Linux Kernel Vs. Windows

i want to know what makes linux based os different from windows ...also i will be studying unix next i wanted to knw whats the difference between unix and linux???


  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare
    i want to know what makes linux based os different from windows ...also i will be studying unix next i wanted to knw whats the difference between unix and linux???
    They are totally different operating system; everything is just totally different?
  • silverscorpion
    Linux is a clone of Unix, in the sense that the Linux kernel is based on Unix.

  • silverscorpion
    If you want to know how Linux and Windows are different, that is easy.

    Just about everything, right from file systems used to the way of handling files and directories, is different in both the OS's.
  • PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    Linux vs. Windows: Flavors

    Both Windows and Linux come in many flavors. All the flavors of Windows come from Microsoft, the various distributions of Linux come from different companies (i.e. Linspire, Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu, Xandros, Knoppix, Slackware, Lycoris, etc. ).

    Windows has two main lines. The older flavors are referred to as "Win9x" and consist of Windows 95, 98, 98SE and Me. The newer flavors are referred to as "NT class" and consist of Windows NT3, NT4, 2000, XP and Vista. Going back in time, Windows 3.x preceded Windows 95 by a few years. And before that, there were earlier versons of Windows, but they were not popular. Microsoft no longer supports Windows NT3, NT4, all the 9x versions and of course anything older. Support for Windows 2000 is partial (as of April 2007).

    The flavors of Linux are referred to as distributions (often shortened to "distros"). All the Linux distributions released around the same time frame will use the same kernel (the guts of the Operating System). They differ in the add-on software provided, GUI, install process, price, documentation and technical support. Both Linux and Windows come in desktop and server editions.

    There may be too many distributions of Linux, it's possible that this is hurting Linux in the marketplace. It could be that the lack of a Linux distro from a major computer company is also hurting it in the marketplace. IBM is a big Linux backer but does not have their own branded distribution. Currently there seem to be many nice things said about the Ubuntu distribution.

    Linux is customizable in a way that Windows is not. For one, the user interface, while similar in concept, varies in detail from distribution to distribution. For example, the task bar may default to being on the top or the bottom. Also, there are many special purpose versions of Linux above and beyond the full blown distributions described above. For example, NASLite is a version of Linux that runs off a single floppy disk (since revised to also boot from a CD) and converts an old computer into a file server. This ultra small edition of Linux is capable of networking, file sharing and being a web server.
  • PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    Graphical User Interface

    Both Linux and Windows provide a GUI and a command line interface. The Windows GUI has changed from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 (drastically) to Windows 2000 (slightly) to Windows XP (fairly large) and is slated to change again with the next version of Windows, the one that will replace XP. Windows XP has a themes feature that offers some customization of the look and feel of the GUI.

    Linux typically provides two GUIs, KDE and Gnome. See a screen shot of Lycoris and Lindows in action from the Wal-Mart web site. The web site has examples of many substantially different Linux GUIs. Of the major Linux distributions, Lindows has made their user interface look more like Windows than the others. Here is a screen shot of Linux made to look like Windows XP. Then too, there is XPde for Linux which really makes Linux look like Windows. Quoting their web site "It's a desktop environment (XPde) and a window manager (XPwm) for Linux. It tries to make easier for Windows XP users to use a Linux box."

    The Linux GUI is optional while the Windows GUI is an integral component of the OS. He says that speed, efficiency and reliability are all increased by running a server instance of Linux without a GUI, something that server versions of Windows can not do. In the same article he points out that the detached nature of the Linux GUI makes remote control and remote administration of a Linux computer simpler and more natural than a Windows computer.
  • PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    File Systems

    Windows uses FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and/or NTFS with NTFS almost always being the best choice. The FATx file systems are older and have assorted limitations on file and partition size that make them problematical in the current environment. Linux also has a number of its own native file systems. The default file system for Linux used to be ext2, now it is typically ext3. Other supported file systems includes XFS, JFS, JFFS and Reiser3. Reiser4 is in development.

    The ext3 file system is being replaced by ext4. Among the improvements in ext4 is an increase in the maximum filesystem size from 16 terabytes in ext3 to one exabyte. The largest file in ext3 is 2 terabytes, in ext4 it is 16 terabytes. OpenSolaris includes ZFS which seems like a drastic change in file system design.

    File systems can be either journaled or not. Non-journaled systems are subject to problems when stopped abruptly. All the FAT variants and ext2 are non-journaled. After a crash, they should be examined by their respective health check utilities (Scan Disk or Check Disk or fsck). In contrast, when a journaled file system is stopped abruptly, recovery is automatic at the next reboot. NTFS is journaled. Linux supports several journaled file systems: ext3, ext4, reiserfs and jfs.

    All the file systems use directories and subdirectories. Windows separates directories with a back slash, Linux uses a normal forward slash. Windows file names are not case sensitive. Linux file names are. For example "abc" and " aBC" are different files in Linux, whereas in Windows it would refer to the same file. Case sensitivity has been a problem for this very web page, the name of which is " Linux.vs.Windows.html". At times, people have tried to get to this page using "" (all lower case) which resulted in a Page Not Found error. Eventually, I created a new web page with the name in all lower case and this new page simply re-directs you to the real page, the one you are reading now (with a capital L and W).

    Fragmentation: Windows file systems all suffer from fragmentation, which results in a file being scattered all over the hard disk. I'm told that Linux file systems are much less prone to this, but I don't know the details and whether it applies to all or some of the Linux file systems. With classic magnetic platter based hard disks, fragmentation can be a big deal as the disk is much slower than the RAM or CPU and having to walk all over the hard disk to get a file slows things down. How this will play out on newer SSDs I don't know. While there is no waiting for spinning platters, SSDs have to deal with wear leveling, a feature designed to extend their limited lifespan. Speaking of fragmentation, I've heard very good things about Raxco's PerfectDisk for Windows.

    Crossing Over: As for supporting each others file systems, Linux can read/write FAT16 and FAT32. When I first wrote this topic, only some Linux distributions could read NTFS partitions. Now more can both read and update NTFS, a feature critical to using Linux as a Rescue CD for a broken copy of Windows.

    Captive-NTFS was "the first free NTFS read/write filesystem for GNU/Linux". It is no longer being maintained. In its place is the NTFS-3G Read/Write Driver which the website describes as "an open source, freely available read/write NTFS driver for Linux, FreeBSD, OS X, and NetBSD." NTFS-3G is fairly new, being considered stable only since February 2007. It can deal with the multiple versions of NTFS used by Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 and Windows Vista. At least 85 distributions support NTFS-3G in some manner, among them: Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, Knoppix and Mandriva.

    In September 2005, PC Magazine reviewed a product called NTFS for Linux from the Paragon Software Group that gives Linux read/write access to NTFS partitions. For more information on Linux and NTFS, see the Linux NTFS Project.

    On its own, Windows can not read partitions formatted with any Linux file system. However, a number of products (I haven't tried any of them) enable this:
    1. Explore2fs by John Newbigin can be used to read Linux ext2 and ext3 partitions.
    2. Ext2Fsd claims to be an Ext2 File System Driver for Windows, An open source project, the Ext2 File System Driver for Windows.
    3. The free Linux Reader for Windows from Diskinternals can read the Ext2/Ext3 file systems.
    4. The Ext2 Installable File System For Windows is free and provides full read and write access to partitions and floppy disks formatted with either Ext2 or Ext3. It works with Windows NT4, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista and Server 2008. It's also referred to as Ext2 IFS for Windows. If you are running a NAS device, it may very well be storing files using the Ext2 or Ext3 file system.

    File Hierarchy: Windows and Linux use different concepts for their file hierarchy. Windows uses a volume-based file hierarchy, Linux uses a unified scheme. Windows uses letters of the alphabet to represent different devices and different hard disk partitions. Under Windows, you need to know what volume (C:, D:,...) a file resides on to select it, the file's physical location is part of it's name. In Linux all directories are attached to the root directory, which is identified by a forward-slash, "/". For example, below are some second-level directories:
      /bin/ ---- system binaries, user programs with normal user permissions
      /sbin  --- executables that need root permission
      /data/ --- a user defined directory
      /dev/ ---- system device tree
      /etc/ ---- system configuration
      /home/ --- users' subdirectories
      /home/{username} akin to the Windows My Documents folder
      /tmp/ ---- system temporary files
      /usr/ ---- applications software
      /usr/bin - executables for programs with user permission
      /var/ ---- system variables
      /lib   --- libraries needed for installed programs to run
    Every device and hard disk partition is represented in the Linux file system as a subdirectory of the lone root directory. For example, the floppy disk drive in Linux might be /etc/floppy. The root directory lives in the root partition, but other directories (and the devices they represent) can reside anywhere. Removable devices and hard disk partitions other than the root are attached (i.e., "mounted") to subdirectories in the directory tree. This is done either at system initialization or in response to a mount command.

    There are no standards in Linux for which subdirectories are used for which devices. This contrasts with Windows where the A disk is always the floppy drive and the C disk is almost always the boot partition.

    Hidden Files: Both support the concept of hidden files, which are files that, by default, are not shown to the user when listing files in a directory. Linux implements this with a filename that starts with a period. Windows tracks this as a file attribute in the file metadata (along with things like the last update date). In both OSs the user can over-ride the default behavior and force the system to list hidden files.

    Case: Case sensitivity is the same with commands as with file names. When entering commands in a DOS/command window under any version of Windows, "dir" is the same as "DIR". In Linux "dir" is a different command than "DIR".
  • manishks
    thank you for all these valuable information sir....
  • PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    thank you for all these valuable information sir....
    Welcome man... All the best... 😀
  • K!r@nS!ngu
    that's a great info. bro.
  • PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    PraveenKumar Purushothaman
    that's a great info. bro.
    Thankz dude... 😀
  • vemudalamahesh
    how to extend d size of c drive in windows7.

You are reading an archived discussion.

Related Posts

Flashmobs seem to be getting quite a lot of popularity everywhere around the world. A group of people appears out of nowhere and performs a dance act and then vanish...
Nu Tech 2012 is a technical fest organized by Nirma University, Institute of Technology. This fest aims to Innovate.Inspire.Initiate. The fest conducts various programs that would include lot of innovation....
A new app called QWiPS is available for download at Apple iTunes Store. The speciality is that you can add audio clips to your posts. You can have your say...
Institute of Technical Education and Research, Bhubaneshwar presents Chakravyuh 2011 as its technical fest. The event spans for four days comprising of various technical events and exhibitions. Events: Robotics Presentations...
College of Engineering, Pune is organizing MindSpark '11 over past four years and this year it is striving to shed light on how we as engineers can work together to...