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Topic: Which operating system do you use and why? (Read 4437 times) previous topic - next topic

Naneen

Which operating system do you use and why? I'm thinking of maybe changing to Linux but don't know that much about the language. So what are the pros and cons of different operating systems not just Linux. Is Apple better? Although I have never been an Apple fan with their Idea of using just their stuff. I want to keep my mind open. I have always been a windows user.


Robin2

I have been using Linux for years - originally because I could not justify the price of upgrading from Windows XP.

Unfortunately Linux is easy to clone and there are dozens of different varieties. For the most part the differences are just in the screen appearance and the bundle of programs that are included.

I think Ubuntu provides the best overall support. You can try it from a DVD or USB stick without disturbing your Windows PC.

I am now using the TahrPup version of Puppy Linux which is a minimal version of Ubuntu 14.04. You can run it completely from a USB stick for testing or permanently. All the regular Ubuntu software that I have tried works perfectly with it. It does not require huge hardware resources so works perfectly well on older PCs as well as new ones. It may require a little more user knowledge than Ubuntu but the Puppy Linux download is about 200MB compared with 10 times that for Ubuntu. Less is more!

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

ChrisTenone

I don't currently know Linux at all, so I don't use it. When I read "You can run it completely from a USB stick for testing or permanently." I decided that I need to learn it.

Currently I run about 120 Windows 10 computers (cad/gis quality) in academic labs, and half a dozen Macintoshes (various operating systems ranging from System6 to OS X El Capitan.) My own computers - the ones I use most often with my Arduino stuff - are Macs running osx 10.11.6. In my office, I have last year's Lenovo mini with Win 10.
What, I need to say something else too?

curious48

#3
Jul 30, 2016, 11:39 am Last Edit: Jul 30, 2016, 11:52 am by curious48
I agree with everything Robin2 said down to Ubuntu as being the "best overall support" under Linux.  You should give it a try!  If your PC has a DVD drive you can try a Live DVD and see that everything works.  I think part of the reason it's so "bloated' as compared with the slimmer distributions he mentions is that it includes a lot of hardware drivers and the like and also a ton of software (like libreoffice).  All of your peripherals like webcam, sound card, wifi adapters, everything should "just work."  Among the Linuxes, in terms of ease of use Ubuntu is the easiest.

He mentioned that you can run it from a USB flash drive.  Here are the Instructions on the Ubuntu site, but, it might require entering your computer's "BIOS" configuration which you can enter from among some of the messages you first see when starting your computer ("Press F12 to...." -- well, you might have to press F12).  Then you would find the boot options and allow it to boot from a USB drive.  It might not "just boot" from the USB drive, even if you've set up the USB drive correctly.

If your PC has a DVD drive, to be perfectly honest the quickest, easiest, and most fail-safe way to try out Linux would be to order a LiveDVD which someone has burned.  You can then just put it in the DVD drive and when you start your computer, pay attention to the option to start from it and select it.  (Or it should do so automatically.)

This is what an Ubuntu desktop might look like around when it starts up:



As you can see, you would immediately know how to use it.  There is a Firefox browser, you could open it and search for anything you needed to know.  There are programs for handling office files (libreoffice) and everything is extremely intuitive .  And as the first link to the LiveDVD explains, when you're  ready to install it you can just double-click and have it install onto your computer.

However, if you already have a Windows installation and want to keep it, you will want to search for instructions such as this one on "dual booting" Windows and Ubuntu.  The advantage of using the "Best-supported" Linux is that you can simply Google, e.g. "windows 10 ubuntu dual boot" and get extremely detailed instructions - and not just one or two.  Here are some things you might want to do after installing Ubuntu. - install applications like Spotify and other things that aren't in the central repository (which you can think of like an 'app store.')   Anything you want you can find and install easily!

Now, one thing to note is that you're now a Linux user!  (This could be obvious, but when we spend so much time in web applications it's easy to forget...)  You can't just install any old thing.  If you had used Photoshop, well, now you need to use a Linux version.  (Gimp).  If you used Microsoft Word or Excel - well, now you need to use a Linux version of these tools.  Linux is a great operating system but you will now be a Linux user  :D


2.  You asked what we all use?

So, I use Windows 7 on an old Thinkpad laptop.  The reason I do this is because I use a lot of very standard office documents and workflows, such as Word 2010 and Excel, PowerPoint.  I have drivers for everything and I'm very familiar with using it.  Finding directions for anything I want to do doesn't take any amount of time at all.  If I had more money, I would use a Mac.  Because all of the above are also true of Macs - in fact, they're even more standard and easier to use, and very well-supported.  I also at times do things like script parts of my workflow with hotkey scripts that have huge followers.  The surest way that you can guarantee to just get an intsallation file (.exe) for whatever you're doing with no real steps in between is by being on Windows, which is used by the most people in the world who are using a Desktop PC or Laptop.  At the moment for example I am designing a piece for 3D printing.  (It's actually part of an Arduino project.)  I needed a new CAD design tool.  I've never used one in my life.  The first recommendation I got that meets my needs is Freecad, and it's available on Linux, Mac, and Windows.  But I didn't like it.  Then I saw this video - which is provocatively titled "The Best Free CAD Program - DesignSpark Mechanical" (which is why I clicked it) and has 129k views, 1146 upvotes, noise floor downvotes.  It starts saying :

Quote
Hey everyone, today I wanted to showcase one of THE best free CAD programs that I have EVER used.  So I come from a background of using SolidWorks, and after using SolidWorks for years, I find that a lot of the free options just seem lacking.  This is the first program that made me stop and go WOW, that is incredible.  So this is DesignSpark Mechanical, and let me show you what it's all about.  So you have the sketch laying here and I can sketch on it like you can with most programs, and I can draw this rectangle and just start typing in the dimensions.  So I say I want this 40 millimeters by 20 millimeters -- it'll make that sketch and then I can then grab this sketch and pull it into a three dimensional...
and basically ten minutes into the video, you have this great understanding of this easy to use software.  The thing is, in my research everyone told me to "just use SolidWorks", but it's not really affordable. As for DesignSpark mechanical: it's for Windows.

At the end of the day, anything you can do on Windows you can do on Linux.  But, you may not have a particular piece of software.  Whether it's Adobe Aftereffects, Autocad, Solidworks, Photoshop, or some other piece of software, you may end up working with an alternative.  This is a great site for finding alternatives.


Finally, there is another aspect that may interest you.  Ubuntu is derived from Debian, which has a very strong philosophy of "Free software", but here Free isn't about price, but rather a kind of public, common ownership that can't be taken away.  That may be part of the why people don't try to run Photoshop under Linux (they certainly could try) but instead develop a Free alternative, in this case Gimp.

It is absolutely worth pointing out that Arduino is part of this open, Free software movement.  Arduino is open source (which is a bit of a synonym for "free" - some people say F/OSS to denote either Free or Open Source.  Normally this Free idea is even stronger, it means that the license means it must always be available and can't be closed back off into a commercial project.)

So if you want to be part of this open source movement where people develop software together, I would above-all recommend Linux for that reason alone.  In my case I also use Linux, from within Windows, for example connecting to a Linux computer and also under emulation.  However, the Linux I use isn't a graphical system (like installing Linux as mentioned above) but on the server side or small embedded boards.

I've written a lot but still didn't cover the reasons you'd use a mac, which someone else could talk about, since I don't use one.
Are you curious about the intersection of Arduino/Electronics/Raspberry Pi/Orange Pi/Beaglebone/niche manufacturing/starting from 0 and scaling?  Try: http://curious.boards.net

ChrisTenone

I agree with everything Robin2 said down to Ubuntu as being the "best overall support" under Linux.

...
Maybe never mind then.

When I start something on the computer, the last thing I want to consider is support.
What, I need to say something else too?

curious48

#5
Jul 30, 2016, 01:05 pm Last Edit: Jul 30, 2016, 01:09 pm by curious48
Maybe never mind then.

When I start something on the computer, the last thing I want to consider is support.
I think what both Robin2 and I meant by "support" is just that you try something and it'll work (Desktop examples: install spotify, install skype, run the arduino ide, whatever).  You don't have to go messing around with configuration files without knowing what's wrong, because a ton of people use it, it works.  You can just Google it.  You'll find seven different write-ups all telling you exactly what to do.  it "just works."

Ubuntu is very polished and people have no problems running at as their normal, everyday, desktop computer.  Unless you need some specific application you won't lose anything.  On the other hand what you gain is a bash prompt (without installing cygwin or something, which is a Unix-like subsytem for Windows).

however, this applies to when it exists.  If it doesn't run under Linux, that's another story.

@ChrisTenone - you said you have macs at home including for arduino stuff.  Any big advantage to the macs that you see?
Are you curious about the intersection of Arduino/Electronics/Raspberry Pi/Orange Pi/Beaglebone/niche manufacturing/starting from 0 and scaling?  Try: http://curious.boards.net

AWOL

I use Ubuntu native on my own machines, and Ubuntu under emulation or dual boot on family Windows 10 machines
Haven't used an Apple product for anything non-trivial in over 25 years.
"Pete, it's a fool (who) looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.
I speak for myself, not Arduino.

Robin2

When I start something on the computer, the last thing I want to consider is support.
i did not mean "support" as in "help line".

I meant that it should work without any problems out of the box because the developers have put in a lot of effort to make it so. It is that effort that I was referring to when I used the word "support".

There is also lots of information available online if you need it.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

westfw

I like MacOS.  It's got the whole unix-like underlayer (and most linux OSSW applications can be compiled for MacOS), and a widely-used vendor-supported "standard" GUI/etc on top for running commercial applications and games and such.  (I'm less satisfied with Apple as a vendor, overall.  I'm really tired of them replacing core "apps" (iPhoto, iMovies) with versions that I like a lot less :-(  (and claiming that the older SW won't run under new versions of the OS.  grr.))
I've also got WXP, W8.1, and W10 on assorted low-end systems, VMs, and laptops, and to run window-only software like Atmel Studio.  And assorted linux versions have been installed now and then, and on VMs for testing.  But I can't seem to see the point of running linux.  I really don't want to spend too much time doing Unix Systems Administration...)


Naneen

Thank you for the information and the links. Already head toward Linux, I decide to take the plunge and try it out. I know when I first looked at Linux there was very little support from the vendors. Now in the new century there is a lot of support that I see.

Question, It was mention that the CD version was better than stick. It is worth the $35.00 for a CD drive or not. My laptop has no drive.

Aw maybe I should just get one. Never know when I might have to  get one any way.

westfw

Quote
It was mention that the CD version was better than stick.
Really?  I would think the opposite.  Disks are limited to about 9GB (DL DVD), while sticks are much larger.  Minimally, that means you can put additional stuff on a stick, but I'd think it would also mean that stick-based images might be larger than the CD images...


curious48

Thank you for the information and the links. Already head toward Linux, I decide to take the plunge and try it out. I know when I first looked at Linux there was very little support from the vendors. Now in the new century there is a lot of support that I see.

Question, It was mention that the CD version was better than stick. It is worth the $35.00 for a CD drive or not. My laptop has no drive.

Aw maybe I should just get one. Never know when I might have to  get one any way.
It's not "better" just easier, if your computer already has a DVD drive.  Since it doesn't, I'd just look up to make sure my computer can boot from a flash drive (I'm sure yours can, but you might just google the computer model just in case) and then just format a Flash drive for booting.

Here are very detailed instructions on Ubuntu's site.

by the way this is a good example what is meant by support, since these instructions would be exactly the same for booting any other Linux from a flash drive - but every other Linux might not have these instructions prepared for you, as Ubuntu does.  the documentation and support is great.
Are you curious about the intersection of Arduino/Electronics/Raspberry Pi/Orange Pi/Beaglebone/niche manufacturing/starting from 0 and scaling?  Try: http://curious.boards.net

sterretje

#12
Jul 31, 2016, 07:32 pm Last Edit: Jul 31, 2016, 07:34 pm by sterretje
that you try something and it'll work
I haven been a hard core Linux user for years maintaining Slackware web servers, writing background applications for RedHat systems and I use Ubuntu at home (currently 12.04 in a dual boot with Win7).

And no, it's not always an easy sailing with Ubuntu. One update demolished (to say it friendly) my printer setup and as a result my printer sharing with other computers (Windows, Ubuntu and CrunchBang) is down the drain.
Also, if I recall correctly, no support for my Epson scanner; I don't necessarily blame Ubuntu for that but it's something to be aware off.

I currently only use Ubuntu for banking and for email.

Things might have changed; I don't know.

My current view is that Windows is for the desktop and Linux is for the servers; no experience with Macs.

My list of current operating systems (both at work and at home)
Win XP
Windows 7
Windows 8 (currently most used system because I currently develop Windows C# applications mostly)

CrunchBang
Ubuntu
Slackware
If you understand an example, use it.
If you don't understand an example, don't use it.

Electronics engineer by trade, software engineer by profession. Trying to get back into electronics after 15 years absence.

68tjs

Simply I use Debian.  
Debian has become very simple to install, why choose copies?

On my PC I have a stable version and a testing version.
- "stable"  is normal version, It is very reliable and has very little update.
- "testing"  uses the latest versions of softwares. The updates are many and testing may sometimes be broken several days.
It is a development version, it is the equivalent of Windows 11.

I generally use "stable".  I use "testing" when I need the latest version of software

My personal files are on a separate partition and I share it with symbolic links towards stable or testing home.
I can access my files from "stable" or "testing" as if they were in each home.

At the beginning I had kept a dual boot with Windows.
One day I changed the motherboard. Debian has restarted immediately,  but Windows fails : when hardware is modified  you must completely reinstall Windows.
Although I had an OEM version I have never reinstalled windows.
Reinstall Windows OEM takes five times as long as installing Linux.

For Windows users:
- Debian "stable" = Windows 10
- Debian "testing" = Windows 11
- Debian "sid" = Windows11/Windows12

AWOL

Quote
Debian has become very simple to install, why choose copies?
Because Google mandates Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for Android development?
"Pete, it's a fool (who) looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.
I speak for myself, not Arduino.

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