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Joseph Mania
Joseph Mania

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Why Do Developers Prefer Linux?

A lot has changed in the world of computing over the years. In the early days, computers were primarily used for work purposes. But today, they are used for a variety of activities, including gaming and entertainment. When it comes to choosing a platform for computing, developers have largely shifted their preference from Windows to Linux. Here’s why:

Reasons Why Developers Prefer Linux

Linux is a more versatile platform than Windows.

Linux is designed to be run on a wide variety of hardware, from high-end servers to low-power devices like the Raspberry Pi. Windows, on the other hand, is designed specifically for use on personal computers. Finally, Linux offers a richer selection of software than Windows. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of free and open source applications available for Linux, many commercial applications are also available in Linux versions. This makes Linux an attractive choice for businesses and organizations that want to avoid the high costs of licensing commercial software. In conclusion, Linux is a more versatile platform than Windows because it is open source, runs on a variety of hardware, and offers a greater selection of software.

Linux can be customized to a greater extent than Windows.

For many users, the main appeal of Linux is its flexibility. Unlike Windows, which is designed for general use, Linux can be customized to meet the specific needs of different users. For example, it is possible to create a lightweight version of Linux that can be used on older computers, or a version that is optimized for gaming. In addition, Linux users can choose from a wide range of graphical user interfaces, or “desktops,” each of which has its own unique features and appearance. As a result, Linux offers a level of customization that is simply not possible with Windows. In addition, because Linux is open-source software, it is possible to modify the underlying code to suit one’s own needs. For many users, this flexibility is the key advantage of Linux over Windows.

Linux is less resource-intensive than Windows.

One of the most common complaints about Windows is that it is a resource hog. Over the years, Microsoft has made strides in optimizing the operating system, but it still requires more memory and processing power than its Linux counterpart. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, Windows comes with a lot of built-in features that many users never bother to disable or uninstall. Secondly, the Windows UI is more complex and demanding than most Linux UIs. As a result, it uses up more resources just to render the interface.

Finally, Windows apps tend to be larger and more resource-intensive than their Linux counterparts. For example, a typical Linux text editor might be a few hundred kilobytes in size, while a similar program for Windows can easily be several megabytes. All of these factors contribute to the perception that Linux is a leaner, meaner operating system than Windows.

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Linux is more stable and reliable than Windows.

Unlike proprietary operating systems, Linux is developed by a community of volunteers who work together to improve the software. As a result, Linux is more stable and reliable than many commercial operating systems. Furthermore, it is supported by numerous developers who are constantly working to fix bugs and add new features. While Linux can be used for desktop computers and servers, it is also popular with embedded devices such as routers and TV set-top boxes. Thanks to its flexibility and reliability, Linux has become the preferred choice for many users who need an operating system that they can trust.

Linux provides better security features than Windows.

For one thing, Linux is open source, meaning that there is a large community of developers constantly working to improve the system. In contrast, Windows is developed by a single company, making it much more difficult to identify and fix security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, Linux uses a concept called “security by design,” which means that security is built into the very core of the system. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. Finally, Linux provides users with a high level of control over their security settings. This allows users to tailor their security to their individual needs. As a result, Linux offers superior security features compared to Windows.

Linux offers a wide range of open-source software applications.

Linux offers a wide range of open-source software applications that can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, there are open source office applications such as LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice that can be used for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Alternatively, there are open-source graphics applications such as GIMP and Inkscape that can be used for photo editing and vector illustrations. Furthermore, there are open sources development tools such as Eclipse and NetBeans that can be used for coding and web development. Overall, Linux provides users with a wide range of open-source software options, making it a great choice for those who want to use or develop free software.

Top comments (96)

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armousness profile image
Sean Williams

I think the "original" reason was probably just that the Windows command line is a tragedy, while Bash is wonderful. Nowadays, Windows itself is a tragedy.

That said, I actually use Windows because I need to scan things. This is itself a blast from the past, since the reason to use Windows back in the 90s was that there were a lot of problems with PCI 56k modems on Linux.

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Ben Calder

It wasn't just the command line. There were problems with Windows that made some things nigh on impossible; especially in relation to node: IIRC there were limitations to path lengths and deeply nested dependency trees that broke things badly. There was also the infamous node-gyp problem: github.com/nodejs/node-gyp/issues/629

I moved to Linux exactly because of these issues...

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy • Edited on

That said, I actually use Windows because I need to scan things

Huh? Scanners work just fine with Linux. I use mine all the time. I just plugged it in - worked immediately

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

I would like to know the scanners name

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

Canon PIXMA MP240 - combined printer/scanner

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jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

HP has very good Linux support with it's HPLIP driver suite. Never ran into issues.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

I also use HP both pc and laptop, with Parrot OS

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giulio profile image
Giulio

I use an Epson printer/scanner, network connected, and it works just fine.
Also Epson ships Linux drivers.

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gdledsan profile image
Edmundo Sanchez

you have have a linux subsystem on Windows, and it runs anything you want, so a POSIC terminal is no longer a problem on Windows.

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armousness profile image
Sean Williams

A sane command line is now the least of Windows' issues. After all, we now have a Windows that forces you to update, forces you to associate it with a Microsoft account, and actively surveils you. On top of having an increasingly absurd configuration system.

I know there are workarounds for these things, with varying effectiveness, but you shouldn't have to work around an operating system so heavily.

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gdledsan profile image
Edmundo Sanchez

Absolutely agree with you.
While windows is usable, it still tells you actually you don't own your system, on every opportunity they have.

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mr_destructive profile image
Meet Rajesh Gor

Also Linux is a great option for developers as it provides a native support for developer related software. Technologies like docker, shell, packages, are designed and tested for Linux making it a reliable and developer friendly option.
Linux supports the FOSS principle, thereby giving the freedom to the user regarding the usage and creation of the programs.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Thanks my linuxmate..

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njoroge profile image
Dennis Kamau

I work in finance but I do side jobs in my free time using Ruby on Rails.
Windows was very problematic and since I moved to Linux my life has been easier

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Never have i ever touched Ruby on rails

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njoroge profile image
Dennis Kamau

You can try it, it's fun working with Rails 🤣

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mr_destructive profile image
Meet Rajesh Gor

No problem Djangomate ;)

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dougatgrafbase profile image
Doug Schwartz

The more correct title is "Why do developers prefer Linux over Windows?". I wouldn't make the same claim over Mac, as I see it as the preferred platform for many (most? how does one know?).

Let's see what the numbers are on the latest Stack Overflow survey. According to survey.stackoverflow.co/2022/#sect...

62% use Windows personally
49% use Windows professionally

40% use Linux personally
40% use Linux professionally

31% use Macs personally
33% use Macs professionally

Perhaps the best title for your article should be "Why I prefer Linux over Windows"

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assertnotnull profile image
Patrice Gauthier

Surprising results considering the number of companies forcing you to use Macs.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Got you, Thanks for the source

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iediong profile image
Ediongsenyene Joseph

Good point. But I think a good number of older developers rarely participate in this survey. I think mostly newbies do participate in it.

NB
This is just my observation.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Sure, it will be good if they bring part of their side

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jnv profile image
Jan Vlnas • Edited on

After 4 years on a company issued MacBook I was happy to return to Linux as my daily driver for one simple reason: I am in control.

I feel like both major OSs are being dumbed and locked down, taking heavy inspiration from iOS and Android. At least Windows keeps some user's agency, mostly for legacy reasons, and WSL with new terminal make it a decent working environment. But macOS, with its constant "call home" due to app notarization and other anti-user "features" insults me.

Also, window management both on Windows and macOS is inferior compared to most Linux desktop environments.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author • Edited on

Working with hp, i heard macOS are cool, but from your knowledge it seems Linux is better than all of them

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jnv profile image
Jan Vlnas

It is cool alright, for some definitions of cool. 😉

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Melvin Jones Repol

Linux is incredible faster compared to Windows and also security it suited in most workspace. Linux uses less resources, dont have much bloatware, Open Source, Free of costs and Fully customizable but in terms of Gaming thats another story.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Window is heavier because of many application i guess..

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Melvin Jones Repol

not just the application itself the Operating System. The idle in windows 10 is about 1.6GB and in windows 11 more than 2GB. But in linux particularly in Linux Mint the idle was just 800MB of RAM.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Sure, Windows 11 failed to run on my 8GB RAM machine, I had to use backdoor.😂😂

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mrepol742 profile image
Melvin Jones Repol

It able to run perfectly on my lowned machine tho but i cant just use an OS that consumed half of my ram which is just 4GB. so i instead uses linux for workspace and normal usage and windows 11 specifically only for gaming hahahhaha

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mistval profile image
Randall • Edited on

I mainly use Windows for development, mostly so I don't have to reboot to play games, and because it's generally very easy to make JavaScript applications that work fine on any major OS.

But Linux wins hands-down for actually deploying code because:

  1. It's completely free to run on as many servers as you want (with some exceptions, like Red Hat, but who needs that).
  2. It needs relatively few resources to run.
  3. It is designed from the ground up to function well with just a terminal session. No UI needed.

Number 1 is the main one. Windows Server is okay, but having to buy licenses puts it way behind Linux in terms of deploying code.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Sure, i migrated to linux because of deployment reasons

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mjcoder profile image
Mohammad Javed

I guess just working on Linux is friendlier than Windows?

I tried Linux a long time ago and loved it. Everything was just running smoothly.

I'm still using Windows OS for development though. I think I'll probably stick to that for the time-being.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

No prob, i actually use both linux and windows..But for dev I prefer Linux..

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sentadoensilla

Linux is like a lightsaber in star wars trilogy and open source is the force

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

😂😂😂lightsaber in star wars🙌🙌

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Nathan Hedglin

Ultimately Linux runs the vast majority of the web. It is better to develop on the same system you're deploying to. Windows Subsystem for Linux is a godsend.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Sure, when t comes to deployment, We cant talk of any other OS except linux

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Ngoako Ramokgopa • Edited on

My reason: Docker just works.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Haven't tried this

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devoskar profile image
Oskar Pietrucha

I try to make the switch to Linux at least once a year, trying with different distro's but ultimately I always go back to Windows after quite some time, just because it works for me. I don't know if my hardware isn't super compatible with Linux but it always ends for me with everything not working, my taskbar missing and I cannot install any app because of some package manager errors which you have to manually clear for a few hours.
I love Linux, it's customization and I really would like to use something private, I try the UNIX but in the end it just stops working for me at some point. The longest working distros for me were Pop OS and Mint and were using both of them for around 10 months but then... I don't know, maybe it's just not for me.

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Eljay-Adobe

For me, it isn't Linux per se, it's any Unix-like system.

Linux? Great!
AT&T Unix? Great!
SCO Unix? Great!
DEC TRU64 Unix? Great!
FreeBSD Unix? Great!
macOS Unix? Great!
Cygwin on Windows? Close enough!

I'm aware of — and use — MinGW, WSL, and Git BASH (Git for Windows). But I have a fondness for Cygwin.

The Linux distributions I've used a lot have been: Yellow Dog, SuSE, Red Hat, Mandrake, Slackware, and Raspbian. I'm still using Raspbian. I'm seriously considering the Dell XPS 13 Plus developer edition that has Ubuntu LTS preinstalled.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

So you are roaming trying to use all the OS😂😂I like your exploration.

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Lucas Perez

When you use Linux, people also think you are some hacker man, which is always a nice thing to have.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

You can do simple hacks though, like weak wifi

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gdledsan profile image
Edmundo Sanchez

The most obvious reason, not really listed here, is you own your system when you use Linux, and that is not the case on Windows or OSX,
For example, I wanted to have my Windows machine on (for mining), and damned windows would restart it for updates every night, the only way to shut that off is to mess with the registry, but that change can break with an update.

I keep Windows for gaming (yes, I mine and game on the same PC), so what id I do to fix this? I bough a small SSD, installed linux on it and now it does what I told it to do, very simple.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Thanks for insight

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delusional profile image
Monimoy Saha

Well, in my opinion Windows is much less documented and doesn't allow users to customize & personalize by design. Thus for developers like us it's not always possible to tweak as per the requirement of programs. Or doesn't allow us to learn more about how it works from inside or which code does what or what breaks the code. Thus leaving a gap between our research while development.

Rather if windows adopts open source at it's core like powershell, we'd love to develop on windows and research about how they made it possible at it's core.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Do you think Bill Get will allow that..Open source, Naaa

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delusional profile image
Monimoy Saha • Edited on

Naa! 😂 Nevertheless the company is embracing open source linux technologies for building windows...

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devdufutur profile image
Rudy Nappée

Developers prefer linux over Windows ? Really ? What's your source ?

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Only newbie will prefer windows, but as time goes by, dev change the OS...

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devdufutur profile image
Rudy Nappée

Again, based on your intuition or some concrete stuff ?

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

According to data have gathered from quora

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mmuller88 profile image
Martin Muller

Interesting explanation why developers prefer linux. If you only compare Windows and Linux, I tend to agree with the points but the comparison with macos is missing. Sure you could argue that macos is close to Linux.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

I will look into this

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi

Also you can make your own Linux distrib with only software you need (core stack is constant)

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Never tried this, I think I will give i a shot

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eshimischi profile image
eshimischi

Here is how linuxfromscratch.org/

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Thanks G

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naijab profile image
Nattapon Pondongnok

For me, Windows is buggy and noisy about Windows Auto Update (try to turn off but not work) when update some driver is crash, I have bad experience with Docker long time ago. Linux is best for me but some daily use app not have, Today I use macOS(mb pro) instead it stable and can develop my main job (iOS Dev) and easy setup like bash or linux/unix env.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

When i buy my first macbook i might try macOS...😂😂yearning to explore that

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tallesl profile image
Talles L

Two are the reasons I prefer Linux:

  • Decent shell
  • Decent package manager

That's it for me.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Decent shell

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cednore profile image
cednore

I love it because it provides closest feeling to server environments.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

serverful OS

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ravavyr profile image
Ravavyr

All the hating on windows here...and yet every Linux GUI OS is striving to be more like Windows, because let's face it, windows is easy to use. Always has been easier than linux flavors.

Anyway, i love linux, for command line, still have not run into a nice linux GUI that made me quite windows for it. [And windows doesn't force updates, you can stop them, and windows doesn't force microsoft accounts, i don't use one]

The main thing windows still does for me over linux any day is gaming. Linux gaming just hasn't caught up to windows, is all.

But really, who cares? The vast majority of developers have no clue how the operating system works anyway.

Most devs just want their tools to work, as a web developer, for me that means being able to run servers. I run Node just as easily as WAMP and i use Git as easily via CLI or github desktop. The tools are there and they work. All this complaining about the OS is pointless.

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Ingo Steinke • Edited on

The GUI point is funny when we look back in history. Linux used to be a very special UNIX-like project for academics, and I remember early Linux distributions in the 1990s used to boot without GUI by default, so we had to configure and type startx if we thought we needed a desktop environment. At the same time, other UNIX systems like IBM AIX already came with the common desktop environment (CDE) based on the X Window System which originated as part of Project Athena at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984, one year before the first version of Microsoft Windows was released.

Apple sued Microsoft for stealing their ideas, as - years before the Mac(intosh) - Apple Lisa already had a graphical user interface back in 1983.

Windows has not been taken seriously as a gaming platform for many years to come. Before DirectX was released in 1995, " programmers had found the Windows environment more difficult to develop for compared to MS-DOS or other gaming platforms."

I have used Commodore's BASIC command line and Workbench desktop, MS-DOS Personal Computer command line, Microsoft DOSSHELL, Windows 3.0 to Windows 10, Classic Mac OS 7 to Apple macOS 10.15 Catalina, and I have been using Linux since maybe 1997 starting as a nerdy alternative after getting upset about Windows software problems again and again.

My personal reasons I prefer Linux as a developer: 100% configuration control, not bound to any major company forcing me to login, update or provide tracking data, no need to buy any license (I do pay for software licenses and support though and I donate to open source projects if I enjoy their products), and better performance (faster and needs less memory compared to Windows on the same machine).
Additional reasons I prefer Linux in general: I'm not a gamer, and I don't like Microsoft's recent UX design decisions wasting screen estate with clunky UI elements that can't be properly themed apart from changing colors. Last but not least, as a German, I despise their inconsistent and confusing translations that do not even sound like proper German language to me.

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ravavyr profile image
Ravavyr

love the history lesson :)

And yea, i get that a lot of devs love the 100% configuration control....personally i don't care to control every little thing so Windows has been fine for my needs.

My main beef has always been gaming. If linux has been mainstream with gaming i'd probably be using some flavor of it. I used to mess with linux OSs a lot but it's been at least 10 years since i last installed one.

I do use linux exclusively for my web servers as anyone who's on microsoft's platform, using .NET or whatever for web servers is just masochistic and wants to suffer all the time lol

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

I understand , gammers stay with windows

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nicfitzgerald profile image
Nic FitzGerald (they/them)

Nowadays with Proton and Lutris and EAC ported to Linux, there’s not very many games that you can’t play on Linux.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Haven't tried that..Thanks

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Configuration easy

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jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

Installation and maintenance of developer tools over years is consistent and stable and works as expected. This is at least why I use it.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Here we go linux😂😂You dint talk about Linux

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Arthurmtro

But what is your best Linux distribution and why ??

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

I do use parrotOS, aint into cybersec but the whole wide range of inbuilt packages just make it easier for prgramming

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ghostclonelol2000 profile image
<}:-{~ .A.K.a. DOOM

Closer to something usable, everything is applications and apple trash, I'd imagine dev's enjoy being able to be closed to an actual source like c rather then anything beyond c++, also coding on slow computer would be frustrating.
It's all about what you want to support, slow trash or actual computing.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Disadvantage of windows?

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ghostclonelol2000 profile image
<}:-{~ .A.K.a. DOOM

Slower then linux , extra applications processes and executions running on start up and windows is a larger operating system as a file then linux is so it creates more "lag" and takes more ram and rom to use, also I think licensing or something I know applications if you force them to stop will reboot your computer, linux is

C,Linux, then application

Windows is c,windows,applications but the applications are rooted to the windows operating system 8==) much like a virus the app can't live without the windows and sometimes without the virus the windows ceases to exist as an entity.
+

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

You seems to like this movie lol

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ghostclonelol2000 profile image
<}:-{~ .A.K.a. DOOM

"The Matrix"
Probably could find it on piratebay BitTorrent thing

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420geek

May be because security, easy to work with command line interface, provides quick responses from server and compatibility to different types of technologies.

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Quick result is a turn-ON

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Thanks for insisting on security

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danvin001 profile image
Dan Vin

Good article. I think Windows became more and more bloated over time and less performant relying heavily on the power of the processor to compensate. Also, the registry still a mess and get also bloated over time. This legacy thing was good at start, but not anymore. MS have a great IDE for development, but it gets too heavy with all the frameworks and .Net things. Linux philosophy is more like “on demand” so, that keeps things lean and efficient.
Another important point, with Windows 10, 11 and soon 12, developers knows they are loosing more and more controls to MS. Yes the OS is free, but at what cost? Your privacy and ownership!

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Andres 🐍 in 🇨🇦

Because docker run faster in native!!!!!!

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Joseph Mania Author

Sure

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania Author

Sure, this is true

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Vlajd

I'd love to switch to Linux, if it wasn't to Adobe to ruin everything for me (I actually depend on some of the CC-Apps because the alternatives kinda suck atm (imo)).

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