An Operating System is considered the backbone of any system. So, before selecting this backbone for your system, I recommend you go through this blog. This Blog of Terminal Stack brings you a clear and simple comparison between some popular Operating Systems.
What is an Operating System?
In simple words, an Operating system is a bridge that makes the interaction between user and computer possible. It is a group of programs, including device drivers, kernels, and other software. An operating system is responsible for detecting what it and all other programs need from the hardware and then fulfilling those needs.
It eliminates the need to know coding language to interact with computing devices. These devices include smartphones, tablets, computers, web servers, cars, networks, towers, smartwatches, etc.
How does it work?
As soon as we start interacting with the computer, the software will send a System Call. Now, it specifies a task to a hardware component that it must perform to run the software.
Once the Operating system has fulfilled all those requests, it gathers them for organization and processing. Therefore, the Operating system is considered to be the backbone of any system.
We have mainly three kinds of operating systems – Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Microsoft developed the Windows Operating system. First released in 1985. It was supposed to be a graphical user interface on top of MS-DOS. All characteristics of MS-DOS were combined in Windows 95 release. First introduced with version 1.0 on November 10, 1983, and still counting with the recent version of Windows 11. Hence, a wide range of software is available on Windows. It is the most widely used Operating system with easy usability and customization.
It provides time to time modifications to make it more users friendly. Windows is preferred mostly by Gamers as it holds the widest selection of Games. Plus, it has Superior graphics and awesome speed (a must factor for gaming). Talking about programmers, about 45.30% of programmers use Windows for coding. With all these pros, it also holds certain cons, such as the high risk of malware, spyware, and ransomware, intermediate security of user data, inconsistent functionality and quality, etc.
Linux is an Operating system, built by Linus Torvald at the University of Helsinki in 1991. The term ‘Linux’ is derived from Linux Kernel. Linux is the clone of Unix (another Operating system). The most exciting factor about Linux is that it is free and open-source, hence it allows users to customize and release their version of the Operating system. It gives a sort of Mac vibes, so we can call it affordable MacOS.
Linux holds some of the prominent features like:
- It supports Multi-tasking.
- It can easily co-exist with other Operating systems.
- Even being the clone of Unix, their codes are entirely different from each other.
- As it is an Open Source, so individual accounts are very well protected.
- Various versions of Linux is:
- Debian Linux
- Gentoo Linux
- Ubuntu Linux
- Linux Mint desktop
- RHEL Linux distribution
- CentOS Linux distribution
- Fedora Linux distribution
One of the cons of Linux is that it is not as easy to use as Windows. It is more for corporate users than in-home settings. Many Windows programs as Microsoft Word, will run on Linux only with the help of a complicated emulator. Also, most brand-name apps are not available on this platform. Talking about programmers, 25.30% prefer Linux for coding.
The Macintosh OS is an operating system designed by Apple Inc. macOS is considered as a pioneer of GUI-based operating system. It is designed to operate on Apple manufactured PCs & Mac comes with macOS. One can install macOS on a PC or non-Mac device with numerous tools that create an installer that allows installing any version of macOS. Such practices are named Hackintosh( a computer made to run MacOS on non-apple hardware).
macOS has many excellent features such as,
- The user can run macOS, Windows, and Linux apps side-by-side.
- It holds a tight integration with iPhones and iPads.
- Apple’s macOS has better security than Windows and Linux.
- It provides an amazingly smooth environment variable setup.
- Easy library installation.
- UNIX-based setup.
For Non-Mac users transition is quite hard, so it is not as easy as Windows. macOS has a smaller community, so small software is not released in it, whereas popular software is in-built in it, for example, Celery, Visual Studio code, etc.
Macs are not great for gamers, as they don’t have the hardware power to run these, and the selection of the game is restricted. Talking about programmers, about 29.2% of people use macOS for coding.
Overall everything is good in it, but the price is very high. Plus, if any part is damaged or needs to restore, it cost an arm and leg. It provides limited hardware options, and often it gives a gap of years between new hardware updates.
Now, let’s compare all three:
|USAGE SHARE OF OS||75%||5%||16%|
|FOR PROGRAMMERS||Intermediate Used by 45.3% of programmers.||It is Developer friendly. Used by 25.3% of programmers.||Better than Windows. Used by 29.2% of programmers.|
|CUSTOMISATION & FLEXIBILITY||In between Mac OS and Linux.||Freely Customizable||Limited Customization|
|RISK OF MALWARE||High||Very Low||Low|
|COMPLEXITY||Easy to use.||Intermediate||Easy and Simple to use.|
|EXPENSE/COST||Paid||Free||Costlier than Windows|
|TRANSITION EASE||Effortless transition from different OS.||Intermediate transition.||Quite difficult for non-apple users.|
Windows, Linux, and macOS each one of these is best at its role. But the point is, what features is the user looking for and which Operating system accomplishes those demands. Each one has some pros and cons, which is somewhere acceptable.
To summarize the whole blog in 3 points, here we go:-
Go for Windows, if
#You want to be able to choose from any hardware configuration you want with zero restrictions.
#You want to play Triple-A PC games.
#You want a PC for basic and easy tasks.
Go for Linux, if
#You have an old PC or else you want to update it to a modern OS for free.
#You are more inclined towards Programming and development.
#You want to customize your device the way you want, without any restrictions.
Go for MacOS, if
#You want to run macOS, Windows, and Linux apps all on the same machine.
#You want super-tight integration between iOS and your desktop OS, with carefully tuned hardware.
#You are super conscious about your data privacy and security.
That’s all for today’s blog. I hope it will help you all to select the appropriate backbone for your system.
Thanks for reading.