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As a course of my School, I am starting to study Information Security. And I have to use GNU Linux OS using VMWare. My questions are:

  • Why I need to use a linux distro other than Windows OS?
  • On linux, l have to try some Bash shell commands, Can shell commands be executed on Window 7 OS?

marked as duplicate by Steffen Ullrich, Mark, Mark Buffalo, schroeder Jan 7 '18 at 14:03

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    yes you can run shell commands on windows (its called batch) however. wiht linux you can get access to all the good parts off the system, windows is closed source so you can't or are not allowed to do so. Linux is far superiour as a operating system for serious computing (just like all other *NIX flavours) – LvB Jan 7 '18 at 4:23
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    Hello, good for you, FOSS is a very interesting world, here in the following links you can find your answers: 1) 11 Reasons Why Linux Is Better Than Windows, 2) Why Linux is still better than Windows 10 and 3) How to Create and Run Bash Shell Scripts on Windows 10 – galoget Jan 7 '18 at 4:31
  • Linux is not an OS... – NerdOfCode Jan 7 '18 at 5:10
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    Two main reasons make Linux the one choice for the security folks : is has a free license and the most of infosec software and tools are developed for the Linux platform. – elsadek Jan 7 '18 at 7:37

I am starting to study Information Security. Why do I need to use a linux distro other than Windows OS?

The only person who knows the real answer is your course instructor, so any answer to this is going to be opinion.

Market Share

According to wikepedia, combined total of all devices in the world:

Device shipments, 2015

Android 54.16%

iOS/macOS 12.37%

Windows 11.79%

Other 21.66%

* OS Device Shipments, Gartner[20]

Assuming that's representative of devices shipped since 2015, then 11.8% of the devices in the world are running Windows, wile the other 88% are running some sort of linux or unix. Remember that this isn't just computers, but phones, servers, routers, wifi-enabled toothbrushes and bathroom scales, etc. Those are all things that require security.

For servers it's even more dramatic (from the same wikipedia page)

W3Cook survey, May 2015

Linux Servers: 96.6%

Windows Servers: 1.7%

* W3Cook checks the top one million web servers monthly, taken from the Alexa ranking, using HTTP headers, DNS records, and WHOIS data, among other sources.

You can't protect what you don't know

From the way you word your question, I'm guessing you have only been exposed to Windows in your life.

Being able to protect something requires having deep knowledge of how that thing works. How could you hope to have a successful career in security if you're only familiar with 11.8% (or 1.7%) of the technology being used?

Since the internet fundamentally runs on Linux, good for your instructor for introducing you to something new.

  • 1
    I don't know why people are focusing in on market share for this question. From a teaching perspective having a consistent OS version has merit (something that you cannot guarantee for all students with Windows) and the security toolset is more robust for Linux than Windows. And the curriculum likely has scripts that are only written in bash. – schroeder Jan 7 '18 at 14:09
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    @schroeder I stand by my answer :P Feel free to write you own. – Mike Ounsworth Jan 7 '18 at 14:16

This is possibly due to licensing, but there may be other reasons as well. Being open source allows security to be reviewed from a design perspective as well as a code, binary and practical perspectives.


There are not only two questions...

Short answer:

  • Because Linux is the most used system today. (for servers, embedded devices, Android and some desktop users)

  • Yes, but it's not really efficient.

Longer answer:

Linux is Open Source, which means that anyone can read, modify and distribute the source code.

(Basically, the GNU GPL license that Linux uses stands for the rights to run, copy, modify and distribute, and this implies read, which is more important, for school).

There are a lot of boarder effects:

  • This will permit...

    • everybody, any school, everywhere, to learn about how it works.

    • strong engineers to read and ensure that there are no backdoors and sometimes find bugs and help back.

    • create

      • embedded object and devices,
      • web applications,
      • new inventions...

      without having to worry about licenses fees.

  • And yes, there are a lot of ways to run under Windows, but as the system is controlled by host OS, a lot of Unix features, like local sockets, private/shared memory, etc. require caution because they don't always work the same.

Deeper answer:

Sorry, there isn't today...

Have a look at Why GNU/Linux @ GNU.org

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