DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Cover image for Which Operating System Are You Using?
Jeremy Morgan
Jeremy Morgan

Posted on • Updated on

Which Operating System Are You Using?

I asked folks on Twitter what operating system they use to write code and was a bit surprised. (The poll is still going on if you want to see the current results).

It looks like a dead heat between Windows and Linux. I expected much of my audience to be front end developers and web developers, who primarily use OSX. Most developers I talk to regularly use OSX, so I was surprised to not see it above and beyond the rest.

So what are YOU using as a "daily driver"? I'm curious to know. Whether you're a professional developer or a hobbyist tinkering around.

What OS are you using?

It wasn't long ago people would say things like "If you want to develop with {language / platform} then you must use {Operating System}. But it seems these days you can do whatever kind of development you want in each operating system.

Windows was the laggard for many years. If you wanted to do any kind of scripting or run applications only built for Linux you were out of luck. But WSL has changed that. So I'm not too surprised to see the increase in Windows usage.

So What Are You Using to Write Code??

Let me know in the comments what you're using and why. Work or play. You can still vote on this poll for a couple days too. I'm curious.

Top comments (53)

danivanov007 profile image
Dan • Edited on

I moved on Linux from Windows. Why? Because, my friends who works in IT industry said me that and said why Linux is so interesting in programming. And I moved on Linux. When I started it was very hard for me, but after 3 months of usage I understanded how to work in Linux and my feelings flyed to the heaven because of how cool is Linux. The Linux is WOW!

adityamitra profile image
Aditya Mitra

I am using RHEL8 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux Verdion 8).
Since this is my first time in Linux, I really need some community help.
Any recommendations?

jc00ke profile image
Jesse Cooke

I've used Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Manjaro+i3, and now I'm very happy with Regolith (Ubuntu+i3 with a lot of default polish)

I'd love to give a BSD a try, and probably could given the tools I use are all pretty ubiquitous, but I'm too happy with Regolith to spend any time on it.

t04glovern profile image
Nathan Glover

MacOS at work, PopOS at home. Only reason I'm not running Pop at work is consistency with my coworkers. Even with GNU Core I don't want to risk it.

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan Author • Edited on

Same here. I use OSX at work, and on my laptop I ran FreeBSD for a while, and it was awesome but I ran into some snags that I didn't have time for. I had to get some work done.

I am in the middle of redoing my website completely, and while I'm a die-hard Arch Linux user, I didn't want to take the time required to put Arch back on it, so I went with Pop. It's been really good so far.

roelofjanelsinga profile image
Roelof Jan Elsinga

Ubuntu at work, Peppermint OS and Endeavour OS at home.

At work I want something that just works. I want the OS to get out of my way and just let me do what I need it to. I only use LTS versions of Ubuntu for this reason.

At home I love to experiment with things. Endeavour OS was my attempt to become more productive, but Arch scares me a little bit. I'm very used to the LTS stability and the rolling release just put me in the edge of my seat.

That is why I primarily use Peppermint OS at home. It makes me super productive and it's so blazing fast, wow!

adityamitra profile image
Aditya Mitra • Edited on

THANKS a lot man!

Where can we get connected?
You are a PRO!

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

OSX for most of my work and personal computing, with a bit of Raspbian here and there 🙂

adityamitra profile image
Aditya Mitra

My Professor asked me :

(Hint: It is not just used to create files)

tirtakeniten profile image
Tirta Keniten

Hi Jeremy. I use 3 different operating systems right now.

Ubuntu: My office computer. I love using Ubuntu for coding. It smooth and easy to setup. It just worked as expected. But, when I started use Ubuntu in my notebook, it drained my battery.

Macos: For my MacBook. I experienced that Ubuntu does not fit in a notebook, Macos does. The things I like in Macos is, it has neat GUI, stable, less power consumption, and POSIX.

Windows: I love games. And the games I love are not available in Ubuntu and Macos. So I built myself a Windows computer.

I am a web developer, and have been experience develop website for those 3 operating system. If I have to choose, I would go for Macos.

guiteixeira profile image
Guilherme Teixeira • Edited on

As soon as I learned how to install an operating system, I started trying Linux. I'm currently a macOS user (work/college/home) because I think it has the best of all worlds, but I still have a Manjaro i3wm Edition running in a VM.

nerdharder615 profile image

Fully switched to *nix at home almost a decade ago. I have a mix of Manjaro (desktop), Ubuntu (2 laptops), & Raspbian. I do have my Windows work PC, but hopefully that will be on Ubuntu sometime this year. Since everything has been moving to web apps, there isn't anything that is really keeping my tied to Windows currently.

cappe987 profile image

Currently running Fedora on my laptop. I simply can't do any programming on Windows. I have tried WSL but I'm still lacking all the customization features on Linux. For me it isn't about the terminal, but rather the environment as a whole. Although I still run Windows on my desktop for gaming. I don't feel like bothering with Linux for gaming, I just want it to work.

quinceleaf profile image
Brian Ibbotson

Used everything over the years. Settled on OSX for my personal computing needs a year before I began developing (learning, then professionally) so have stuck with that. Ubuntu Server for all my servers.

Like the idea of desktop Linux but as someone said in the comments here about WSL, (at least at the time I was using it before) it always "worked until it didn't", and that always seemed to be when a deadline was looming.

Intrigued by all the changes Microsoft's been making, but haven't had time to try using Windows to develop yet.

macOS is the best of all worlds... it just works, very solid. Like a strong, polished Linux distro without the occasional glaring UI inconsistencies. For coding, I'm just using VS Code/iTerm2 and the like, so I could switch to Linux without too much difficulty.

I still have to do enough collaboration with others using Office and other Microsoft products that being able to run the full gamut of Microsoft products as needed (without resorting to WINE) is useful.

And I currently support some legacy iOS apps, so I need macOS to code for those, too. But aiming to switch those over to PWAs or Flutter apps, so that requirement may fade away....

milden6 profile image
Daniel Mileev

Manjaro for home and study. Win 10 for work because not possible to use Linux

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

I use Ubuntu (or a relative thereof) exclusively! I used Windows for many years, but fell in love with the stability, safety, and usability of Linux back in 2012. I've been using it as my sole OS since 2014.

Right now, I'm on Pop!_OS 19.10 with both the MATE and Cinnamon DEs (I bounce between the two.)

tardisgallifrey profile image

Love that old Burroughs machine in the article. My very first machine to work on was a Computer Automation Naked Mini4, used by Barber-Colman Company as their Econ6 Energy Management System in the '80s.

My current 'daily driver' is Linux Mint 18. I've used Ubuntu/Debian OS's the most and am comfortable with the system. Mint just seems to be doing better on the laptop I'm currently using. I haven't bought a new laptop since 2008; just use castoffs.

Believe it or not, my editor of choice is nano. It's simple and easy to use without being obtuse like vim. From there, I'll use gcc or g++, if I'm compiling. Otherwise, chmod +x and perl or python takes it from there.

clifton893 profile image
Clifton Long Jr.

I have a MacBook Pro (my first Mac ever), so OSX.

But before that, I was on Ubuntu Linux for like ten years. I enjoyed the stability and tinker-friendly nature of Ubuntu; but as I honed my trajectory more into UX design, I wanted access to Sketch, OSX, and iOS.

(Going from Ubuntu & GIMP to OSX & Sketch is like some sort of reincarnation.)

bendman profile image
Ben Duncan • Edited on

I'm on OSX because I want something reliable where I'm spending time on the project at hand rather than my environment. As a frontend developer I view designs in Sketch, Illustrator, or other design software on a daily basis, and I need to know they will work without looking all over for the least buggy binary or source repo I can find. Most of my users are also on OSX or Windows, so it's nice to be using the target platform.

I've tried various flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Suse, Arch, RedHat) and I use them for my servers, but found them too finicky and 3rd party support was too low for what I want in a development environment. I'm open to try again though!

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan Author • Edited on

Personally I'm all over the map, which is pretty usual for me.

Work (for my day job): OSX

Desktop Machine (for authoring courses, writing, etc): Windows10/ArchLinux/FreeBSD 12 (triple boot)

Laptop (personal stuff, writing, etc): Pop!_OS

Lab Machine (VMs for Courses and experimenting) Arch Linux / FreeBSD 12 (dual boot)

So yeah I have one of each on the list depending on what I'm doing. I spend most of my time in OSX and Linux.

ricktraigon profile image
Ricardo • Edited on

Hello at all, I'm using Windows 10, and several linux distros at home and for work.
Today Debian and derivatives like Antix for work purposes I use Solaris.
Working as a webdeveloper I use these systems to check the good work of apps.
I like very much linux platform and its power, solid work but windows is a big player that's coming back me some attention.
I used a bit Mac OS some year ago.

craigbutcher profile image
Craig Butcher

Right now, it's a combination of macOS (home) and Windows 10 (work). Most people I have met throughout my working life argued the silly OS wars of Mac OS X vs Linux vs Windows. To end the infamous debate, I simply see operating systems as a tool to develop whatever we need to do.

Thanks to using dotfiles and the use of a personal repo, switching to any OS is a breeze after a quick set up. There is always going to be an amount of tinkering in every OS because we are curious creatures wanting to see what things can do :-)

peacefullatom profile image
Yuriy Markov

I'm using Windows since v 1.0 :)

adityamitra profile image
Aditya Mitra

Hey, but you have disabled the chat option in your account.

nitinreddy3 profile image
Nitin Reddy

At work Windows 10, Ubuntu as a hobbist. 🤟

programazing profile image
Christopher C. Johnson

I switch between Windows and Linux a lot

frandieguez profile image
Fran Diéguez

ArchLinux at work and home.

thojest profile image
thojest • Edited on

currently ubuntu on main. but testing arch on other system.
Will migrate main to arch soon.

adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him)

I'm running Windows 10 on my PC at home which I also code on it. I used to have Ubuntu as my primary OS for 5 years but since I got my gaming PC Windows 10 is way better I think. XD

antjanus profile image
Antonin J. (they/them)

Windows and Linux interchangeably. I tend to use my Linux machine remotely from Windows but it tends to be an even split for me

ghost profile image

Used MS from DOS 6.0 to Windows XP, a bit of Win7 for gaming. Linux since more than a decade (Mandrake 9.3 I think) and exclusively since about 8 years ago. Ditrohoped a lot but mainly Gentoo.

k3cl profile image
Charlie Li

Fellow FreeBSDer checking in. Use as daily driver, even on desktop. To extend on what you said, the clear separation between base system and ports (all third-party software) is key.

jeremycmorgan profile image
Jeremy Morgan Author

This is one of my favorite things as well

madza profile image
Madza • Edited on

OS wars reminds me of JS framework craze. Picking up a fancy distro just to tell someone you are 'the cool kid' is pointless. Stick with what suits your needs.

harveyhalwin profile image
Heinek Halwin

MacOS at work, ubuntu at home.

jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

OSX at work and Xubuntu at home. Love them both in their own way.

faizanmustafa profile image

Linux Mint

peterkjoseph02 profile image
Peter K Joseph

I use elementary OS to code.

saint4eva profile image

I am using Windows 10 Pro. Very productive, efficient and reliable.

rhymes profile image

macOS. I only have one computer :D

aleksandrhovhannisyan profile image
Aleksandr Hovhannisyan

Windows, regrettably.

WSL works until it doesn't; then I have to go right back to PowerShell and manage my Path and environment variables by hand. It works but is tedious and slow.

strzibny profile image
Josef Strzibny

Fedora. Stock (and latest) GNOME3 + I know a thing or two about Fedora. I also deploy with Fedora or CentOS so having a similar environment helps.

noeu profile image

I use Debian GNU/Linux for developing web and mobile apps, both for work and hobbies. The exception is when I need to develop an iOS app.

rocqjones profile image
Jones Mbindyo

I'm using 'Parrot Security GNU/Linux OS' the reason is because it's very user friendly, fancy UI, security tools, and it's just interesting.

kylerconway profile image
Kyle R. Conway

I've been happily using Linux for all my computing needs for 10 years now. It's been great.

xbhrnnd profile image

Windows 10 at work :-(

Debian at home :-D

🌚 Life is too short to browse without dark mode