I use both Ubuntu and Windows XP. One thing that catches my attention for a long time is the high need for reboots in Windows. Most of the time when I install a program, Windows requests to reboot system. This happens considerably more frequently than Linux.

Why is it so?


  • This is changing a bit nowadays. The new architecture used on newer versions combined with appstores (like the built-in windows store, Steam, and others) is making reboots way less frequents now. My computers usually only reboot at system updates now, keeping themselves online 24/7 most of the time.
    – T. Sar
    Apr 26 '17 at 11:51

This is because of the architecture.

The major reason for this behavior is that Linux doesn't lock executed files and libraries, which allows direct replacement of those files and does only require the applications to restart. For installations is the reason the package-management-systems, while in Windows every program installs all needed libraries (even if they're already installed, but when they are in use they are locked, which needs a restart to clear the situation) in Linux an application only references the needed packages which are installed once (and never again), reducing the overhead.

  • 3
    Raymond Chen had a blog entry once on the problems and dangers involved (and ultimately that the user would notice weird behavior if programs misbehaved and not following contracts); it was a conscious design decision and not so much that it can't be done in Windows.
    – Joey
    May 11 '10 at 13:48
  • 1
    Johannes, can you give the link?
    – kolistivra
    May 20 '10 at 23:29
  • @Joey to follow up on kolistivra comment, I can't find the article on Raymond's blog. Please add it if you have it.
    – Gordon
    Aug 10 '11 at 10:25
  • 4
    Ah, it wasn't on his blog, but still findable via two clicks and a quick search for site:blogs.msdn.con/b/oldnewthing replace file in use: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/…
    – Joey
    Aug 10 '11 at 11:00

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