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Old 04-23-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
Murdock1979
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What can be done using Linux and impossible using Windows?


Hello!

I am trying to brainstorm different things that are possible to do with Linux, but not with Windows.

I am not talking about things being done easier or harder or better or worse...I am referring to things that strictly cannot be done at all - or at least extremely difficult or not feasible - on Windows (without Cygwin), but can be accomplished with a Linux computer.

This is an academic exercise and I don't want this topic to start flaming.

Thanks,
Murdock
 
Old 04-23-2009, 02:49 PM   #2
SlowCoder
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Not getting into specific applications, but here are a few things I quickly came up with:

How about the ability to have TOTAL control over your computer? No hidden thingies, no strange processes. Inifinite tweakability.

Source for everything available to you at the click of a download button.

The ability to run your OS outside of a GUI, saving precious system resources when you don't need the GUI.

GNU/Linux can be downloaded for free, where Windows, and many of the applications for it, can't.

Availability and choice of different GUIs (Gnome, KDE, XCFE, etc.). Windows only has one GUI. If you don't like it, you're stuck.

Last edited by SlowCoder; 04-23-2009 at 02:53 PM.
 
Old 04-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
pljvaldez
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I guess one question is how far out are you stretching "Windows"? Are you including anything that you can buy a 3rd party application to do? Or just MS applications or stock Windows applications? Are you including Windows Server, or just windows desktop versions?

The one that I use all the time is LiveCD data recovery. Though I guess you could take the hard disk out of the broken machine and plug it into a windows box. I have used BartPE, which is sort of a Windows Live CD, but it was really painful and slow. So maybe this falls into the "better on Linux" category...

The other one that jumps to mind is update the entire system (including all applications) with a single command and without a reboot.

Run without a graphical interface.

Compile your own kernel. (I guess I should just group this as "anything that windows restricts because you don't have access to source code because it's proprietary")
 
Old 04-23-2009, 03:05 PM   #4
Murdock1979
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Hello!

Thanks for the quick list. Here are some of my thoughts:

Quote:
How about the ability to have TOTAL control over your computer? No hidden thingies, no strange processes. Inifinite tweakability.
This is a bit general, and I was thinking about tasks or aspects more specific. However, I agree that you always know what is going on: Linux follows a KISS structure.

Quote:
Source for everything available to you at the click of a download button.
Yes! Windows may have many free applications, but they are usually all closed up and the only thing that remotely gets into them is an anti-virus checker.

Quote:
The ability to run your OS outside of a GUI, saving precious system resources when you don't need the GUI.
A great advantage. Bootable tiny linux operating systems, easy remote maintenance...
Quote:
GNU/Linux can be downloaded for free, where Windows, and many of the applications for it, can't.
Another advantage, but this is a bit vague. There are many free Windows applications. Firefox, Openoffice, Ftp servers, Eudora, are all available for free on Windows.

Quote:
Availability and choice of different GUIs (Gnome, KDE, XCFE, etc.). Windows only has one GUI. If you don't like it, you're stuck.
A nice idea, but this is isn't necessarily accomplishing a task. However, I do agree that you can customize Linux to a person's exact tastes.

--Murdock
 
Old 04-23-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
Murdock1979
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Hello!

I decided to combine everything into a blog which can found things-you-can-do-using-linux-but-impossible-on-windows

I will update it accordingly.

--Murdock
 
Old 04-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #6
SlowCoder
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Ok, but you were a bit vague in your question, too. So I don't know how involved you wanted to get.

My TOTAL control comment was to say that since you have access to source code, you can modify your machine in any way you desire. Since you don't have access to Windows' kernel source, you can't tweak it to boost its performance or capabilities. Since Linux is governed by configuration files, and not the confusing registry,

Another one, hinted at by your post, is portability. Linux can be placed on CD or flash and taken along with you, allowing to utilize many systems without touching their native hard drive data.
 
Old 04-23-2009, 03:36 PM   #7
Murdock1979
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Hello,

I think I'm mainly looking for specific things that can be accomplished, but anything is welcome. Perhaps things we've done with Linux that we wouldn't even consider doing with Windows. Here are some examples:

1. Run a liveCD and partition harddrive, extract some files, reset passwords (Windows xp)
2. Using KDE's kioslaves, run SSH, FTP, and any other datasource as local drive.
3. Running Linux off external harddrive.
4. Ressurect an old computer and use it for something quite useful - firewall, server, etc.


--Murdock
 
Old 04-23-2009, 03:43 PM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
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Hmm ... something that you can do running Linux that is impossible on Window$. The only truly impossible thing is: Surf the net for all the pr0n you want without getting f'd over by the malware. I'll bet you say $100 that you can't do that with Window$ ... you know like for more than a few minutes and then you got malware and you can just barely manage it and it'll probably overwhelm you in minutes even with FF and all the security software you can muster.
 
Old 04-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #9
aus9
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hmm

well I don't really claim this for w7 or for vista but in my experience...linux bootloaders recognise other operating systems while windows tends to know zip nada zero etc

yes windows boot.ini can be tweaked...but that is acting like a linux user...and not available to standard windows gui users.

on same matter...recovery partitions set up for windows users...think linux systems are a viral threat and attempt to overwrite the mbr and remove that pesky bootloader....there is a thread about these so called ..recovery partitions but you catch my drift?
 
Old 04-23-2009, 09:24 PM   #10
aus9
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hi

now a separate post on a other differences

windows can not be installed on a usb stick AFAIK

2) windows can not be installed using a netinstall cd or floppy.

3) this leads to the situation on a rebuild...you are forced to install an out-of-date windows disk....while distros like sidux have roughly 4 a year so tend to be more up-to-date

and...then for windows you are forced to run various security patches before you can get to where you want...updated system

while in linux...its possible to install a minimum amount of system and all the rest of the downloads will give you the latest

Last edited by aus9; 04-23-2009 at 09:26 PM.
 
  


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