In what way is Linux superior to Vista?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Eice, Feb 26, 2009.

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  1. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    This is assuming you have the hardware specs to run Vista comfortably. On older machines Linux wins, no contest, because Vista has difficulty even running in the first place. But what if you have a machine that comfortably does everything you need? What advantages does Linux offer here?

    By advantages, I mean things that matter in the long run for daily usage. E.g. the fact that Linux installation takes half the time Vista does (15 vs 30 minutes) is an advantage, no doubt, but one that doesn't really matter unless you install Linux every day. Or that Linux gives you "choice". Yes, that's an advantage as well, but... meh.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Depends on what is your expectations of superior, Linux will never be Windows and thats the advantage of using Linux.
     
  3. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    [The egg came first] - I doubt most people care which is this or that, they go with what satisfies their fundamental needs, plain and simple.
     
  4. Ade 1

    Ade 1 Registered Member

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    Depends are what you've been brought up with. Me - I know nothing about other OS outside of Windows - I don't even know what Linux offers over Windows and have no interest in finding out. I suspect the vast majority of PC users are in the same boat as me.
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I could rant for an hour or two about differences ... but I won't.
    Furthermore, the superiority really depends on what you need and want. For example, games = Windows wins, performance = Linux wins etc.

    But there's one thing I can think of that really transcends all definitions of superiority and personal usage patterns:

    Total control of the OS.

    While you can argue security, usability, CLI versus GUI, crashes, support, stability, applications etc, you cannot argue the simple fact that you can tamper with Linux kernel easily and deeply, while this is not as simple in Windows.

    Linux truly allows you to play with every single aspect of your OS.

    One day, when I can be arsed, I might explain the few subtle differences that I think are the winning points of Linux. That said, I think that MS also has its strong sides, whatever the fanatics may tell you.

    The OS does not have to be good; it just has to be good enough so that people will use it. For masses who have no clue what the box they are using does, Windows is just a name, the same way Europium is an element on the periodic table, y'know one of them, without having the slightest idea whatit does.

    In that regard, MS created something that is perceived a standard today, when it comes to how things should look and work. I think GUI is difficult and right-click is not intuitive, but so isn't the driving on the left side, yet the Brits do it, cause they've been doing it forever.

    But massive support MS enjoys in the industry makes it simple for the common man to relate to, then you have the games and long term support and rather good standards - in regard to MS itself, not talking about compliance with real world. But one MS pretty much looks another MS. This helps the common man recognize his favorite OS, just the same way you can tell Coca Cola, no matter where you live (almost).

    But when you analyze the work model of the NIX-based system, perfected these last 40 years, it's really hard to beat the modularity and simplicity. But more about that later ...

    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  6. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    I am not familiar with Vista yet, but find XP rather maintenance intensive
    compared to Linux (Ubuntu). All those patches and other program updates,
    complicated firewalls, sandboxing and virtualisation, and the frequent
    reboots are quite time consuming. To keep XP clean and fast booting means
    more utilities .. page defrag, regcleaner(s), defragmenter, temp file cleaners
    etc. etc. Apart from the maintenance stuff, XP is not bad at all -
    better multimedia support for one. (Security is another story).
    Acid test is my wife - happy as punch with Ubuntu and needs no (or very little)
    advice from me. This wasn't the case with XP. I was begged to wipe Vista from
    her new Dell laptop !
    I will soon be forking out for a desktop replacement laptop myself and really
    don't know what I should do - they all come with Vista preinstalled and
    Windows 7 will probably be out sometime December. Maybe I should hold
    off until then. I like CentOS but the 18 kernel seems to be only compatible
    with older machines - otherwise there may be hardware problems.

    Regards
     
  7. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    I don't agree, lets keep both OS (and programs) fully updated....I'm willing to bet good $$$ that you can do 1 year worth of updates in XP and it would be less than 7 months updates in Ubuntu. Never mind Ubuntu's 6 month release cycle (700+mb update)....I'll include Ubuntu's LTS version.......;)

    XP's default firewall is every bit as good/easy as Ubuntu's.

    I don't use Vista so I wouldn't know :D
     
  8. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Yes, lets get the OS and those programs updated:
    apt-get update
    apt-get dist-upgrade
    Lets update to Squeeze, like i did; change lenny for squeeze (or keep testing in there..) in /etc/apt/sources.list , and
    apt-get update
    apt-get dist-upgrade
    phew!

    Well gee wiz, some packages are not needed.
    apt-get autoremove
    Some installers might still be around
    apt-get clean

    Or even easier (i wish i knew before):
    Use recommended aptitude. Just don't use both.
    Some place wajig in that famous 'sliced bread' sentence, however this poster didn't try it.

    The above expects Debian, this poster does not know Ubuntu's reliability for upgrades. :)
    This poster observes the exact same performance when he first installed the system. However he changed from stable to testing, sacrificing the fine security support for more up-to-date programs.

    :D
     
  9. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Because there is so much malware/spyware written for specifically Windows
    OS's, I feel that one needs a firewall with at least some HIPS support, or at
    least something like Sandboxie/Returnil.
    I don't do Automatic Updates in Windows, preferring to just be notified. Then I
    go to the Microsoft Download Centre and save what I need/want to a folder
    on my HD from where I install. ( Eg. I didn't want SP3 or .Net v.3).
    I choose to do things this way and realise that using Automatic Updates would
    be more convenient.
    With Ubuntu I just let the update manager do everything. Reboots only if a new
    kernel is installed. Nice and easy. :) ..and fast.
     
  10. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    I couldn't count the ways. But the greatest advantage is that it isn't MS. Anything that helps break MS's strangle hold on the computer industry, is very worthy of all the support it can get.
     
  11. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    To keep it simple, I would say Linux has the (huge) advantage of not being a malware/virus target like Windows or Vista is. For any members of this forum, that should be a major plus, and for every user as a matter of fact.

    I also feel that Linux has a quite noticeable performance edge over Win, particularly over Vista.

    And as Mrk mentions, you have more direct control over the OS and it's configuration in Linux, which for us is good, but perhaps not as important for others.

    If you are looking to make a choice between the two (Linux vs Vista), I would recommend trying plenty of Linux distros till you find the one you like best, then compare the two, and then just ask yourself which you want to use on a daily basis, Vista or Linux? Then go with your gut feeling.... :thumb:
     
  12. bktII

    bktII Registered Member

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    This is important. For Debian and Debian-based distros (e.g., Ubuntu), there are over 15K packages available to download and install. One-stop "shopping". And they are free. Most home users will not need to go outside of the distro for additional packages. Thus, keeping current with patches is much easier with Linux. This is even true for Java now (depending on the distro, used to be more difficult than Windows).
     
  13. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Yery well said, Ocky. One important aspect that you didn't emphasize enough is the fact that you get security updates for your applications via the repositories automatically. Under Windows it's you who has to care about them. A buffer overflow in one of your apps? No problem - you can bet that you'll get an update via the repositiories one or two days later. No Secunia PSI, Sumo and the like needed to monitor all your installed applications. Take the recent vulnerabilities in the Adobe products as an example - I bet that at least 80% of all Windows users won't update them as they don't know anything about them. This can't happen under Linux. As you rightly said, maintenance is much easier compared to Windows.
     
  14. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    As coincidence would have it, Ubuntu's repositories happen to be one of the biggest issues I have with it.

    The software in the repos are NOT up-to-date. Three weeks after my Ubuntu install, I was still hunting down pieces of unupdated software on my PC. Save for Firefox, almost every program was an old version, even though the Update Manager reports no new updates. Even worse, programs that would otherwise automatically check for updates now cannot do so, because they're tied to the Update Manager. Firefox, OpenOffice and Virtualbox, for instance, could check for updates and notify me when I was using Windows, but under Ubuntu their auto-update abilities are completely grayed out and inactive. Now I'm even wondering if Firefox is checking for extension updates...

    Call it what you want, but an update system that forces you to use old versions of software is not better than Windows', not by a long shot. Maintenance is not much easier; it's just that the "No updates found!" message lulls you into a false sense of security if you don't take a further peek.
     
  15. Arup

    Arup Guest

    The automatic update from the repos of all the software installed makes Linux install a breeze, not only that, all the drivers are in the repos or kernel as well. In Windows, the biggest pain is re-installing every driver, software and then of course, remmebering to update them.
     
  16. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Eice, old versions get security updates too.
     
  17. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Are you aware that Ubuntu only releases minor and security updates between versions ?

    This means that as Open Office 3 release slipped, they could not get it tested and included in time for Intrepid, so it will have to wait until April for the next version of Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu may not be bleeding Edge like Gentoo or Arch in getting software out as soon as its released, it may not be quite as up to date as Fedora, but they (and Debian) put good attention to stability and security. Another factor in delays is that Debian/Ubuntu quite often patch software for better integration/installation (quite common to split an up stream package up) and they tend to additional effort into security and stability (For example upstream might have a different definition of stable to Ubuntu).

    Really depends what you want but you can always enable proposed, backports or even run Beta versions.
    I actually use a few PPAs to download newer versions of software (for Open Office 3 and Liferea).

    IMO - Having tried Gentoo/Arch they simply require too much Baby-sitting for a machine that you need to do work with. 6 month release cycle is a good compromise between uptodate-ness and amount of time required to maintain the system.

    Cheers, Nick
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  18. Arup

    Arup Guest

    One of the reasons of Ubuntu's mercurial rise is the Just Works concept and it manages to do so by keeping itself stable with minimal issues. Motto of Ubuntu is, if it works, dont bother with it and they are right. If you are into latest stuff for Ubuntu, there is plenty of ppa and of course getdeb which has all the latest. By the way, the OO3 from Launchpad works and updates fine on Ubuntu.
     
  19. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    You are confusing having the latest versions of apps, which are often UNstable, with getting fast updates to security flaws. The repos don't get the latest versions of apps because they haven't been proven stable. This is a good thing. You might want the "latest and greatest," but most people would prefer stability.
     
  20. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    I am now. Someone on the Ubuntu forums kindly explained to me the difference between stepped vs rolling release distros, and after that I spent quite a few days trying to fully update the apps on my system.

    But to me it sounds amazing that the Ubuntu devs distrust other software devs so much that they insist on baby-sitting their entire userbase and personally testing each piece of software before uploading it to the repos. Now I wouldn't have any objections against this, if only they didn't wait six months between each update. Okay, so OOo 3 didn't make it in time for Intrepid. That's cool, I can live with that. But why is six months necessary for whatever testing the devs need to do? Does OOo produce such buggy software that we need a six-month testing period after the stable release?

    Even with a convoluted (and dare I say bloated?) OS like Vista with its loads of interdependent components, and gigantic software packages like Office 2007 and Windows Live programs, my Vista laptop is humming along just fine. It just astounds me to think that the Ubuntu devs are worried that pushing OOo 3 and Pidgin 2.5.5 to the repos is going to crash my system. Yes, I managed to update my Ubuntu programs manually, but it was time-consuming, troublesome, and in theory I lose the benefit of auto-updates from the repos. I say "in theory", because in practise I had to do the work myself even though Update Manager was turned on.
     
  21. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Its not distrust, the software developers make software to run on many different distros and OSes you cant expect them to be experts in making the software run the best on everything.
    Who else is going to test that that the piece of software will integrate (including required repackaging) , not conflict with the rest of the system ?

    Because there's lots of packages and not enough people to make the process any faster (plus some time is needing to decide on next release and test upgrade of release and test updates to existing release).

    In Windows there are many many many reports of people installing software which causes machines to crash, run slow, cause glitches, require reinstalling, full of viruses etc etc - Ubuntu and other Linux distros go to this effort to minimise these problems. Yes Vista and XP can hum along nicely for a lot of people, but there's also a lot of people who report problems and I bet the proportion of them is higher than with any main stream Linux Distro.
     
  22. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Oh really? It's amazing that security updates are pushed to the repos so quickly, then. Don't those need testing as well?

    Actually, I can. That's the way things are on my Vista laptop. I not only expect them to be, I demand it of them.

    And you know what? The thing is, that's how it is for the majority of Linux programs, too. I find it hard to believe that Linux programmers are more sloppy than Windows programmers. If Windows software vendors can manage that, then surely so can Linux devs. And they do. They beta-test their open-source products extensively, and release frequent updates to fix problems and add features. But unfortunately the Ubuntu devs decide to stopper us to only one update per six months; a very unhealthy and unnecessary dose of paranoia on their part.

    I believe that software packages made their way into the repos because they fulfilled a minimum baseline of quality. That is a wise move, and already by itself a very sufficient one. There is no further necessity to subject every single minor update to a six-month period of scrutiny. The Ubuntu devs themselves should participate more extensively during third-party software betas, if they're really so concerned, instead of tacking another half-year wait after a product that has already undergone testing is marked as a stable release.
     
  23. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    For me the main advantages of Linux are:
    • Cost - Ubuntu is free; Vista is over $200
    • Install Ease - I backup Vista. Ubuntu I simply reinstall.
    • Configuration Ease - Night and Day difference
     
  24. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Just add the

    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu intrepid main

    repository to your sources.list and you'll get OO3.
     
  25. tlu

    tlu Guest

    You have to understand that the Windows and Linux "infrastructure" (or whatever we might call it) is not comparable. For Windows, there are thousands of software vendors which produce applications completely independent from Microsoft. Let's say, a new version of OpenOffice wouldn't run smoothly under Windows. Would you send a complaint to Microsoft? Probably not. Their answer would be: "Why did you chose OO in the first place? You should have taken our own office suite. We take no responsibility for 3rd party software" - and rightly so. Under Linux, however, it's ultimately the responsibility of the maintainer of your distribution to make sure that packages you find in the repositories work as they should - otherwise they shouldn't have been added. That's a completely different situation than under Windows. Under Windows the normal situation is like instaling a Linux software which is not in the repositiories - it's your own risk in both cases.

    As Nick already said, it's more important to provide security patches to existing software than always lust after the newest versions.
     
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