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Jeremy Morgan
Jeremy Morgan

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Which Operating System Are You Using?

I asked folks on Twitter what operating system they use to write code and was a bit surprised. (The poll is still going on if you want to see the current results).

It looks like a dead heat between Windows and Linux. I expected much of my audience to be front end developers and web developers, who primarily use OSX. Most developers I talk to regularly use OSX, so I was surprised to not see it above and beyond the rest.

So what are YOU using as a "daily driver"? I'm curious to know. Whether you're a professional developer or a hobbyist tinkering around.

What OS are you using?

It wasn't long ago people would say things like "If you want to develop with {language / platform} then you must use {Operating System}. But it seems these days you can do whatever kind of development you want in each operating system.

Windows was the laggard for many years. If you wanted to do any kind of scripting or run applications only built for Linux you were out of luck. But WSL has changed that. So I'm not too surprised to see the increase in Windows usage.

So What Are You Using to Write Code??

Let me know in the comments what you're using and why. Work or play. You can still vote on this poll for a couple days too. I'm curious.

Top comments (46)

danivanov007 profile image
Dan • Edited

I moved on Linux from Windows. Why? Because, my friends who works in IT industry said me that and said why Linux is so interesting in programming. And I moved on Linux. When I started it was very hard for me, but after 3 months of usage I understanded how to work in Linux and my feelings flyed to the heaven because of how cool is Linux. The Linux is WOW!

jc00ke profile image
Jesse Cooke

I've used Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Manjaro+i3, and now I'm very happy with Regolith (Ubuntu+i3 with a lot of default polish)

I'd love to give a BSD a try, and probably could given the tools I use are all pretty ubiquitous, but I'm too happy with Regolith to spend any time on it.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

OSX for most of my work and personal computing, with a bit of Raspbian here and there πŸ™‚

roelofjanelsinga profile image
Roelof Jan Elsinga

Ubuntu at work, Peppermint OS and Endeavour OS at home.

At work I want something that just works. I want the OS to get out of my way and just let me do what I need it to. I only use LTS versions of Ubuntu for this reason.

At home I love to experiment with things. Endeavour OS was my attempt to become more productive, but Arch scares me a little bit. I'm very used to the LTS stability and the rolling release just put me in the edge of my seat.

That is why I primarily use Peppermint OS at home. It makes me super productive and it's so blazing fast, wow!

t04glovern profile image
Nathan Glover

MacOS at work, PopOS at home. Only reason I'm not running Pop at work is consistency with my coworkers. Even with GNU Core I don't want to risk it.

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan • Edited

Same here. I use OSX at work, and on my laptop I ran FreeBSD for a while, and it was awesome but I ran into some snags that I didn't have time for. I had to get some work done.

I am in the middle of redoing my website completely, and while I'm a die-hard Arch Linux user, I didn't want to take the time required to put Arch back on it, so I went with Pop. It's been really good so far.

bendman profile image
Ben Duncan • Edited

I'm on OSX because I want something reliable where I'm spending time on the project at hand rather than my environment. As a frontend developer I view designs in Sketch, Illustrator, or other design software on a daily basis, and I need to know they will work without looking all over for the least buggy binary or source repo I can find. Most of my users are also on OSX or Windows, so it's nice to be using the target platform.

I've tried various flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Suse, Arch, RedHat) and I use them for my servers, but found them too finicky and 3rd party support was too low for what I want in a development environment. I'm open to try again though!

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

I use Ubuntu (or a relative thereof) exclusively! I used Windows for many years, but fell in love with the stability, safety, and usability of Linux back in 2012. I've been using it as my sole OS since 2014.

Right now, I'm on Pop!_OS 19.10 with both the MATE and Cinnamon DEs (I bounce between the two.)

nerdharder615 profile image

Fully switched to *nix at home almost a decade ago. I have a mix of Manjaro (desktop), Ubuntu (2 laptops), & Raspbian. I do have my Windows work PC, but hopefully that will be on Ubuntu sometime this year. Since everything has been moving to web apps, there isn't anything that is really keeping my tied to Windows currently.

tardisgallifrey profile image

Love that old Burroughs machine in the article. My very first machine to work on was a Computer Automation Naked Mini4, used by Barber-Colman Company as their Econ6 Energy Management System in the '80s.

My current 'daily driver' is Linux Mint 18. I've used Ubuntu/Debian OS's the most and am comfortable with the system. Mint just seems to be doing better on the laptop I'm currently using. I haven't bought a new laptop since 2008; just use castoffs.

Believe it or not, my editor of choice is nano. It's simple and easy to use without being obtuse like vim. From there, I'll use gcc or g++, if I'm compiling. Otherwise, chmod +x and perl or python takes it from there.

tirtakeniten profile image
Tirta Keniten

Hi Jeremy. I use 3 different operating systems right now.

Ubuntu: My office computer. I love using Ubuntu for coding. It smooth and easy to setup. It just worked as expected. But, when I started use Ubuntu in my notebook, it drained my battery.

Macos: For my MacBook. I experienced that Ubuntu does not fit in a notebook, Macos does. The things I like in Macos is, it has neat GUI, stable, less power consumption, and POSIX.

Windows: I love games. And the games I love are not available in Ubuntu and Macos. So I built myself a Windows computer.

I am a web developer, and have been experience develop website for those 3 operating system. If I have to choose, I would go for Macos.

adityamitra profile image
Aditya Mitra

My Professor asked me :

(Hint: It is not just used to create files)

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan • Edited

Personally I'm all over the map, which is pretty usual for me.

Work (for my day job): OSX

Desktop Machine (for authoring courses, writing, etc): Windows10/ArchLinux/FreeBSD 12 (triple boot)

Laptop (personal stuff, writing, etc): Pop!_OS

Lab Machine (VMs for Courses and experimenting) Arch Linux / FreeBSD 12 (dual boot)

So yeah I have one of each on the list depending on what I'm doing. I spend most of my time in OSX and Linux.

ricktraigon profile image
Ricardo • Edited

Hello at all, I'm using Windows 10, and several linux distros at home and for work.
Today Debian and derivatives like Antix for work purposes I use Solaris.
Working as a webdeveloper I use these systems to check the good work of apps.
I like very much linux platform and its power, solid work but windows is a big player that's coming back me some attention.
I used a bit Mac OS some year ago.

guiteixeira profile image
Guilherme Teixeira • Edited

As soon as I learned how to install an operating system, I started trying Linux. I'm currently a macOS user (work/college/home) because I think it has the best of all worlds, but I still have a Manjaro i3wm Edition running in a VM.

craigbutcher profile image
Craig Butcher

Right now, it's a combination of macOS (home) and Windows 10 (work). Most people I have met throughout my working life argued the silly OS wars of Mac OS X vs Linux vs Windows. To end the infamous debate, I simply see operating systems as a tool to develop whatever we need to do.

Thanks to using dotfiles and the use of a personal repo, switching to any OS is a breeze after a quick set up. There is always going to be an amount of tinkering in every OS because we are curious creatures wanting to see what things can do :-)