If you were using Windows and then switched to Linux you probably noticed that these operating systems have one significant difference. The longer you use Windows the harder it starts to slow down. The longer it boots up, the slower it runs, the slower the programs start. There are several reasons for this. In this article I will try to figure out why this happens.
1. Windows Registry
All the configuration files of the Linux programs are stored in the /etc/ directory, the installation of the programs and the placement of the files there is controlled by the package manager so that it is always clean and there is nothing extra. Another place to store the settings of the programs is the user’s home folder. This is where some of the environment settings and user programs are stored. Here each program has its own folder and it does not litter the common workspace. So everything works quickly. In addition, if you think that something has gone wrong with the settings in the home folder, you can simply delete them, it will not break anything, just reset the settings to their defaults.
Windows has a special repository that is used to store both system settings and programs. If it’s worthwhile to store system settings or not, because it’s simply convenient and standardized, it’s certainly not worth storing app settings. Over time, third party applications turn the Windows registry into a dumpster, where they store a lot of unnecessary garbage from programs that no longer exist on the system, and the more entries, and the larger the registry, the slower Windows runs. And it’s not so easy to clean the registry, if you start deleting something, you can damage your system settings and your Windows won’t boot anymore.
Linux gives the user full control over the operating system. You can choose which disks will be mounted, where and why. You can configure the boot process in detail, disable unnecessary services, and all problems have to be solved manually.
The Windows system tries to do everything for the user. It tries to automatically fix bugs, it decides which partitions to mount, and which services you don’t want to turn off are not so easy. The desire for automation does not add speed, the system does not always solve problems optimally, and this can add seconds to boot or shutdown.
3. Programs and drivers
All Linux drivers are built into the kernel and loaded at system startup with the kernel or connected at boot time as kernel modules. This all works very fast. Drivers are updated with the kernel and the kernel is updated with a distribution update. There is almost no software in the auto-boot environment, it can be a few messengers and it is updated together with the distribution using a package manager. Therefore no time is wasted checking for updates for each program.
In Windows, many programs are in autoload and including drivers. Drivers are installed individually, and in addition to the driver for the system kernel itself there is a utility that allows you to configure the driver settings, it would be a plus, but this utility needs time to boot at system startup, and each utility will check if a new version of the driver on the Internet. This all slows down your system very much, so if you’re already using Windows, it’s best to use the drivers that are installed with your system updates.
In most cases Linux distributions are updated manually by users. All you have to do is type the command sudo apt upgrade in Ubuntu to upgrade to the new version. Other distributions use other commands to update, but the principle is the same. The upgrade is done whenever you want.
Windows Operating System is in most cases updated whenever it wants. This also applies to the Automation item, most Windows maintenance processes run automatically when the system wants them, not when the user wants them. Updating in the background puts additional load on the processor and takes a channel to the Internet. Also, all updates are stored in the WinSxS folder and over time this folder starts to take up a lot of memory, which is also not very good.
5. Disk handling
The Linux architecture provides that the operating system runs in more RAM and uses less disk space. This allows the operating system as a whole to work faster. In addition the amount of data written to the disk can be further reduced with some settings.
Windows writes data to disk very often. You can see this by opening the Resource Monitor in Task Manager. Therefore it is especially noticeable that Windows slows down on HDDs, where write speed to disk is low.
As you can see there are several reasons why Windows is worse performing than Linux. Also, Linux has several environments that are specifically designed for weaker computers and Windows doesn’t have a choice of environments at all, you can only use one Explorer.