Linux admin vs Microsoft Windows admin

Ah, it is indeed a beautiful Saturday night here in New Delhi.

There is some dissuasion going on with my old friend and I thought it is a good idea to share the same:

* Linux admin == smart people

* They learn quickly

* A typical Linux user is a power user and likes to run his/her own small server (DIY)

* They have knowledge of different technologies

* And most important – they can learn to run your Microsoft boxes in less time than it takes an MCSE to learn a single Linux task.

Do you agree or disagree with above statement(s)? Please add your thoughts in the comments…

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36 comments… add one
  • Tuxoon Apr 25, 2014 @ 22:00

    Seriously! I like the philosophy of GNU/Linux and that’s why I wanted to be a full GNU/Linux Administrator, but today the situation seems to be different in my view.
    When I see all services provides by Microsoft, especialy in 2014, it seems difficult to find worth in the GNU/Linux world. If you want to have some very useful features as those providing by Microsoft, you have to pay for that! Otherwise, you will be limited!
    And more Microsoft provides new features, more the Microsoft Admin as to be proactive to be fonctional otherwise he will be outdated.
    That’s what define his level of profesionalism “smart attitude”.

    Maybe a smart admin is not a linux admin or a Microsoft Admin, it’s just a guy/girl which is not afraid to learn all the time and to practice a lot to have more skills and experiences to respond easily to a need.

  • swapnil Sep 14, 2012 @ 12:05

    Totally agree.

  • Charlie Kul Jun 23, 2012 @ 0:52

    I am studying MCITP but my work requires some little Linux admin here and there. I totally agree with Robert above though – it is all about which industry you wanna specialize in. I feel Linux is good for the techno-admin in say Telecoms Servers (which is my current field), ISP, and typically all service delivery platforms i assume. BUT for the Entreprise arena, I guess we still cant beat the Windows platform.

    A comparison of the two is total nonsense unless it is mere superiority complex. I suggest we understand that what matters is the target industry. Period.

  • BillyBob May 24, 2012 @ 20:28

    I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people can perform a lot of very basic Windows administration with little training, but these are not people I would consider real System Administrators. Really getting under the hood of Windows takes just as much intelligence and understanding as it does for Linux, and as someone who started from the WIndows side, I can honestly say that some aspects of Linux seem simple in comparison. Yes, there are a lot of commands to learn, and I know I’ve only really scratched the surface, but learning commands as you need them is ultimately just a tiny detail compared to knowing what you want or need to do in the first place.

  • Robert Mar 28, 2011 @ 3:50

    This age old debate should be put to bed. I have seen Linux admins get on a Windows machine and find themselves lost in trying to configure Exchange. Let’s face it, there are NO OTHER options available in comparison to Exchange Server. Zimbra is still in it’s infancy and unless they get up and get moving on development Exchange will be leaps and bounds ahead in the Enterprise collaboration world.

    Active Directory provides granular control over end users in comparison to Linux. If you want to lock down a Linux machine you have to basically write a ton of scripts and figure out how you are going to get that all to work. Windows has far better Enterprise support than Linux at this point in time.

    For those that think Windows admins are stupid are merely idiots themselves. I have met some brilliant Windows admins and in turn met some retarded Linux admins. Put this issue to bed and move on. I am a pro Linux user but understand it’s limitations in the Enterprise world.

    I can’t sum this up any better than what I once read:

    “Linux is only free if your time is worthless”

  • Nothing changes Oct 6, 2009 @ 23:08

    The superiority complex is here again.

  • garyc Aug 7, 2009 @ 21:34

    100% agree

    for me the key point is “They have knowledge of different technologies”, as an IT consultant I can advise my client to the best technology that suits his business. Most Microsoft resellers I find have *limited* IT knowlege in general, with linux you tend to have to “learn the basics” eg rdns/dns/smtp/fetchmail/postfix/assp etc etc and not “point and click” autoconfigure crap, and with so many things in life, once you learn the underlying concept your skills are transferable.

    Sometimes (where no other options exists) I advise clients to use Windows Server, but generally I use linux.


  • amrit Jan 16, 2009 @ 12:11

    You are absolutely right my dear.

    For windows administrators Learning Linux administration is like learning breathing on a planet without oxygen.

  • kashif Sep 28, 2008 @ 10:40

    pls send me
    — the discuss b/v microsoft v/s linux-redhat

  • Dhaval Sep 19, 2008 @ 5:42

    I hate Microsoft OS , Becoz it is not secure OS , and linux providing free support to us better than microsoft,

    look at the video of ubuntu-beryl vs microsoft vista

    I am senior linux administrator from india , I love this os , by this os i have got many opportunities and jobs, without any more qualifications,
    And still I am working and getting knowledge of
    -Radius Server
    -MySQL Replication

    Still I have lot of things to learn. 🙂

  • dfu Aug 25, 2008 @ 19:47

    Umm, isn’t it just easier to fake being a ‘good’ admin if you’re primarily around a windows environment? Either way, in order to be ‘good’, you still have to understand the underlying concepts of what you’re doing. If you don’t have those base skills, then you’re no good no matter what type of environment you’re in.

  • mb Aug 15, 2008 @ 23:48

    Im a windows admin by trade but I do have to support linux servers. Which is easier ? Neither , you still have to learn the relevant tools of the trade. What really seperates the men from the boys is systems programming. Anyone can learn a command line tool or batch/scripting language. I have nothing but contempt for the unix/linux camp that simply know ‘enough’ to get by.

  • pal Jul 5, 2008 @ 4:31

    this is nice blog..any one can tell abour mandriva linux???

  • rsys May 9, 2008 @ 8:25

    I’m learn for my MCSE exam from my Ubuntu Box.. and and for me it much2 easier for me to learn all the MCSE stuff after I learn Linux, because it help me shape the mind set.

  • Winter May 8, 2008 @ 22:38

    Perhaps because I don’t like to touch MS software, it’s all a bit annoying to me. I have to take my hat off to anyone that has taught themselves to be a windows server admin with AD and Exchange etc. Unless you have a place to look for the answers, it can be a real bother figuring out MS terminology and technology. They’re off in their own world.

    OS nixes are easy to understand and use because: *There is documentation!*

    Man I hope I never get a job at the evil empire.

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