Mozilla on Linux vs. Mozilla on Windows

What's the difference between Mozilla on Linux and Mozilla on Windows?

Mozilla is 99% the same on both platforms. This is fundamentally because most of the information that enters a running Mozilla instance comes from portable text-based languages like JavaScript, HTML, XUL and CSS, or from portable binary file formats like PNG. So Mozilla is in effect a big processing engine for portable text and portable images.

Some of the smaller differences are follows. Command line options are slightly different - type 'mozilla --help' on Linux, type 'mozilla -h > foo.txt' on Windows. Process management is different, Linux Mozilla uses a number of processes where Windows Mozilla starts with one. Process adoption is different: on Windows starting Mozilla twice results in one instance; on Linux starting Mozilla twice results in two instances.

For developers, Linux is a better place to hack on XUL-based Mozilla applications. It's easier to startup and tear down Mozilla on Linux than it is on Windows. Mozilla on Linux is also free from some of the confusing behaviour that many Windows programs have. It's never necessary to clean up zombie Mozilla processes on Linux, or reboot the box after a heavy hacking session.

View the next item in this Essential Guide: Linux or view the full guide: What's the best Linux OS for your enterprise data center?

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