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Poll: What OS do you use on your primary computer?
49 points by plg on May 19, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 118 comments
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OS X, ever since I switched "cold turkey" when the first Intel Macs hit. Despite the niggles with the Finder and all that, it's hard to go past the Unix/BSD underpinnings and the open source software available because of it. There's also a ton of fantastic, polished GUI applications that I'd miss far too much if I were to swap to Windows or Linux.

I use what's best suited to the task at hand. For me that's currently OS X for the UI, FreeBSD for servers and Windows for gaming.

I really like FreeBSD, but the one chance I had to run it in a moderate scale production environment as a server I was unable to because it used 30% more power than Linux. I started following the optimization guide in the handbook but after about two days and only about 15% reduction in power, I realized that these FreeBSD servers might be more trouble than they were worth. Not to mention I could have spent the same time optimizing Linux power consumption too. I like to run FreeBSD as a headless VM through Linux and SSH in and tinker around from time to time and for a while I was building a small personal 'cloud' on a home FreeBSD server in my spare time. It's a really fun OS to use. In my experience, it's just a little more trouble than Linux though.

ChromeOS with crouton to run ubuntu in chroot. It really is pretty neat (and cheap!!!)

My experience with traffic coming from Hacker News has been that the majority comes from OS X.

I still can't understand why so many hackers/developers use OS X. Where I work doing web development, Linux machines account for less than 10% of the workstations, and the vast majority use OS X. When I tried OS X at one point I found it horrible. The most irritating thing was the keyboard which could not be mapped in the "standard" PC way (i.e. Ctrl Super Alt in the bottom left). I could get some programs to respect custom key bindings, but others would not. Besides that, there is no standard package manager for OS X and nearly all of the built-in libraries are terribly out-of-date. Worse yet from a security/privacy/philosophical viewpoint, OS X is proprietary software. We have no idea what risks or hidden back-doors exist inside.

I've been using Linux for many years now and I'm still investing time daily sharpening my tools. It's an investment that continues to pay exponentially increasing rewards. Nearly all of the remote computing resources I use in my job are running Linux. That probably is true for most HN users. Is Linux really that much more difficult to use on the desktop? I find getting all my laptop hardware running smoothly is one of the easiest system administration tasks I face. And I only face that task once in a blue moon when I upgrade laptops.

For me it's a few things:

- The battery life is very, very good and combined with the screen (Retina 13"), made it perfect for me.

- It's still a POSIX environment so I can still use most of what I had from Linux without issue.

- It doesn't require as much maintenance as Linux. I don't have to fiddle with things to get it to work the way I want, it already does that.

- The hardware support has been great whenever I've had issues.

>It doesn't require as much maintenance as Linux.

What maintenance does Linux require? The only thing I can think you might be implying is that there are bugs caused by updating that cause system issues frequently and this is simply untrue. Software updates have been known to cause issues on all systems, and I can find plenty of results on google showing OS X having issues after updates. Linux, in my experience, is the "set it and forget it" operating system. OS X is great though, just not for everyone (personally the environment doesn't have the capabilities I look for in an OS).

I get scared everytime I do an apt-get update because I've had it break my Linux box more than once, sometimes horribly (especially when doing a dist-upgrade to get a new kernel).

It's even worse when the Nvidia drivers don't automatically recompile for the new kernel. I've had many upgrade that resulted in no functional X-Window session so I had to use the terminal to download and recompile the video drivers.

I realize that's a problem with binary blobs rather than open source drivers, but it's also a reality.

I had that fear under Ubuntu because a new dist upgrade is usually especially unstable. Now that I use Arch I don't fear upgrades. I do perform them fairly often though, because massive upgrades in general can be problematic.

Distributions have improved their NVIDIA packages to such a degree that I haven't encountered problems with driver upgrades in many years, across several distributions.

The quality of the Macbook Air outweighs any downsides having to use OS X (which I agree isn't that great). And OS X isn't so bad that it's worth my while to try to run Linux on my Mac.

>The most irritating thing was the keyboard which could not be mapped in the "standard" PC way (i.e. Ctrl Super Alt in the bottom left).

That's funny. After using a mac for several years, that's my biggest gripe about working on most linux boxes. OS X separates text viewing and editing functions (C-f, C-k, C-a, etc in eamcs parlance) from system functions (S-c :: copy, S-v :: paste, S-w :: close window). In Linux, ctrl-A will either get you a cursor at column one, or select everything. I wish it were easier to define these actions system-wide the way OS X does.

True, there are application-specific mappings in Linux. But what gets me is the Mac keyboard layout is asymmetrical. The right-hand side does not include a Meta (Alt) key. That makes efficient keyboarding extremely inconvenient.

It's the hardware, stupid. :-)

I mean, compare: http://www.apple.com/macbook-air/ with: https://www.crowdsupply.com/kosagi/novena-open-laptop (ok, you could also buy an Asus laptop or something that would be nice looking enough, and cheaper than a novena laptop).

Another point, is that when you're at home, with a linux laptop, you can spend two days configuring the wifi. But when you're going out to a conference, MacOSX shows its worth.

Oh, and for several MacOSX versions now you can map the modifier keys as you wish, in the System Preferences / Keyboard panel.

MacOSX is not entirely proprietary. Darwin is open sourced (in large part). And as developers, we use a lot of free software on MacOSX, starting with emacs, and all the linux tools you can get from MacPorts or Homebrew. Right, because between ourselves, the BSD tools provided by Apple suck.

But actually, it's the econony, stupid! ;-)

As a Linux hacker, I much prefer to earn the money I need to pay for taxes, internet, electricity, food and shelter (oh, and clothing, sometimes you get to go to conferences), developing applications on a unix machine like MacOSX, or iOS, rather than on MS-Windows. (Yes, there's also Android, but java...)

So don't make a mistake, the main workstation is a Linux box, and even while developing MacOSX application, most of the code is written from the Linux box, even if it's compiled by Xcode on the MacOSX system nearby. Because, honestly, Linux is much more ergonomical! (if only because you really can configure it as you wish (and also strangeley, the keyboard feels much more responsive with linux than with MacOXS, let alone MS-Windows)). Anyways, remember, the Network is the computer! But most customers are still MS-Windows users, or MacOSX or iOS users, (or Android users right). So while you keep Linux close to the heart, you have to have a MacOSX system to earn your living.

(And there's also the possibility to run MacOSX on a Virtual Machine on Linux, but let's be honest, it means that legally you still have to own Apple hardware).

The wifi thing was true a few years ago, but isn't anymore if you are using a mainstream distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora.

Thing is, the parents comment makes no sense because it's implying that your wifi drivers would stop working if you connected to different wifi.

OS X has plenty of problems, see: http://www.imore.com/os-x-mavericks-problems-drive-me-nuts-h...

I've personally experienced many of these my self. OS X is cool, but I wish the fan base would stop acting like it never has any bugs or issues. OS X does get bugs, OS X does crash, OS X can break, OS X does not always 'just work'. Just go to discussion.apple.com and look at all the issues everyone is having. OS X is a great OS though, but it's not infallible.

What do you mean by the hardware? If I buy my computer part-by-part, and then assemble it (which I can do with a laptop too), I can make a much better box, for a significantly lower price, not to mention that I can customize the setup (better sound card if needed, etc) any way I want. And I can alter it after, do partial upgrades, without having to buy a whole new computer. I'm not a Linux Hacker, just a simple developer, but I wouldn't give up my freedom to alter my machine any way I want, even if it would cost me less money ;). Fortunately I have the privilege that I only have to develop software to Linux platform... because I chose to.

Yes, it is that much more difficult for people whose primary goal is doing stuff other than tweaking their computer. And as others have mentioned, nothing gets you more battery life than OS X on Apple hardware.

Not sure how any of the various Linux package managers are more "standard" than brew on OS X...

"Doing stuff" for developers often includes installing and running packages such as databases, programming languages, editors, etc. On OS X, there is only an App Store built-in. You have to choose one of many package managers[1]. Each package may get installed in its own non-standard way. Linux distributions like Debian or Arch have standardized package managers which handle dependencies and updates much more smoothly than any OS X implementation I've come across.

1. http://www.onthelambda.com/2013/10/14/the-state-of-package-m...

You don't have to choose, nowadays you just use Homebrew for anything that might not be built-in.

Take a look of this http://brew.sh/

>Yes, it is that much more difficult for people whose primary goal is doing stuff other than tweaking their computer.

Come on now, it's not 2005. Ubuntu runs smoothly on just about everything I've installed it on and I usually end up having to do more tweaking on Windows 8 than Ubuntu. As far as OS X goes, it's not perfect out of the box either, especially for anyone coming from a different environment who needs to tweak it to meet their standards.


OSX comes with the best hardware and you can develop in any programing language... not the same for Windows

Who's talking about Windows here? We're talking about Linux.

And you can, with a bit of effort, run Linux on a MacBook. Yes, it's not for everyone, and it took a good 10 months from the last MacBook Air release before I could run Linux natively on it (without VMWare), but for those of us who really like Linux, it's worth it.

I totally get that the effort is not worth it for lots of people, though.

I'm surprised, thought Linux of some kind would have been most popular.

I just bought a new laptop. A Macbook Air. Part of the reason was OS X over Linux. This is for two distinct reasons:

a) Battery life. For the most part, shoehorning Linux onto a PC is going to negatively affect battery life.

b) Despite being a bit of a "hacker", I have a day job and don't want to spend too much time tinkering with my OS. OS X is more polished than Linux and is less likely to go wrong.

I'm guessing that while most HN'ers aren't in exactly the same situation as me, they have more important things to do (i.e. working on their ideas) rather than wrangle with Linux.

"Linux is only free if your time has no value"

@robzyb hit the nail on the head - a great many of us just want something that works, every day. At some point in my life I loved tinkering with my OS, jumping between distros weekly, etc. now I just want to get things done. I used desktop Linux for 10 years before jumping to OS X in 2011.

I'm sure people will immediately chime in and say that Thinkpads work well with Ubuntu or that System76 does the job, and I'm sure it does, but the experience of running OS X on Apple hardware is simply unmatched.

>something that works, every day.

>the experience of running OS X on Apple hardware is simply unmatched.

Eh. Seems a lot of people on HN believe this, but it's not always the case. Just a quick visit to discussion.apple.com will show all sorts of issues people have with the OS including bugs like http://www.cnet.com/news/some-lion-users-plagued-by-black-sc... which is a bug in the OS.

Edit: just some things I noticed in the short time I used OS X: The gmail integration is buggy. I didn't get messages on time, and I have to either quit the app or take Mail offline and then online again before new mail will start streaming in. Sometime I couldn't get it to quit.

The 'quicklook' thing seemed really slow, which seemed to be a problem a lot of users had.

Multi-monitor support isn't that great. I had multiple windows on multiple desktops for some reason and it just felt weird.

I had issues with audio stopping and not working again until I did a reboot.

In some apps scrolling was really rough.

Window management in OSX is easily my biggest complaint. Installing Spectacle (open source) at least gave me back the Windows shortcuts for half screen, full-screen, and next monitor. The full screen width menu system drives me nuts, as with a 27" monitor I have to go 3ft to the left to find whatever non-keystroked command I need. It feels at least 15 years behind to me, especially given their fondness for those big cinema displays.

Apple seems to think I should unitask on a single monitor. That's not how I work, so it's not for me.

I'm a long time Linux desktop user, since the days of Debian Slink and Windowmaker, but I dig OS X. It's slick. I wish there was a desktop on Linux that could strike that balance between features, usability and stability. That being said, I'm also cheap. If Mac's were more competitively priced, I would probably own one, but paying that much over market value for what essentially is a "pretty" PC that can run OS X has always been an issue for me. I just chug along on my aging but sturdy Thinkpad with Linux. I think Apple could change the game if they decoupled OS X from the hardware. Who would pay for Window 8 when you could just install OS X instead?

Who would buy a Mac when you could just install OS X on a PC? (Note: I don't necessarily subscribe to this viewpoint, but I think Apple do, and have historically. And I speak as someone who was cheap enough to buy a Mac Mini and bring my own monitor - the only way I could justifiably afford OS X)

That's the thing, Apple fans will just keep buying Apple no matter what. Even if you could by a PC with OS X there would always be a demand for Apple hardware. If Apple sold OS X separately from Macs people would still buy Macs.

Legally, you still would have to, yes.

This is probably just me, but the biggest reason I use Linux is the package manager and repositories (Arch's package manager and wiki are amazing). Anything other than that, Windows or OS X, feels like it's missing something and I have to work around it.

People are saying they have to spend a lot of time configuring Linux but in my experience that's not the case (obviously once it's installed in the case of Arch, which for me is a worthwhile investment).

I do admire the polish of OS X's desktop though.

OS X has everything an end-user needs already (iLife apps are best of breed on any platform and come for free !), that's the beauty. For the rest there's the seamless App Store.

Now for hackers, you already get a long way with the built-in BSD commands, but one word : http://brew.sh

Brew leads to the same kind of experience as MinGW on Windows. It's just not as good as the package managers on Linux.

When I don't want to tinker with my Debian anymore, I just stop doing it and things work the way I left them. That's the main beauty of good Linux distros that keeps me so attached to them - I always can play with stuff, but I don't have to. And when I want to, it's much better choice than OS X for that.

If you want to buy the best laptop hardware available, and price is not much of a concern, you get a MacBook Pro. I hate the keyboard, but everything else is top quality.

Once you've done that, you could install Linux or Windows or FreeBSD on it, but if you don't have an overwhelming requirement, you'll keep it on Mac OS.

And if you're like most hackers, you have one work laptop and you carry it around everywhere, and it's your primary machine.

Personally, I don't carry a laptop back and forth: I have a Linux desktop at the office, and a Linux desktop at home, and a Mac laptop for travel and moving around the house.

There should be a space between "OS" and "X" in "Mac OS X".

Technically, it should just be OS X. As its no longer called Mac OS X.

Same with "ChromeOS" → "Chrome OS".

I wonder how readily people switch platforms?

I've only switched once in 20+ years. I started using Windows, 3.1, then XP, loved 2000, but switched to OS X about the time of Vista. Got tired of the constant virus issues. Tried Linux, but I've used OS X exclusively for 10 years or more now.

I'll admit that I still feel much more at home on Windows (when I have to fix the kids laptop), it is like putting on an old pair of slippers.

Hard to say really. My setup is currently two screen. One with Windows (desktop) and one with Linux (Laptop). They are both bound with synergy to give an almost seamless integration. I do however consider Linux my main OS as i usually wind up using my laptop for most of the things i do.

I have for years been a naysayer on "Mobile will replace the primary computer."

It's not because the hardware will never be up to it. In many cases it is already. I think it's the OSes. In my opinion it's because the feudal security model and closed app store model does not scale out to professional applications, developers, or complex usage scenarios. A computer that I can't do whatever I want with can never be my primary computer, nor can one where somebody has to whitelist what applications I can run or what capabilities I can extend it to have.

MS could disrupt here but won't. They're slavishly imitating the app store feudal model.

For many consumers, mobile has already replaced the primary computer. If you count tablets as mobile, they do almost all consumption at least as well as, and often better than, desktops.

For creators, nothing beats a great big screen coupled with a keyboard, and (mouse|trackpad|graphics tablet). Plus, as you say, for a certain type of creator, the kind of freedom that a walled garden just doesn't offer.

I'm not arguing against mobile, just... well... exactly what you say. It will never enter the pro market unless changes are made to the app and security models that allow a user to admin their own device. It won't matter how powerful mobile devices get, or if they gain the ability to attach to external monitors, mice, keyboards, etc. Nothing technical prevents that.

Been doing a Ubuntu-only at work and home experiment for a couple of years now, having spent all of my life on Windows. You get used to it, and it's definitely a good learning experience.

I did a similar thing many years ago. I was a heavy Windows user and in 2004 I decided that I wanted to know more about Linux. There was new distro around at the time called "Ubuntu" and people at work were raving about it. So I switched my desktop from Windows to Ubuntu and never looked back. I have tried other Linux based desktop distros over the years but Ubuntu seems to be the best if you just want to get work done. I never had issues with drivers etc. Currently I run XUbuntu as my main development work station.

I use Linux basically everywhere - Arch Linux on development machines, Ubuntu or Debian on servers. I use Windows for gaming maybe 5-10 hours a week.

Windows 8.1 on my main computer but I use VMWare Workstation 10 to run virtual machines running Linux for development work.

Windows 8.1 is really only their for day to day tasks such as web browsing, email and gaming. All serious work is done on virtual machines running a number of different Linux and BSD distributions. I have found that this works better in the long run than dual booting Linux and Windows.

I use FreeBSD. Runs on my desktop and my Macbook Air. I still have Windows on my desktop for video games, but it doesn't get used much.

It would have been easier to select which OS's are not a part of my computer ecosystem.

Laptop is OS X(but dual-boot into Win7 as needed), work workstation is Win7, work servers are Linux, HTPC is a chomeOS (box), phone, tablet and 2nd HTPC are Android.

I'm a workaholic with ADD. I'm using any number of the above devices at the same time whether at the office or on the couch.

Although I agree with most of comments about OSX easy of use, I switched back to Linux. Had some issues in the process using Ubuntu (which I used for more than 5 years before buy a macbook) but now with Fedora, everything is fine.

The main reason is that I don't agree (anymore) with the payoff of a proprietary OS, in a privacy and philosophical way.

I run Arch Linux as my main computer with a Windows virtual machine using VGA passthrough for gaming and Windows apps.

I'm curious which distributions the Linux users use.

Me: After about four years of splitting my time between Arch (desktop) and Ubuntu (laptop), I've switched to Debian (Wheezy) on my new laptop. So far so good - I haven't missed anything from Ubuntu, and if anything it's a bit easier to manage overall.

I'm using Arch at the moment and intend to go back to NetBSD when the Intel video support stabilizes. I've used Ubuntu also and find Arch mostly an improvent. One thing I miss from Ubuntu is the installation of (most) games under /usr/games, so when I want to play a game I can just ls /usr/games to see what is available, although I prefer that games go in a games directory in my home directory (I should just symlink stuff there, which is what I do for anything installed under wine). I've also just kept a text file of applications that I've installed and am likely to forget about since I tend to install stuff that sounds cool to try it out from some casual mention on the web somewhere. I prefer that my OS be as simple and understandable as possible and Arch makes that much easier (other than systemd, which is the source of most of the problems I've had with Arch).

More important to me than the OS is the details of my desktop setup, which is the same under any of the above: I run GNU screen in urxvt and ratpoison from screen. That way, any output from applications launched from ratpoison goes to screen 0. I make various aliases for things I use regularly, so e.g. e starts an editor in a new screen window. I can use screen or ratpoison window splitting if I need to see multiple windows at once. This is by far the least annoyance setup I have found on any OS. There are menu apps that work with ratpoison, but I find the text file + command line + aliases method to be much less annoying than any app launcher I've used on any OS.

I cut my teeth on Red Hat 5/6 (pre-Fedora), but switched to Gentoo in 2002 or so. I finally bit the bullet last year and went to Debian (unstable), after getting tired of fiddling with Gentoo and waiting for things to compile (MacBook Air here, not super fast).

Arch / Gentoo here

GNU/Linux, in particular Slackware. I always keep coming it back to it no matter how much I distro hop.

There are so many ways to define primary... but my home desktop, my work desktop, my work servers, my ebook reader and my smartphone (N9), depending on the day i pass a lot of time with some of them, and all runs more or less pure linux.

What is not primary is my tablet, that runs Android.

I use multiple; depends on what I'm doing.

Solaris for most Dev work; Linux for a little, Windows for the rest.

Forced to use windows at work and barely have time to use my personal (mac) machine.

Would switch to ubuntu but I need photoshop/illustrator and we only really get IT support for windows.

I work on all sorts of linux virtual machines though so that makes up for it I suppose.

"my" primary computer is my android phone, nowadays.

At work, windows box. At home, I have a windows computer, which I use maybe 2 hours a week. Then I have an android smart phone, which I use 2-4 hours per day.

Which one is my primary computer?

"Which one is my primary computer?"

The one you use most. I hope, for the sake of your employer, that's the work windows box.

My primary computer is mine computer, not the one my boss wants me to use. With your interpretation the poll would mean "What OS your company forces you to use" since arguably most HNers work.

Fair enough, maybe "primary" should be interpreted however you want it to be, but the original comment asked what that interpretation should be. I guess a sizeable proportion of HNers either use their own laptop at work, work freelance or on their own startup, actually use a computer at home more than at work (e.g. are managers).

A week ago there was a pretty good similar thread:

Ask HN: Most productive OS for web developers? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7731996

Question: for those of you who said Windows, is it by choice? And if so, why?

By choice.

I was a diehard Linux nazi until I got my first internship where everyone used Windows. Initially I was appalled; I had brainwashed myself with the spirit that `configurability is power' to the point that no one, not even I could get any work done on any system I touched. This philosophy carried over when I started using the work computer, which I plastered with ``productivity software'' on it in an attempt to morph the system into something more like my personal laptop. I became part of the ``Cult Of AutoHotkey.'' In retrospect it is absolutely absurd that there exists a subculture which revolves around changing the settings of computer software.

The first week of the job my boss had to do something on my computer, and within thirty seconds told me "What have you done to this poor computer." He was a Smart Guy; he is highly educated, has been working with for longer than I have been alive and adapted to modern standards, (sucessfully) administered company server farms, directed software projects (embedded, web and everything in between) and most importantly had a life outside of science and technology. It was at this point that I woke up. Obviously there was a problem with me. Now I leave every conceivable default untouched unless I absolutely cannot avoid it. I use Windows 8, IE (Firefox with no addons when that breaks), Visual Studio, Windows Photo Gallery, etc. Most of the less common software I must use is run out of a folder in my home directory. Now I and everyone can be productive on my system. The only thing I have lost since switching is the smug self-righteousness of Linux veganism and Lifehacker articles.

There is no default on Linux, so there can be no expected behavior. That is why I use Windows.

Thank you!

I also refuse to hobble myself with custom desktop toys. If my machine fails I want to be productive again as soon as I get another machine on my desktop. Forget all the imaginary gains of diddling with exotic editors etc. Truth is, you can get used to anything. So get used to the defaults, and leave the whole discussion behind.

I find it weird that you don't believe you can have both at the same time. I have my (important) dot-files and etc-files checked into a git repository, critical subdirectories of ~ (Photos and Documents, to name a couple) synced to an online backup service, and I have a cron job that takes a daily snapshot of the list of packages installed on my laptop with "dpkg -l" (which gets dumped in ~/Documents, which is synced to my online backup). If (and when: this has happened) I lose my main machine, I can be up and running, virtually exactly where I left off, in a matter of a few hours. The only stuff that's really missing that I need to get work done is ~/src/, but all of that is on various git servers, and can be re-cloned as needed (it's very rare that I finish some coding and fail to check it in and push it somewhere safer).

I just could not live with a stock Mac or Windows setup (or Linux, though, to be fair, there's really no such thing as a "stock" Linux setup) and still feel productive.

Then again, regarding Windows specifically, I just cannot feel productive on Windows anymore, period. In the 90s I would have considered myself a Windows power user, but switching to UNIX-y systems blew away anything I could ever do on Windows. Perhaps things have gotten better, but I have zero motivation to go back when I already have the real thing right in front of me.

In the end, though, everyone is used to what they're used to, and switching costs can be pretty damn high.

What you feel is interesting, but not the point. What you spend in engineering time setting up this machine is cost to your employer. Not doing it is savings.

Balanced against a feeling of productivity?

Well, much of Apple's philosophy is that they pick great defaults for you. How come you haven't tried OS X ?

* Most people don't use OS X

* I find their paradigm very bizzare. The nail(s) in the coffin for me were the inconsistent and incomplete patchwork of shortcuts and modifier keys. Even with universal keyboard access enabled, there is no way to do some very basic things via keyboard out of the box (e.g. move, maximize, minimize windows). Every time I use OS X I feel like I'm fighting the system. The only way I can get anything done on it is via CLI, which defeats the purpose of switching (at that point why not just ssh into it from windows)

If I had started out on OS X it would probably be great but as it is, the learning curve and opportunity cost is too steep for me.

you odnt realize how miserably composed your writing is until its uneditable

For me, yes. I've used Windows, OS X, and Linux, but prefer Windows the most because of the huge amount of software available for it, and it's the most familiar (I've been using Windows since 3.11) - I've done a lot on Win32 API applications. My environment has been setup with everything the way I like. It'd be perfect if the default command line shell was more *nix-like.

Given the time interval you're talking about (man, over 20 years now!), that's more than enough time to get up to expert level on any OS. I started on the Microsoft train back at DOS 5.something, and started using Windows at v3.0 (and wrote my share of shitty VB and MFC apps on 3.11, 95, 98, and 2000), but I left the MS world around '00/'01 and will never go back.

(Oh god, remember Win32s?)

Is it about the huge amount of crap shareware options you can download for Windows, or about getting a job done ?

It's been years since I've ever been unable to do any task on OS X, and do it with the best tools available.

There's so much useful, quality, well picked stuff built into OS X that the "quantity" of software available is irrelevant.

- by choice (win 7)

- I simply prefer the experience. I feel like I can navigate around the environment more quickly. Also: not being tied down to mac hardware is freeing. I've found the HP ProBook to be a decent windows laptop. It shamelessly mimics a lot of the MacBook Pro form. In fact, the chiclet keyboard can use MBP silicone keyboard cover.

By choice. It runs my older hardware better than anything I have found and with 8.1.1 pro I can run Ubuntu Server in Hyper-V which is a Type I Hyper-visor. That combo gives me the best of both worlds. I would also consider purchasing a Mac book pro to run this setup if I could get a guarantee from Apple not to "sabotage" the setup in someway, still honor the warranty for the hardware and let me boot to windows without using Bootcamp. As the the rest of the world catches up to the Mac book pro's screen quality, if Apple officially supported different OS's I think they could steal a huge amount of users from the OEM's.

Windows 7 is a solid OS. Also, built my own rig and own a copy of Windows CS4. If Adobe started making a Linux version I'd switch to Ubuntu.

Yes, by choice. Because I know it well and it just works.

I'm running on a 8 year old self built computer with Windows 8.1 and it still works wonderfully even with Photoshop, Visual Studio, and phpStorm. The only slowdown is the hard drive, which could stand an SSD upgrade someday.

Macs just seem too low end hardware for the price and an 8 year old mac wouldn't run this well - i also couldn't get over the no right-click on the mouse. Linux is fine for the server side, but after years of MythTV I got tired of getting things to work.

I choose Windows because it runs the software I value the most (Foobar, Photoshop, FlashDevelop). I prefer the Linux ecosystem (package managers, better terminal, etc.) but the software just isn't as good for my needs.

Macs cost too much and ubuntu just doesn't support enough /stuff/

Software. At the end of the day Operating Systems exists to run software, and Windows is the only OS that runs all the software I want/need to run.

By Bread !

I've been running FreeBSD on my primary desktop since 2004.

Debian GNU/Linux

I run Linux Mint on my laptops at home and my work laptop. Considering switching to Debian on one of my home ones to try plain Debian.

Used to use Win7, but upgraded to Crunchbang Linux :)

I'd dual boot if I could, but my primary computer is a laptop and it's too much effort.

The person who voted for iOS, care to explain? Not sure any device except for iPhone, iPad, iPod running iOS.

Their primary computer must be one of those.

That's kinda sad.

UNIX is the overwhelming winner here.

It might be a detail, but it really bugs me: I think it would be much more fortunate to change "Linux" to "GNU/Linux". Even if you ignore the whole "GNU OS" thing, it still looks weird to have "Linux" and Android with ChromeOS as separate entries since both Android and ChromeOS use Linux as the kernel.

True, but we all know exactly what that means.

Yes, obviously, that's why I call it a detail :)

Why GNU/Linux? Why not KDE/Linux?

I'm not trying to diss or dismiss GNU, but I think it's possible to have a functional linux desktop without any GNU software.

(Busybox, plus μClibc for example.)

It's certainly possible, but does anyone[1] actually do that?

Modern-day "Linux" desktop systems are pretty useless without GNU on top. I'm certainly not going to go all RMSy and insist on "GNU/Linux" on idealogical grounds, but it is more correct than simply "Linux".

[1] Stop being pedantic. By "anyone", I mean, "a minority large enough to be more than a rounding error".

You probably don't know what GNU means. Have a look. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU

Linux mint

Used to dual boot but I recently got rid of my Windows 7 on account of never really using it anymore

My primary computer is OS X, but my work tends to target Linux servers.

Sadly, Unfortunately Windows :( I run ubuntu 12.04 in virtual box

How was your experience with running Ubuntu on Virtual Box?

I got tired of Windows screwing up GRUB everytime I update it that I tried running Linux virtually and found the display to be the weakest link even with 3D acceleration turned on.

Yeah, it was really a Pain in the back. It took some time for me to fix the grub and the resolution stuffs. I used vmWare earlier and tried Manjaro on it but in my experience virtual box with ubuntu has been a charm to work on.

I do it by choice. Win is a solid platform with many ways to get the perks available under *nix.

I like the GUI experience of windows. Nothing can beat it. But Linux gives me control. I just feel at home with Linux whereas in Windows there is some kind of uneasy feeling.

Nothing unfortunate about that.

I just wish my primary work was on Linux. I started with .net then kind of stuck with it. Not that it's bad but I just wish I had more choices.

Mac OSX, made the change 3 years and 2 laptops ago.

OSX for app dev.

Otherwise, I prefer windows (7).




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