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actually, we are a bit confused ourselves... thats why maybe we're not being able to convey what we want properly.... we're doing this as an assignment in college, where all we've been given is the statement as mentioned... what we have collected is 1) ssh on linux 2)text editors like vi ....
I'm pretty sure both of those will run on Windows using Cygwin.
what we have to do is a listing of such features which windows doesn't offer...
That question is quite different from the one in the thread title. It's also more interesting (IMHO) and likely to teach you quite a bit about each platform if you take the time to conduct your research properly. I hope you are only seeking some general guidance here, because anything beyond that could be considered "getting others to do your homework", which would not be good.
You would not find Gnome, KDE, XFCE and such choices of desktop environments and window managers on windows. It will have what is provided my Microsoft.
Another application that I like a lot and use it always but is not available on windows is K3B.
Something that is not available on windows is the package management softwares like synaptic. It is a great way of installing softwares that you want to install.
Another thing that is not available on windows is the kind of hardware support. I would say that because without drivers shipped with hardware windows will not work.
*nix and Windows are very different beasts. The decisions that went into the various *nix systems (specifically including Linux) were decisions to optimize technical capability and performance. The decisions that went into Windows were intended frequently to enhance marketing, to maintain Microsoft control of Windows, and often enough to give Microsoft an advantage over third party developers when writing software for Windows.
This has led to some very peculiar architectural characteristics in Windows, most of which are inferior from a technical perspective.
I would describe the major functional differences between Windows and Linux as these:
First, Drive referencing. Windows employs a very primitive mechanism for referencing drives. The C:\ drive is an actual reference to a piece of hardware (or, more specifically, one partition on a piece of hardware). This limiting referencing architecture leads to all kinds of problems when it is necessary to reorganize the system. Curiously, Windows DOES indeed implement a more advanced logical drive reference architecture, not unlike what *nix uses, but they have never brought it out, developed it, and made it easily usable by the end user.
In contrast, Linux employs a logical drive reference that is mapped to a physical drive reference - and that logical drive reference can be moved easily or linked to from anyplace. The result is that systems can be reorganized with almost trivial ease. Software packages can be moved, hard drives can be swapped or repartitioned, and the system can keep on going without issue.
As a specific example of that, in my /mnt directory is a symlink called sda5, which points to /mnt/sda6. Reason is that an earlier hard drive in the system contained software on sda5 which is now on sda6 with the current hard drive. By creating a link named sda5, then a substantial number of scripts in my system that reference /mnt/sda5 directly continue to work without alteration.
This is one way to reorganize a system without the nightmares that you get into when you try to move things on a Windows system.
Second, symlinks. This was discussed above, and is a very versatile mechanism for referencing files, directories, hard drives, or literally any other device. By setting up a software package to reference some logical device, and by setting up symlinks to point from the logical device to a physical entity (file, directory, drive, or anything else), a system can be configured and modified very very easily. Windows shortcuts are an extremely limited implementation of symlinks.
Third, access to open files. Windows explicitly forbids any process to access a file that is open by another process. The implications are profound and invariably negative. I have never understood this design choice. It makes it hard to back up the system from within the system, and it requires frequent reboots when doing upgrades. It greatly impairs flexibility at all levels and does not promote security in any realistic sense.
In comparison, Linux permits you to access and change open files. You can even delete them, though when you do this, the process that had the file open continues to use it; it doesn't really vanish until it is closed by everyone. Changes are reflected immediately when you make them to the file, even if someone else has it open.
This makes backups trivial. It makes it possible and easy to do lots of things that are done only with great pain on a Windows machine.
There are lots and lots of other differences (registry vs /etc, multiple desktops vs Explorer, multiuser vs single user, and so forth), but from the standpoint of what can Linux do that Windows can't, I think these are the foundations of every other thing in the system.
And actually, a quick comment on the Windows registry. This is probably the most horrible design decision ever made on an operating system. It is not human-readable, it is a highly integrated single point of failure that WILL bring the whole system down, and it cannot be opened by anyone but the system because the system opens it and keeps it open as long as the system is running. It makes Windows almost impossible to service from the outside if the system goes down, and it is very hard to back up when Windows is running. It is badly documented, vastly complex, and employs lots and lots of really obscure tokens and references. In comparison, *nix uses the /etc directory for mostly the same purpose. It is human readable, documented, configurable by a knowledgeable user, and easily accessible from outside when repairing a damaged system.
Taken all together, what can you do with Linux that you can't do with Windows? You can service it. Granting that it is very complex, you can comprehend it. Linux exposes what Windows hides. You'll understand the difference when you have to work on it.
is there anything like compiz in windows? or just say several virtual desktops without the bling of a spinning cube? i don`t think so.
several desktop-environments(lxde,kde,gnome,xfce), tons of window-managers (fluxbox, awesome, e16, e17,openbox, blackbox, icewm...), how many are there for windows to choose from? how many different may you run side by side on one installation?
does something like a live-cd or a live-usb-stick or an usb-stick-installation exist in windows? may you create your own remastered live-cd?
are you allowed to distribute a modified version of a windowsOS, or just to give a copy of it to a friend of yours?
can you run windows completely from the command-line (with audio, text-editing, mailing, browsing etc)?
last but not least: whats about the source code, you get to know him if you like?
just some points to think about, i don`t know windows that well.
You have a nice windows setup with a LCD that can do 1680x1050. The monitor breaks but no worry, you still have an old 17" monitor that can do 1024x768.
You will more than likely get a 'out-of-sync' warning from the monitor or if the monitor is very old, it might break as well.
Have fun trying to reconfigure it in Windows. I think it will require an uninstall of the driver.
In Linux, it requires a login into a console and the editing of the X configuration file (2 changes).
Actually not that difficult as long as you know what to do. Just press 'F8' to get into the option screen then boot into 'safe mode'. From there you can setup the new monitor within the control panel if the monitor is supported. But you could always set to 'VGA' mode. In Linux it is much easier if you know what to do for a 'X'. But who needs '1680x1050' from the cli?