Linux Bigot --Maybe Me -- but why does Windows NEED a registry

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  1. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #1

    Linux Bigot --Maybe Me -- but why does Windows NEED a registry


    Hi Folks

    Using Linux for YEARS with decent security -- and all though I like and use Windows too -- why on earth does Windows need a Registry either to keep security or check registration of "Paid For" software.

    There's plenty of "Paid For" software available for Linux that doesn't seem to require any sort of "Registry and licenses work OK".

    Linux paid for Licences seem to work too -- so what's the point of "The Registry". (Although most software is actually FREE on LINUX there's still a few commercial paid for products that aren't hideous either !!!)

    Look Folks I Like Windows-- but I don't get this whole registry thing.

    Any Widows Gurus here who can expain the point of it -- be glad to hear.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 264
    Windows 10
       #2

    The registry is basically a database. It is centralized and hierarchical. It is a way to keep all the configurations needed by the OS organized in a central place. However, you can run software on Windows does that not need to access the registry, like portable apps.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 4,666
    Windows 10 Pro x64 21H1 Build 19043.1151 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #3

    The Windows registry is a brilliant thing. Too bad many software vendors misuse it, make it bloated and don't clean up properly after them selves.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 1,463
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 64 bit
       #4

    In a galaxy far far away my first use of computers ran Unix as I worked for AT&T. I assume Linux is similar and uses a Package Manager that has a database of all installed packages to keep track and make sure any needed packages that a new program may depend on to operate properly. Many times when installing a program in Unix I needed to install other programs that the new program depended on. I relate the Package Manager in Unix/Linux to the Registry in Windows.

    Jim
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 750
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bits
       #5

    Windows needs registry for the same reason that Linux needs Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, which is storing system, hardware, and software configuration information.

    As for licensed software for the "few commercial paid for products" on Linux, they pretty much work the same way as licensed software works on Windows. It dependent on how intrusive the software company wants to be with their licensing. At the time the program starts up, they can check for valid license, updates, upload telemetry data, etc.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 56,850
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #6

    In a nut shell, the Registry replaces the old .ini files.. Much more to it, but that was it's reason for being born.

    Windows Registry - Wikipedia

    What is the Windows Registry?

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...advanced-users
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 26,487
    Windows 11 Pro 26100.712
       #7

    There are tons of apps that promise to clean out your registry. Use them with caution and backup your registry before doing anything to it. I use Linux as well , Mostly MX Linux and PClinuxOS and Mint.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 2,935
    Windows 10 Home x64
       #8

    Do not ever tamper with registry. It will probably break your system, most of the time in an unnoticeable way.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
    Thread Starter
       #9

    slicendice said:
    The Windows registry is a brilliant thing. Too bad many software vendors misuse it, make it bloated and don't clean up properly after them selves.
    Hi there
    I can understand if it would just behave as a "Glorified package manager" but if it's so open to misuse and abuse by all and sundry then IMO a more sensible more tamperproof system should be incorporated.

    Internal file access permissions and user level privileges are probably better stored within the OS kernel itself which is (even these days on Windows 10 too) usually well protected.

    User paid for licensing stuff doesn't need to be highly complex either. Surely some type of individually generated and encrypted license file valid for that particular user and machine configuration simply needs to be stored in the applications install file. If user moves to a new machine / license expires at end of period user simply logs on to the vendor and a new key is generated.

    Another big weakness IMO of the Windows registry is that often configuration is done from it -- mixing configuration and software installation packages together in a "unified data base" seems to also be a big mistake -- most software in Linux that needs any sort of configuration usually has its own configuration file -- often stored in the /etc folder

    At least in Linux if you break an applications configuration file it doesn't wreck the whole system and you can usually repair it without too much hassle.

    If you break the windows registry -- even a minor mis key stroke *could* render the system not bootable any more -- I'm sure some here have made unwitting errors when messing around with the Windows registry too !!!!!!.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 4,201
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP
       #10

    Let's be honest here, linux does not need the security systems that windows systems have to use on desktop systems, as it has such a tiny user base, Servers are different, but Windows servers as just as important running essentials, such as This and the other DM Forums

    Linux not used to perform mission critical business work every day on the desks of every major business on the planet.

    The security is a pain in the ass, but it is needed because criminals attack windows because it is used everywhere by everyone that generates serious revenue.

    As for the registry, Rule! If you don't know what you're doing don't do anything, or if you want to play treat it accordingly, make backups, take time to research and learn before you start, if you do not prepare, you might as well play a sport, catching the javelin
      My Computers


 

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