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Poll: What OS do you currently use?
48 points by olalonde on March 9, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 112 comments
Desktop OS of course... Let me know if I missed one!
Mac OS X
624 points
419 points
Windows 7
287 points
Windows XP
106 points
Arch Linux
92 points
71 points
Linux (other)
62 points
41 points
36 points
Windows Vista
31 points
17 points
10 points
5 points
BSD (other)
3 points

I use Emacs. I've had my session running for so long I can't even remember what my underlying OS is.

Yeah, I'd use Emacs too, if it only had a good editor...

It's okay, it's emacs, you can use it to build a good editor if you want to...

Then it wasn't Windows, Emacs crashes every so often on Windows XP/7


VIM, too!

I use a minimal Debian install with X and the stumpwm windowmanager. No desktop environment or login manager. Stumpwm basically acts as a placeholder for a terminal with multiple nested screen sessions and a web browser (conkeror). I basically live my life inside Emacs (the non-gui version of course), but must come crawling out once and a while to browse the net, or communicate via irssi (where I have everything: msn, facebook, jabber, irc, etc. through bitlbee). Used to have that inside Emacs too (using erc) but remotely accessing erc from a touch phone was not feasable, so I switched to irssi.

Why I live my life like this? Well, efficiency. I can do just about anything I like with a couple of keystrokes, I don't have to spend time being distracted by fancy graphics and animations, and every single pixel on my screen is used well. No wasting screen real estate on decoration.

Arch Linux. The control of Gentoo without sitting around for five days while everything is rebuilt.

Probably more ahead of the game on new shiny things than Gentoo, too. Arch is the only OS that I have seen where the difference between testing and stable is about two hours.

No, really. The official process requires two signoffs on each architecture (x86 and amd64), and then they ship it.

And typically the AUR has whatever else you may happen to need, up to date as well. That was really what pushed me from gentoo to arch, maintaining portage overlays is a pain, and the official gentoo package repo never updates what packages _I_ think are important.

Back when I was compiling Linux on a 120MHz PA-7200 I would literally wait for days to compile KDE and a few other related packages, but with a modern CPU I now wait only a few minutes. I'm not sure that Gentoo has any real advantages over Arch but it's pleasant to use and it makes me feel good to tune my compiler flags and rebuild everything.

1983-90: DOS 3.3 and ProDOS

1990-95: MS-DOS 5.0, Windows 3.0, and OS/2 Warp.

1995-97: Windows 95

1997-2001: Windows NT 4.0 (Came free with Visual Studio 6.0)

1998-2005: Various versions of Red Hat, for both desktop and server.

2001-2007: Windows XP

2005-2011: OS X (Latest Version)

That's almost identical to my timeline (currently a mix of OS X and Ubuntu.) I wonder what is next. In your timeline you've been on OS X for 6 years and the longest duration you list for any OS is 7. I wonder if I'll ever use Android, iOS, or Chrome enough to consider it primary? And if not, what?

My first computer was powered by Windows 3.1 and DR DOS 5. I made it a dual-boot with RedHat Linux several years later.

When I was working as a developer,there has has been a dual-boot between FreeBSD and Windows XP. But in most of the years I used to run Cygwin on a Windows XP. But Finally I switched to a pure Ubuntu workstation last year.


I just can't imagine having Windows on my computers again. *nix(especially Linux) feel much more user friendly to me. It is absolutely uncomfortable using Windows when sometimes I just have to(at school, fixing somebody else's computer etc.) Arch Linux is great. Ubuntu will be better if it has a rolling release.

Something that occurs to me is this:

Just about every place that I've worked with Windows has had its own 'special' set of restrictions.

Where I'm at now for instance in the Windows menu is an option "Switch User" but it is disabled. For various reasons, I need to do a lot of user switching, and I find myself desperately missing the OS X fast-user switching. Having to log out and log in all the time is a massive PITA.

So I caught myself thinking "man, Windows is sooooo retarded". But it's not really Windows fault (I assume, unless they put that menu option in just to taunt us).

Then it ocurred to me that perhaps a contributing reason I like OS X and despise Windows, is that I've never had to do battle with a retardedly locked-down version of OS X. If your average IT dept could get access to my home machine, I'm sure they could reduce me to moaning and misery in fairly short order. :-/

Have you tried asking your IT dept why it's disabled, and if you could have it turned on?

If it's actually adversely affecting your work then it's worth doing something about it.

The point is not how to solve one particular restriction, but that every IT department has bizarre and stupid restrictions. And that, over time, all these papercuts to the soul will take their toll.

Fedora, pretty much exclusively. Well, except for a random CentOS box here and there, and one really old, crufty box running RH9 (don't ask.)

Edit, just noticed the "desktop OS" specific part. So, yeah, Fedora on my laptop, and - if you want to count this - Android on my phone.

1997-2009 - win 95, 98, xo, vista, 7 RC. 2009 - up to now - Ubuntu starting from 9.04

Never going back to windows or switching to mac!

FreeBSD desktop user here. We're as rare as the dodo, apparently.

Student and engineer, here: OS X on both my desktop and notebook.

CEO here, so naturally Win 7 to power Outlook, PowerPoint and IE. ;-)

CIO here, so naturally Ubuntu on both desktop and laptop ;-)

CPA here, so naturally VAX/VMS on the minicomputer ;-)

CLO here, so naturally a typewriter ;-)

I suggest you guys head over here: http://www.reddit.com/ ;-)

Web scale engineer here, so naturally Ubuntu LTS on AWS ;-)

FTO here, so naturally a cell phone to set off IDE's. OS of cell phone doesn't matter. It needs to be cheap because I'm just going to ditch it anyways.

Edit: Maybe a bad joke but a shoutout to the people of the world who only have a cell phone as a computing device.

Designer here, so OS X at home and work, DropBox across the board for files (hence making the laptops stationary), but I also use Outlook, PowerPoint - and check IE7/8 using Parallels when I absolutely have to. But I prefer Chrome. ;)

CEO replies to student: LOVE hackernews!

Pretty sure that reply chain is a reddit-esqe joke.

You mean Slashdot-esqe joke.

Totals as of about 4:20 AM EST on Wed, Mar 9:

  Mac OS:  440
  Linux:   380
  Windows: 273
  BSD:      40

Totals as of about 9:40 PM EST on Wed, Mar 9:

  Mac OS  516
  Linux   492
  Windows 331
  BSD      49

Use Windows 7 when doing engineering things (nearly all engineering programs are Windows only). Dual boots into Ubuntu for all my web development work.

OS X at work (Rails mostly & PHP).

Mostly OS X, plus ubuntu on my netbook. I suppose I'm going to have to get used to Windows when I work at Microsoft this summer... (haven't really used Windows since XP)

I dare you to work in VirtualBox at Microsoft :)

I ran freebsd in virtualbox at microsoft, and nobody cared.

edit: I should admit it would be nearly impossible to actually work in virtualbox (I was on the windows team, ymmv), but you can run it for whatever crap you want to do that isn't programming or email or editing docs

You could definitely do it, it'd just get annoying - no benefit to a setup like that.

Ubuntu on desktops (home and office), netbook, and servers.

Rails and iOS developer, so naturally OS X on the desktop. Ubuntu on the server side (managed with Moonshine/Puppet).

Currently my main OS is Gentoo Linux, I also have Mandriva Linux and openSUSE Linux on desktops. On laptop I also have PC-BSD. All of them with KDE Plasma desktop of course :) I also used to have OpenSolaris but I'm waiting now what will happen with the projects that came after Oracle made Solaris un-free again.

Ubuntu dev and server, Windows7 pretty much just for photoshop! Havent had time to re-learn all the gimp shortcuts!

As much as I like Ubuntu and open source, Gimp won't replace Photoshop anytime soon. Photoshop is the only reason I still keep a Windows 7 VM on my machine.

I switch between three systems for development on a daily basis:

Ubuntu Laptop Windows 7 Laptop Windows Vista Desktop (my gaming machine, but I do a fair amount of development on that as well)

The OS doesn't matter so much between SSHing into a server or VirtualBox, but it's pretty close to a 50/50 split between Windows and Linux for me.

I'm dual booting Slackware 13.1 amd64 and Windows 7 Home Premium. I just picked up a new job as a PC tech / web designer. My data recovery work is done in Windows, since most of my repairs are on Windows computers, and it's easier to work on a local LAMP server instead of borking a staging server.

Olivetti, 98SE and XP on same machine, OSX

Ten years on Windows.. Ten years too much. I would rather have stayed on the Olivetti. I may be misspelling that, but it was amazing.

Eventually a Hackintosh with Lion, Debian Linux Mint and Windows. I wish I could add dust to the Windows wallpaper and wipe it away with a desktop trackpad.

So what about hardware engineer,using Windows XP at office and then using Debian at home.

Windows XP.

...It's mostly for gaming purposes. I tend to run Kubuntu when not gaming.

Also, I knew there were a lot of Mac users here, but I honestly did not expect them to have the most marketshare by far!

I run Ubuntu with a guest XP installation at home, a Windows 7 box at work for my e-mail and other corporate BS and a Solaris 10 machine at work as well for real work.

Linux (Ubuntu & Arch Linux) 80% (both @ work & home) Mac OS X 10.6 10% ( @ home) Windows 7 & XP/Server 2003 10% ( @ work, not my machines)

OS X is sexy for dev

That may have been true back in ... oh ... 2003.

At that time if you read articles about people going to Java conferences(1), they kept remarking about how many people were using Powerbooks. Apple also had this really small Powerbook ... 11 inches?

Anyway, Apple also had the most modern Java installed by default. Linux was still involved in a persisting match with Sun about whose freedom was the freest (probably just Stallman, but nobody wants to get in his way), so Java was hard to find and would get you ostracised. IBM had their own bizarre mutant version that ran on their boxen. Microsoft was still not returning Sun's calls after the big court battle over visitation rights, and the version of Java you'd get on any new PC was essentially random in the range of 1..N-1, where N = most recent Java.

So, if you wanted to do Java development, Apple was the coolest.


But here's the thing. Apple fans may mock Balmer(2) jumping around on stage like an Orangutan screaming 4.('developers!') but Apple doesn't grok developers the way Microsoft does, and probably never will.

Apple is just a hair's breadth away from actually disliking developers. There's times when I feel like if they could they'd lock third party devs out and never even shed a tear over it. There's times when they throw us a bone, but those are few and far between. And fairly often they'll just take the bone back.

Example: their language support is spotty. They gave up on Java, they supported and then gave up on various trendy languages and their respective Cocoa bridges.

Apple may grok consumers (though I'd argue that) but they sure as heck don't get devs.


(1) lots of things were cooler back in 2003... nowdays.... not so much.

(2) There were plenty of Microsoft fans doing exactly the same mocking of Balmer, so don't interpret this as an 'us vs them' thing

Yeah... i Accept. OS X is more glamour than any other........

Vista, Win 7, Ubuntu Netbook, Ubuntu LTS Servers.

Vista is currently on my coding laptop, and I will be replacing it with with Win 7 or Ubuntu.

Mac on the desktop, FreeBSD on the servers....

Sabayon, all the power of gentoo with sane defaults, rolling release, and more stable than Arch.

Windows XP for work, Ubuntu and Linux Mint for fun. (Both work and fun being programming...)

OSX/W7 at home. Eventually it'll be OSX/Ubuntu if possible.

At work? XP, and I have an Ubuntu VM. Bloody XP.

Win 7 @ work and home, OS X @ home, various *nix (mostly BSD flavoured) in VMs at both.

Chrome OS...

Try out Jolicloud? I don't have a CR-48 and so I tried installing Jolicloud on my laptop but it wouldn't recognize my wireless, other than that, it seemed cool.

I use a CR-48 for email/Twitter/Facebook/HN/etc., and everything else when I'm not at home.

Oh my god?

It's just a Linux with a browser instead of a shell, nothing too fancy :)

There is a 64 bit kernel floating around but I haven't tried installing that yet.

There's something weird about the hardware specialization with chromeos though. About fall 2010 I accidentally my whole win 7 notebook and installed a copy of chromeos onto the harddrive before switching to arch Linux. Twas terribly slow and unresponsive, but this may have just been because of it still being a sec build not designed for a dualcore lenovo box.

Happy to report CR-48 is much more stable and fast with latest daily images.

Windows 7, but with Ubuntu running on Virtualbox so I can actually get some work done.

Laptop: Win 7; Home: Win XP; Workstaion: Gentoo (Ubuntu/FreeBSD KVMs); Server: Gentoo

The statistic says a lot about HN crowd!

I think it is time for you to sort the list by ranking (votes)

I use Windows 7 because I have to use ms-office, but my main text editor is GVIM.

At home: MacOS X Ubuntu GNU/Linux HP-UX

At work 1: Ubuntu GNU/Linux MacOS X

At work 2: Windows XP Ubuntu GNU/Linux

I dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu on my laptop.

I want to check out Mac sometime soon though.

OS X on laptop, Win 7 on parallels for VS.NET. Windows XP on workstation.

At work a combination of Linux and Windows 7. At home, mostly Windows 7.

Home: Windows XP, Work: Windows Vista, Laptop: Windows 7, Fun: Ubuntu.

Dual booting Ubuntu/Windows 7 on desktop. Mac OS X on the laptop.

I use Windows 7 on my home computer but Open Suse a lot at work.

OS X on my netbook (a hackintosh). Debian on my home server.

What notebook do you use for this? Is it fully compatible?

I'd love to hear from the 3 people who picked NetBSD.

I chose Slackware because that's my main machine, but I also run NetBSD on an old iMac G4. I chose NetBSD because it will run on a huge range of hardware, and it works very well on the G4.

So you want to know why? Well, because it is still a nice looking bit of furniture, so it sits on my bookcase cycling through a range of webcams from around the world, like a set of ever-changing postcards.

(There are some great webcams out there. I especially like the Antarctic ones that show penguins and seals roaming around, and some of the isolated tropical beaches are nice too. You also get a nice sense of the changing seasons.)

Windows XP & Windows 7 & Ubuntu & CentOS

openSuSE - the best KDE distro. I tried Ubuntu for a while but was frustrated by some of the oversimplification of the GNOME interface.

Windows 7 x64, Ubuntu x64 and Windows XP.

Windows 7 at work, Ubuntu at home.



XP, Win 7, Ubuntu

Arch Linux Only


Windows7 ,嘿嘿。

love Ubuntu,love GNU/Linux!

Mac OS X


Mac OS X

Mac OS X

Windows 7

Eagerly waiting for Google chrome OS next to give out a try........

Mac OS X


ubuntu Windows 7



// puts on beard and sandals //

Hey kid, here's 50c, go buy yourself a real computer. :D

"... Hey kid, here's 50c, go buy yourself a real computer. :D ..."

Love that dilbert cartoon, so much I stuck ~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/198438354/ & stick it ~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/3502346479/ on my monitor

Actually -- if Mac OSX is a certified Unix. And iOS is a variant of OSX. Does that mean that my phone is running an "official" UNIX?

Because that makes Zakuzaa one of those "condescending unix users"

That is an interesting question. However, just because OS X is certified Unix, doesn't mean that the stripped down version of it is also Unix.

To be honest, I'm not sure what value Apple got out of certifying.

Bragging rights? Even the geeks don't care. :D

Sell a few more tens of dozens of their now defunct rack units to some large corporate? yawn

Interoperability with 70s mainframes? zzzzz


Linux being the perfect example that sometimes being 'Unixy enough' is all that matters. (Though I'd bet dollars to donuts there's someone out there in geekland who has sweated blood and tears over/because of the miniscule differences some time or other.) raises a shot glass in silent thanks to those who wentbefore us and fought for our liberty

Dual boot my work laptop Windows 7 (Work image) and Ubuntu (personal image). The "browsing laptop" at home is on XP and Ubuntu. The netbook is Ubuntu NBR. The desktop is Ubuntu. Two other laptops had recent, uh, physical failures in their LCDs and mainboards getting too thirsty - both ran Ubuntu.

Android and IOS on the phones.

osx/ubuntu/win7 more or less interchangeably though i've been installing cygwin on my windows machines for years... not sure i could use it with out it installed any more.

Recently installed Peppermint-Ice, very much impressed by the speed and ease of installation and use.

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