Feature Comparison Between Windows and Linux

Topics: Operating system, Microsoft Windows, File system Pages: 7 (2449 words) Published: May 28, 2011
Feature Comparison between Windows and Linux

The basic definition of an operating system is a program that provides an interface to interact with the computer. It manages the computer’s hardware and software and provides a platform for other application programs. This report discusses the various aspects of an operating system with respect to Microsoft Windows which is a family of proprietary operating systems and Linux, which is a sub-category of UNIX. Operating systems thus not only provided a platform for interaction between humans and computer programs but also it is the key programs which manages the resources such as memory and allocates time for various processes, if it is a multi-tasking operating system. It manages Input and output operations as well memory allocation, thus acting as an intermediary between the hardware and the software. Operating systems can be found on almost every device with computing capabilities like mobile phones, video game consoles to super computers and web servers. An operating system is made up of many components, one of which is the kernel which maintains and manages the low-level processes. It manages memory related functions, processing order for various processes, storage of information, how data is passed between processes, and hardware software interaction like information sent and received by keyboard, mouse etc.

Brief history of Windows and Linux
Early computers used to execute one program at a time, and programs were loaded into machines at scheduled time using punched cards and tape. With time, these computers were replaced by machines with higher computing speed and ability to process software which could be run without manual monitoring. Batch processing, input/output interrupt, buffering, multitasking, spooling and many other major features were achieved in the field of operating system in the 1950s. Microsoft Windows was developed as an add-on to the older MS-DOS in 1980. It was developed by Mr. Bill Gates to what became a family of proprietary operating systems and also the most common operating system used in personal computers in home across the globe. Currently the most widely used Windows version is the Windows XP, release in October 2001. The latest release is Windows 7 which takes the experience of the operating system to new heights. Linux is the generic-name for a UNIX like operating system. UNIX was developed from a language called B which was later replaced by C. The family of Unix-like operating systems expanded to a diverse group of operating systems with several sub-categories such as System V, BSD and GNU/Linux. Unix-like is commonly used to refer to the large-set of operating systems which are similar to UNIX. In 1991, Linus Trovalds wrote Linux as a personal project .He developed the Linux kernel on MINIX using the GNU C compiler and it still remains the main choice for compilation. Torvalds announced the official logo of Linux as a penguin in 1996. Feature Comparison

This section discusses the features of operating system and compares the difference between the Windows family and Linux family of OS based on the following parameters:- •File system and File handling

Process Management
Main-Memory Management
I/O System Management
Protection System
Command Interpreter System

One of the basic operations of an OS is organizing data into computer files and storing them systematically. Windows uses FAT or the File Allocation Table filing system and NTFS or the New Technology File System. A drive letter is used to distinguish one partition level from another at the user level. FAT32 is the latest version in use, which addresses the limitations faced by FAT12 and FAT 16. NTFS is an advanced file system and uses advanced data structures thereby improving the reliability, performance and storage space utilization and also superior support for metadata. It also has improvised security implemented through ACL or...
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