Difference between Linux and Windows

Both Linux and windows are operating systems for desktops. Linux is an open-source operating system which is derived from UNIX. Linux kernel lies beneath all other existing software. Windows was developed by Microsoft. It is not an open-source. It comes with a user friendly GUI which makes it so popular among its users. It runs on x86 hardware such as AMD and Intel processors. Read this article to learn more about the Linux and Windows operating systems and how they are different from each other.

Linux Operating System

Linux is a free and open-source operating system created and designed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux is a derived form of Unix. It is free of cost making it available for all users. It is open-source, means that the source code of Linux is available for all users. Users can add additional programs or modify the existing ones so that it can perform various other functions.

  • Linux uses a monolithic kernel. It runs both kernel and user services in the same address space. It has many distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux mint, Fedora, etc.

  • Linux was written in C language and assembly language. It is more machine friendly, which means users find it difficult to interact with Linux.

  • Linux has become the largest open-source software in the world. It provides high security and is mostly used for hacking purposes.

  • Some of the features of Linux include its Portability, Security, and Multitasking abilities. Plus, Linux is open source.

Some of the drawbacks of using the Linux operating system are listed below −

  • It can’t run most of the Windows programs.

  • Most of the Internet service providers do not support Linux.

  • Linux is difficult to learn for most of the new users. Depending on its distributions, the difficulty level varies.

Windows Operating System

Windows is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Its first version was released in 1985 which was an extension of MS-DOS.

  • Windows is not open-source. Its free version lacks some of the features that the licensed version has.

  • Windows is the most widely used operating system in PCs. It provides a GUI which is very user-friendly. It is available in two versions, i.e., 32 bit and 64 bit. It has both client and server versions.

  • Windows uses a microkernel. Its address space is separated into kernel space and user space. Windows is designed in such a way that people with no programming knowledge can also use it.

  • It is good for both personal and commercial use because it is very simple and easy to use.

  • Windows was written in C++ and Assembly language. Windows provides less security as compared to Linux.

  • Some of the features of Windows include: Control panel, File explorer, Internet Browser, Disk cleanup features, and a highly user friendly Interface.

Some of the drawbacks of using the Windows operating system are listed below −

  • Most of the Windows features are available only in the paid/licensed version.

  • It provides less security.

  • System requirements

  • Users have to pay software fee along with the license fee.

Differences: Linux and Windows Operating Systems

The following table highlights the major differences between the Linux and Windows operating systems −





Linux is an open-source operating system developed for desktops

Windows is an operating system developed for desktops

Developed by

Linus Torvalds



Open-source and free of cost

Not an open-source and it is paid

Ease of use

Linux is machine-friendly. So user must have some exposure to Linux commands. It takes more time for users to get used to Linux

Windows is simple with rich GUI options. User doesn’t need any knowledge of programming. It is more useful for non-technical users.

Kernel type

Monolithic kernel


Path separator

Forward slash is used as a path separator

Backward slash is used as a path separator


Linux is more secure than Windows

Windows is less secure compared to Linux

Case sensitivity

Linux is highly case-sensitive

Windows is not case sensitive


Linux updates less frequently

Windows updates frequently

Written in

Linux is written in C and Assembly language

Windows is written in C++ and Assembly language


Linux is distributed under GPL(GNU General Public License) license

Windows is distributed under Proprietary commercial software license


Linux is more reliable than windows as it is more secured

Windows is not much reliable as Linux

File system

Linux uses tree structure to store files. In Linux everything is considered as a file

Windows uses directories such as C, D, E and more and folders are used to store files

Types of users

  • Regular

  • Administrative

  • Service

  • Administrator

  • Standard

  • Child

  • Guest


Linux is faster than windows

Windows is slower compared to Linux

Command line

Here, the command line is referred to as a Terminal which is very useful and perform various tasks

Windows also have a command prompt which is not as effective as Terminal.

Users use GUI to perform their tasks


Linux installation setup is a bit complicated but it takes less time to install

Windows is easy to setup but takes more time to install


Both Linux and Windows operating systems are used for Desktops. Linux is open-source, while Windows comes with a license. Windows is more user-friendly as compared to Linux but Linux is more secured than Windows. Both the operating systems have their own features and drawbacks; therefore, it is the users who need to decide which operating system they should use based on their requirements and expertise.

Updated on: 23-Jun-2023

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