5 Differences Between Linux And Windows


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Are you an entirely new computer user who just bought a PC and had Microsoft Windows pre-installed on it? Seeking out what’s beyond the realm of Windows Operating System, exploring curiously what Linux is and how it is different from the former one that already came with your computer when you purchased it.

Or is it the other way around where Linux was the default Operating System on your computer? You are at the right place in either case, and I’ll be pointing out some major differences between the two.

5 Differences Between Linux And Windows

Naming new releases

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Remember Windows 8, 8.1 and the revamped Windows 10? That’s how Microsoft names its new versions of Windows. And Microsoft is the only company that makes Windows OS, while in Linux, different companies make Linux distributions.

Distro means distribution. Long story short, in 1993, Linus Torvalds released the first Linux kernel. Soon others thought they could write better computer Operating systems and made their own versions with the Linux kernel as the lowest basic component. They named it Slackware, Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, etc. This led to the birth of Linux distribution, and together they are referred to as Linux distros.

User Interface

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On Windows, everyone knows there is a panel at the bottom with the start menu. Then again, some Linux distros look similar to what Windows 7 looks like, while others imitate the famous Cupertino based OS X operating system.

Still yet, there is GNOME and some weird desktop environments that look entirely different and unique on their own. If you are a new user, I’d recommend trying out Linux Mint (for Windows users) or Elementary OS (for OS X users).

Antivirus & Security

Nerds say Linux is the most secure Operating System ever. Die-hard fans of Microsoft Windows says otherwise. Both sides get heat up, nobody wins. Both are susceptible to threats, virus attacks, ransomware, etc. Because the wise men out there say ‘popularity’.

However, Windows tends to be a major target because of its user base (popularity). Then again, Windows is also known for being bloated with un-needed drivers and library files. Read on below about why is that.


On Windows, the software can be packaged for XP, Vista, 7 or 8 etc. that way, a developer is not worried about what version of Windows OS a user is on. But that’s also the same reason why an outdated virus for Windows XP can infect newer versions of Windows 7, 8 and 10. On Linux, the software is packaged for specific distro releases, i.e. Linux Mint 17developers only package required dependencies for it and nothing more; that way, the software is not bloated with unnecessary drivers or library files.

Thus, downloading the VLC media player on Linux might be around 12 MB, while on Windows, it’s a staggering 30 MB+.

Gaming riots!

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While Linux is still catching up with gaming, Windows is a mature and the best platform for gamers- light, medium, heavy, whatever you name it.

So out here, Windows win in the gaming market, and you probably have made the right choice purchasing Windows in the first place if gaming was your top criteria. Also, there are lots of interesting games in the repositories for Linux too.


​Oh, and by the way, you must have realized that one of them is a paid license while the free license governs the other. So choosing which Operating System to install on your computer is entirely up to you. However, hobbyists and alike have done this “dual booting” which lets you keep both Windows and Linux side by side. Okay, time to wind up and let you do the exploring-the-horizon thing.