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Windows-to-Linux roadmap: Part 1. Thinking in Linux
By Chris Walden - 2004-05-10 Page:  1 2 3 4

Linux is a little like Windows

Before discussing how Linux is different from Windows, let's explore the overlaps where Linux and Windows are similar.

Users and groups

Both Linux and Windows are multi-user operating systems. Both can be used by many different users, and give each user a separate environment and resources. Security is controlled based on the user's identity. Resource access can also be controlled by group membership, making it easier to work with rights for large numbers of users without having to touch each individual account.

Users and groups can be centralized into a single repository, allowing multiple servers to share the same user and authentication data.

File system

Both Linux and Windows can work with a wide variety of file systems. File resources can be shared with a variety of clients through NetBIOS, FTP, or other protocols. Individual file systems can be flexibly incorporated, allowing the administrator to choose where and how they will be accessed.

Ports and devices

Physical device ports such as parallel, serial, and USB are supported. Various controllers, such as IDE and SCSI, are also supported. Linux can support a good deal of standard hardware "off the shelf."

Networking

Linux and Windows both support a number of networking protocols, such as TCP/IP, NetBIOS, and IPX. Both support a wide variety of network adapters. Both provide the ability to share resources, such as files and printing, through the network. Both provide capability to perform network services, such as DHCP and DNS.

Services

Linux and Windows both have services, applications that run in the background to provide some function to the system and to computers that remotely call the service. These programs can be controlled individually and be started automatically when the system boots. (Note: In Linux these applications are often referred to as daemons, a legacy of its Unix roots.)

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First published by IBM developerWorks


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