Linux And Other Unix Based Operating Systems Computer Science Essay

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Cost - The most obvious advantage of using Linux is the fact that it is free to obtain, while Microsoft products are available for a hefty and sometimes recurring fee. Microsoft licenses typically are only allowed to be installed on a single computer, whereas a Linux distribution can be installed on any number of computers, without paying a single dime.

Security - In line with the costs, the security aspect of Linux is much stronger than that of Windows. Why should you have to spend extra money for virus protection software? The Linux operating system has been around since the early nineties and has managed to stay secure in the realm of widespread viruses, spyware and adware for all these years. Sure, the argument of the Linux desktop not being as widely used is a factor as to why there are no viruses.

Choice (Freedom) - The power of choice is a great Linux advantage. With Linux, you have the power to control just about every aspect of the operating system. Two major features you have control of are your desktops look and feel by way of numerous Window Managers, and the kernel.

Software - There are so many software choices when it comes to doing any specific task. You could search for a text editor on Freshmeat and yield hundreds, if not thousands of results.

Hardware - Linux is perfect for those old computers with barely any processing power or memory you have sitting in your garage or basement collecting dust. Install Linux and use it as a firewall, a file server, or a backup server.

Disadvantages of Linux:

Understanding - Becoming familiar with the Linux operating system requires patience as well as a strong learning curve. You must have the desire to read and figure things out on your own, rather than having everything done for you. Check out the 20 must read howto's and guides for Linux.

Compatibility - Because of its free nature, Linux is sometimes behind the curve when it comes to brand new hardware compatibility. Though the kernel contributors and maintainers work hard at keeping the kernel up to date, Linux Alternative Programs - Though Linux developers have done a great job at creating alternatives to popular Windows applications, there are still some applications that exist on Windows that have no equivalent Linux application. does not have as much of a corporate backing as alternative operating systems.

Mac OS

Advantages of Mac OS


Mac OS is a two-layered system: the attractive GUI sits atop a Unix core, and Unix is best-known for its security features. It's simply impossible to install a destructive trojan or virus unless the user explicity allows it root access via typing in the admin password.


Because OS X was designed from scratch from the ground up, Mac OS is incredibly stable. Apple controls production from start to finish, so every part of a Mac is designed and tested to work together.

Ease of Use

Apple's known for hiring the best industrial and interface designers around, and it shows in the intuitive nature of the GUI. I don't mean to sound like I'm verging into fangirl territory here; it's just true. Like the OS's reliability, the OS's functionality is designed to just work.

Disadvantages of Mac OS


All that flashy secure reliable power comes at a price. Macs cost more than machines that run other operating systems, though publications like MacWorld occasionally run feature-to-feature comparisons and find that comparably-equipped Mac and other ma Gaming

If you're a computer gamer, Mac OS isn't going to do it for you. Boot Camp and Parallels will allow you to run games natively in Windows, but there may be a performance hit. Some games are produced for Mac OS, but the number is very small.

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 - Pros


In the Microsoft universe, many companies provide hardware and software support. The number of applications that are available to run in the Server 2003 environment are numerous.


Domain operations are an important resource available on the network through Server 2003. Making Server 2003 a domain controller adds security and the ability to add local and group policies to the network.

Reliability and Downtime

As for reliability, Server 2003 is very reliable. The uptime on Windows 2003 Servers is about 99.993%. On a yearly basis, that means that the server is roughly down about 40 minutes per year.

Windows Server 2003 - Cons

Additional Hardware Resources

One disadvantage to using Windows Server 2003 is that it requires more resources for the machine to operate properly. Usually purchasing software will also involve upgrading the hardware.

Support Costs

There are high support costs. The administration of Server 2003 involves having trained support staff. The staff must be well trained to take advantage of the the system, which can be costly.

Windows Server 2003

The best operating system is: Windows Server 2003

Windows is the system must users are familiar with so this will mean better productivity for you business. Otherwise you are looking at time and money to train your staff in a new operating system