Windows vs. Linux

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 6:34 PM UTC

Ok, this is absolutely subjective. I don't want to get any comments to it like "but X is so cool because..." - no, I DON'T!

Over the past 25 years I experienced enough to say what's going on, what's really crap and what's cool. In this post I want to sum up everything I find annoying in Windows and why I love Linux - just because it works like a charm. Yes, this is a Windows-bash post. Wütend

Today it hit me again but with full impact. Windows is not an operating system because it isn't "operating" anything. It's just running, but not operating. Operating means: control the stuff that has to be controlled and let itself be controlled by a user (on different levels for sure). Windows is neither nor. It controls NOTHING, it just "works" somehow. It also does not allow me (the user) to control anything - it sometimes "allows" me to do "something". I'll give you some examples:

Updates

Well, this is the major part of what Windows is doing the whole day - checking for updates for leaks and vulnerabilites that occur EVERY week. Nice, but why the heck do I have to install them everytime? I set update management to "Just give me a wink, motherfucker, if anything is there" - but it just installs it automatically and forces me to reboot then. WTF? Downloading takes a huge bandwith and resources while I am working but Windows doesn't give a shit. The most safe way to prevent windows from doing this is to unplug your computer from the network. FAIL!

I had this on EVERY machine since I used Vista back years ago. Windows 7 and also Windows 8/8.1 does this. STOP IT!

The same in Linux: when I start a machine that runs Linux (regardless if it is Debian, Ubuntu, Mate or something else) I CAN update my system but I am not forced to do it. I get hints that there are updates available though, but if I don't want to react I can ignore it. But when I am willing to do so the update takes no longer than 2 minutes - if I do it regulary. Windows need at least 15 minutes just to download the whole crap. Well done, Linux. (0:1)

Temporary files

If you never did that then please do it NOW: Windows collects temporary files everywhere on your primary harddrive. To remove all the crap right click on your C drive, properties and select "Cleanup". After a while you can select several types of data that you can remove without any worries. It's just temporary bullshit that was collected over the past months or even years. You can free several GB of memory on your hard disk that way. I just "free'd" about 6GB on my girlfriend's hard drive.

Linux (at least Debian-based systems) does it differently: the one and only place to store TEMPORARY stuff is the /tmp folder. This folder is cleaned up at every startup - no worries, no manual cleanups. Well done, Linux. (0:2)

Disk operations

Windows is the only OS I know that "prepares" files for deletion. What the fuck you are doing to these files when I want to remove them completely? Same with copying files: Windows "prepares" files to copy them to another drive, a USB stick or to the network. JUST COPY THEM, dude! NTFS isn't even a journaling file system like ext3 or ext4 is. With those filesystems changes and even deletions are recorded as a transaction to be undone later. NTFS doesn't allow these actions at all.

As an alternative for the built-in Windows copy-thingy I strongly recommend "TeraCopy". It replaces the Windows copy and also allows you to continue if anything went wrong with a single file.

Installation, Software, Packages

The latter is unknown to Windows - packages are maybe a term that Microsoft uses for internal purposes but not for me, the end user. Packages are for installing a program, a tool or a library - with all needed dependencies. It's also a well known term for Java developers who use Maven or web developers who use Bower. If I try to install a program on Windows that needs a .NET xx shit to run I have to care about where to get the installer for that - and so on.

If I install a package in Linux the package manager is able to resolve all dependencies in MOST CASES - not always, for sure. Example: I just installed the Spotify client to my Ubuntu. One lib was mssing. ONE google later I had the answer and it runs. The support you get in both worlds is another topic for later. (0:3)

Hardware, USB, Printer sharing

Do you remember when Bill Gates wanted to show the so called "hot plug" capabilities in Windows 95 when he connected a scanner to a Win95 PC? No? What "the world" saw was a BSOD Lachend

Microsoft never solved the USB problem. Just try for yourself: unplug your mouse from your computer an re-plug it again in a different USB port - Windows will freak out and installs "new hardware" - just because the HID changed. Well... hmm.

The thing that annoyed me the most is the "sharing" thing. You can easily share "everything" in Windows, even in the "Home" flavors - but printers seem to be "rocket science". Of course you can share a printer that is connected to your PC with just a few clicks but you cannot USE it on another machine, that connects to the PC that the printer is sharing. Try for yourself - it won't even work if the printer is connected to a Linux machine. No chance. No communication. I tried several setups. It's not a network printer, just USB on a local resource. Sharing won't work. (0:4)

Windows in the network

What a pity! If you run a network that's not based on Windows software you will face problems to connect with other machines and shared hardware. I tried to run a printer on a Linux driven Raspberry Pi. I can print from a Linux OS but not from Windows. Also: network performance is something Windows has issues with. If I try to access a network resource from a Windows machine it takes up to 2 minutes for the OS to tell me that the resource is not available. The same from a Linux machine: several seconds. (0:5)

Logs and events

When something weird occurs on my Linux system I can later read log entries, kernel logs and other dumps that were created. If you try this with the so called "event logs" in Windows you will be lucky if the log reader itself won't crash during the filtering. During the past days I'd like to rely on any message in the Windows logs due to problems - but no suspect entries were recorded at all. Hmm what could I then tell the support?

Support

A good one! The only reliable support you can get is from MSDN itself - other sources turned out to be "trolled". There is no "the" place for Linux users at all but the results after a simple google speak for itself. Just another subjective one. By the way: did you ever try to activate a MS software by phone? Rollend lachend

The last one I tried was MS Office. It took me 20 minutes and several key codes (2x about 20 digits) to note and type. Well, that's why so many people use cracks, keygens and pirated software. (1:6)

Conclusion

I am happy to run a host system with Linux. When I have to use Windows to run my IBM Notes/Designer stuff I start my VM at the moment. I know at lot of people who do the same on MacOS. Windows 10 is around the corner - and I know I don't want it. I usually run a laptop with Windows 8.1 Pro and it's fast. Due to crashes I have to send it in - no logs told me what was going wrong here. What a pitty!

As you can see Linux won - at least for me (1:6)






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