Windows for The Linux User

Hi All,

Seems like a great place you all have going on here, so, thanks in advance for the warm reception ! :slight_smile:
As there isn’t a Windows category that I could see, I have left this uncategorized, and coincidentally , the discussion i’d like to have is in fact about Windows.

Me: I wanted to get into infosec/hacking, and read everywhere I needed to learn Linux. So I did. I got a Linux system going and haven’t looked back.

Problem: I don’t know hardly anything about Windows. It seems the general consensus is that everybody has a solid grasp on Windows, there is an assumption that people grew up from Windows and graduated to Linux. Is there room in the space for a Windows Primer ? I think there is and would love to write one, once I’m done learning the lot!

I guess there is short, succinct guides and write ups on all sorts of Linux stuff, but short of reading a Microsoft exam study guide, It feels Windows stuff is harder to get up to speed with, what’s y’all recommendations on being as 1337 (jokes y’all) on Windows as I am Linux ? Anybody else get where I’m coming from here ?

Similarities and differences between the two…?
Windows equivalent command to Linux ones ?
Essentially Windows tools, like Net command etc etc
AD primer ?
Permissions 101 ?
What you need to know what could be put on the back burner for now ?
SysInternal suite, whats that all about etc etc ?

See where im going with this ?
I am tired, and had a big old day so please go easy.


1 Like

Sorry, individually I have some answers and good resources on some of the things I have mentioned above, just wrote those to sort of help start out, hoping to get more of a discussion going, dots connected and thoughts on whats most important to learn/get your head around, even Windows concepts that a Linux user might be unfamiliar with. Thanks again

Seems like a great idea except what you’re asking is probably primarily should be asked to the Window’s guru: @dtm (Yes I summoned you). Anyways… feel free to ask whatever you wish and I’m sorry that’s how you feel like this. I personally don’t think as a community we have a lack of understanding of windows. Right now, I’m writing this on Windows 10 laptop. Why? I need windows for school and most schools don’t understand Linux thus, I am using windows on my laptop. Although, having knowledge of both is great. I hope that helps.

–Techno Forg–


I think there a not a lot of write-ups/tutorials for windows because most of the linux users don’t want to put up with all of the microsoft bullshit. If you want to get started with windows command line, a batch tutorial would work. After that you may want to learn a bit of powershell. For the other things like permission, there’s not actually a lot of need for resources because most of those features are made to be used in the GUI. Windows is a very graphical operation systems and linux a very command line oriented one. If you want to more indepth, you should check out some books like Windows Internals.

1 Like

I grew up with Windows but I’ve only recently made the switch over to Linux so I really can’t make any comparisons between the two yet.

I guess it depends on what you want to learn about Windows. If you’re just looking for a high-level abstracted understand of the operating system ((special) directories, registry, services, files and their formats, command line cmd.exe or PowerShell, native scripting languages (JScript, VBScript, Batch, etc.), etc.) then I’m pretty sure Microsoft has a massive documentation dedicated to describing these as well as many forums - both official and unofficial - that have a Windows focus.

Keep in mind that Windows was designed for the average user with minimal technical knowledge, i.e. it is heavily GUI which means that, AFAIK, the traditional cmd.exe utilities was mostly designed for administrators (these are found in the system directory, usually at C:\Windows\System32), not for completely controlling OS like Linux. There are many tools that are available to monitor Windows especially the Sysinternal tools which allow you to view processes in detail (Process Explorer) or view processes’ interactions with the OS (Process onitor) or viewing startup objects (Autoruns), etc.

Windows is an incredibly large and sophisticated so there’s really no shortcut to it. The best thing to do is to just dive into it and browse. It’s quite simple to understand at the surface level but if you’re looking for something quite in-depth and specific, you may have trouble finding it because of its proprietary nature.


I guess all of the things you mention in parenthesis is what I need to dust up on. Essentially, the must know stuff for pen testing is what i’m looking to learn. So I guess SID,UID, Active Directory and so on is a must right ? Learning sysinternal tools, most common services etc etc ?

Thank you for the great response, honestly im exhausted and have a deadline I need to reach by the morning ! Check in again later.

The book looks great. Yes biting the bullet and spending time on a Windows box and clicking away through the GUI seems like a must. The obscured nature of Windows internals and GUI vs CLI oriented thing is a good point also.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply and the summon :wink:

No problem. Glad to help.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.