Talk:Comparison of operating systems

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Integrated GUI[edit]

So what makes a GUI "integrated"? If an "integrated GUI" means the system can't function without a GUI, I suspect Solaris doesn't count, just as OpenBSD doesn't count. If it means the GUI is bundled with the OS distribution, that'd mean most if not all of the systems listed have an "integrated GUI", but the footnote for "integrated GUI environment" says "Operating systems where the GUI is not integrated into the core OS are often bundled with an implementation of the X Window System. However, installing X is usually optional.", which seems to imply that you need more than bundling to make a GUI "integrated".

Hmm. I'll have to see if I can tweak Mac OS X to boot without the WindowServer and without loginwindow on /dev/console (probably doable); if so, perhaps that means OS X's GUI isn't integrated, either. Microsoft Windows might be a bit more of a stretch, although there was a boot mode for Windows 2000 that, as I remember, just put up a console window. Guy Harris 09:08, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe the interpretation is that if the graphics primitives are in the kernel, then the GUI is "integrated". But I suppose a looser interpretation could consist of whether the system is still as usable without using the GUI -- this isn't the case for Mac OS X, but of course the 'nix variants are as usable without a GUI as without. Yet then we have the subjective interpretation of usability. Dysprosia 11:30, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
What does "graphics primitives" mean here? In OS X, there are low-level graphics drivers, but a lot of the graphic work is done by the WindowServer and libraries, so most of the graphics work is done outside the kernel.
As for usability, yes, it's probably a matter of opinion of whether Unix-like systems other than OS X are as usable without a GUI as without; I suspect those who would find a Linux PC as usable via a remote login in a terminal window or on a raw console as it is in some X11-based GUI might well find OS X as usable via a remote login in a terminal window or on a raw console. People who find the UN*X CLI difficult to use would probably find it difficult to use regardless of whether uname -s says "Darwin", "Linux", "FreeBSD", "SunOS", or whatever. Guy Harris 19:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Since we're talking about UI things here, these graphics primitives would be window compositing and drawing software, etc. So, it is true, with the mentioned definition, that OS X does not have an "integrated GUI", but then that's a real stretch in some senses, because the amount of effort to separate X from 'nix is not really comparable to separating the WindowServer from OS X, plus Mac OS X wasn't exactly designed to be run without the GUI subsystem in any case. I guess the issue is a more complex one than was first thought... Dysprosia 10:05, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Comparing GNU/Linux to Windows or OS X in this regard is probably not ideal. I think that's where the confusion comes from — we're comparing kernels to complete OS's. Warrens 18:38, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
If you're comparing GNU/Linux with Windows or OS X, you're comparing complete OS's to complete OS's, at least as I understand what Stallman means by "GNU/Linux" - it's not just the Linux kernel, it's the Linux kernel plus all the additional GNU software running atop it. It doesn't necessarily include GUI code, however. Guy Harris 19:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Defining "integrated GUI" as "cannot be used without a GUI" is misleading, if the latter is what the column means, that is what the column heading should say. To me, "integrated GUI" means it is a part of the base OS, not a additional package with other third-party software. This means that Windows, OS X and OpenBSD are in (in the same way OpenBSD has integrated Apache) and FreeBSD and NetBSD are out (Xorg is on ports/pkgsrc). NicM 15:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC).
It would also mean that many of the commercial UN*Xes are also in, as they come bundled with X and, often, a desktop environment. Guy Harris 16:08, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Probably. Is it part of the full basic OS install? Then I think it is integrated. Is it a package of third-party software? Not integrated. I do have a nasty feeling there is a huge gaping flaw in my definition that I can't see though :-) NicM 16:40, 14 April 2006 (UTC).
In Solaris, the X server and basic X libraries, and CDE, are definitely not a package of third-party software; they're "third-party software" in the sense that a lot of it comes from X11, but Sun maintain and develop them, and ship them as part of the OS. I think the Java Desktop System is more than just a package of GNOME, etc..
The GUI stuff is probably an optional install, as a Solaris box might be a server, but if you can say "install everything", then, as far as I know, it'll install the GUI stuff.
I suspect at least some of the other commercial UN*Xes are similar to Solaris in this regard. Guy Harris 17:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
That is my point. OpenBSD uses Xorg, the bulk of which is third party, but it is maintained as a seperate version in the OpenBSD CVS repository with a number of OpenBSD-specific modifications, and is shipped as part of the base system, not as a package in the ports system where external software resides. Does that not count as integrated? You can omit X by not installing the sets, but I don't think that means anything: you can omit gcc (and some other bits) too if you leave out the compiler sets, but one wouldn't say it wasn't integrated. NicM 17:41, 14 April 2006 (UTC).
If that's the definition of "integrated" for this table, then Solaris has an integrated GUI, as do at least some other commercial UN*Xes - and so do, for example, FreeBSD "distributions" such as PC-BSD DesktopBSD in the Comparison of BSD operating systems, and so do a number of Linux distributions (depending on what you consider "integrated" vs. "third-party" in Linux distributions). That's fine with me - as long as the pages using "integrated GUI" have a note saying what it means, and as long as more than just OpenBSD gets flagged as having an integrated GUI (OpenBSD isn't any different from, say, Solaris here). Guy Harris 18:05, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is what I think, I don't know if anyone else agrees :-). I agree that whatever is decided it should be applied consistently. NicM 18:20, 14 April 2006 (UTC).
To me, "integrated GUI" means it is installed and turned on by default. This is, I think, largely consistent with what is already in the table of this article. By that definition, OpenBSD does not qualify, as it's installation is not even "recommended", and if you do install it, it does not automatically start up. Nevertheless, footnotes should explain about this. Armedblowfish 18:43, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I think that is a terrible definition. Apache, OpenNTPD and many other things are integrated into OpenBSD but not turned on by default. As far as I am concerned, your criteria are fine for a yes/no in the column, but the heading should not be "Integrated GUI", it should be "GUI by default" or similar. NicM 19:49, 14 April 2006 (UTC).
That would be far less ambiguous. Changed. Armedblowfish 20:30, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
You should probably change the footnote for the column title here, and in Comparison of BSD operating systems, as well - the current footnote applies to "Integrated GUI", in the sense of "the GUI code is part of the core OS installation by default", not to "GUI is installed and enabled by default". Guy Harris 21:06, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
There. meep. Armedblowfish 21:54, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Does this segment really show any real information though? On a Windows server for example, 99% of applications ran on the server for clients to connect to would be ran as services, and would not even be visiable. On a server, no one is logged in locally, it just sits there with log in prompt. I'm sure people are thinking this information may be good for performance, but there just are not any graphic calls taking place on most server applications in most cases. The only time a lot of servers in a windows enviroment even use the GDI is when you remote in to change settings, and most of the time that isn't even needed. And now with 2008 you have Core Server (Beta currently), it'll make this even more confusing. 16:39, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Why is Android listed as open source?[edit]

I'm fairly certain Android is not open source. I know Google claims they are but that does not make it so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

-- "Open Source" is a practical marketing term. I think that you and they are thinking of "Free Software" ("Not to be confused with freeware, open-source software, Free and open source software, or free software license.") Android is not Libre Software, Open Source is not "Libre Software". Open Source is little more than proprietary code generously shared at the moment for the purpose sole benefit of the party that created it. Any other benefit to anyone else is purely coincidental.

Almost all open source software is free (libre/as in freedom) software. Those terms are 2 somewhat different approaches covering almost the same set of software projects, though I would rather advocate to the free software ideology. Read this by Stallman, father of free software, regarding open source. Having said that, the very core of Android is released under the Apache license and that makes it both free/libre and open source; however phone manufacturers usually put proprietary drivers and non-free stuff on top of Android. There are some freer alternatives based on Android, like Cyanogenmod or Replicant. See [1] for more information. --Isacdaavid (talk) 20:37, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Use of name "GNU/Linux"[edit]

To put it bluntly, everything discussed in this page is a kernel feature (everything non-kernel is deferred to Comparison of Linux distributions), so I feel that we should simply call it "Linux" here; the GNU portions that are usually distributed with Linux are not involved in this comparison. JulesH 13:04, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

linux is just a kenrel...GNU are just the basic uttilities so one without the other is useless...
sometimes the linux kenrel isn't associated with the GNU uttillities but it's for embedded linux distributions

Just call it "linux". Pushing the "Gnu" on it is just self-glorification for RMS. If Gnu's contributions were truly free, then the name wouldn't be such an issue. Nobody says "GNU/Linux" in a conversation (or almost nobody), and we should go with common practical usage. 00 tux(my point of views(for npov), howto customise a signature) | talk 19:01, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Linux is a kernel. I say GNU/Linux or just GNU if I am lazy. Linux was released 1991, GNU/Linux 1992. See History of Linux#_note-1 and GNU#Design_and_implementation. -- mms 01:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I say GNU with Linux when referring to GNU/Linux, GNU for GNU, GNU Hurd or just GNU for the complete GNU system, and explicitly say Linux kernel when referring to the Linux kernel (what Linux actually is). Now that I'm a bit more knowledgeable about the topic I avoid saying just Linux as much as possible, even for the kernel, because of the high amount of ambiguity and confusion that all this mess has brought. Correctness over simplicity or laziness or popularity, as simple as that. It isn't that hard. Language usage changes and nobody is condemned to say Linux as the majority does (though that assertion of Linux is more popular than GNU/Linux is still questionable).--Isacdaavid (talk) 21:09, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

The article title is Comparison of operating systems, in general it talks about the operating system, and so GNU/Linux. The articles of Wikipedia are with encyclopedic knowledge. If the usage is to use not correct expressions, an encyclopedia has to use the correct expressions. And perhaps a note needs to be added about usage. For sure Linus Torvalds isn't the creator of the entire operating system. At least, this information is false. -- Yparcos 10:00, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

It isn't "correct". Please read over the extensive discussion at Talk:Linux/Referring to this article. There may be no "correct" or "incorrect" here, but there's certainly a "mainstream" and a "fringe" and one term is a distinctly fringe term. Eventually this will be remedied. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:24, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem calling it Linux because that is the popular name for any system running on the Linux kernel. What I do have a problem with, as Yparcos pointed out, is crediting Linus Torvalds as the creator. Linus Torvalds created the kernel; not the system. Even though the system is commonly referred to as Linux, that doesn't mean the creator of the Linux kernel should be given credit for the whole system. He made one part--one. It was then integrated into the GNU Project, and from there many developers have built onto it. If crediting Linus Torvalds must be done, then I would say it's reasonable to also credit Richard Stallman or, more accurately, (since Stallman was not the one creating the system,) the Free Software Foundation. My concern is the kernel programmer is getting credit for the entire system, which in my mind justifies Stallman's anger toward focusing entirely on terms like "Linux" and seemingly ignoring the GNU Project. And while I do not object to calling it Linux for the sake of simplicity and aesthetics, credit should be given where credit is due. Xidram (talk) 02:50, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

No info about Minix[edit]

This article has no mention of Minix. --Starnessonny 06:09, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

No info about eComStation[edit]

There is no mention of eComStation (eCS), the successor to OS/2, in this list. OS/2 development ceased some time ago, as is mentioned in the chart, but eComStation development continues today. I would be glad to add it but I'm fairly new to editing on Wikipedia so I'll hold off so someone who won't likely mess things up can do it right. Thanks! -Mo 06:29, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

No info about Symbian[edit]

Symbian is an extremely popular operating system, with an approximately 45% share of the market. This is more than three times the Windows market share, making it THE most popular operating system in the market. Why is the most popular operating system of today's market not included in a Comparison of Operating systems? This seems like a major oversight. (talk) 03:44, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Which OSes can be included here?[edit]

Does this table include only multi-task OSes? How about DOS, RT-11 etc? How about other old OSes?--Dojarca 16:50, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm a linux/win/os x/beos user, but think DragonFlyBSD has sufficiently different goals and principles from FreeBSD to warrant its own entry here. 12:20, 12 October 2007 (UTC).

Doesn't Ubuntu belong here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Why was Windows 7 removed along with all other previous versions of Windows? It's the most used OS in the world and Microsoft actively supports it. Is this an error or an attempt to make the security history of Windows look better? -- (talk) 15:22, 29 November 2014 (UTC)


Windows is not really an operating system, but a window manager. It should be compared to KDE or GNOME. Every other OS in this list does more than controlling access to the disks and relying on third-party software to do the rest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect, Windows is an operating system, including version 1.0. Windows is not a 'self contained' OS, as it requires MS-DOS to function; which is where the confusion originates.

The definition of what an operating system performs and provides has changed; however, using virtually any definition, Windows always was and always will be an OS when applying OS definition metrics.

Without the need to fully debate the functionality or definition of what an operating system is further, consider these simple concepts...
  • Windows provides the common features of an OS: I/O, Process Management, Application Interface, etc.
  • Windows depends on MS-DOS; but this is a common model of many other OSes.
  • MS-DOS (Hardware-Interface/Bootloader) - Windows(Upper layer OS Platform)

To use the MS-DOS dependency to exclude Windows as an OS, here are a few other OSes that would also no longer qualify as an OS because they follow the same conceptual model...
  • Android - (Linux kernel loader, HW interfaces) (Dalvik JVM Platform, I/O, Process Management, API, etc.)
  • Note the similarity with MS-DOS/Windows?
  • AmigaOS - TRIPOS Loader H/W Interface - AmigaOS on Top.

:(This could be a very long list, as even OS X is a Darwin kernel running an abstracted OS platform on top.)

--TheNetAvenger (talk) 09:39, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm hoping when you both wrote this, you were referring to the non-NTs. There is no MS-DOS boot-loader or hardware-interface in Windows NT — which are the versions people today identify as "Windows". All of that is provided by Windows Kernel. The only DOS in Windows is the MS-DOS Virtual Machine which runs on top of Windows if you launch an MS-DOS application, and that virtual machine only exists in 32 bit versions of Windows. No current version of Windows has "run on top of DOS" since 2001.

SterlingNorth (talk) 15:56, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Windows IA-64 Support[edit]

I know that former versions of the consumer Windows operating system were ported to IA-64 (Itanium). However, that support was removed in Windows Vista. Since this article seems to deal with the most recent releases of operating systems, should that processor be removed from the list? (The most recent release of the Sevrer edition still has Itanium support, so the Windows Server entry wouldn't need to be changed.) 16:36, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, makes sense. be bold and go ahead, and explain it in the edit summary. -- intgr 20:28, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion of VMS[edit]

In Windows' Talk, VMS was mentioned as - principally - being a precursor (to Windows). There are already pages to OpenVMS and FreeVMS but I don't know enough of the subject to add it cojently... MonstaPro 23:24, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Microsoft Windows Pricing[edit]

"Home $199-$239, Business $299, Ultimate $399" is a there supporing link for this statement? --Cwhii 18:03, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Normal consumers can not get a link to pricing for volume deals, you would need to talk directly to a sales person at microsoft. So the only ways to get pricing would be MSRP, a price that would be very misleading, or via links to places that sell it, and that isn't something we would want on Wiki. That said, <This is a talk page, so I'm not worried about links> 32 bit home premium is $110. To get this price, you need to buy a whole 1 hardware item. And who buys an OS without ANY sort of hardware upgrade too? ;) Just having a price listed for OSs is kinda misleading, since IBM for example charges $400~$1200 for SuSE it sells on machines for 2-16 CPUs, and the price sky rockets up with 17+. So the question is, what price should be included, street price, MSRP, price for a maxed out 64-cpu beast? For people buying Ultimate for their home PC, it shouldn't cost more than 180~190. 16:32, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
"Just having a price listed for OSs is kinda misleading" -- AGREED! If there's a fee, we should perhaps mention that, but not state how much it is. (talk) 03:41, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Vista? XP? Pre-XP?[edit]

There seems to be lots of conflicting information for the Microsoft Windows row... How much distinction are we making? Firewall gets an "XP or later" tag and an "NT-Based systems" tag, but wouldn't those make sense to be cut being as you combined the rows? Also, security vulnerabilities points to an XP page, but pricing discusses Vista. I feel it should be either all Vista or add more lines for the different versions - presumably the reason for keeping XP around is how many people are running it, but isn't this meant to be a technical article? I changed the firewall and security link, but I don't know what else may need to be changed. EB0und 18:58, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Costs of purchase of free software[edit]

OS/2 is proprietary so you are not allowed to sell copies of it. Most likely you don't even have the source an therefore the ability really copy it or to maintain it. The fact that you can download most free software at no additional costs doesn't mean, free software is gratis per definition. It can be sold at any price. Otherwise it would be proprietary. So {{free}} is just plainly false in this regard. It can only fit to proprietary products where the proprietator has set this price (zero). --mms 14:22, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand your point. I don't see that the article equates free software with zero-cost anywhere, or asserts that one implies the other, it simply lists the official price(s) of the software from the publisher/main supplier. The {{free}} and non-free coloring was unnecessary and POV. There are many different prices and sometimes the same product has different prices for different versions (some even have free limited editions, or are free for students, or other variations): why should zero-cost be singled out among these? NicM 13:47, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
There is no official price for published free software. Even if there is one creator, he cannot establish the »official« selling price after he sold (or gave away) the first copy. After there is one licensee, there can only be selling prices but no official price. The coloring of the boxes can't be a POV ─ it helped to get an overview. I suggest to step back to the templates and use {{any}} for free software and {{free}} for freeware. Even if I must deflect opposition in this regard I insist that one can't impute free software to cost zero. We can write »any« or similar expressions or we can leave this field empty for free software as this category doesn't fit to it. And BWT, if you want one example of an »official« price for free software which isn't zero, take a look at the online store of the Free Software Foundation. --mms 14:21, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
You are missing the point. Free software can be sold for any price or for multiple prices from different suppliers, but so can anything - Windows has different prices in different countries, and copies on ebay often go at prices different again. However, each of the operating systems listed, free software or otherwise, have a single primary publisher, and it is their official price which is listed. The exception to this is Linux, and it already points to a separate article covering the many distro publishers. NicM 15:26, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
Non-free software can't be resold. Almost ever you don't even have the source code. So you haven't really ownership in the first place. I think what you mean is to just resell your single binary copy. This isn't distribution at all and especially not commercial distribution. --mms 16:03, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
That is not true, there are many people reselling commercial software, they are called resellers. Source code has absolutely nothing to do with it. NicM 18:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
In other words, just because I can take FreeBSD and resell it at $200, doesn't mean we should list its price as $200, or that the price column is meaningless. I could equally well come to an arrangement with Microsoft to sell Windows at $900 (and OEMs do come to agreements to sell Windows at lower prices with hardware). The official publishers are obvious - the FreeBSD project and Microsoft - and it is their direct prices that we list, not mine, not yours, not Dell's or anyone else's. You could make an argument for removing the price column entirely, but not for treating free software specially. NicM 15:31, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
FreeBSD is free software so the price could be any amount. The situation with FreeBSD may look more concise than with GNU/Linux but there are forks of FreeBSD, too. It is perfectly legal to sell thousands or millions of copies of FreeBSD at any price the market allows you. Your version wouldn't be less official than the one of the FreeBSD Project. It would be the same software with the same licence. This separates free software from proprietary software. --mms 16:03, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
You are still missing the point. It is legal to resell FreeBSD at any price, but it can also be legal to resell any software—free software is not special in this regard, if I reach agreement with Microsoft I can resell Windows at a higher or lower price. The point is that you are a reseller, you are not the primary publisher of FreeBSD. If two organisations did produce versions of FreeBSD, both with significant use and both called FreeBSD with different prices, then we would have to note that or list them seperately (like we do with Linux), but that is not the case. NicM 18:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
To state it more clearly, if someone did decide to publish their own version of FreeBSD for $100 a pop, it would be a different FreeBSD and would either require it's own line in the table or be listed on a separate page (like Linux). Because the license means that someone can do this, does not make the FreeBSD Project's FreeBSD has "any" price, it means that when someone does, we need to list them if they are significant enough to appear. Note that PCBSD has its own line, and OpenBSD is separate from NetBSD. NicM 18:39, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
The important thing is the distinction between reselling and republishing (ie, publishing a customized version). Reselling is irrelevant for this. With republishing, my point is that just because free software allows publishing customized versions at any price, does not automatically mean that the price is any. The table refers specifically to FreeBSD as published by the FreeBSD project, it doesn't mean FreeBSD published by anybody at all. If anyone else published a customized version, that would be a different table entry. Do you see my point? NicM 18:50, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
Also note that free software is not special in this regard, other than that it makes forks easy. Just because in theory I could sign an agreement with Microsoft to take their source base and build NicM's Windows and sell it for $9000, it doesn't mean Windows has "any" price, it means that Microsoft Windows has Microsoft's price, and NicM's Windows has my price. Once I stop being a reseller and become a republisher, then a new line in the table is needed. NicM 18:58, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
Oh, and the colouring of boxes can be and was POV. Why are we only highlighting an overview of free/non-free? Lumping all the varying non-free costs together is POV - it isn't as simple as a non-free/free split, and why should free get special treatment? NicM 15:37, 22 July 2007 (UTC).
The different values of the costs can be grouped to zero, non-zero and any. The question whether it is free or proprietary software is a totally different and is answered in Preferred license. A color scheme would be helpfull for this column. Especially the entry of Mac OS X (Server) is misleading as it is now. --mms 16:03, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
No, "any" is not appropriate here, all of them can have any price. As I have already explained, lumping the dozens of prices and variations under "non-free" and highlighting "free" is POV and unnecessary. NicM 18:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC).

Well, Linux can be sold for a price and some vendors do (Red Hat?)... Who is the primary vendor of Linux? Is Linux free? Is Torvalds the primary vendor? Is it Stallman? Or is it Red Hat, or even Shuttleworth? Not to mention licensing. The kernel may be under GPL, but what happens when we load a proprietary ATI driver into it? Furthermore, back to cost, what currency are we talking about here? Many of these things are listed on local sites as costing twice what we've specified in the article! I'm just putting some extra stuff on the table. I guess: What is the "Cost/Availability" column? A lot of these have specific dollar-amounts listed but there's no link to any pricing page telling us any of the prices - this makes it very hard to confirm and very hard to contest the accuracy of pricing in Wikipedia's list.

I propose: throw away the "Cost" part and keep the "Availability" part. If it's available from the vendor for a fee then mention that it is available "For a fee", do not mention how much that fee actually is. GPL software is always free, regardless of the primary vendor's charge (because the purchaser is permitted by the license to redistribute it) - is that not correct? (talk) 03:39, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Target system types[edit]

The target system types column is seems a little dodgy to me, certainly unreferenced and possibly OR. It should be removed, or cites should be found and added (which may be difficult). Any comments? NicM 15:44, 22 July 2007 (UTC).

change title to MODERN/ present-day operating systems?[edit]

The title of this article is somewhat misleading because there are many, many pre-PC operating systems from minicomputer/mainfraime days. PDP-11 alone had several OSes, there were LISP machine OS's like Genera, those for Xerox and LMI lisp machines, Oberon and other Pascal derived systems like UCSD p-System, just a quick look at List of Operating Systems give some hint as to the number and variety of OSes. So how about a change of title? Cuvtixo (talk) 17:36, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

So what exactly makes an OS modern? How about Comparison of microcomputer operating sytems? Josh (talk | contribs) 17:58, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
There was a large number of home computer OSes in the early home computer era. Take for example BK Soviet home computer that had tens of operating systems (Russian Wikipedia has articles about 18 of them). Also NetBSD, HP-UX, IRIX listed here are not targeted to microcomputers. --Dojarca (talk) 22:49, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

What about user rights management[edit]

It seems, after installing and using basically every MS operating system since Windows 3.1, that Windows 2000 is the only MS operating system in which user rights can be flexibly defined, just as on any Linux system. I.e.: administrators can define for ALL directories on a machine which users have reading, writing and executing rights. This has been made much more "fool proof" (or "illiterate user resistant") since XP, but this has been achieved by eliminating all flexibility to give users for instance "read only" user rights for other users document root subdirectories. To me it is unclear why MS didn`t include comparable functionality at least in the "Pro" versions of XP and Vista. Thus keeping W2k still the only viable option for shared workstations... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:08, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


Where is Dos?!?????????????????????????? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes! If not classic DOS 6.22 (some people still use it) then where is FreeDOS? (talk) 09:51, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Market share information[edit]

The current market share information is very misleading as it seems to be trying to promote some unknown OS called Desktop OS. I've never heard of it or can find anything about it. So I'm going to remove the graph and related information. Ironically, Wikipedia's own webserver logs might be a good unbiased source for getting at useful market share information. Maybe a combination of Wikipedia, Google, Fox, CNN, BBC, and some foreign sources (not sure what they are) would work well. -- Suso (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Where does this article even mention market share? - Josh (talk | contribs) 15:58, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, you removed it without consensus. "Desktop OS" just indicates that the chart is only for desktop operating systems. The "Desktop OS" on the chart should probably read "Other" instead. - Josh (talk | contribs) 16:07, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
According to Net Applications, Mac OS X is just under 9% and Windows has dropped below 90% as of mid November 2008. The current market share information displayed is out of date (September) and should be updated. Nick carson (talk) 23:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Linux vulnerabilities[edit]

The article represents linux as a whole os but the listed vulnerabilities are only about the kernel. That's unfair for the other OSes. I would suggest that there are no vulnerabilities listed for linux and a link to an explanation why to be added, or get rid of the whole vulnerabilities column anyway cause it's useless. It is not feasible to count vulnerabilities for what is called GNU/linux cause there is no standard distribution. Well done. (talk) 22:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Comparison of Free OSes?[edit]

Just wondering if there should be an article that compares free OSes, rather than putting them in with the big boys. Because right now, the table cannot sort by free (since F is not a number.) Or am I missing an article that shows the comparison of free OS Software that I overlooked? (talk) 12:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

You may be overlooking the "sort" button on the "cost" column of the table -- clicking it sorts "free" ones together.
Also, you may have overlooked the "See also" section of this article, which includes a link to comparison of open source operating systems -- is that what you wanted? -- (talk) 20:29, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Size of Linux[edit]

The size of the Linux kernel cannot be compared to the size of Windows and Mac OSX because the latter two are complete operating systems with plenty of bloat, not just a kernel. For this reason I have added the size of Debian GNU/Linux as well as the kernel to make it more comparable. However, Debian is one of the largest distributions out there and I doubt that anyone uses every single package in Debian. It would be better to find a source for number of lines in a popular out-of-the-box distribution such as Ubuntu. -- Borb (talk) 15:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Known unpatched vulnerabilities out of date[edit]

Most of the links have a different number than listed in the article. Aside from the fact that comparison of the numbers is meaningless for systems that have different security research focus, outdated information are even worse. I know that this was discussed before, but this columns should be removed altogether, already for the reason that they do not get updated regularly. (Even of the popular ones, none was correct. Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are still wrong. I fixed FreeBSD by changing it to "unknown".) (talk) 14:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Known unpatched vulnerabilities should be removed[edit]

  1. As noted, most of them are out of date.
  2. Most of them are closer to the number of Secunia "Advisories" than they are to the number of Secunia "Vulnerabilities" - for instance Linux says "13" whereas in Secunia we see "10" "advisories" and a far greater number of "vulnerabilities"... The information in Wikipedia absolutely does not correspond to the information given by the source.
  3. As noted, the Linux data is only accurate for the Kernel - and only for one specific kernel version - not everyone is using it; remember that usually you need to turn the system off (only) to update the kernel (or its drivers) and many Linux machines will be up and running for far more than the lifespan of a kernel version. They will suffer from different vulnerabilities. I imagine that it's the same for, say, BSD boxes. Are we talking about Operating systems people can start using now, or what they're already using?
  4. Linux (and BSD etc) distribution vendors may patch their kernel versions, blocking vulnerabilities at different rates than what Linus Torvalds does. Hence their binaries may have more or less vulnerabilities than what the vanilla kernel source does.
  5. As noted, the Linux count is only against the kernel. This seems unfair as the counts for Windows (for example) may be against removable components (such as services that must be switched off to enhance security or registry settings that must be tweaked)

So basically:

  1. The counts are not current and do not reflect the state of real systems
  2. The counts do not reflect information from the reference!
  3. The counts are not measured or gathered consistently; they measure different kinds of information

I will (try to) remove them for the time being. If I'm making a mistake then I apologize, in that case please revert and update. (talk) 03:22, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

OS Market Share Graph[edit]

I think that there should be a graph of the market shares over time. Either a line graph, or a time-elapsed pie chart would do. The kind of pie chart I'm talking about would be something like a this.The Onion 16:10, 2 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pisharov (talkcontribs)


The fact that footnote numbers are repeated within this page (e.g. there are three footnote #8s) causes many of the links to go wonky. I may fix this when I have more time, otherwise someone else can. EvanED (talk) 21:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Pie chart[edit]

The pie chart covers the upper right corner of the chart below it. This needs to be repaired. (talk) 05:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Market Share Messup[edit]

The Mac OS X market share seems to be slightly off, atleast according to this website. I don't know how to edit that caption under the chart. It's hasn't been wiki formated normally.Pisharov (talk) 18:27, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


In the security table, a division should be added called "user permission restrictions". This vital part is entirely not described; perhaps that part of the section: Operating_system#Security can be moved to this article. According to this site, windows versions even completely lack it, meaning that any user can wite or overwrite almost anything ont the computer and install software.

Focus on personal computers[edit]

The article is focused too much on personal computers. For example, the diagram only shows a comparison for these machines. The story is different for servers, ... Also, any computing device can have a OS installed, including eg a playstation 3, robot, ...

  • Yes, agreed. Now, what to do about it. Propose to make this a more general page and split out pages for comparisons for desktops, servers, user appliances (consoles, phones), embedded, realtime, and industrial uses. What else? (talk) 10:35, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Split RISC OS branches?[edit]

RISC OS has branched into two differently licensed branches with somewhat different features, might be a good idea to split them into the ROL and CTL/ROOL branches, which diverged after the Pace/ROL 4.02 release. Bhtooefr (talk) 17:25, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Support: The current table layout doesn't permit use of both {{Nonfree}} and {{Free}} unless separate cells are used. --trevj (talk) 09:44, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done with this edit.
  • Prices still need checking/changing;
  • RO5 coloured cyan in 'Cost' column, which seems to correspond to "Free" (non-commercial use noted);
  • 'License' links to RISC OS Open and states "Shared Source" (but is not Microsoft's Shared source).
Improvements welcomed. --Trevj (talk) 14:54, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
PS I've just added Pace for RO4. --Trevj (talk) 15:09, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I guess Comparison of operating systems#Technical information is next, i.e. splitting 26- and 32-bit. --Trevj (talk) 15:02, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Rowspan doesn't work properly in sortable tables when the rows are split by the sorting. Click the column headings in [2] to see the problem. I have replaced rowspan by repeated cells in [3]. You are free to add something to the cells to distinguish them. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:05, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you for correcting the issue I'd introduced. Sorry - I'd missed the note at WP:TABLE. Discussion of Bug 8028 indicates there could be a workaroud available at some point. --Trevj (talk) 04:55, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Server market share[edit]

It would be interesting to see market share stats for servers, as well, as they are rather different than the desktop stats. -- Beland (talk) 01:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


Derp. An operating system costs $100. That's nice. What currency? I don't mind it being in US dollars, I mean it's hard to justify why it should be in any particular currency, but US dollars seems to be the most universal.... But nevertheless, it needs to be stated. Either every entry should say $100 USD or the column should be called "Cost (in USD)/Availability" (talk) 11:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Windows NT Native API[edit]

This page lists both the NT native API and Win32 as 'native' APIs of Windows NT, where in reality Win32 is implemented as a subsystem. References to this are numerous throughout the internet but here is an example.

--Mappy wp (talk) 02:20, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Obvious favoritism towards Microsoft.[edit]

Is that pie chart even close to accurate? Seriously.

Spartan9199 (talk) 21:29, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Seen the numbers at Usage share of operating systems? If you dispute the statistics you'll have to take that up with the various sources compiled there.
The numbers do not seem that outrageous to me. --Chris (talk) 21:33, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Modern OS Only Option[edit]

Many people coming to the page are only interested in comparing current OS to decide which to use. However, because all of the comparison tables are multiple screens long and compare every OS that has existed, they find the page to be mostly useless. We need a way to show only current information for those who want it, in order to increase utility. A method for allowing the viewer to sort information and suppress what they don't need would also be good.

This is a general comment applicable to all comparison articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

No info about the HURD[edit]

I couldn't find the string "hurd" in the article, although it is certainly an OS and has an article in the wikipedia.

Maybe to get on this list there has to be a certain number of users?

Son of eugene (talk) 04:41, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Market share data[edit]

The market share data is at odds with Mobile_operating_system -- android has a higher market share, and symbian higher than that. Android could easily be considered linux; iOS and symbian not. This would put linux above iOS, and probably symbian above that. (talk) 17:10, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

OK, I think the issue is that the stats reported here are based upon user agent, whereas the gartner stats seem more reliable (sales) (talk) 17:13, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Didn't read what you're referring to but as far as what you wrote, Symbian at one point held more than half the world's phone code. Their market share was over significantly over 50% until this year, way more than all the others combined (obviously!). Symbian still has more share than iOS and Linux combined but since it's been cancelled (Nokia is in bed with MS now and will ship WinMo 7 on their handsets) in the next few years Symbian will die out and Win 7 will increase just from the sheer huge numbers of Nokia handsets sold worldwide (everywhere but USA) Cheers, Gavin (talk) 18:58, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

z/OS pricing, joke?[edit]

Was somebody joking about 130 a month? 30 thousand a month, maybe, and that doesn't include compilers or anything else. Maybe somebody knows actual numbers and will tell us, but nothing IBM sells on the mainframe is 130 a month, certainly not z/OS since it runs on boxes costing a million dollars or more. Even the z/PDT (software alone!) is 25,000 minimum one-time charge. This number should be verified or removed. Cheers Gavin (talk) 18:55, 10 April 2011 (UTC)


Since DragonflyBSD started life as a fork of FreeBSD 4.8 (as stated in the Dragonfly Wikipedia article's very first sentence), I have changed its predessor accordingly. NevarMaor (talk) 00:26, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with any of these OSes, or their histories but (as you state) it seems to make more sense, based on the DragonflyBSD article. -- Trevj (talk) 18:45, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Undue weight[edit]

This section is mostly a copy of an entry on the discussion page for the article Usage share of operating systems so discussions might be centralized at one place. But the issue is the inclusion of the "Operating system usage share" picture in this article.

In its introductory sentence the article "Comparison of operating systems" states: "These tables compare general and technical information for a number of widely used and currently available operating systems." but the picture prominently presented in the top right corner only refers to "Usage share of web client operating systems" which is just a marginal amount of computer systems thus giving undue weight to the windows operating system.

Even when looking at 32Bit CPUs only, desktop computers account for only 2% CPUs sold (see microprocessor section "Market statistics"). As the total number of CPUs sold is estimated at 1 billion this accounts for about 20 Million CPUs but the Top 500 list of supercomputers of June 2011-06 already counts 7 million (mostly 32Bit-desktop-)CPUs of which almost 6.5 millions (91%) are driven by Linux while Windows counts only 63140 CPUs or 1% and in the preformance statistics Windows even falls below the margin.

In 2004 there were an estimated 548,380 PCs in use worldwide "Number of PCs by country", ITU. 2004 thus with respect to CPU count Windows market share can be estimated below 50% when excluding embedded systems and around 15% when including embedded systems Embedded systems survey --BerlinSight (talk) 15:01, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is a problem of undue weight. It seems to me that it is very hard to compare desktop and handheld operating systems with servers and mainframes. So, since the article does not compare all operating systems (just desktop and handheld systems) perhaps the problem is with the name. However, the name: "Comparison of desktop and handheld operating systems" seems problematic. The other possible name might be: "List of desktop and handheld operating systems." There is an article titled Usage share of operating systems which deals with servers, mainframes and supercomputers as well as PCs mobiles, etc. So perhaps it would suffice just to comment in the lead that this article deals primarily with PCs and handheld devices and refer the reader to the other article. I'm going to remove the "undue weight" tag for now. If someone disagrees, please explain why and restore the tag. Sunray (talk) 08:17, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I've revised the lead and removed the tag. Sunray (talk) 08:39, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

What the...[edit]

Haiku the clone of BeOS and ZETA the illegal copy of BeOS are included; BeOS is not?! Wikipedians must live in their own reality! Happy hyper-fishbowl to you all! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

In case anybody is wondering about this antagonistic comment, such seems to have been the case because BeOS is not currently available. I assume that the above IP will never be back, but in case s/he ever does see this: learn to assume good faith on Wikipedia. Learn to ask your questions in a less confrontational manner. And maybe read the article header next time.--Moralis (talk) 23:21, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Should we not add in VxWorks[edit]

VxWorks is used very often, and is still very active, when you are looking at real-time systems. Should we not add this in also? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

BSD is an OS X predecessor.[edit]

Don't you think that BSD should be listed as an OS and iOS predecessor, since Darwin and some parts of NeXTSTEP derived from it? --Isacdaavid (talk) 21:36, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

I would rather say that it is a mix of a modified mach and BSD. the system use mach as it's base kernel (the servers run in kernel mode) with BSD kernel as a server. Even if this is BSD API which is available, and things FS and things like file systems are in BSD part. You may pay attention to other things like the executable format which is mach-o.
So iOS is rather mach based which is indirectly BSD in itself.2A02:8422:1191:6E00:56E6:FCFF:FEDB:2BBA (talk) 22:05, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

FreeDOS is missing[edit]

There is no information about FreeDOS.

-- (talk) 04:39, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Ubuntu is missing too[edit]

There is no information about Ubuntu. --Magomandrake (talk) 19:31, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Ubuntu is based on the debian way and is often linux.2A02:8422:1191:6E00:56E6:FCFF:FEDB:2BBA (talk) 22:11, 6 April 2013 (UTC)


while I was wondering if systems calls are faster in microkernel, I didn't find anything.

What about writing the average system call time for each OS (where system calls exist). It may also answer others related questions2A02:8422:1191:6E00:56E6:FCFF:FEDB:2BBA (talk) 20:41, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

iOS's package manager(s)[edit]

iOS has 2 different package managers that are responsible for installing apps and files. Whenever an app is installed (through iTunes, the App Store or other means), the IPA file is sent to installd, the Installer Daemon. On jailbroken iDevices, the package manager is dpkg and, by extension, apt-get. DEBs are installed onto the iDevice through those programs. Either can be interfaced by a terminal application, SSH, or through the GUI frontend Cydia (I don't know if installd can be interfaced directly by the user in such a way). It has been this way since iOS 2 for installd (I think), and since iOS 1 for apt-get/dpkg. Windoze96 (talk) 01:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

An interesting list[edit]

An uninteresting collection of disassociated, unrelated bit and pieces of information comparing apples, to oranges, avocados, aardvarks, orangutans, and Volkswagens. Useful in what manner? Was somebody bored? These are THE Operating Systems I get to choose from? Should have been CSD'd a long time ago. :- ) Don 07:26, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Firefox OS missing?[edit]

Firefox OS seems to be missing in the table or does it for any reason not belong onto this site? Retrovertigo en (talk) 03:30, 28 November 2014 (UTC)