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Understanding the Differences Between Windows & Linux

by: Hostwinds Team  /  July 23, 2020

Finding the right operating system can be tricky. There are a number of factors that come into play when one is deciding if a certain OS meets their unique needs. Take selecting between two of the most popular options, Linux & Windows, for instance. Although they are both used by quite literally millions of people, each offers very different benefits for very different users. Fortunately, we were able to compile the most fundamental differences between Linux and Windows. This blog post is intended to outline such disparities between the two operating systems.

If you have a Hostwinds Linux and/or Windows VPS, you may be surprised to see some of the features listed below, and you may even be persuaded to switch up your OS. If you are looking for a Linux and/or Windows VPS, this blog piece will help you choose between the two, in addition to giving you some fundamental information about Hostwinds VPS plans.

What is the Difference Between Linux & Windows?

First and Foremost, some background:

What is an Operating System?

An operating system is software designed to handle the foundational platform of tasks required to ensure a computer device is working properly.

For example, your OS is what works with your actual hardware. An Operating system also works with your applications to ensure they function on your device.

What is Linux?

Linux is made with the assembly language C. This particular OS was first released in 1991 and has come a long way since. It employs the BASH command line.

Here is more Linux context from our "Common Linux Commands" Knowledge Base guide: "Linux is an open-source operating system that has been available since the mid-1990s and powers multiple devices from home appliances to smartphones. Linux is comprised of various different distributions such as Ubuntu, CentOS, and Linux Mint. Each distro has its own take on the desktop and overall user environment for home PC use. However, when utilizing Linux for a server, you'll primarily utilize the terminal or shell interface. Like all operating systems, Linux has a plethora of different commands that can be utilized from within the shell or terminal interface."

Common Linux Commands

If You Work With Any of the Following Languages and/or Frameworks, Linux May be the Best Choice For You:

  • MySQL
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Perl

What is Windows?

Windows is the more seasoned OS, as Windows 1.0 was released in 1985. It was made using C++, and it employs the Windows PowerShell command line.

If You Work With Any of the Following Languages and/or Frameworks, Windows May be the Best Choice For You:

  • C#
  • MySQL
  • ASP
  • Visual Basic

Now, onto the main event! An analysis of the differences between Windows and Linux.


  • Linux employs a command line whereas Windows does not (well, technically, Windows does have a command line, but it requires extra steps to access it).
  • Linux has a free license, whereas Windows' license is a limited license.
  • Linux is a bit faster than Windows.
  • Security for Linux is a strong point. Linux is very stable and hard to hack. This OS doesn't grab users' information, which helps to keep it more secure. Windows security isn't quite as robust, but it definitely wins most improved of the progress that's been made in the security department.
  • Linux offers a plethora of different distributions, whereas Windows does not.
  • Linux allows you to do updates whenever you would like, whereas this is not so much the case with Windows.
  • Linux supports almost every platform, whereas Windows is more limited in this arena.
  • Linux is known to give you more customization options and flexibility than Windows.
  • Linux is open source, whereas Windows is not.

'Open Source' Means:

1. The source code amounting to a particular software must be viewable, modifiable, and inspectable.

2. The software is distributed for free.

That is a good place to get started in terms of exploring the 'open source' realm, but there is more to look into there if you are interested.


  • Windows offers users an easy-to-use interface to work with.
  • Windows is advised for the OS newbie because it's less complex than Linux.
  • Windows is known to provide a more comprehensive set of features than Linux.
  • Windows uses a backslash to denote the separation of folders, whereas Linux uses a forward slash.
  • Windows offers full hardware support, whereas Linux has partial hardware support.
  • Windows requires anti-virus software.
  • Windows has paid support as well as an online community forum where you can get free support.
  • Windows is more popular amongst gamers and smaller companies, whereas Linux is used more by larger corporations.

RELATED: Best Security Practices For A Linux Server Guide

RELATED: How to Update Your Server (Linux) Guide

RELATED: Choosing Your Windows OS Version Guide

RELATED: How to Rebuild Your Windows Cloud Server Guide

Hostwinds Linux & Windows VPS Plans

Have you made your decision? If not, it's okay – our team has your back. Please feel welcome to reach out to our support team via either Live Chat ( or Phone (888-404-1279) anytime if you need advice about which OS to choose. Also, here is a little bit of information about Hostwinds Linux and Windows VPS Plans:

What is a Linux VPS?

From Our Website's Fully Managed Linux VPS FAQ Section:

"A Linux VPS includes dedicated resources such as CPU Cores, RAM, Disk Space, and Port Speeds that you can utilize anytime. Linux VPSs are more scalable than Dedicated Servers, and you can keep up with the demand of your Linux VPS resources by adding them as needed with Hostwinds Cloud Control."

What is a Windows VPS?

From Our Website's Fully Managed Windows VPS FAQ Section:

"Microsoft Windows VPSs can come with Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2012, or Microsoft Windows Server 2016, installed and are ready for use within minutes after placing your order. Hostwinds Windows VPSs are optimized for our environment and can be deployed to any of our data center locations."

Hostwinds Fully Managed Linux & Windows VPS Plans Specifically:

Debating between a Fully Managed and Unmanaged VPS Plan? Here's some guidance to help you out:

If you feel comfortable maintaining, configuring, and troubleshooting your VPS yourself, and if you don't think it will be necessary to receive 24/7/365 assistance from our live support team, you would be wise to get an Unmanaged VPS plan. Why? It will save you money!

If you would like the support of our skilled team of experts at any point, day or night, we highly suggest a Fully Managed VPS plan.

ORDER NOW: Fully Managed Linux VPS Hosting

ORDER NOW: Fully Managed Windows VPS Hosting

ORDER NOW: Unmanaged Linux VPS Hosting

ORDER NOW: Unmanaged Windows VPS Hosting

Well, folks, that's a wrap as far as this blog post goes. Please do feel encouraged to comment below if you have questions or comments about any of the content contained within this blog piece. Have a nice day!

Written by Hostwinds Team  /  July 23, 2020