Linux vs Windows: Stability

Dennis Faas's picture

Have you ever lost your work because Windows crashed? How long has it been since you rebooted Windows because of a system error of one sort or another? When was the last time you received the infamous "Blue Screen Of Death" or other error messages demanding that your omputer needs to shut down and reboot for obscure reasons?

Certainly, the latest versions of Windows, especially the XP and 2000 "Professional" flavors are considerably more stable than their predecessors. Nevertheless, the need for a spontaneous reboot happens often enough.

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

Linux can run for years without needing to be restarted. In fact, most Internet servers run Linux, and they *rarely* ever need to restart. Of course, with any major update, it's inevitable that a system should reboot to ensure it's operating properly. The point is: if you use Linux, you could theoretically leave your system running for obscene periods of time and never worry about those spontaneous reboots (the kind you get with Windows).

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 a single error. The system finally failed, but not because of the software. The bearings in the main drive failed and the PC inevitably crashed. 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 because I had backups of everything on the old drive.

From a Windows user perspective: a week is a long time between reboots. In fact, it's not too uncommon to experience a 'glitch' that requires a reboot three or four times a week. Simply put, Windows is not a stable system in comparison to Linux.

Side note: For further reading, please refer to my previous discussion regarding Monolithic versus Modular Design.

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