Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Windows vs Linux Reason 2

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How long has it been since you rebooted your Windows system because of a system error of one sort or another? Have you ever lost your work because Windows crashed? Do you always shut down your computer properly, or do you sometimes just switch it off because Windows has gone crazy and won’t shutdown for some reason? Have you ever gotten the "blue screen of death" or error messages telling you that the computer needs to be shut down or reboot for obscure reasons?

The latest versions of Windows, especially the XP or 2000 "Professional" ones are more stable than previous releases. Nevertheless, this kind of problem still happens fairly often.

Of course, no operating system is perfect, and people who tell you that theirs can never crash are lying! However, some operating systems can be so stable that most users never see their systems crash, even after several years. This is true for Linux.

Linux can run for years without needing to be restarted, in fact, most internet servers run Linux, and they usually never restart. Of course, with heavy updates, it still needs to be rebooted the proper way. But if you install Linux, and then use your system as much as you want, leaving your computer on all the time, you can go on like that for years without having any trouble. Most of the time, you won't leave your computer on for such a long time, but this shows how stable Linux is.

From personal experience, I know this to be true. I had a system I was using for development and testing purposes that ran continuously for 3 years, without error. The system finally failed, but not because of the software. The bearings in the main drive failed and the system died. I had to replace the hard drive, of course, but I was able to have the entire system back in operation in a matter of hours since I had backups of everything on the old drive.

As far as Windows is concerned, a week is a long time between reboots. A lot of folk experience system ‘glitches’ the require rebooting three or four times a week. By any standard, Windows is not a stable system in comparison to Linux.