Open and Closed Source Systems Essay

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An operating system is a considered a set of programs that schedule tasks, assign storage and presenting an interface to the user. There are many operating systems to choose from. Some are created for personal use, some for business use, and some can be used for both. One of the biggest differences is whether the operating system is open source or closed source. Operating systems are created with programming code. Programmers are responsible for writing the source code, which is compiled into executable code. This executable code is what creates the product ran on computers. An open source system is a system in which the source code is visible. A closed source system keeps the source code hidden.

System Differences

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Users have several options when choosing a closed source system. Some examples would include Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X operating systems. Like open source systems, closed source systems offer software for a variety of uses that include personal, server and mobile.

Open Source Closed Source
Red Hat
Unix Windows 97, XP, 7, Vista
Versions of Window Server
Mac OS X

Closed source systems are usually found in personal computers because the level of expertise needed to use them is minimal. There are many factors to consider when determining which system to use. The level of expertise of the user, the costs of the system and any add-ons, and the flexibility of the system must all be considered. The type of application also plays some role in the decision. Both types can be found in personal, server, and mobile applications. However, open source systems are often found more in mobile and server applications.

Using the UNIX Environment

I am currently using Windows 7 as my primary operating system and I have been a Windows user since I started really using computers so the transition for me to a UNIX/Linux environment has been a bit daunting. For the purposes of this comparison I downloaded Cygwin, which emulates a Linux environment quite well. The first issue that I had to figure out was where did the GUI go? I realized that a UNIX/Linux system uses the command prompt
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