Linux – distributions are generally free.
Windows – a Windows Server license can cost thousands of dollars. But hey, at least you get to play Solitaire for free, right?
- Software cost
Linux – most of the programs, utilities, and games available on Linux are free and open source. You can even get more complex programs such as GIMP, OpenOffice, and Wine for free.
Windows – no, you don’t get to play Solitaire for free. In Windows 10, Microsoft demands $1.49 per month to play advertisement-free.
- Development model
Linux – users can access and alter the code in any way they wish.
Windows – considered to be an closed source software, with the source code not publically available. If you encounter a bug, there is nothing you can do about it; you just have to wait. cross your fingers and hope that someday in the near future Microsoft will fix the bug.
- Command line
Linux – Linux shell is powerful and is used very often.
Windows – Windows has a shell called Command Prompt, but it is not as nearly as powerful as the one in Linux.
The majority of Linux variants and versions are notoriously reliable and can often run for years without rebooting. Windows? Often, even minor patches require a reboot. If you encounter a Windows Server that is running for month without rebooting, it usually means that it hasn’t been updated in quite some time.
- Live CDs
Linux – you can boot Linux from a CD or USB, without having to actually installing it on your machine.
Windows – no official Live CD exists.
Linux is inherently more secure than Windows. Linux does not grant full administrator – or ‘root’ – access to user accounts by default, whereas Windows does. Malware is almost non-existent on Linux.
- High-end computing
Over 97% of supercomputers in the world use Linux. Windows share? 0.5%. I guess you don’t need fancy GUI for molecular modeling.
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