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Operating systems:The low-down

Discussion in 'PC' started by Original, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Original

    Original New Member

    What Is An Operating System?

    An operating system is what makes your computer work. The core program of any computer, it's designed to run all your programs and manage all your hardware and software.


    Ubuntu is a computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software. It is named after the Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu ("humanity towards others").

    Ubuntu is designed primarily for use on personal computers, although a server edition also exists. Ubuntu holds an estimated global usage of more than 12 million desktop users, making it the most popular desktop Linux distribution with about 50% of Linux desktop marketshare. It is fourth most popular on web servers, and its popularity is increasing rapidly.

    Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK-based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical generates revenue by selling technical support and services related to Ubuntu, while the operating system itself is entirely free of charge.

    The Ubuntu project is entirely committed to the principles of free software development; people are encouraged to use free software, improve it, and pass it on.


    Ubuntu is composed of many software packages, the vast majority of which are distributed under a free software license. The only exceptions are some proprietary hardware drivers. The main license used is the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) which, along with the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), explicitly declares that users are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change, develop and improve the software. On the other hand, there is also proprietary software available that can run on Ubuntu. Ubuntu focuses on usability, security and stability. The Ubiquity installer allows Ubuntu to be installed to the hard disk from within the Live CD environment, without the need for restarting the computer prior to installation. Ubuntu also emphasizes accessibility and internationalization to reach as many people as possible. Beginning with 5.04, UTF-8 became the default character encoding, which allows for support of a variety of non-Roman scripts. As a security feature, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, allowing the root account to remain locked, and preventing inexperienced users from inadvertently making catastrophic system changes or opening security holes. PolicyKit is also being widely implemented into the desktop to further harden the system through the principle of least privilege.

    Ubuntu Desktop includes a graphical desktop environment. In versions prior to 11.04 the default GUI was GNOME Shell but it was dropped in favor of Unity, a graphical interface Canonical first developed for the Ubuntu Netbook Edition.

    Ubuntu comes installed with a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice (OpenOffice in versions prior to 11.04), Firefox, Empathy (Pidgin in versions before 9.10), Transmission, GIMP (in versions prior to 10.04), and several lightweight games (such as Sudoku and chess). Additional software that is not installed by default can be downloaded and installed using the Ubuntu Software Center or the package manager Synaptic, which come pre-installed. Ubuntu allows networking ports to be closed using its firewall, with customized port selection available. End-users can install Gufw (GUI for Uncomplicated Firewall) and keep it enabled. GNOME (the former default desktop) offers support for more than 46 languages. Ubuntu can also run many programs designed for Microsoft Windows (such as Microsoft Office), through Wine or using a Virtual Machine (such as VMware Workstation or VirtualBox).

    Ubuntu, unlike Debian, compiles their packages using gcc features such as PIE and Buffer overflow protection to harden their software. These extra features greatly increase security at the performance expense of 1% in 32 bit and 0.01% in 64 bit.

    System requirements

    The desktop version of Ubuntu currently supports the x86 32 bit and 64 bit architectures. Unofficial support is available for the PowerPC, IA-64 (Itanium) and PlayStation 3 architectures (note however that Sony officially removed support for OtherOS on the PS3 with firmware 3.21, released on 1 April 2010), as well as ARM mobile processors (see HTC HD2). A supported GPU is required to enable desktop visual effects, including the Unity shell. In case such a GPU is not available the GUI falls back to Gnome 2.

    the latest version can be found here: ubuntu.com/download


    Windows 7 is the latest release of Microsoft Windows, a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media center PCs. Windows 7 was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and reached general retail availability on October 22, 2009, less than three years after the release of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Windows 7's server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2, was released at the same time.

    Unlike Windows Vista, which introduced a large number of new features, Windows 7 was intended to be a more focused, incremental upgrade to the Windows line, with the goal of being compatible with applications and hardware with which Windows Vista was already compatible. Presentations given by Microsoft in 2008 focused on multi-touch support, a redesigned Windows shell with a new taskbar, referred to as the Superbar, a home networking system called HomeGroup, and performance improvements. Some standard applications that have been included with prior releases of Microsoft Windows, including Windows Calendar, Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Photo Gallery, are not included in Windows 7; most are instead offered separately at no charge as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite.


    Windows 7 includes a number of new features, such as advances in touch and handwriting recognition, support for virtual hard disks, improved performance on multi-core processors, improved boot performance, DirectAccess, and kernel improvements. Windows 7 adds support for systems using multiple heterogeneous graphics cards from different vendors (Heterogeneous Multi-adapter), a new version of Windows Media Center, a Gadget for Windows Media Center, improved media features, the XPS Essentials Pack and Windows PowerShell being included, and a redesigned Calculator with multiline capabilities including Programmer and Statistics modes along with unit conversion for length, weight, temperature, and several others. Many new items have been added to the Control Panel, including ClearType Text Tuner, Display Color Calibration Wizard, Gadgets, Recovery, Troubleshooting, Workspaces Center, Location and Other Sensors, Credential Manager, Biometric Devices, System Icons, and Display. Windows Security Center has been renamed to Windows Action Center (Windows Health Center and Windows Solution Center in earlier builds), which encompasses both security and maintenance of the computer. Readyboost on 32bit editions now supports up to 256 Gigabytes of extra allocation. The default setting for User Account Control in Windows 7 has been criticized for allowing untrusted software to be launched with elevated privileges without a prompt by exploiting a trusted application. Microsoft's Windows kernel engineer Mark Russinovich acknowledged the problem, but noted that malware can also compromise a system when users agree to a prompt. Windows 7 also supports images in the RAW image format through the addition of Windows Imaging Component-enabled image decoders, which enables raw image thumbnails, previewing and metadata display in Windows Explorer, plus full-size viewing and slideshows in Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Media Center.

    Hardware requirements

    Microsoft has published the minimum specifications for a system to run Windows 7. Requirements for the 32-bit version are similar to that of premium editions of Vista, but are higher for 64-bit versions. Microsoft has released an upgrade advisor that determines if a computer is compatible with Windows 7. Although the Nvidia GeForce FX (5xxx) series graphics cards meet the minimum hardware requirement, nVidia has decided not to produce Windows 7 compatible drivers for anything below the GeForce 6 Series.

    Mac OS X Lion

    Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) (marketed as OS X Lion) is the eighth and current major release of Mac OS X, Apple's desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.

    A preview of Lion was publicly unveiled at Apple's "Back to the Mac" event on October 20, 2010. It brings many developments made in Apple's iOS, such as an easily navigable display of installed applications, to the Mac, and includes support for the Mac App Store, as introduced in Mac OS X Snow Leopard version 10.6.6. On February 24, 2011, the first developer's preview of Lion (11A390) was released to subscribers of Apple's developers program. Other developer previews were subsequently released, with Lion Preview 4 (11A480b) being released at WWDC 2011.

    Lion achieved golden master status on July 1, 2011, followed by its final release via the Mac App Store on July 20, 2011. Apple reported over 1 million Lion sales on the first day of its release.

    System requirements

    x86-64 CPU (Macs with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, or Xeon processor.)
    At least 2GB of RAM
    Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later (Mac OS X 10.6.8 is recommended)
    7 GB of free hard drive space is recommended
    AirDrop is supported on the following Mac models: MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer), MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer), MacBook (late 2008 or newer), iMac (early 2009 or newer), Mac mini (mid 2010 or newer), Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card and mid 2010 or newer).


    Some new features were announced at the "Back to the Mac" keynote in October 2010, and the Apple website was updated in February 2011 with more details. Other features were announced at the WWDC 2011 keynote or on Apple's Mac OS X Lion Web site after the keynote. Apple states that there are over 250 new or changed features in Lion, including:

    Address Book now uses an iPad-like user interface.
    AirDrop Lion-to-Lion direct file sharing via Wi-Fi Direct. No wireless access point required.
    Address space layout randomization Address space layout randomization (ASLR), a security technique that puts important data in unpredictable locations, making it harder to target known weaknesses, is available for 32-bit applications, and "has been improved for all applications", in Lion.
    Apple Push Notification Service Send over-the-air alerts, such as news updates or social networking status changes, using Apple's Push Notification service to applications that support APNS. APNS allows Mac OS X Lion and iOS clients to receive push changes to items such as mail, calendar and contacts from a configured OS X Lion Server.
    Auto-correction now behaves much like on iOS devices, displaying an iOS-like popup box.
    Auto Save As in iOS, documents in applications written to use Auto Save will be saved automatically so users don't have to worry about manually managing their documents. Auto Save cannot be disabled, which may cause confusion and problems.
    Emoji support Apple has added a new Emoji font commonly used in chat to express ideograms.
    Expos in the Dock, a way of activating Expos for a single application from the Dock, a feature added in Mac OS X 10.6, is altered. One must now double-tap with two fingers on a dock icon to initiate single application expos, or simply right-click or control-click and select Show All Windows.
    FaceTime comes bundled with Lion.
    FileVault now offers full disk encryption and added security with XTS-AES 128 data encryption. Support for FileVault on external hard drives has also been added.
    Finder improvements Finder search allows multiple search criteria to be specified without creating a smart folder, Finder search offers suggestions, files can be grouped by various attributes, and one can now merge files under two folders with the same name a prompt will appear asking whether one wants to replace or keep both files.
    Font Book 3Font Book 3 now provides more flexible displays of character glyphs supplied by a particular font face. Duplicate font files are now flagged with a warning icon, and can be fixed automatically or resolved manually.
    Full-screen apps Native, system-wide support for full-screen applications running in their own space. Supporting applications display a new button at the top right of application window, this button opens applications in full-screen mode.
    High-quality multilingual speech voices users can download new high-quality voices in more than forty languages and dialects.
  2. Ipa07

    Ipa07 New Member

    I recommend using Windows 10. It's the most stable OS for me. I've tried Linux but I never really liked it.
  3. Midgarosormr

    Midgarosormr New Member

    I think this list is just a little out of date, heh.

    It's also missing a few, like SteamOS, etcetera (though I think SteamOS is pretty much dead).
    castills likes this.
  4. thart

    thart New Member

    Thank you any way for your effort to give us this informations.
  5. Blaine019

    Blaine019 Member

    I couldn't agree more. Windows 10 is also optimized for gaming and has the best so far User Interface for me, plus its the latest Operating System so you get updates every time to fix bugs and protect you from pretty much basic threats.
  6. overcast

    overcast Member

    Windows 10 in few months would eventually force Windows 7 users to switch. I think it's just 1 year or so remained for the closure of the Windows 7. So you can see that it'd be better to avoid using the operating system on many count. That being said, it'd be fair to see how the operating system works in that case.
  7. arachnophobik

    arachnophobik New Member

    Windows 10 has been very kind to me these days. I had a hard time with it in its first two months, switching from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 gave me a noticeable difference in boot up time back then. Now with the current updates in Windows 10, it's now worthy of respect as it's been very stable so far, and I find it very convenient. It runs just as fast as 8.1 did for me as well back then, and most of all I'm glad I got it for free lol.
  8. SpellBound

    SpellBound New Member

    The best Operating System depends on what needs you have and what features the Operating System provides you with. Since this is a gaming forum, it's obvious that Widows is the ultimate choice because most of the games are released for windows. The version of windows to choose is another story. Microsoft is silently shutting down support for older windows versions now. So, you gotta be aware that the only way to get patches and updates is via 3rd party developers if you're using an older version. Although it says vulnerable, for offline gaming these rarely matters. I prefer windows 10 for high end networked systems and windows 7 for offline systems.
  9. Jerick Gwapo

    Jerick Gwapo New Member

    I have not tried other operating systems but I am a solid Windows User. The very first OS i used is Windows XP. It is a simple OS though it provides a good layout and everything. I upgraded to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and right now I am using Windows 10 Home 64 bit. S far this OS is giving me what I need . The only thing I can't control on my PC are the updates coming, it just download automatically and does not even ask me though all in all, windows 10 is a good upgrade of windows 7. Windows 8 , well I pretty much don't like that OS, it is good for tablets though. The best and most stable OS so far that I have tried is windows 7. It is good in gaming also. Any other gamers in here that uses windows OS?