Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

Distros

In depth: A lot of people have been chattering about the improvements Windows 7 brings for Windows users, but how does it compare to Ubuntu in real-world tests? We put Ubuntu 8.10, Windows Vista and Windows 7 through their paces in both 32-bit and 64-bit tests to see just how well Ubuntu faces the new contender. And, just for luck, we threw in a few tests using Jaunty Jackalope with ext4.

When Windows users say that Windows 7 is easier to install than ever, what do they really mean? When they say it's faster, is it just in their heads, or is Microsoft really making big strides forward? And, perhaps most importantly, when Linux benchmarkers show us how screamingly fast ext4 is compared to ext3, how well do those figures actually transfer to end users?

These are the questions we wanted to answer, so we asked Dell to provide us with a high-spec machine to give all the operating systems room to perform to their max. Our test machine packed an Intel Core i7 920, which in layman's terms has four cores running at 2.67GHz with hyperthreading and 8MB of L3 cache. It also had 6GB of RAM, plus two 500GB of hard drives with 16MB of cache.

The tests we wanted to perform for each operating system were:

  • How long does each operating system take to install?
  • How much disk space was used in the standard install?
  • How long does boot up and shutdown take?
  • How long does it take to copy files from USB to HD, and from HD to HD?
  • How fast can it execute the Richards benchmark?

We also, just for the heck of it, kept track of how many mouse clicks it took to install each OS.

Before we jump into the results, there are a few things we should make clear:

  • To ensure absolute fairness, install time was measured from the moment the computer was turned on until we reached a working desktop.
  • The same computer hardware was used for all tests, and all operating systems were installed fresh for this article.
  • We used the Ultimate versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, simply because Windows 7 was provided only in this flavour.
  • We used the Windows Vista SP1 disk to accurately reflect what users are likely to experience todaay.
  • Our Windows 7 version is the open beta that Microsoft issued recently. It is probable Windows 7 will be at least this fast in the final build, if not faster.
  • For Ubuntu 9.04 we used the daily build from January 22nd.
  • All operating systems were installed using standard options; nothing was changed.
  • After checking how much space was used during the initial install, each operating system was updated with all available patches before any other tests were performed.
  • Our journalistic friends have informed us that Windows Vista (and, presumably, Windows 7 too) has technology to increase the speed of the system over time as it learns to cache programs intelligently. It also allows users to use flash drives to act as temporary storage to boost speed further. None of our tests are likely to show this technology in action, so please take that into account when reading the results.
  • The filesystem, boot, shutdown and Richards benchmarks were performed three times each then averaged.

And, of course, there's the most important proviso of all: it is very, very likely that a few tweaks to any of these operating systems could have made a big difference to these results, but we're not too interested in that - these results reflect what you get you install a plain vanilla OS, like most users do.

Install time

Amount of time taken to install, from machine being turned on to working desktop. Measured in seconds; less is better.

At first glance, you might think that Ubuntu clearly installs far faster than either version of Windows, and while that's true there is one important mitigation: both Windows Vista and Windows 7 run system benchmarks part-way through the installation to determine the computer's capabilities.

A bit of a flippant one - just how many mouse clicks does it take to install an OS with the default options?

Surprisingly, Ubuntu 8.10 gets it done with half the clicks of Windows 7. NB: hopefully it's clear this doesn't make Ubuntu 8.04 twice as easy to install. Measured in, er, mouse clicks; fewer is better.

Disk space used immediately after a fresh install. Measured in gigabytes; less is better.

While some people might complain that we used the Ultimate editions of both Vista and Windows 7, they probably forget that the standard Ubuntu includes software such as an office suite as standard. NB: Vista failed to detect the network card during install, leaving us without an internet connection until a driver was downloaded on another computer.

Bootup and shutdown

Boot up time was also measured from the moment the machine was turned on, and the timer was stopped as soon as the desktop was reached. The Dell box does take about 20 seconds to get past POST, but to avoid questions about when to start the timer we just started it as soon as the power button was pressed.

Amount of time taken to boot, from machine being turned on to working desktop. Measured in seconds; less is better.

The 32-bit version of Windows 7 is the only one to beat the one-minute mark, but that advantage is quickly lost in the switch to 64-bit. Linux has always been rather slow to boot, but as we understand it reducing boot time is one of the goals of the Ubuntu 9.04 release.

Amount of time taken to shutdown, from button being clicked to machine powering off. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Windows lags a little behind the Linuxes, with 64-bit again proving a sticking point - this time for Windows Vista.

IO testing

To test filesystem performance, we ran four tests: copying large files from USB to HD, copying large files from HD to HD, copying small files from USB to HD, and copying small files from HD to HD. The HD to HD tests copied data from one part of the disk to another as opposed to copying to a different disk. For reference, the large file test comprised 39 files in 1 folder, making 399MB in total; the small file test comprised 2,154 files in 127 folders, making 603MB in total. Each of these tests were done with write caching disabled to ensure the full write had taken place.

Amount of time taken to copy the small files from a USB flash drive to hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Amount of time taken to copy the small files from one place to another on a single hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Let us take this opportunity to remind readers that Windows 7 is still at least nine months from release.

Amount of time taken to copy the large files from a USB flash drive to hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Amount of time taken to copy the large files from one place to another on a single hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

With the exception of Windows 7 while copying larges files around a hard drive, Windows generally suffered compared to Linux in all of these tests. Obviously Windows does have to worry about some things that Linux doesn't, namely DRM checks, but these figures show a drastic performance difference between the two.

Notes: Vista and Windows 7 really seemed to struggle with copying lots of small files, but clearly it's something more than a dodgy driver because some of the large-file speeds are incredible in Windows 7.

Both Vista and Windows 7 seemed to introduce random delays when deleting files. For example, about one in three times when deleting the files from our filesystem benchmark, this screen below would appear and do nothing for 25-30 seconds before suddenly springing into action and deleting the files. However, this wasn't part of our benchmark, so isn't included in the numbers above.

This was very annoying.

Richards benchmark

Notes: This was done using the cross-platform Python port of Richards. For reference, Ubuntu 8.10 uses Python 2.5.2, Ubuntu 9.04 uses Python 2.5.4, and we used Python 2.5.4 on the Windows tests. Even though the 64-bit results for Linux and Windows don't look that far apart, we have to admit to being very impressed with the Windows tests - the deviation between tests was just 3ms on Vista, and 5ms on Windows 7, compared to 20ms on Linux.

Amount of time taken to execute the Python Richards benchmark. Measured in milliseconds; less is better.

It's clear from that graph that having a 64-bit OS can make a real difference in compute-intensive tasks, but it's not too pleasing to see Windows pip Linux to the post in nearly all results.

Switching to ext4

All the Linux benchmarks above were done using ext3, so what happens when we switch to ext4? Well, not a lot:

Boot, shutdown and filesystem tests for Ubuntu 9.04/x86-64 using ext3 (blue) and ext4 (red). Measured in seconds; less is better.

Although there's no difference in shutdown speed, the boot time using ext4 dropped by 8 seconds, which is a fair improvement. We can probably discount the the USB to HD tests simply out of error margin, which leaves the HD to HD tests, and there we find a very healthy boost: 3.7 seconds were shaved off the small files test, making ext4 about 25% faster. Our tests also showed an improvement in the large file test, but it's not as marked.

Conclusions

Benchmarks are always plagued with questions, uncertainties, error margins and other complexities, which is why we're not going to try to look too deeply into these figures. Obviously we're Linux users ourselves, but our tests have shown that there are some places where Windows 7 really is making some improvement and that's good for competition in the long term. However, Linux isn't sitting still: with ext4 now stable we expect it to be adopted into distros fairly quickly. Sadly it looks like Ubuntu 9.04 won't be among the first distros to make the switch, so users looking to get the best performance from their Linux boxes will either have to fiddle with the default options, have patience, or jump ship to Fedora - which will be switching to ext4 in the next release..

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Who Cares?

No really, I am a bit of a geek and found the article interesting, but who cares. As poined out, certainly NOT the gazillions of everyday users who if properly educated would turn to Linux (whatever flavour) in a flash. To be clear, I use XP, Win7, OSX, Ubuntu 8, and Xandros.

So what users care about is...

1 - Cost
2 - Ease of fixing when in inevitable goes wrong
3 - What can I do with the computer?
4 - What else do I have to buy?

Your average user wants to surf the web, do emails, manage media (music, video, photos) and stay in touch with family and friends (skype, facebook, etc).

And here's my point, we in the Linux community will never convert users by proving that its better, we need to show them how to do the things they want to do, for less money, less hassle, and less geekiness! This is how I got my wife using Ubuntu and as she puts it... "when I turn the light on, I just want to see, I don't care about electricity, fillaments, gas, watts, etc, I just want to see!".

Anyway, 'tis Friday afternoon and thats enough ranting for one day!

I love how Ubuntu is mocked

I love how Ubuntu is mocked by not only Windows zealots, but Linux zealots as well who think you if you can't recompile your kernel you're a moron that should just use Windows.

Important Differences Missed?

I would like to second the other user who asked when the "clock stops" when measuring the Windows desktop coming up. In my experience I have to wait about 1 minute AFTER the Windows desktop "comes up" before it is ready to respond to the user. My Ubuntu (and other Linux distros) appear to be ready as soon as the desktop appears.

I would also like to see how these numbers change once virus checking software is installed in the Windows systems. (Apparently nobody in their right mind runs a Windows box without it - and leaving it out makes Windows look faster than it really is in the "real world.")

As for the EULA of software preventing you from publishing benchmarks I hope that the "freedom of speech" guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution still trumps a one-sided "agreement" that has no signature on it. (Hint: Like muscles, rights that are not exercised deteriorate)

DRM?

Gotta love those DRM-Vista-bashing rumors. The author is clueless. FAIL.

Does It Matter

Really -
Lets see you compare FallOut 3 scores, MS Project 2007, my daughters Barbie games. Lets compare times loading iPod and Zune songs on linux or even streaming HD videos to my Xbox 360.

The OSes are completely different on what they are and what they are used for.

No show me beenchmarks on all the greeat opensource software that runs on both system (include OS X too). Such as OpenOffice. Then again, if the software runs on both system, just fork out the 100 bucks for an OS and have it all.

The 100$ benchmark

I rather see what you can do if you buy a used computer for say a 100$. Something like a first generation Pentium 4 or even better a Pentium 3 933mhz 512 MB Ram like my backup rig that I am using to write these comments. Does anybody else think that we don't need more powerful hardware that what we already own to fulfill our average user need. This is where Gnu/Linux really take the lead! Windows 7 beta has light system requirement let just hope Microsoft does not bloat it up too much before the final release!

I also have to mention that any comparative benchmarking of any Linux Distro with Windows should include long term usage test. Linux might be falsely considered to be a pain to install because of drivers and codec issue but once Linux is running it going to run and run and run...

cp /media/flash /harddisk

BTW, what FS on the usb drive? It will amazing, if winOS lose in test, founded on home fat FS)

New OS

did you hear the new OS: MOON
it's really good

Can't you folks read?

The Title says: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

NOT "Linux vs Vista vs Windows 7"!!
What is Linux? Linux is an OS Core, not a graphical user interface or any other fancy stuff! Just a core! It's a test between Ubuntu and Windows!

Windows 7 Installation is really faster :)

After reading this benchmark and all these user reviews, i thought of giving it a try. So I downloaded Windows 7 Beta released recently by Microsoft.

I already have Windows Xp Professional SP2 in my PC. And I don't want to disturb it. So i installed Windows 7 Beta in VMWare. I had the Windows 7 Beta ISO image in my USB Pen Drive.

VMware read ISO image from USB pen drive and installed Windows 7 in just 15 mins. I mean, within 15 mins, i was able to open IE8 Beta in Windows 7 Beta :) I am surprised to see this result.

My PC Configuration is,

Microsoft Windows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2
Inter(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E4500 @2.20GHz
4GB RAM
250 GB SATA Hard drive

My own experience: Dual

My own experience:

Dual booting Win7 beta and ubuntu 8.10, default install in both cases.

Ubuntu takes nearly twice as Win7 long before the desktop becomes live.

Ubuntu is using less ram thank Win7.

Firefox takes same time to load on both, until after a reboot or two its faster on Win7 (too quick to stopwatch) probably because of superfetch.

Anyway personally I'm enjoying Win7.

I can see some old less memory computers or people who don't want to pay will use ubuntu but Win7 suits me better.

Boot time is not correct

You have to consider not until you have the desktop is ready, but until you are able to start working.

Windows Vista shows the desktop in 15 seconds, but it takes 5 minutes until it is fully working.

You could for instance measure how much time it takes to show firefox and you would see that it is much bigger than ubuntu!!!

More benches and distros

More benches like Blender should have been there. Some more distros like Arch or most definately an optimized built Gentoo or scratch build should have been there. Though Ubuntu is the mainstream linux distro, it is also the slowest and including say Gentoo would have shown users how much they can improve in their works by switching to linux. Such distros are actually raw linux. Not all peeps have the hardware and software for doing such benches and if done they should be covered extensively...

Ubuntu superior to WinXP in boot + Firefox up running.

I compared my one year old WinXP installation on a Dell Latitude D520 on HDD (clicked off all unnessesary under msconfig-Startup, only left ClamWin antivirus) and compared with my full Ubuntu8.10 installation (including avclam antivirus) on the same computor but on a Kingston Datatraveller 16GB USB-stick (which ought to be a disadvantage for Ubuntu). I measured from pressing the button until i had Firefox up running (cause i know that XP isn't ready, just because the desktop is up). Ubuntu with firefox up running took 0,57*WinXP.The only tweak ubuntu had was "noatime" in fstab, wich is recommended for USB-stick, on the other hand i have a lot of effects like compiz, awn, screenlets, bluetooth which i don't have in my minimalistic XP, and at boot ubuntu also update virus signatures and mounts the NTFS partition. Ubuntu is still superior WinXP by less than 2/3.

Not a Totally Fair Comparison

You tested on the same hardware, so it's not really a fair comparison.

From what I have heard, it is estimated that Windows 7 will cost conservatively around $200. So if you are building a computer from scratch, you will be able to buy $200 more worth of hardware if you use linux. Or said another way, if your budget is $1000, you will be able to buy $1000 worth of hardware for a linux computer, and only $800 worth for the windows computer. That represents a significant difference in speed and performance.

Therefore, to reflect more of real-world comparison using the same budget, you shouldn't cheat linux like that by giving windows a $200 advantage that wouldn't exist in the real world. Dollar for dollar, a linux computer will run circles around a windows computer.

The comments are ridiculous, i mean...

I appreciate the benchmarks the author made.

The generic user is probably someone who will not know how to run scripts, or modify things so they run faster/better, or know all the special tricks to speed it up.

Boot up and shut down are especially important on a laptop - when I want to do something, I want to do it NOW, and when I want to leave, I want to leave NOW. Not 12345 seconds later.

Installation time is reasonably important, although more of a "that's interesting" piece, because I seem to reinstall operating systems twice a year for friends. It is a real annoyance to have to spend two hours installing an operating system.

Time to Desktop is important, although I would probably say that Time to Using Application is more important. As noted, some operating systems display a desktop before they are running at 100%. If you are just turning on the computer to open some document, what matters more is how long it takes to get the application running.

Operating system disk use *IS* important, no matter how cheap hard-drive space is. Especially with the introduction of Netbooks, but even with many laptops, hard-drive space is a commodity to be wisely used.

What is funny is this: Of all the tests shown, the one that I really care least about is the Richards test. I don't know what the Richards test *actually tests*! I mean, start-up time I know, but "Richards"? I know a Google search could find it, I am just saying...

Overall I thought it was a useful benchmark.

For The Longest Time

I have been wanting to migrate to Linux. I've made my own MythTV box and I've played with DSL and PuppyOS. I bought SuSE 8.0 and I've installed various versions of Slax, Red Hat and Ubuntu.

These all were great things, maddening at first, but ultimately a learning experience.

I like that a Linux-based makes your tired PC run really fast. I like that you get a fully functional desktop ready to do everything you want at once. I like that it's free.

But it needs stable gaming. Linux-based computers weakness it entertaining. It's somewhat more difficult to have a multimedia center than in Windows. And certainly gaming is a big loss. That's the one thing holing me back.

Apart from the io benchmarks, who cares?

Wich user used to any OS cares about startup and shutdown times?
I mean, sure, if the next ubuntu (wich i use) version boots up in two seconds, yeah, changed the game.
But in my current every day use, i think, im just like everybody else and start up the damn thing, make a phone call, visit the bathroom, think about the general theory of the universe or whatever while it starts up.
Whats the the big win if it starts up in 62 seconds compared to 54 or so?

Ubuntu Godd For The Poor Folk

Please donate your old boxes to a church-group or some needy student in these hard times! To comply with the law, and with Microsoft's leasing policy, you can now replace Microsoft OS with the free (download from the net) Ubuntu OS, which can be set to erase the hard drive of all traces of the “illegal to give away ” Microsoft system and your private information, before donation! Now, explain to your lucky recipient that all the manuals they will ever need are available for free on the internet! Just ask for them in Google! OpenOffice, which is installed already is plenty adequate for homework assignments and with a little exploring, everything else can work well too! Happy computing!

The boot up benchmark is clearly invalid

Linux start the graphical interface after the whole system, and Windows start the graphical interface before all the other things. This benchmarked compared the time Ubuntu needs to boot up all the system versus time needed by Windows do start graphical interface.

Python benchmark

My OpenSUSE 11.1 x86_64 with a Pentium D 915 and 2x512MB DDR400 of memory does the richards benchmark with 684.93 ms of average time per iteration, and on the moment of the benchamrk im with firefox, pidgin, last.fm player, and other things opened.

Honestly

Honestly, Linux sucks. While you may construe better graphs from careful constructed benchmark 'tests', everyone knows that once up and running Windows is a cinch to use while Linux is a quagmire of configuration file madness that only a UNIX guru can make heads or tails of [and that with much effort and much time].

Thank you for the fairly

Thank you for the fairly just benchmark. Of course there are things that could be done different, but your choices are well argumented. Not only does it help the users to have an overview of what is going on, it will also be helpful to development of software.

Idiots

The majority of 'expert' comments here make me ashamed to be associated with anything called "the Linux community"

1. Why does a distro have to be cryptic/difficult/require "skill" to configure to be considered valid? Ubuntu runs a Linux kernel and open source apps a la Debian. Of course is isn't going to be optimized to your *specific* need. The beauty of it is that it works for *most* people out of the box with little effort or tweaking required. A statement like "my distro is superior to Ubuntu" is utterly meaningless and just dumb.

2. Are you brining anything to the table? If you don't have any data of your own, shut the heck up.

3. No, this isn't a "scientific" test - but the results *ARE* interesting. Yes, I do care how long the install takes. That is interesting. How much faster EXT performs is interesting. Sure I'd like a little more info - but in terms of a *practical* "this is how they compare out of the box" test, this is useful. It doesn't say "Ubuntu is better than Windows" or "distro X is superior to distro y" or anything else. It is a *subjective* comparison that an ordinary person who likes to try different OS's might experience. Again, unless you have something better to bring to the table, shut up.

On a broader note, the sheer idiocy and fake intellectual/technical bullshit of 90% of folks claiming to be "experts" because they downloaded a Slackware, Fedora, Suse or name your distro is astounding.

I'm going to echo the above

I'm going to echo the above poster a bit. I've supported 24/7 IT NOC's for over a decade running a multitude of operating systems, and have conducted many, many performance tests pitting SQL v/s Oracle, UNIX v/s Linux, Linux v/s Windows. UNIX v/s windows, 32-bit platforms v/x 64-bit and so on and so forth with many different generations and architectures of hardware. The last 3-4 years has proven time and time again for Linux to be the top I/O performer over MIPS and SPARC based UNIX distributions as well as x86 and x64 windows distributions. Even SMB I/O on a typical linux client is faster than a typical Windows client (SMBv2 not yet tested) Memory management on Linux and UNIX is FAR superior to Windows. In fact, I think its quite embarrassing for windows to even release a 64-bit offering without revisiting how it reads from and writes to RAM. I use Linux at home because its what I prefer, but at work, I am OS agnostic, and I will use what works best for what is needed. In 100% of every configuration I've setup where both a Linux and Windows version existed, the Linux version was faster, less problematic, and much more secure in most cases than the windows counterpart.

You can love windows desktop or server for a multitude of reasons, and you have every right to your opinion, but from this IT persons perspective, windows has not been a superior performing OS in quite some time. I won't argue ease of use and familiarity because of course Windows is the clear winner there. That is really the last thing it has going for it though.

-T.

All those criticizing

All those criticizing choice of OS: This benchmark is Ubuntu vs. Vista vs. 7, feel free to make your own! :)

All those criticizing choice of tests: The objectives were clearly laid in the beginning of the article. If you don't like them, why read or post? Again, I'd love to read about your benchmark.

"It's not the OS that matters. It's the applications. The GIMP still sucks. Photoimpact 5 (from 1999) is still better than GIMP UI wise. Make an opensource version of <b>PHOTOSHOP</b>, with a Photoshop like GUI, and decent performance."

I'm not sure about the UI, but GIMP has way better features than Photoimpact 5. UI is quite subjective, though. I like the UI of PSP better than Photoshop, for instance. Have you tried Gimpshop? It's a Photoshop-like GUI for GIMP, basically. That said, GIMP beats Paint, which is the only one that comes with Vista (and 7 afaik).

9.04 alpha 4 has ext4 on

9.04 alpha 4 has ext4 on live cd. Have not noticed a big difference from ext3,but 9.04 is still alpha and has some problems Good artical, I enjoyed reading it

Here be fanboy land, Me thinks.

I really don't care that much about any of these tests. Both OSes have their own advantages. I use windows to play games as the general public uses windows and the gaming support isn't there for linux, at present. At work it's stability, or on other machines coding libraries, that are all important so it's linux all the way. And I'll use a mac if I ever feel that I really really need to use some overstylized crap.

Tsk tsk

Actually, the kind of benchmarks chosen really reflect on Linux users, and what a sorry, pennypinching lot they are.

Installsize in GB?!? Who the hell cares if it's 1GB or 5GB, in a world where a 120gb HD is considered low end in a laptop?!?

Personally I feel sorry for them... Notice how they always emphasize that it's "FREE!"
Imagine being so poor, or such a scrooge, that 50$ extra on a computersystem is a big ****ing deal.
I assume it's the same lot, who goes apeshit everytime they see a supermarket-coupon that'll save them 30 cents, or who consider it an epic win, when they save 20 bucks by buying the kids carseat used.

Sad really...

Avwar

Obviously, there are a few applications that Linux community needs to work on. Microsoft spends a lot of money and effort to prevent Linux from competing where ever they have the leverage. Also some Linux hackers, for some reason, don't think it's important to fill in the blanks for us non-geeks. I use Linux and mostly do without whatever is not available thereupon. It's a much more peaceful world w/o windoze, even though I occasionally have to use command line, it's surprisingly easy once you catch on to it. I have never been able to get any help with Linux and picked up everything on my own. That has gotten much easier over the last 8 years. There's not much difference between Linux and XP on any of my boxes in booting, but updating and clicking off warning boxes means I can't use windows XP for several minutes and up to 35-40 minutes. I only use XP when I need DVD Shrink or Decrypter.

and win XP??? ?? in port ant

and win XP??? ?? in port ant formy

and win XP??? ?? in port ant

and win XP??? ?? in port ant formy

LOL!

"windows XP for several minutes and up to 35-40 minutes."

Well thank god I never have that problem with XP, that's probably because I'm smart or something...
You know you can disable the automatic updates, and have them run in the background, right?
Guess not...

Usually when people come with these ridiculous claims about Windows, it's because of their stupidity.

Like the classic "Thanks to windows, my computer is infected with spyware, so I can't use it!!!"

Quit downloading porn, genius, and the problem will solve itself!

MY NETBOOK WITH VANILLA

MY NETBOOK WITH VANILLA UBUNTU TAKES LESS THAN 30 SECONDS TO BOOT! HOW CAN A FULL DESKTOP TAKE 70 SECONDS!?! THERE MUST BE SOME SERIOUS ISSUES WITH YOUR INSTALLATION!!!

brrr

who cares about fuckin mouse clicks during installation,thats a retard benchmark

Benchmarks are foolish

Here is where we are today and since 2000. Is Linux this or Is Linux that or can Linux win this blah blah blah.

I'm sick of it.

We all know that windows sucks, and why it sucks.

If you want windows to win then keep doing these meaningless (to the regular end user) benchmarks and geek out over acronyms and abbreviations which further alienate regular people and condemn Linux to dusty server rooms and geek hideouts in mommys basement with nerds compiling their kernels.

If you want people to adopt Linux great. Change the way you talk about it.

Here are some headlines for Hope and Change:

When will Microsoft Windows be free of viruses?
When will Microsoft Office finally be free?
Why do we have to waste time clicking pop-ups in Microsoft Windows?
Why is Microsoft Windows so complicated compared to all the other Operating Systems?
When will your Windows be as safe as Linux?
Why does Microsoft Windows cost so much for so little?

See the difference?
End users cant tell the difference between AOL and the Internet. Your geek review just turn them off. They go straight into "dummy mode" (BOFH lingo there).

Show them they are safer, save more money and can still get their AOL email and chat and you have a winner.

Comments / Corrections

How was the disk space calculation achieved? Unfortunately just using the Explorer to measure folder sizes can be misleading, as Windows makes extensive use of symlinks which can throw off the used space calculation. The Disk Management tools will provide a more accurate view.

However it is important, as others have noted, to remember that the Page File (equivalent of Linux swap partition) defaults to a rather large size, but will shrink if disk space becomes limited. Further, Windows creates a hibernation file the size of your RAM which can be disabled via the Disk Clean-up wizard (or by OEMs installing onto small netbook drives, etc).

Then there's this quote:
"Obviously Windows does have to worry about some things that Linux doesn't, namely DRM checks, "

Windows performs no "DRM checks" when copying files. Indeed, Windows has no DRM code at all that runs unless you choose to playback DRM'd media.

Myths about Windows' "DRM overhead" have long been dispelled, and your propogation of those myths is not appreciated by anybody. You should update the article to remove that misleading statement.

Bullshit Benchmark

This is the worst benchmark:

1. it is against Windows EULA to benchmark this version of Windows 7

2. You are benchmarking a BETA!!!!!!!! version of windows with a stable version of UBUNTU...nice

3. Your bias in your comments negates all objectivity

Gave Linux a shot, won't go back

Last year I gave Linux a chance for the third time in my life. This time I went with Ubuntu. The previous times I tried Mandrake but it was years ago. Things were so much easier to install in Ubuntu. The package system in Ubuntu is great. It is the main reason I will never go back. In Windows you're constantly getting update notifications that new software is available. You have to visit a website, download, run the installer. It is very funny to me that back when I was a devoted Windows user, I would be on these same kinds of forums bashing the crap out of Linux because things are insanely difficult to install. Ironic.

I'm not one of those people that say everyone should be using Linux (Ubuntu). But I am one of those people that say more and more people should try Linux. The ease of use barrier is dropping fast with Linux, and I'm sure it has something to do Debian/Ubuntu "standardizing" the mainstream distribution.

I hate the fact that the software available in Linux for free and is easier to install is always instantly discounted by commercially available counterparts. It is always:
1) Adobe Photoshop
2) Office
3) Games
So first off, I'm guessing 90% of the PS install base is pirated copy. Piracy happens when software is very good and the price doesn't drop to reflect demand. What I mean is that Photoshop is so popular they could have charged $30 for each copy since version 4 and made billions more to date because of more purchases versus pirating.

MS Office is very good, especially the new one. I prefer OpenOffice at home because I will not pay for Office, it isn't worth the price. I don't think anyone given OpenOffice and actually try it for 1 day would shell out the money for MS Office. The reason so many people have legit copies of Office is that it wasn't their money that was spent to procure the copy. In nearly all cases Office is demanded by the employee.

It isn't profitable for a game developer to put money toward a < 1% marketshare OS. More and more games are going to Consoles anyway. The last great hold up from all games going to Consoles is the MMO. I don't think this will stay true for long. There is no technical reason why the next console can't come with a mouse / keyboard as standard input devices that come with the system.

Lastly with respect to the software issue, there is no reason why PS, Office and more games can't be released to Linux. It is really about demand. If more people demanded it, then we would have all this in Linux.

Many commentors Even though Windows 7 is in Beta I think it is ready for comparison. A) We're talking about 9 months before release. In software development that does not allow for groundbreaking changes. B) The build does not have debugging enabled. C) Most of the technology of 7 is the same as Vista.

And to the spell-check-firefox commentor, I think this comment box is causing the problem, it doesn't allow arrow keys and the spell check feature doesn't appear to work on this site for some reason. Perhaps there is some crazy javascript causing this problem.

Disabled write caching

"Each of these tests were done with write caching disabled to ensure the full write had taken place."
IOW: It has nothing to do with real workd ;)

(ok, I don't know how much influence it would have on the result, but it is still nonrealistic; did you also turn off the CPU caches in CPU benchmarks ?)

Good comparison. However,

Good comparison. However, that said, the disk space section is somewhat misleading, since Vista has the pagefile and hibernation file on the disk by default.

Not that Vista is exactly space miserly, but the real install size is closer to 4GiB rather than 8GiB. Note that you also can't use Windows Explorer to see the size of the Windows directory, since it counts hardlinks multiple times in the space count.

Linux of course!

Well,
i really hate when others post their hate about someones work. Maybe this can be contradictory and kinda like communistic if you consider posting kind of a work.
Who ever wrote this benchmark used his free time to produce it! So dont spit on someones work please. If you cant appreciate it make a better one! :P

I agree with dozens of posts that say that Linux wins! So I'll say the same. :)
Windows is out of competition with Linux and it should be compared just to see why!
There was an awesome post that windows should be tested with antivieus installed! I totally agree with it!
As for Ubuntu, i know it a long time, since the version 4... And i tried other distros also for that period of time till now...Did some work on it to make it more adoptive...
Dont be so harsh about Ubuntu cause it is a try to make Linux accessible for noobs! And yes i consider my self a big noob! It has greater community than any other distros and it arrives at your doorstep by mail. It is a great way to make Bill Gates day worse! Ha ha! :P
And as Jeremy said... most people are noobs right!
So this is an opportunity to free themselves from the chains of Microsoft!
The freedom is important people! It should be the first thing in your life!
An i think that we should all together help it to become more stable and available, it can be Ubuntu but id doesnt need to! If someone could give absolutely free something that can be a full replacement for windows to a common user why not use that chance and help them out!
This benchmark is the right example that could show a common user that he could try Ubuntu!
So all of you if you are so smart why dont you help the community!?

"It's not the OS that

"It's not the OS that matters. It's the applications. The GIMP still sucks. Photoimpact 5 (from 1999) is still better than GIMP UI wise. Make an opensource version of <b>PHOTOSHOP</b>, with a Photoshop like GUI, and decent performance."

So use Photoshop. In my experience, CS2/3/4 work faster on Wine than it does on Windows.

"2. You are benchmarking a

"2. You are benchmarking a BETA!!!!!!!! version of windows with a stable version of UBUNTU...nice"

Right... and Ubuntu 9.04 is still Alpha. I have no idea what you're talking about there.

"Personally I feel sorry for

"Personally I feel sorry for them... Notice how they always emphasize that it's 'FREE!' Imagine being so poor, or such a scrooge, that 50$ extra on a computersystem is a big ****ing deal. I assume it's the same lot, who goes apeshit everytime they see a supermarket-coupon that'll save them 30 cents, or who consider it an epic win, when they save 20 bucks by buying the kids carseat used. Sad really..."

What's really sad is that you don't understand the true meaning of "free." Perhaps living in chains with Microsoft does really distort your perception of freedom. No matter how much it costs, "free" in the opensource world means liberty.

bogus

Some of these measures are totally meaningless. Some of the statements made in the article (e. g., the BS about "DRM checks") as well as in the comments (too many to list) are downright erroneous and some smack of FUD; I think Linux advocates are more inclined to engage in deceit and FUD than Microsoft is.

I also think there are too many variables to weigh that such "benchmarks," on only one system configuration, leave a skewed picture. As others have pointed out, system layout is very different between Linux and Windows. By default, Windows sets up enough to page for hibernation. If you were to set up a similar test on laptops and configured whatever Linux distro to hibernate, the "space" consumed would be closer to what Windows uses. And that begs the question of the above "benchmark" of disk space consumption -- did you count Linux swap (partition or file?) or did you ignore that and only account for how Windows sets it up?

Another issue worthy of discussion is how many drivers one would really need to install in Windows versus Ubuntu or whatever distro. The last time I installed Ubuntu, I had to find a wired connection to get ndiswrapper so I could load my driver. Which reminds me: it would also be interesting to see benchmarks of performance between native Linux drivers against Windows drivers. And maybe even of those Windows drivers in their Linux kludges like ndiswrapper. I had one Ralink card with a native Linux driver, the rest required ndiswrapper. The performance of all three cards, across the board, was much better and I had all features in Windows. Linux wifi performance sucked.

As far as applications go, I don't expect or want someone else to make those decisions for me. Not Microsoft, not Canonical, not Sun. I want to install an operating system and choose my own apps to suit my own needs -- with Ubuntu's default install, there's no choice because it's been made for the user: you get a ton of crap that seems to show up every couple weeks in Ubuntu's incessant security updates. If updating is the rat's azz for Windows users, what is it for Ubuntu users?

The same people ranting against Microsoft not including Office along with Windows are the same ninnies who scream against the inclusion of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. Bundling is "bad" in Windows but "good" in Linux? Can't please everyone, eh. Freaking clueless hypocrites.

nit picking and whining

Personally, I found this blog quite informative. I liked the metrics the author chose to track. All of the critics on this blog who are complaining that he didn't test this and that test are techies who have missed the point. Using all of the defaults IS the way a typical user installs a system. While some of us may tweak and tune to improve our performance and security, most people use their system just as it's installed. Just because the author didn't run all of --your-- favorite benchmarks and tests doesn't mean these tests are not relevant to other users. Instead of just criticizing someone else's work why don't --you-- run your favorite bench marks and then add some useful information yourselves. Stop your whining and do something productive.

Why I left Windows

It is interesting that this is about fresh installs, because it is recommended by many to fresh install windows every few months, why? Because it gets slower and slower because the registry continues to get wacked due to broken strings of info. Well install a registry cleaner, more hard drive space is used, and then there is the time to clean the registry, then every month or so, download the next generation registry cleaner.
Now, an adware finds its way onto the system, download adware software, find out the particular adware that was downloaded is a particularly devious one and the recommendation? Fresh install windows, reinstall the registry cleaner and the adware cleaner.
So, read about Ubuntu, try it on windows for a week, like it, install it permanantly 3 months ago. Also install it on the kids computer which they have chat programs etc, and takes 15 minutes to boot. They have been running Ubuntu for 2 1/2 months and still loads in about a minute.
A friends computer goes caput, he tries to reload his windows, still will not boot, takes it to geeky people, they can't get it to work, recommend trashing and getting a new computer. I recommend ubuntu as I have read that it can be used to find out problems on windows computers that are having problems, he puts the cd in, it boots and he loads ubuntu and will not go back to windows.

This is my experience.

software compatibility

To all people complaining that Linux doesn't have the productivity tools that they need (such as Adobe Creative Suite), the only way that Linux is gonna get more of those sorts of apps is by more people using Linux. Linux is a community driven OS, and you can't just complain to the OEM/maker of Linux that there isn't enough software, because there is none. Practically all the good software for Linux was created by someone like you. I say like you, but they weren't actually because when they found software that Linux lacked, as opposed to you they could be bothered to start a project that did what they wanted it to do. Sure, you can request for new programs, but the best way of getting new programs ported/created for Linux, is to get everyone using it. And there is such as thing as dual booting.

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