stardock.com.

    “Run without using a virus scanner, adware/spyware protection, and not reboot my computer for months, even when I do keep up with all the latest security updates” The market is flooded with Windows; it is the most widely used operating system in the world. With viruses, unlike their biological counterpart, are made by man. Normally viruses are made with a specific purpose in mind, to either collect information, wreck havoc on a computer or other reasons.

    Can Linux get viruses, yes, does that mean they have to use or install an anti-virus, no. Windows can get viruses, does that mean that they have to uses or install an anti-virus, no it doesn’t. Someone that practices safe surfing and knows better than to download files and click on Ad’s can have a computer and stay virus free, but it’s a chance.

    If Linux distributions became to where they were the world’s leading operating system, then more viruses would be made to attack those specific operating systems. Seeing how that there are viruses out there for both operating systems, I believe to be totally safe that both should have an anti-virus installed on their system.

    “I have 4+ word processor windows open working on papers, listen to music, play with flash desktop effects, have contact with a largely happy community and have firefox, instant messaging, and email clients all open at the same time, without ever having to had to beg someone for a code to make my os work, and without the system running so slow it is useless.”
    This lengthy mess of words is trying to describe multi tasking, and making claims that Ubuntu is able to multi-task better than windows. Linux distributions usually do use less ram for the operating system, but these claims that this performance is just due to the operating system itself that it will be able to out multi-task windows.

    What makes a computer is a series of hardware and the software to operate the hardware and what can make a large impact on how well the computer functions depends on some key parts, Processor, RAM, HDD data transfer rate, and even your internet speed. To prove my point I decided the best way to do so would be to test it out myself.
    I opened the following applications;

    Adobe Photoshop CS4,
    Adobe Dreamweaver CS4,
    Google Chrome,
    Microsoft One Note,
    Windows media player-playing Final Fantasy VII sound track,
    opened up a couple of folders in Windows Explorer,
    several windows of Microsoft Word,
    Xfire instant messenger,
    VLC media player-playing a movie,
    iTunes-syncing items to my iPod,
    AOL instant Messenger,
    Yahoo Messenger,
    Skype,
    Teamspeak-3,
    Internet Explorer,
    Mozilla Firefox,
    Dropbox,
    VMware-not running a VM,
    Microsoft Outlook,
    Avast Anti-virus,
    and Steam.

    With all these applications I found my ram just wasn’t filling up enough and that my processor wasn’t passing 20%, so I decided to do something that Linux can’t do natively, I opened up a video game and started playing ,Guild Wars. While the game added a lot more to my RAM and processor I found it just wasn’t enough, so I decided I would run two games at once along with all the previously mentioned applications.

    Launching Unreal Tournament 2004 I began playing that a bit and I noticed that my ram was just now hitting around the 75%% mark and my processor around 65%, I decided this would be more than enough proof that not only could I multitask better than if I were on Ubuntu, I was doing so without slowing down my computer or affecting any of my other applications. My computer specifications can be found on my Xfire profile at the bottom of the page, , and the screenshot can be found on my photobucket, http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/theimmortalmoo/see.png
    . And all this was done without having to “beg someone for a code to make my os work”.

    “Use almost any hardware and have a driver for it included with the operating system, eliminating the need to scour the internet to find the hardware manufacturer’s website to locate one.”

    While put very dramatically, one does not need to “scour” the internet for most hardware to work when using windows ever sense windows XP there has been countless drivers built into the operating system and most of which if the hardware’s drivers can be installed just from the firmware or what’s built into the system. With Windows 7 if you are unable to install the drivers for the software it has the ability to download the drivers for you, now with previous experience with Ubuntu I was unable to get my sound card or graphics card working correctly without having to go through some tutorials only to find that this was a outdated workaround to get the drivers installed and working correctly, and the drivers were not made for Linux from the distributors website.

    In closing I have found that this heretic of grammar and biased article was easy to find five issues that were able to be proven wrong, or find alternative solutions without having to have someone who wasn’t familiar with the operating system to go out of their way for solve.

  34. Consider me amused. The post is over two years old, has been viewed more than 15,000 times, still draws angry trolls, and I wrote it in ten minutes as a throwaway.

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