Response to “101 reasons why Linux is better than Windows” – Part 4

This is a response (Part 4) to the web blog entitled “101 reasons why Linux is better than Windows”(http://cityblogger.com/archives/2007/01/24/101-reasons-why-linux-is-better-than-windows/)”. The author tries to discredit Windows by giving many reasons why Linux is “better”.

I will do my best to show how this is not the case. Operating systems are just tools. If you try to make one OS look “better” than another, you could possibly lead people into the wrong direction. Please note that the author has not written all 101 reasons on his blog. It appears he stopped writing it a while back. I will respond to everything he has currently written.

Direct quotes from the author are in red and my responses are in black.  Please note that I mean no disrespect to the author in anything I say.

Click here for Part 5!

Click here for Part 3!

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31) Unlike Windows, Linux doesn’t use registry. Most of the configuration is stored in plain text files, which are easy to manage/backup and transfer between systems. Registry is a pain to manage, very complex and your system configuration is stored in a proprietary format which needs special tools to open. The biggest pain with registry is when it gets corrupted, this problem is eliminated in Linux because it doesn’t use registry.

The Windows registry is a convenient way to store application data. The Windows registry is also capable of ACL (Access Control List) permissions, which means that you can fine-grain the registry’s security if you wanted to (this can be great for large companies who want to lock-down their computer systems). A lot of Windows applications, however, store their configuration information (settings for a video game, for example) within their own file formats, not the registry.

Also, the Windows registry has never become corrupt for me ever (I have used Windows for over 20 years).  I think there is this idea that the Windows registry can “just suddenly become corrupt”, and people just incorrectly assume this is an inherent problem with the Windows registry.

32) Linux is the most documented operating systems and most of these documentations are available for free. These documents are well written and explain computing concepts too.

Source to verify this? There are many websites for both Windows and Linux that contain information for these operating systems.

33) Linux has more wider support from online forums, articles and most importantly the community. There are Linux Users groups is almost every country, city and small towns as well.

Not really. The amount of online support for Windows and Linux are about the same.

34) Linux community is cool :) they provide unconditional support and help you get started. Once you get involved into it, its like one huge family.

In my experience, a lot of Linux users feel elite and superior about using Linux (of course, not all Linux users are this way). There is nothing wrong with liking or disliking an OS, but please do not exaggerate “facts” about Linux just to get people to switch to an OS that has no real support outside of a few companies and community boards.

35) Linux runs on older hardware too, you don’t need to the latest and the greatest hardware. Even if you can’t run all the latest applications on your old hardware, using Linux, you can always put it to some good use.

True, Linux can work well on older computer systems. However I would argue that if somebody was going to do serious work with their computer system, they would already have a fast system, and not be using a 1999 desktop that may give out at any moment. 😊

36) No more hardware upgrades: Linux runs happily on older hardware and the hardware requirements don’t increase with every new version. If you have really old computers like Pentium I/III, you can still convert them to thin clients using LTSP and still use them. If you compare the hardware requirements between Ubuntu and Windows, you would notice that Ubuntu’s hardware requirements hasn’t changed for many versions.

[See answer I have above (#35).]

37) Completely localized: As there is a strong community and the source code is available, Linux is localized into almost every language in the world. You can further customize it for your needs, you can easily do that.

Windows is not just restricted to the English language. Windows supports more than one language.

38) Excellent package management: Linux has excellent package management tools which makes it easy to install and upgrade applications.

The software repositories will not necessarily have all the software that you need. Also, what if you installed something via RPM or DEB manually (compiled from source or not)? How would you get the package manager to automatically update the manually installed software?

39) Easy upgrade: Most Linux distributions makes it very easy to upgrade from one version to another.

While upgrading to another Linux OS version (without doing a fresh re-install) seems like a nice feature, it has some risks such as:

  1. Software may break after the upgrade due to OS level changes (e.g. incompatibility with the upgraded Linux OS).
  2. Upgrade may not finish correctly and you are left with a broken OS.
  3. Certain hardware may malfunction, due to changes from the upgrade.

Nothing may ever happen, but I recommend to always re-install an OS when upgrading, not just “upgrade directly to the new version available”. Remember to make a backup of your files first before upgrading!

40) Excellent Development platform: If you are a developer, you will like Linux. Linux has all the development tools, libraries and compilers built in. If you are Java developer or a Web developer using PHP/Perl/Rub or doing C,C++ development, you will feel at home.

Technically Linux itself (which is just the kernel, not the whole OS) does not have all the developments libraries, compilers, etc. built-in. You (or the Linux OS installer that you use when your first installed the Linux distribution) installs these tools.

Also, all the programming languages you mentioned can also be used with Windows.

I have done a little web development on Linux but just did not like it. I preferred to use Windows. Windows seemed more “natural” to me for web development. Of course, that is just me. You may have a different opinion on the matter.

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Well this is the end of Part 4!  Click here for Part 5!

Click here for Part 3!


Posted in Internet and Servers, Operating Systems