7 Differences Between Linux and Windows: User Expectations: Page 2

Clearly, Windows and Linux fulfill basic functions in exceptionally different ways.
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3. Greater Security Awareness

For Windows users, security means regular updates and anti-malware checks. Many users do not even bother to set up a separate account for each user.

Unlike Windows, though, Linux was designed for security from the ground up. Although you can relax the security -- which is not advised -- by default Linux sets up one account for administration, and limits what everyday accounts can do. In fact, many features, such as groups and the sudo command are concerned largely with who can do what on the system.

It is not that modern Windows lacks security features but that it tends to favor convenience over security and makes security easy to ignore. In contrast, Linux tends to balance convenience and security, and force users to be aware of the balance. More than one Linux user has come to regard the simple act as reading email as potentially dangerous.

2. Support

You can buy Linux technical support from a few corporations, such as Red Hat and openSuse. Otherwise, your main sources of help are mailing lists and wikis maintained by volunteers.

Contrary to what you might imagine, the problem with these sources is apt to be not too little information, but too much. Responses to a question are apt to include irrelevancies, and you may have to research farther than you expected to know what information is outdated.

1. Do-It-Yourself Mentality

If you have ever tried to repair Windows, you may have noticed that it discourages you from fixing things yourself. Repairs require special applications and expert knowledge to know where to find log files and necessary tools. Similarly, repairs tools on the desktop typically offer an extremely small selection of the functionality you require.

In comparison, Linux typically offers a complete set of tools. The file hierarchy makes finding tools and logs easy, and many parts of Linux are configured in files that can be altered in text editors. The expectation in Linux, clearly, is that you will want hands-on editing.

This expectation has two results. First, after a few months of this DIY, you may find yourself doing maintenance and repair work for yourself that you never imagined doing in Windows.

Second, you may grow to expect to be able to configure almost any Linux software to your liking. You may come, for example to take for granted a selection of over half a dozen desktops -- something unimaginable in Windows. The ultimate example of this expectation is KDE, a desktop on which you can configure almost every aspect of its appearance and functionality.

Changing Assumptions

To many, an operating system acts in the background. However, prolonged exposure can subtly affect your work habits and expectations without you being aware of what is happening.

That is why switching from Windows to Linux can be an unsettling experience. Suddenly, you are aware not only of the expectations you have developed, but of the fact that they no longer apply.

Instead of rejecting the new expectations, try living with them for a few weeks. Once you are familiar with them, you may look back on the expectations created by Windows, and wonder why you ever thought them acceptable.

Also see: Download the Best Android Apps

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Tags: open source, Linux, Windows

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