Difference between Linux and Windows Operating System

In this article, we will learn the actual difference between Linux and Windows operating system. Before moving with these concepts, let us first understand what is an operating system with its functionality.

Firstly, let us discuss an example here

Consider or imagine a business transaction taking place where the operating system (OS) is in the middle person of this deal. This transaction is the movement of your cursor which allows you to open a web browser or word document with a single click. All the task is done behind the curtains by the operating system installed in your computer. You might have understood that without an operating system computer is of no use to us. OS is called the heart of the computer.

Looking at the Definition of OS: Operating System acts as an interface between the hardware components and the user. It manages all the hardware and the software and computer processes. It has all the records of which program needs what and how much time to be scheduled for the execution of a particular program.

Nowadays, every computer system needs at least one operating system to be installed. Windows, Linux, Apple’s macOS, Chrome OS, are some of the examples of operating systems used.

We will discuss the two most commonly used operating systems called Linux and Windows. Let us see the actual difference between Linux and Windows operating system.

Linux vs Windows – Comparison Table

Here are the key differences between Linux and Windows operating system.

Linux Windows
Linux is an open-source operating system where users can access the source code and modify it accordingly Windows is a licensed operating system. Users have no access to the source code and cannot modify it.
This operating system is free of cost This operating system is a bit costly
It has numerous options for customization It has fewer options for customization
The file name is case-sensitive. The file name is case insensitive.
It has no partition (drives) to store files It has different drives like C, D, E, to store data and files
It uses the monolithic type of kernel It uses the micro type of kernel
The path separator is denoted by a forward slash (/) The path separator is denoted by a backward slash (\)
It is more efficient, reliable, and secure to use It is less efficient, reliable, and secure as compared to Linux
Software updations are easy, free, and takes less time to install Software updations are a bit hectic sometimes and take heavy time to install an update

These were the key differences between Linux and Windows. Now let us discuss each of them individually.

What is Linux operating system?

Linux is the free and open-source operating system that was created in September 1991. It was developed by Linus Torvalds and the community. It is based on Unix standards and provides programming as well as user interfaces. Linux OS has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) along with some useful software that is used daily. Here, there is no such concept of drives as we use in the Windows operating system. We use files for almost everything. Also, directories are used as files, hardware devices like the mouse, printers, keyboards are also files. Linux consists of 3 types of users, namely, Regular, Administrative (root), and Service.

  • Regular User: You can be a regular user when you install this OS on your system. You won’t have access to other user’s accounts.
  • Administrative User: At the time of installation another account called root user is created. This user has access to all the files and directories without any restriction for modification.
  • Service User: Linux has wide applications as Server Operating System. Differents services are provided through this platform.

To sum up, Linux is a compatible, free, secure, and efficient Operating System.

Now, let us discuss Windows Operating System.

What is Windows operating system?

Windows OS called Microsoft Windows was developed and marketed by Microsoft Corporation. It was introduced in November 1985 as the first version of Windows, “Windows 1.0”. Later on, the versions for personal computers came into existence. Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows VISTA, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, are some of the versions of Microsoft Windows. It mostly comes with PCs and server versions. It is available in 138 languages for 32 and 64-bit compatibility.

Windows has a rich extend of Graphical User Interface (GUI) and it is user-friendly to technical as well as the non-technical user. Windows setup is easy and takes fewer user inputs while installing. As this OS is owned by a giant corporation, its support is trusted and reliable.

Nowadays, both these operating systems are ruling all over. We can’t make up that one OS is better than the other. Both have their pros and cons. Both are used according to the need of the user. We just have to brush our knowledge and get updated with what they provide. Hope you found this article useful and interesting!

Shraddha Changune
SVKM’s Institute of Technology, Dhule


1. https://www.guru99.com/linux-differences.html
2. https://www.javatpoint.com/linux-vs-windows
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows#Early_versions
4. https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/computerbasics/understanding-operating-systems/1/

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