What OS Are You Using and Why?

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Everyone has a favorite operating system that they use. Some use more than one system, but they still have a favorite, one that they prefer to use because it suits their individual needs. This week we asked our writers what desktop OS they were using and why.

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A few of our writers are using Windows 10. Christopher admits that he’s been critical of it in the past, but eventually he did upgrade to it, mostly because of his job description. In order to write tutorials and reviews for use with Windows 10, he needed to experience it himself. Judy admits it has its flaws but believes that there is no perfect OS. This happens to be an OS that she’s very happy with.

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Several of our writers are using Linux or one of its distributions. Damien’s primary OS is Ubuntu, yet he does have access to Mac OS X and Windows 10. It “remains the easiest OS” for him. Charnita uses Xubuntu. This is her favorite distros “because it is lightweight and works great” on her older desktop. She also finds it easy to customize. She never liked Windows and finds Mac too expensive to maintain but does use Windows 8.1 for gaming.

Derrik uses Arch Linux as his primary OS as it’s his favorite. It “has the best and fastest package manager,” and he likes that as he can build it himself instead of going through the bloat the other OSes come with. He also uses FreeBSD “for tinkering with ZFS” and Windows 10 for playing games.

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Mahesh uses OS X Yosemite and El Capitan “as it’s one of the most productive and less-irritating OS I’ve ever come across.” He doesn’t have to put up with unwanted alerts or other annoyances. He fell in love with it because it does what he wants.

I’m the lone wolf here who uses a mobile OS primarily. Doing mostly writing and editing throughout my day, I really don’t need anything too extraordinary. I prefer the way iOS works to a desktop system. It’s rare that I find something I can’t do, although adding pictures to WordPress in a specific size with a specific name is the one thing I wish it would do. On the rare occasions I’m not using iOS, I’m using Mac OS X.

Which of our writers do you agree with? Do you like Windows, Linux, Mac, or mobile? What OS are you using? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credits: Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview, Macbook 12inch & Air 11inch, Missing operating system_ {error message}

28 comments

  1. Windows 10 mainly for gaming, Lightroom & Photoshop. Used to have a MacBook Pro as my end-all, be-all machine but it was getting pretty old and couldn’t run newer software well or to really game on. Ubuntu 15.10 is now my everyday OS plus gaming. FreeBSD is my go-to server OS

  2. Linux Mint 17.0 Xfce for me. After years of tinkering with Linux, I finally shifted full time to the OS when I stupidly downloaded a malware-infested freeware on my Win7 device. Mint’s conservative approach to upgrades and focus on stability sold me to their distro. Since my laptop does double duty as my office machine and personal PC, I want it to be rock stable, which is sadly rarely the case when using bleeding edge distros.

  3. I have multiple Macs and Win machines but 95%+ of my time is spent on my Chromebook (Google Pixel).

  4. I refuse to use Windows for many reasons. Apple environment is too expensive for my tastes. Both are high-walled prisons.

    On my primary PC, I presently run PCLinuxOS. I just installed Chakra on my backup PC. Linux gives me more control over my PC than the proprietary O/Ss.

  5. I use Ubuntu Mate for most stuff, simply because it’s faster on my 2 year old HP laptop than anything else I’ve tried. I dual boot with Windows 10 for the games I can’t play on Linux.

  6. I use any OS that is put in front of me, for whatever reason I need to.
    At work, it’s Windows. Because of its “undocumented features” (aka bugs) it pays the bills for me.
    At home, it’s OSX on my everyday machines, because it is the easiest to use, and things just work.
    Also at home, it’s whatever flavor of Linux that I am playing with, just to see what can be done with it.
    On my little netbook, it’s Puppy Linux, because it is the smallest I found at the time, does everything that I need to do, and is quite fast.
    I have also used CP/M, various verisons of DOS, and other early operating systems that I have forgotten the names to.

    • I can almost say ditto to Roc Rizzo’s comment, except for a netbook and CP/M, and that I love VM’s for testing. :)

  7. I have been using Ubuntu since the Windows Vista era came out. I have been very happy with all it can do and what it doesn’t do. It lets me under the hood on the things I want to “fix” and allows me to leave alone those things I am not concerned about. It can be as easy to use as an MS windows machine, or as difficult as you’d like. I wish more commercial software folks would compile their software for Linux systems.

    • Same here. I left windows because of Vista. So my main OS is now Ubuntu.
      And the only reason I have to use windows is to keep my Tomtom up to date.

      The thing I like about Linux, switch on and go.
      Software-Updater is a breeze.

      For my photo work I use digiKam and Shotwell.

  8. After trying dozens of Linux distributions i stopped on Elementary Os, based on Ubuntu, because it’s fast, stable, clean, simple, beautiful and powerful and with Linux i don’t have to use a cleaner, an anti virus or anti malware, and also because a child could use it without breaking it. it works great even on my 6 years old Samsung netbook, even better than some younger and more powerful laptops with Windows. Linux makes me feel free and clean, Windows makes me feel like i have to fix it all the time and Apple makes me feel in jail.

  9. At the moment I am using Windows 10 Pro. But am considering a move to Linux – probably Ubuntu – but some of my software is written for Win 10 but may not run with Mint under Linux. I have created a VMBox (why does VMBosx need the extensions downloaded and installed extra – without it , there is no screen sizing or cut/and paste host to guest) with Ubuntu 14.x.x as well as Debian just to test it for a while.
    At the moment I tend towards Ubuntu – but I hear the browser send the browsing information away.
    I see hackers are now targeting Linux flavours , so the old adage Linux is safe from Virus appears to be no longer true.
    I am not too keen on Microsoft’s policies and Win 10 IoT they are virtually a monopoly – dangerous!
    So, whether I use Windoe or a Linux flavour will depend on my experiences in the next months.

  10. I use Ubuntu (15.10 on Laptop, 14.04LTS on netbook and desktop). I have used Ubuntu since version 5.10. I started when my desktop motherboard failed and I replaced it and the WinXP OS would not recognize the new MB. I was not buying Windows again, so I went to Ubuntu GNU/Linux. I have learned more computing since using Linux than I ever did on any Windows OS. So using Linux has increased my computer skills. In fact my desktop I put together by purchasing the parts individually and installing the Ubuntu OS. I do add the ClassicMenu Indicator applet so that I have the old style Gnome menu on any new computer I get. I am waiting for Ubuntu 16.04LTS to upgrade all my computers to it..

  11. I uses Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for daily use in works, and sometimes Raspian (for Scratch and programming IO). Occupationally I have to use MS Windows 7 and 8, until IT decides to upgrade to 10. It isn’t by choice, as they doesn’t work good in Server environments.
    Personally I uses Debian Stable and Testing, and on some computers Raspian (small servers).

  12. Ubuntu Linux has been my primary OS for the past 6 years, although I still keep Windows 8.1 on one machine to run my Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer (unlike Dell, Canon does not provide Linux drivers). I actually upgraded the Windows PC from Win 7 to Win 8.1 because the hard drive failed after it had accumulated too many bad blocks in the boot sector and I could not recover Windows 7 from the restore partition (restore partition, really?). Adding Classic Shell makes Win 8.1 an acceptable OS, but it is still much too time consuming to maintain with its constant updates that take forever to download when compared to Linux. And, I don’t see Windows 10 improving at all on that score! Linux is also much easier to restore. Every couple of days I copy the changes to the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Downloads folder to an external drive. About a year ago, the Ubuntu primary drive failed, so I decided to upgrade to SSD. The entire install, cracking the case, installing the drive, formatting for Ubuntu, and restoring the 5 aforementioned folders took all of 25 minutes. In comparison, when the Win 7 drive broke, it took a full day to get everything back in order. Other than updates, performance is about equivalent. Both systems are now on SSD and boot up quickly, although Windows runs slowly for a few minutes after it arrives at the desktop. One last note. When the Win 7 drive broke, I had been negligent about backing up some of my photo files. On a whim, I connected the drive to my Linux box and Ubuntu mounted it with no problem. I was able to copy the files I needed to a USB flash drive before trashing the defective hard disk. Windows is a great system for running printers and the like, but if you want to preserve your data, you can’t beat Linux!

  13. i use windoz 10 for most everything for now BUT i am looking for a linux OS that:
    1) can be configured to look like the windoz desktop(love that versatility)
    2) play any game i feel like playing at the time
    3) has at least generic drivers to work with nVidia graphics cards AND can open and install windoz programs (.exe) without having to add something else to make that happen.
    i also want to get away from dual booting, it may just be me but i have had some problems dual booting in the past between Linux and windoz.
    do i have my expectations to high? have i missed a flavor of Linux somewhere? a pleasant blend of the 2 would be awesome and to my way of thinking a very powerful OS indeed!
    any suggestions?

    • You can get Numbers 1 & 3 taken care of by almost any Linux distro. I would recommend PCLinuxOS because it comes with the largest number of generic drivers.

      While you may not get to “play any game you feel like” Steam is making it possible to play more and more popular games on Linux. There are some distros, such as PCLinuxOS Full Monty and Ultimate Linux, that have been developed for gamers. IIRC, they may install Steam by default. Go to Distrowatch.com and search for “gamer distros” to get the names of other distros developed for gamers.

      One way to get away from dual booting is to have swappable HD trays with a different O/S on each HD. While they may not be as convenient as dual booting, HD trays avoid all the problems of dual booting.

  14. Slackware. It ‘Just Works’, no dependency hell, gives me the ultimate control of my system of pretty much any Linux distro there is. Hasn’t fallen for that abortion known as systemd. I can use it as a server and it’ll work just as well as any BSD (though a BSD would still be the better overall for a server). At one point, my system had been up for 136 days without a hiccup, slowing down, ad nausea. If it weren’t for the occasional blackouts we still get out here in the woods, it’d still be up (a UPS is only good for so many minutes! heh). I leave my system on 24/7/365 and I can depend on it to always be working just fine. Because I use the ReiserFS on it, over the past 15 years I’ve *never* had to worry about corruption on any hdd I’ve ever owned (there was quite a few years I didn’t own or even know about UPS’s).

  15. Seems like the Linux contingent are the most vocal about their chosen OS. ;-/
    I’m just in process of re-installing Mint (Rosa, dual-boot) on an individual’s laptop who is constantly running into issues with Win7 – 18 viruses in the Windows folder alone, per ClamTK – but who won’t consider using a less-vulnerable OS because “Windows is what she’s used to.” I’m doing this one for free: the next time, I’m charging her!
    I’ve converted my household to Mint for exactly the same reason I’m having to deal with this laptop: I’m sick and tired of having to clean this sort of rubbish off systems whilst being told by wide-eyed innocents “but I didn’t DO anything WRONG!” Quite true, they didn’t. I just have better things to do with my time than clean computers.
    I was using Ubuntu but sort-of didn’t care much for Unity and so gave Mint a try. Been quite happy with it overall, and run Win7 in VirtualBox for those programmes for which there is no Linux equivalent, like Excel with VBA, which I need for work. 99% of what I do on a PC can be safely, easily, quickly done in Mint, hassle-free: I’ve been incredibly productive and spent much less time messing with the OS since I made the switch.

    • “Seems like the Linux contingent are the most vocal about their chosen OS”
      Maybe they’re just the most satisfied with the performance of their O/S. I wonder where the OS/X contingent is? We haven’t heard too much from them. Maybe they are not happy enough with their O/S to proselytize. :-)

      • I think you have a point, dragonmouth. Linux users are very frequently also Windows users… not that many come over from OSX. Well, I can’t imagine they would. Why would they?
        I mean, most folk have a high pain threshold when it comes to OSes… they’re like the frog in the water coming to a boil. It takes a lot for someone to decide to move away from what they know and are comfortable with to try something new, even if it means they’ll be more productive *in* *the* *end*. In Oz at least, folks tend to trust large companies to do the right thing and I’m seen as a bit of a rabble-rouser because I take such a dim view of proprietary products in general. If the issues I encounter with the OS I ended up for the most part abandoning (but still manage to fix, usually, on other people’s systems) were not always the same thing, year after year, for over a decade now, I’d probably put it down to being a high-strung, easily dissatisfied PC user, but I really think it’s not that.

        Oh, I do run into issues with my “Favourite OS” too… from time to time. Fortunately, there’s Google and StackExchange and fora galore, so an answer is never far away, and the problems themselves are few and far between. And, to be honest, I tend to be a bit more forgiving of FOSS. After all, if I break it, I get to keep both pieces.

  16. My primary OS is Linux Manjaro 15.12 (Capella) KDE Plasma desktop environment based on Arch Linux.

    From Wikipedia :

    The distribution aims to be new user-friendly while maintaining the Arch base, most notably the Pacman package manager and compatibility with the Arch User Repositories. Manjaro itself uses three sets of repositories: the unstable repositories contain the most bleeding edge Arch packages, possibly one or two days delayed; the testing repositories contain packages from the unstable repos synced every week, which provides an initial screening; and the stable repositories contain only packages that are deemed stable by the development team.

  17. I was a Windows user and developer at work/at home, then I switched to Mac OS X at home. But because I don’t have any more these machines at home and that I can’t work any more, I am using a Chromebook as my main computer. I have a brand new brown brand laptop in its package waiting to be returned to the seller or to be switched to Ubuntu, Chromixium OS or Elementary OS. I am so happy with Chrome OS for its facility despite its flaws that I don’t know which distro I will use!! About W10, this new laptop is installed with the Home edition and it’s a true pain in the @$$… I lost 2 days between updates, virus/malware scans and 2 re-installs!!! So, no more Windows products for me!!! I am done losing my life time for a bugged OS!!

  18. I use Windows 10 on my desktop and OS X (whatever is current) on my MacBook Pro at home. The CS computers use Windows 8 (not 8.1) so I use that in class as they have everything set up and optimized for their purposes.
    I would use OS X for everything as it is stable, clean, and let’s me do all I really need to. I haven’t had it crash at all, nor have I gotten it to freeze except under insane load.
    However, I built my desktop and I like to play video games that are Windows only. Later on, if I can buy a nice Mac desktop, I can just virtualize Windows or use BootCamp to play Windows games, but for now my desktop is entirely Win10.
    I also use Linux inside a VM for certain applications (like frescobaldi) and to have a general understanding of Linux.

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