GeodSoft logo   GeodSoft

Linux, OpenBSD, Windows Server Comparison: OS Versions and Fragmentation

While it's true there are a number of versions of Linux as well as many versions of UNIX, Windows is fragmented in many ways also. In addition to Microsoft's sometimes incompatible upgrade versions of their own major applications, there are two distinct Windows families where products built for one family 95, 98, ME often won't run on the other family NT, 2000 and XP.

Every several years, Microsoft introduces an fundamentally different operating environment or system with major changes in the user interface. Because Windows is a system designed to hide how the computer operates from user, each time one of these changes comes along, there is a major learning curve. Technical users may effectively loose a significant part of their knowledge of how Windows works and need start over with the new system. These changes may be more than mechanical with the introduction of entirely new concepts such as file and directory security with NT and the active directory with Windows 2000. These differences are far more significant than the directory or command line differences from one version of UNIX to another. Bill Gates has told us to expect another such change around 2004 or 2005.

Then there cases like the various Windows NTP products. With dozens to choose from, which is right? An interesting comparison is my NTP tutorial page where I select four good but incomplete Windows NTP products and give the pros and cons of each and compare these to my UNIX install instructions where there is one set of instructions for a single complete product for all versions of UNIX. Ntpd is typically not included in UNIX base installs but is widely available. Administrators have a choice between obtaining the precompiled, OS specific version of ntpd which will install using exactly the same methods that all binaries for that platform use or getting the generic source and using the same install and configuration methods across all UNIX flavors. Typically the ready made binaries are called packages and each UNIX has its own package management system. Using an OS specific package install is preferable for homogenous UNIX environments whereas using the generic source install is likely to be preferable for heterogeneous UNIX environments.

transparent spacer

Top of Page - Site Map

Copyright © 2000 - 2014 by George Shaffer. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in (or These terms are subject to change. Distribution is subject to the current terms, or at the choice of the distributor, those in an earlier, digitally signed electronic copy of (or cgi-bin/ from the time of the distribution. Distribution of substantively modified versions of GeodSoft content is prohibited without the explicit written permission of George Shaffer. Distribution of the work or derivatives of the work, in whole or in part, for commercial purposes is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained from George Shaffer. Distribution in accordance with these terms, for unrestricted and uncompensated public access, non profit, or internal company use is allowed.


What's New
Email address

Copyright © 2000-2014, George Shaffer. Terms and Conditions of Use.