Ubuntu vs Windows - The Operating Systems Contest
It’s no doubt that operating systems are one of the most important things for a PC to work properly. After all, without an operating system, no computer would have reached the possibilities we see today. Not even in the most generous of all dreams.
That’s because an operating system manages everything inside any computer. It controls hardware, and software, manages inputs and outputs, controls all the peripheral devices, and many other things. Nowadays, there are several popular Operating Systems available. But Windows System, released by Microsoft, has a special place among them. However, besides the well-known OS, users may find other software options to run their systems. One of them is Linux Operating System: Ubuntu.
Since you may be considering a migration from one operating system to another, we will compare the two operating systems so that you can make an informed decision. After all, In a Ubuntu vs. Windows comparison, what would be the advantages and disadvantages of installing Ubuntu or Windows? Let’s take a closer look at both operating systems!
Table of Contents:
What is Windows
This closed-source software and multitasking operating system was owned and launched by Microsoft back in 1985. With it, users can make several things simultaneously, using the system of different windows for each application or specific task. Windows distinguishes itself for its graphical user interface, which gives icons for users to click instead of demanding complicated command line operations.
Windows come with several applications and possibilities, creating a unique environment user won’t find anywhere else. It is perfect for both business and personal use. Thanks to all of its features, Windows is the most popular operating system ever created, with billions of users around the world.
What is Ubuntu
On the other hand, Ubuntu is an open-source operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux. Since 2005 it has been rated as the best Linux distribution. It has a customized graphical user interface that can change from one device to another because it is open-source software. You can also work with a command line interface if you decide to.
There are around 25 million users that prefer the Ubuntu operating system over Windows. It makes it the third most popular OS. More than 90% of Linux users have Ubuntu installed. It loses to Microsoft operating system and to macOS, which has around 100 million users.
Ubuntu vs Windows: Beginning the Comparison of OS
Before discussing the best features of Microsoft and Linux software, we must establish some of the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.
The first thing to say is about the smooth and friendly user interface. Even beginners and ordinary users can easily understand the basic commands necessary to go well with the Windows operating system. This ease of use is something you won’t find in most operating systems.
Windows is also recognized for its software compatibility. The system is compatible with most apps, and finding programs that don’t work with the OS will be complicated. Besides all that, if any error appears, they are easier to understand and solve than in other software.
To complete, Windows has a safe and easy installation process. You just need to follow the steps Microsoft gives you, and everything will go just fine, with no problems or malicious software. Other operating systems can be more demanding.
The disadvantages Windows users have to deal with are mostly related to prices and lack of freedom. The first problem is that you need to pay to use Windows. Even if you already have a version of the operating system, you need to spend some money to acquire the latest version and do the upgrade.
Second, Windows lacks personalization features. Users are forced to stay with the operating system's user interface and characteristics. Moreover, the resource usage you need to run Windows is higher than on Ubuntu. That may be an issue, especially if you have memory problems. That said, users with low RAM tend to suffer a little with Windows.
The first advantage of Ubuntu was already mentioned: it is a free and open-source operating system, also being great for personal and professional use. The Linux-based operating system is considered “driver-free,” as you don’t need to install several drivers for it to work.
New updates are also accessible with this Linux family representative. You can run them in the background, using open-source software freely. Ultimately, freedom is the last of the advantages. You can customize the leader of Linux distributions the way you prefer, and all operations can be done with just the keyboard, unlike Windows.
The first thing is that Ubuntu is not that simple to understand. Users generally have to be a little tech savvy and have a good notion of programming. Otherwise, the command line interface can become a problem.
Besides these drawbacks, if you need hardware support or have some problems with software, there’s no central Linux support to ask for help. The best way to solve problems will be to ask the user community, so the advanced users may find a way to help you.
Furthermore, some traditional software is not supported on Ubuntu. MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, and other common programs only focus on Windows and Mac. Of course, you can find alternatives for them that work with Ubuntu and even have a better performance with the Linux Kernel.
System Features Comparison
After analyzing some of the strong and weak points of each OS, it's time to compare the main resources and features of Ubuntu and Windows.
Costs: A Closed Vs An Open-Source
To talk about the costs, once again, we come to the closed and open-source themes. Windows is a closed source, which means you must buy it through traditional means – you can get Windows 10 and 11 in the Microsoft Store, in a retail Store, or with RoyalCDKeys, for instance. If you buy a new computer, you will probably get Windows for free, as it already comes installed. So, there will be no installation process to bother with either.
On the other hand, Ubuntu is a free and open source. This means you can get Ubuntu’s source code by yourself and install it without the need to pay for anything. Even though it's not hard to do the installation, you will have more difficulties than you would with Windows 10 or any other new or old version of the system.
Having things such as technology, functionality, usability, support, malware combat, and more customizable options available seems really good. But it would be even better to have all of it at the best prices available in the market. Ubuntu is free, but you can avoid going to the Microsoft store or any other retail seller by choosing RoyalCDKeys. You can get Windows 11 Home CD key, Windows 11 Pro CD key, or even a Windows 10 Home Key.
Hardware Requirement, Speed, and Compatibility
Windows 10 or 11 have wider hardware compatibility compared to Ubuntu, which is expected since Microsoft’s OS is installed on many more computers. But that is certain only for the latest version of Windows. Older versions may present compatibility problems as time passes.
This is a problem you won’t see with Ubuntu. If the hardware works well with Ubuntu, it will keep a good performance forever. That’s because the source code and the kernel won’t change, even though new changes are applied to Ubuntu or any Linux family OS.
Speed and Size
It’s no secret that Ubuntu is faster than Windows. Windows come to you as a complete tool, emplacing everything its whole public may need. The Linux distro allows you to install only the things you want on your computer.
For this reason, Linux software is far more lightweight, stable, and faster than Windows, as it has far fewer things to process.
Just mind that this gap was far bigger than it is today. Windows server machines are catching up fast. That way, we may see the day when the difference in the number of features included automatically compensate for the difference in the speed. Anyone who uses a computer with Windows’ latest release will also see how stable the software is.
Hardware Requirements for Linux and Windows
Besides the compatibility factor, it is very helpful that an OS like Windows and Ubuntu have accessible hardware requirements, so most people can use them without going too hard on the disk of their computers.
We could bring the requirements for Ubuntu 22.04 and Windows 11, which are the latest versions of both systems, but Windows 10 is still the most used Windows version. Since both have different resource requirements, we are going to bring both.
- 2 GHz dual-core processor
- GiB RAM (system memory)
- 25 GB of hard drive space (or USB stick, memory card, or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
- VGA capable of 1024×768 screen resolution
- Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
- Internet access is helpful
- Recommended: 3D Acceleration Capable Video card with at least 256 MB
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800 x 600
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).
- RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) or greater.
- Storage: 64 GB* or greater available storage is required for Windows 11.
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver.
- Display: High definition (720p) display, 9" or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel.
- Connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates and downloads
Security and Privacy
In terms of safety and security, the Linux-based system takes the upper hand in the Ubuntu vs. Windows comparison. This topic is one of the major differences, and the gap occurs for some reasons. The first is the number of active users. Since Windows has far more user accounts, it’s normal that ill-intended programmers aim the software to affect the biggest number of computers.
But this isn’t the only reason why it is tough to get a virus inside Ubuntu. You will need passwords to make any changes on Ubuntu. Root privilege is required to make any potential damaging action to your system. This makes it almost impossible for hackers and programmers to inject a virus into your computer. Moreover, Ubuntu offers a built-in firewall.
When it comes to privacy, Linux users have the advantage in the Ubuntu x Windows comparison. The multi-user feature of Ubuntu is far better when compared to Windows. Besides that, there are strict privacy-focused policies to ensure the safety of the entire Linux community.
Ease of Use
Following with Ubuntu vs Windows comparison, we need to talk about ease of use. And when it comes to analysis, there is no other option than Windows. Ubuntu indeed demands only a keyboard, while Windows also needs a mouse. But, since mice are extremely easy to use, the need for extra peripheral equipment is no problem.
It all comes to the user interface. Windows has a graphical user interface. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has both a graphical interface and a command line interface. This second is great for programming and those who have already used the type of language. Still, a usual user might have problems with it, as mentioned before.
With Windows, there will be no need for complicated commands to perform simple actions. You have more “freedom” and will save time for sure. Ubuntu may present more possibilities, but you need to know exactly what you are doing to avoid the risk of damaging the OS.
When it comes to personalization possibilities, Ubuntu does better. Windows has a certain limitation, allowing you to change themes, wallpapers, and icons. The Linux-based system allows you to customize almost everything in the user interface.
We have already dug into Windows and Ubuntu's main features and resources. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to you to decide which fits you better. If you have difficulty choosing one, you can always go for both. You could run a Windows Subsystem for Linux or dual boot. Just mind that if you do a dual boot, we recommend you manage partitions. Another option is to run Ubuntu with a virtual machine inside your Windows 10 or 11.
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