When should you use Linux over Windows?

A lot of tech oriented blogs out there on the internet are constantly advising that everyone should always be using Linux and that there are no buts’ about it.

These blogs usually go on to spew something like(I totally don’t do that in this post): Linux can offer this or that feature, it’s more secure, and it shows that you’re smart.

But when should you actually be using Linux as opposed to Windows to maximize your productivity with the operating system?

What is Linux?

Similar to Windows, Linux or rather GNU/Linux is an operating system that enables people to effectively command their computers without any pre-requisite low-level knowledge of how the computer works. The computers (installed with Linux or Windows) allow their operators to easily perform mundane tasks such as: browsing the web, installing software, and reading email.

NOTE: it’s important to realize that “Linux” and “GNU/Linux” have entirely different meanings. “Linux” itself refers directly to the kernel developed by Linus Torvalds, while “GNU/Linux” refers to an entire operating system; including the kernel.

When to use Linux over Windows

Although Linux can be compared to Windows in terms of similarity, it can certainly provide many features that differentiate itself from Windows.

Below you will find the “short versions” of situations in which you would want to use Linux over Windows and then below that, you will find the relative “longer versions” of such a situation.

Short Versions of such Situations

With this being said, here’s a list of functionality and features that Linux is able to bring to the table that Windows doesn’t have or simply cant provide:

  1. Developing for Linux will always be more clean-cut then developing for Linux on a non-Linux platform
  2. It’s open-source
  3. Fast security patches
  4. Runs smoothly on older computers (may depend on the chosen distro as-well)
  5. Guaranteed privacy from data-hungry companies such as Microsoft

And now for the longer versions of the shorter versions!?

Longer Versions of situations

Developing applications for use on a Linux Environment?

  • You’re going to want to use Linux for this one because developing, debugging, and testing on Linux guarantees that your environment is going to be as close as it can be to your target environment. It’s also much easier to setup a virtual environment on Linux which emulates your target environment than doing so on Windows.
  • Cross-compiling — Compiling Linux software on Windows to be used on Linux just sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, although Windows has been trying to make this easier lately; probably because they’re worried about developers moving away.

Want to support the open-source community?

  • If you don’t want to support private companies such as Microsoft who will sell your data the instant they get it; you’re going to want to support Linux as it provides a 100% completely transparent environment in which you’re the boss of.
  • Also, supporting the open-source community is a rather good idea because just about all of the popular software out there that you and I use everyday most likely include some aspect of open source software.
    • Basically you want to say thanks to the open-source community

Access to fast security patches?

  • When the Linux kernel developers are contacted about potential security vulnerabilities, the devs don’t sit around waiting for the vulnerability to be exploited in the wild. They hop-to and start working on a patch the same day, and will most likely release the patch the same week they get the notice.

Want more privacy?

  • Microsoft and more importantly Microsoft Windows are known to spy on its users; harvesting their data without their knowledge. I mean who knew you had to jump through so many hoops just to disable analytics reporting in Windows? Anyways, Linux provides the maximum amount of privacy to it’s users, as their is no type of logging or interaction with a 3rd-party built directly into the kernel/OS.

Have an older computer?

  • Then chances are massive that Linux will run much smoother, and more efficiently on an older machine.
    • Also, if you want to turn an old computer into a server, then Linux should be your go-to

Want to save some money?

  • Did you know that when buy a computer with Windows pre-installed, you’re most likely going to be paying for that Windows license as it’s included in the purchase-price? No? Well, compare the prices of laptops with Linux and then laptops with Windows. This is a sure way to save $100 on your next computer purchase.


Thanks for reading the post! I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about using Linux over Windows, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to write a post covering when you should be using Windows over Linux!

Leave a comment below if you want a Windows over Linux post!


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