Windows vs MacOS vs Linux: My Story (and share yours too!)

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I have used all three operating systems in my lifetime. When I used Windows, it felt too bloated and I missed Bash; my Linux experience was really positive but too many apps did not support the platform. So, I am sticking with MacOS for now. Every developer's needs are different depending on what they are using their machine for. What OS are you using and why (discuss here)?

My First Experience with Windows, My First Experience with a Computer

I was very young when I first used a computer, around three or four years old, and that first machine was a Windows one. My first experience with a computer is very different from many other developers simply because I am very young.

My first OS was Windows 7 back in the late 2000s, and I distinctly remember the shining Windows icon/button on the bottom left corner, shining on hover. I have never seen a world without the Internet, and my first experiences on Windows 7 were mainly on Internet Explorer playing online flash games.

I thought Windows was mediocre when I first started, partly because I had nothing else to compare it too. I frequently experienced crashes and freezes on computers I was using at the time, but I thought that was normal for any computer . I, however, quickly learned how to force shut down my computer and restart, and not to have too many applications open at once.

A few years later, when I was nine years old, I started programming. At that point, Windows 10 had just been released, and I had gotten my first computer of my own, which had a touchscreen (this later became my sole reason for using Windows machines over MacBooks). I remember writing Python code on this first machine, and I was not yet doing anything with the command line or downloading libraries with some sort of package manager.

My Experience With MacOS

After a few years with Windows, I got a used Mac, and started using it as my main machine. One thing I immediately noticed was that it was fast, much faster than anything I had seen before. It never froze or crashed, and everything seemed so smooth and seamless.

Overall, MacOS just felt much faster and more reliable than the Windows machines I had used before. It did not have a touchscreen, and it did not have extra ports like an Ethernet port or anything else, but it just felt much easier to use.

My Experience With Linux (Ubuntu)

After using MacOS for a long time, and also trying out Windows for a considerable amount too, I decided to try Linux. Ubuntu seemed like the best bet for a distribution because it seemed to be the most popular, so I figured out how to configure a bootable USB disk, and dual booted Ubuntu into my machine.

The first thing I noticed was that Ubuntu seemed to have the speed and ease-of-use that MacOS had, but also the developer-friendliness and configuration ability that Windows had. Bash was built-in, just like MacOS, and the APT package manager was really easy to use.

Even now, I think Ubuntu and Linux is the most developer-friendly operating system out there. It is so simple to install packages and frameworks on Linux, and really simple to configure and change settings on your machine.

The dealbreaker for me, which I know is also a dealbreaker for others, is the apps. At the time, Spotify for Ubuntu was barely supported, and many other apps I wanted were not available for Linux.

Why I am Sticking with MacOS

And after all of that, I have decided to stick with MacOS. Here are my reasons:

  • Windows felt too bloated for me. Even after using a fast and modern Windows 10 machine, I realized it is harder to install packages, navigate the command line, and really get things working on Windows.
  • Linux was great, but it did not have the support I would have liked. Not enough people built their stuff to support Linux.
  • MacOS is reliable, and the software is built for the hardware. Apple builds their machines and they build the software in their machines, which means they can optimize the software for the specific hardware, something both Windows and Linux cannot do. You can also download Xcode (for mobile app dev) on MacOS, which is one extra useful thing if I ever want to look into that.

Tell your OS Story!

Please feel free to share your current operating system and your reasons for using it on this post on the DEV Community!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and of course, everyone uses their computer for different things, and everything mentioned is just my personal opinion and experience. Maybe you have multiple machines or VMs with different operating systems, or maybe you are an avid gamer who needs Windows; everyone is different and again, please share your story below.

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Thanks for scrolling.

— Gabriel Romualdo, December 12, 2019