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Many people claim that Linux (e.g. Ubuntu) has a lower memory footprint than Windows. Is this really true? E.g. between Windows 7 and Ubuntu.

Furthermore, why does Windows take considerably longer to boot up than Linux?

In both cases, the OS's are fresh - nothing installed on them.

Thanks

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2 Answers 2

Many people claim that Linux (e.g. Ubuntu) has a lower memory footprint than Windows. Is this really true? E.g. between Windows 7 and Ubuntu.

As of now, yes, that is true. Windows (at least Vista and 7) tends to use a lot more memory because of a technology called SuperFetch which preloads the RAM with programs that you use frequently or recently. However, this makes programs a lot faster to launch. But on the other hand, Windows has a heck of a lot of graphics (and hence, memory) intensive effects. These effects are all-or-nothing. In Ubuntu, the effects are much more configurable, and are set to "Light" by default.

I'm sure some Free Software purists would argue that the code is a lot lighter because there are so many people looking at it, constantly tweaking it. This point isn't all too valid because a lot of open source projects are bloated too (see: OpenOffice.org, the original Mozilla suite, KDE 4.0).

Furthermore, why does Windows take considerably longer to boot up than Linux?

Canonical works their butt off optimizing boot times. With the upcoming ChromeOS and Ubuntu Light and all that jazz, they need to use boot time as a market point.

In addition, Ubuntu and Linux in general doesn't have a registry, which is the bane of Windows users. The registry is so easily corrupted that you can't go 10 pages on the Internet without seeing a "Registry Fixing Program". Linux programs save their configurations in . in the user profile folder.

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My Ubuntu 10.4 and Windows 7 dual boot system runs about the same memory footprint. With only firefox running I see about 1 GB out of 8 GB available. Ubuntu takes about 35 seconds from OFF to running, Windows 7 about 45 seconds, but I refuse to worry about 10 seconds difference for something that happens once a day. Maybe your system is different.

If we're going to argue if Windows is better than Linux let's find something more important than this.

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