The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Linux is a superior operating system to OSX and Windows

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2014 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,674 times Debate No: 49521
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




I will be arguing that Linux (GNU/Linux, if you prefer) is superior to both OSX and Windows.

"Linux" is defined as including all current distributions of linux. I will most likely be using Ubuntu as my main example.

Con will be arguing that Linux is not superior to OSX and Windows as an operating system.

Round 1 is for acceptance only.



In the last few years, there has been a surge of renewed interest in using Linux, in both the server and desktop spaces. Several factors are contributing to this surge, all happening at once. First, there is the trend from powerful desktops to smaller, but less powerful, notebooks -- and now, netbooks. In addition, more user (and media) friendly Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, have hit the scene. Finally, here comes the OS everybody loves to hate: Windows Vista -- significantly more resource hungry than XP and perhaps released a little too soon. The confluence of these factors has led many users to give Linux a shot.

Largely, however, Linux has still been found wanting. Whether because of some inherent weakness of Linux, a preconceived advantage that doesn't pan out, or the fact that users simply miss their familiar Windows functions, there are a number of reasons why Linux isn't triumphing over Windows. I'm going to look at 10 of these reasons, some that apply primarily to servers, some to desktops, and some to both.

1: Cost comparisons are often misleading

Let's get what may be the most controversial point out of the way early. First, in the server space especially, we should try to compare apples to apples. This means comparing Windows Server to paid Linux. By far the most dominant flavor is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), with about a two-thirds share of the paid enterprise Linux market, so this seems the most logical comparison. While there are plenty of free options out there, such as CentOS, for a business running mission-critical workloads, an unsupported operating system is a hard pill to swallow.

2.Windows offers familiarity and ease of use

Let's face it: Whatever else you might say about Windows, it is easier to use. We love our Start menu and our Task Manager and our system tray. Some of us are even starting to love our Vista Sidebar and gadgets. Young adults today never had to use MS-DOS, even if they started using computers at an early age, so they aren't going to be comfortable at a Linux command line.

Don't get me wrong -- Linux has come a long way. But remember how far back it has had to come from -- where just managing to install the operating system for a non-expert (and sometimes experts too) was considered a major triumph. There are still too many things in the Linux world that are expected to be done manually, like program installation. A majority of users will say, "I might have to compile something myself? No thanks."
There are a couple of ways we can look at cost, neither of which is nearly as flattering to Linux as one might expect. First, we can look at the costs directly related to the acquisition of the platform. RHEL is a subscription-based license, meaning that rather than pay for the software itself, you pay for support. This doesn't mean just phone tech support or troubleshooting (although that is included too, whether you want it or not) but also includes standard patches and bug fixes. Standard support for RHEL 5 Advanced Platform is $1,499 per year per server, or $4,047 for three years. Compare this with $3,999 for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise edition with free patching and bug fixes, and you can basically call it a wash unless you use a ton of phone support. And there are also features that aren't included and must be purchased separately, such as Red Hat Directory Server -- thousands more per year.

The other way of looking at cost is total cost of ownership (TCO) of the platform, and this leads into our next issue.
Debate Round No. 1



1. Cost comparisons

Presenting Windows or OSX as the more cost-effective option for the server space is simply wrong. The vast majority of linux operating systems that are used on servers are gratis distributions. A survey of over 10 million web sites determined that of the servers using Apache, Debian and CentOS, two gratis distribution, constitute 27.4% and 27.8% of the market, respectively. Ubuntu came in next with 13%, followed by Red Hat at a mere 10.75%. [1] This demonstrates clearly that the price of a single distribution of Linux does not make it a worse operating system for servers. What this survey does show is that Red Hat is chosen when companies see Red Hat's services as providing them additional value. However, RHEL is just one distribution; for the majority of people using Linux on their server, Linux provides them with a much more cost-effective option as they get security and stability all at no cost. If Windows and/or OSX really were more cost-effective, it would make no sense that more people use Linux on their servers than Windows and OSX. [2][3]

2. Windows familiarity

There is a Linux distribution for everyone. No matter how familiar one is with Windows, there are distributions that make it quite easy to make the switch. Take Zorin OS, for example, a Linux distribution that looks and feels like Windows 7 and provides a "Look Changer" that lets users make their desktop look like Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and even OSX.. See for yourself:

You also brought up people liking various features of Windows Vista. However, your point is obsolete because Vista is long in the past. As of February 2014 a mere 3.1% of computer users were still using Windows Vista. As a result of this, there is no point in emphasizing peoples' familiarity with Windows Vista's features, as few people are still using Windows Vista. Most have opted to upgrade to Windows 7 or revert back to Windows XP.

Another thing you mention is use of the command line; however, you fail to realize that with modern Linux distributions, use of the command line is fully optional. Modernization in distributions like Ubuntu make it so you don't even need the command line to install new software. The Ubuntu Software Center, shown below, serves as an app store for Ubuntu users.

Even operating system installation for distributions like Ubuntu is very simple for the average user. Tools like Wubi (pictured below), allow users to install Ubuntu using an application inside of Windows as if they were installing a program.


1. Security

Linux is far more secure than both Windows and OSX. Not only is Linux a virtually virus-free platform, but its source code is publicly visible which prevents backdoors from being added and helps fix security holes. After all, if you have millions of eyes looking at the same code, you're far more likely to find any mistakes.

2. Stability

Linux is the champion in operating system stability for a number of reasons. For one, some distributions, such as Debian, make it one of their goals to ensure that all of their software is fully stable before releasing it in the “stable” channel of software for their distribution. It is for this reason that Debian is so popular on servers and that it serves as a basis for many other Linux distributions. Ubuntu, the most popular user Linux distribution, is based on Debian, and as a result, Ubuntu itself is very stable. Linux users don't have to deal with Windows' blue screens and freezes, nor OSX's “spinning beach ball of doom”.

3. Value

Linux for users, in almost all cases, is free of charge. This in and of itself is an advantage, but it also points to something else about Linux. The Linux business model has always been different from the business model surrounding the more popular operating systems; whereas Windows and OSX are sold and support is either gratis or an afterthought, Linux was built around making a great operating system and making money on it not by selling it, but by providing fantastic support services. Ubuntu, for example, has a fantastically helpful group of expert users who provide free support to those who need it, and at the same time, provide commercial support to businesses who need it. In this way, Linux provides much better value to the user as it is a better product with better support at a near zero cost.

4. Usability

Some might argue that Linux is not usable enough for most users. However, Linux has come a long, long way in that regard. Distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint provide very familiar user interfaces to OSX and Windows users, respectively, while simultaneously providing extensive support for different codecs, Windows applications, and other proprietary software like Adobe Flash Player out of the box. In addition, the lack of crashes and freezes makes Linux just that much more usable to an inexperienced user than OSX or Windows.







Microsoft Windows 8 is the best desktop operating system. Period. No Linux distribution or OS X can compare. I say this as a Linux user and lover.

When it comes to computing, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Microsoft Windows. Windows 95 was the operating system of my first-ever computer -- we could not afford a computer before then. As time marched on, I found myself dual-booting Windows and Linux on my future computers, with most of my time being spent in Linux. That is, until a few years ago when I exclusively ran various Linux distributions as the sole OS on my computer.

After trying various Linux distributions and desktop environments, I eventually fell in love with Gnome 3. It was a new way of interfacing with my computer. It enabled me to focus on a task without needing to minimize or resize a window. The overview allowed me to switch programs as I need them. I was pretty much in paradise. This year, I even donated money to the Gnome Foundation as a kudos for its great work.

However, despite my happiness with Linux and Gnome, I was a bit dismayed at my inexperience with the Modern/Metro UI of Windows 8. I like having knowledge about all operating systems. It seemed to be a very polarizing topic in Windows computing -- there was either love or hate. I had tried Windows 8 at Best Buy and generally didn"t like it, but it wasn"t a fair review -- just a few minutes while my wife shopped for Blu-Rays. A few weeks ago, Newegg was running a promotion for Windows 8 -- $79.99 for the OEM. As a system builder, installing on a self-built computer, the OEM version would be perfect. The price was right, so I ordered it. While waiting for the disc, I remembered that I was eligible to buy Office 2013 Pro Plus for $10 in another promotion and bought that too.

When Windows 8 arrived, I decided to start from scratch. I formatted my SSD and setup two partitions -- NTFS and EXT4. I installed Windows 8 to the NTFS partition. On the other partition, I installed Ubuntu 13.04 Gnome. I then setup GRUB so that Windows 8 was a selectable option at boot. I told myself that Windows 8 was only being installed for educational purposes and that I would continue to use Ubuntu as my main OS. This was true for a little while.

When I would log in to Windows 8, I found myself really enjoying the experience. In fact, the aspect of the experience that I loved the most was the Start Screen. This is the most controversial part of Windows 8. Many people want the start button back. I think those people are crazy. In my opinion, the entire classic desktop needs to go away and go Modern UI only.

Modern UI actually reminds me of Gnome 3 in a way. By putting my mouse pointer in the top left corner, I can see all Modern UI apps that are running and then select one. It is very painless to move between two apps when doing it this way. I even discovered some great Modern UI Apps including some alternatives to some classic apps. For instance, instead of mIRC, I found the amazing IRC Explorer. I even did something sacrilege -- I tried Internet Explorer 10 and liked it. I liked it so much that I made it my main web browser with Chrome as my secondary browser. The Netfix app in Moden UI is nothing short of exquisite.

No matter the OS nowadays, the interface is similar in one regard. From iOS, to Android to Ubuntu to OSX to Fedora -- you hunt for an icon that represents the program you want and click it to open -- yawn. Windows 8 is truly the first OS to really look beyond that. While the tiles are basically icons, they are so much more. They create a way to interact with your installed programs like no other OS. It is so refreshing to see the tiles scroll with updates. IRC Explorer will show me recent channel activity without needing to go in the app. The mail app, which I love, gives me a sneak peek into recent email.

As I mentioned previously, I was able to get Microsoft Office for very cheap -- $10.00. I have long been a proponent of OpenOffice and LibreOffice. While I still think they are fine options for the financially challenged, they are no match for Office 2013. It"s a shame to see how much I was missing by using Office-alternative suites for so many years. Office 2013 is worth the normal price. There may be something to those Scroogled commercials after all. Alternatives like Google Docs just don"t compare.

So, in conclusion, while I have left Linux as my desktop OS of choice, I am not leaving it entirely. I will still keep Ubuntu in a dual boot as my secondary OS. Linux distributions are still a great desktop OS choice and LibreOffice is very functional. And who knows, maybe one day Linux will be able to produce something better than Windows 8 on the desktop and I will switch back. I will still be using Linux daily when I use my Android phone and tablet or my Chromebook.
Debate Round No. 2



Rebuttal to: Windows 8 is the best desktop operating system

In the previous round, Con presented reasons why he personally prefers Windows 8, but didn't present any evidence to demonstrate that Windows 8 is the best desktop OS. The fact is, Windows 8 was meant to replace Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. If it was really the best desktop operating system, it would have achieved this goal, but it has not. A February 2014 survey showed that only 10.7% of computer users are using Windows 8, whereas about 80% of computer users are still using Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. [1] This demonstrates that the vast majority of Windows users are not satisfied with the changes in Windows 8.


Con didn't directly respond to any of my previous rebuttals or arguments, so they all still stand.





1) My opponent Pro said that Linux is more superior than windows and that people are not happy with windows 8
That is untrue. Millions of people all around the world are enjoying Windows 8 and it is a main computer everyone should have!


Linux does not run lots programs that are very needy. People just judge Linux by its looks and say that it is better than Windows. Lets not be hasty over this. but LETS JUST SAY THAT Linux IS HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT FOR GAMERS! IT CANNOT DOWNLOAD LOTS OF GAMES.

Linux is the most confusing UNIX system yet. Its true. Even skilled software programmers topple over it. Windows is the most easiest configuring computer software yet.

This is why I conclude that Linux is NOT superior to Windows
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by pedrolakeside 1 year ago
So, some users, and programmers may be advise Apple is using Linux kernels mixed with BSD monolithic kernels, resulting in cranked system, is the case Yosemite OS. Some relates about 2 minutes to boot and using 95% of RAM memory.
Posted by Anatta 2 years ago
Scapegoat has a point, what he says comes down to this - all the contender has to do is prove ONE of them is better to defeat you, not both.
Posted by anish 2 years ago
I believe that Linux is superior as I have Linux but I am doing this debat for fun!
Posted by peacenow 2 years ago
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 2 years ago
False dichotomy.
If "A" is "Linux is a superior operating system to OSX and Windows", then "not A" is "Linux is NOT superior to OSX AND Windows".
If you deny Con to argue that they are all alike, or OSX is superior alone (or Windows is superior alone), you create a fase dichotomy, and thus this debate is useless.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued that it was too complicated, without noticing his argument was essentially saying windows is basic, simple, and less-advanced.