More Myths and Misinformation about Windows and Linux

There is A LOT of misinformation people spread on the Internet about both Windows and Linux! I am not sure why this almost always happens when a discussion comes up about Windows and Linux, but it is annoying.

This blog post is a response to the WebHostingTalk post #16 (located here: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpost.php?p=6174761&postcount=16). I mean no disrespect to the author of this forum post on WebHostingTalk with my replies to his post.

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Ok. My responses are in purple and direct quotes from the forum post are in red.

– More efficient

In general Linux as an operating system uses a “lot” less resources to run, has a lot less BG processors running, and doesn’t have a gui.

Really the bare-minimum RAM one can really use Linux effectively with (on a workstation/server) is 512 MB. Windows really can’t have any less than 1 GB as its bare-minimum. However in this day and age with cheap RAM for computers, this is not really a problem.

Also, there are many Linux users (mainly Ubuntu/Linux Mint) who use a GUI for their Linux desktops.

One of windows key faults is that you need to speed up the kernel if you want it to have a steady tickrate as opposed to Linux which will run a steady tickrate without any alterations to the kernel.
There is also no need to restart a Linux server like you need to do with windows servers because it doesn’t get memory leaks like windows.

Windows works fine for the majority of people the way it is (that goes for games, video capturing and editing, word processing, web server, e-mail server, DNS server, database servers (MySQL, MS-SQL server, etc.), radio station server, controlling robotic machinery, etc.)  With all due respect, you need to show a source (from a reliable source) for this statement, not just saying it is so.

How do you know that the memory leaks are not being caused by faulty/poorly written software? How do you know that Windows is even rebooting because of a memory leak? How do you know that you do not just have bad memory?

The need defrag a Linux hdd doesn’t exist either as opposed to windows. 

Uh…fragmentation happens on ANY file-system. It is a classic ordering problem. When you delete files (on any file-system, NTFS, ext4, ext3, UFS, FAT32, FAT, ZFS, etc.), you leave gaps in the file-system.

These gaps will be filled with other files, but you will also have files before and after the new file. So when the computer goes to access the data, it has to sift though all of the data to find the bits and pieces it needs to complete the task.

Some will also argue (and I tend to agree) that linux handles running more processes at once than what windows can. You find that reliability decreases when more processors are running. 

Not true. How can Linux handle more processes at once than Windows? A process takes up CPU time, RAM, and hard drive space and I/O. It is the same computer whether it runs Linux or Windows.

– Caches better
AFAIK windows kernel doesn’t cache and most game server programs don’t cache any map or material files which can lead to much larger load time. It Doesn’t affect performance that much however it is nice not waiting half an hour just to join a server :p

False. The Windows kernel does cache.

Look here: http://blog.computerlagoon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/WindowsKernel-CacheManager-201471311482639.pdf

– Better game play.
This is pure my personal opinion however I personally enjoy playing on a Linux server a lot more than windows. This is mostly due to the fact that I believe that the server runs better on Linux than windows and which leads to better rego.

How does the server run better on Linux than Windows? I have hosted a game server on Windows with no problems that were the fault of Windows.

– More secure (unless you’re an idiot)
Well I believe that Linux is more secure than windows because it’s normally customers who exploit server. 

It does not have to be your customers who exploit your server. As long as you have ANYTHING Internet facing, you are at risk of being hacked.

They do this via ftp or some form of access that’s given to them. Most customers run windows on their home computer and are familiar to it (as opposed to Linux which is foreign to them) so they are able to exploit it a lot easier than if it was Linux. Windows is also a lot more prone to getting viruses etc.

Most home Windows users would not know where to even start when it comes to hacking a computer (Windows or Linux). How do you know that your customers do not know anything about Linux? How would home Windows users be able to exploit Windows faster than Linux?

Yes, Windows does have more malware, but that does not mean that Windows is easier to infect, nor that you will be infected when using Windows. Most viruses today get on computers because the user accidentally got one from somewhere, not that it just happened to get on the system from the Internet (without user involvement).

IIRC you could also get plug-ins for windows servers which would exploit the server etc. 

What do you mean?

– Much much much much more stable
As an operating system Linux is much more stable than windows, I found I got better uptime on linux servers compared to windows. 

How is Linux “more stable” than Windows? In my opinion, 99% of crashes on Windows are due to faulty hardware and/or drivers. However, both Windows (NT family) and Linux are stable operating systems, when using good, stable hardware and good, stable drivers.

Linux server can run for months on end and when updating a linux server there is no need to restart it as opposed to windows which generally needs a reboot when you update it.

Windows requires a reboot after updates to make sure that all the updated files that are used by the system and user-installed programs are using the newly updated files.

Let me explain. When you load a program, all of the required / critical files associated with that program get loaded into memory (e.g. DLL files). Now when you update certain files that are being used by other programs, you have updated those files, but the computer memory still retains the older version of those files you updated. The programs will not re-cache the newer files into memory, until the programs have been restarted.

Microsoft just opted to force the user to reboot, so security, stability, and performance updates are actually applied, and not just lying dormant until the user happens to reboot the computer. Of course, any program that is not currently running, or a program that you manually restart, will then use the updated files automatically.

Also Linux has the same problem. When you update files on Linux (e.g. library files), the processes that are running that make use of those updated files will need to be restarted.

However since it would be difficult to know which processes need to be restarted after a Linux update, it is technically best to just go ahead and reboot the Linux server as well.

You can go here (http://www.howtogeek.com/182817/htg-explains-why-does-windows-want-to-reboot-so-often/) and look under the section entitled “What About Linux and Other Operating Systems?”.

You also find that windows tends to have “random” crashes or its programs stop responding compared to linux which is rarely ever happens.

You will find that in 99%+ cases, this is due to bad hardware and/or drivers. This goes for both Windows and Linux.

– Less ram errors.
As someone above posted it might have been due to the hardware, however when I swapped to Linux I no longer had ram errors, so even thou I may not have been using “quality ram” Linux was able to handle it w/o any issues, and when you’re running game servers you want fastest ram possible, and it is very hard to find high speed ECC Ram (well at least it is in Australia. However looking at Newegg they don’t seem to have 1066 ECC ram if it’s even available.) And I would always choose high speed ram over ECC. I also found that windows seemed to get ram leaks which would clogs up the ram.
There are also disadvantages to hosting on linux as some functions do not work, however in overall performance I believe it outperforms 

Since Linux uses less RAM, you are not hitting the bad spots on your RAM sticks. Switching to Linux DOES NOT solve bad RAM hardware problems! You need to test your RAM with software such as MemTest86+

Another guy on WebHostingTalk (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpost.php?s=197e5f374bf0d33a54291ae1700e6f1a&p=4307417&postcount=21) switched from Windows to Linux to fix his problem(s) he was having with his machine not being stable. Later on, he admitted that switching to Linux did NOT solve his problem!

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I really hope people stop spreading misinformation about Windows and Linux on the Internet. I know this will never happen, but this really has to stop. Someone will read bad info on Windows and Linux, and make an ill-informed decision, and this could cause problems that they might have avoided.


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems