So I work on a lot of open-source software, I do a lot of video editing, and I do a lot of work in general trying to build the best things I can. I love writing, and am planning a book. Now, trust me when I say, since I have been having to use the proprietary software known as Windows 10, I cannot understand why people use this OS platform for ANY reason. So, I want to compare Windows 10 to Linux, and I will be focusing on FerenOS. Why FerenOS? Because I dual boot on my new PC and I chose FerenOS as the Linux OS I boot alongside my Windows 10 install, at least until I get Arisblu working. I want to talk gaming, general note taking, audio and video creation, file management, and not the least of which writing.
Gaming on Windows is AWFUL
Y'know, I was skeptical when LTT said gaming on Linux is easier than Windows 10. Now, as I game every so often on Windows 10, by goodness can I agree with Linus from Linus Tech Tips when he said gaming on Linux is easier and better than on Windows. Go hunt down their video on Linux gaming being easier than Windows, trust me it is so nice. To get access to all the games that matter on Linux you either:
A - Do nothing because many of the biggest games right now, like Minecraft as one example, already exist natively on Linux.
B - Go to Steam and change ONE thing in the settings
C - Run a single command on the CLI, which there you go you have a game.
While there are some games that won't work on Linux, these are ALWAYS multiplayer games. Not kidding, it is 100% just multiplayer games with some awful anti-cheat that will either support Linux in the next 5 years or stop existing by the next 10. So gaming on Linux is much MUCH better for gamers, unless you have to play online.
Hey... hey, apple, hey. Guess what. NOTEPAD IS GONE!! WHO AT MICROSOFT HIT THEIR HEAD HARD ENOUGH TO REMOVE NOTEPAD FROM WINDOWS 10!?? This is such a lapse in judgement, imagine if a Linux distro didn't have a terminal emulator? OH WAIT! THAT HAPPENED IN AN EARLY UBUNTUDDE ISO BUILT FOR TESTING! The lack of terminal emulator was a short mistake, one that got fixed quickly because a terminal emulator is a basic feature. When I was being featured on BigDaddyLinux for their live distro chat thingy where they tested a distro for a week and the week was Ubuntu Lumina. Guess what? I WAS RIDICULED FOR THE LACK OF NANO, A BASIC INCLUSION OF SOFTWARE! Even then, the lack of nano was unexpected, and will be added in Arisblu. But WHERE IS NOTEPAD? I am seriously baffled by the lack of Notepad. I use Sticky notes but only if I have to take notes. I would install notepad, but Sticky Notes do... the bare bare minimum.
Video / Audio Creation
This is where Windows and Linux tie. All the half-decent free video editors are on both platforms. I use DaVinci Resolve. If you love Adobe then maybe Windows is a winner here, but I feel like Adobe is best done on a Mac. That's just me personally though.
File Explorer? More like Denver International Airport because the waits are long, everything is slow, and I am 90% sure it is controlled by lizard people. I hate Windows file management. Sure many things are comparable to Linux but sadly the CLI on Windows is either useless garbage or PowerShell with the word "power" in the name being used loosely. I honestly hate both, so I will not use them for file management. I care about my sanity. But doing it graphically... now this is where we have problems. Sure Linux users are fighting about file managers on their systems but we can all agree Windows File Explorer makes us all want to cry.
Now. While this is a similar situation to Audio/Video creation, where the decent apps exist on both platforms... let me make something clear. Writing a basic document on Windows, using the same applications I use on Linux, is a NIGHTMARE. First the fonts. Awful. Except Arial, all the fonts on Windows 10 by default are just awful. On Linux I have OpenSans and FreeSans 99.999% of the time, and if I don't, adding new fonts on Linux is easy and simple. On Windows? No. While it is easy, something ALWAYS BREAKS. I am seriously getting exhausted from the font installer having an aneurysm trying to know the difference between OTF and TTF. Not to mention trying to theme everything on Windows 10 is a nightmare. While many have given Windows credit for theme options, I can't. You can change the bare bones basics, but everything else is just not worth your time. For instance, trying to theme Windows to look/act like Gnome is a nightmare and a half, darn near impossible. To make Gnome act like Windows? 10 settings, 4 apps, an icon theme, and maybe an extension or two. Done. That is actually easy to turn a MacOS-looking desktop environment to Windows 10, not to mention that counted the menu changes.
Don't use Windows if you respect your time and money. It is $100 for limiting you from what many free and open-source options give you. Here is the entire list of why you have any reason to use Windows 10 over Linux:
- Adobe (unless you own a mac).
- Online gaming, maybe a few rare instances of offline games.
- You like wasting time and money.
I use Windows because I want to develop more open-source software for the Windows ecosystem. Oh and devloping on Windows 10 is a nightmare. You think I was scathing Windows on all the other fronts in this list? I could make a much larger article explaining why Windows 10 is the worst OS for developing software, PERIOD. At least MacOS gives you tools to build MacOS specific applications. Windows? Oh boy, I will think on that article. Who knows, I might just make it a book.
Top comments (58)
Get the best of both worlds - run Windows in a VMWare Fusion window on a Mac. Did this for years whilst developing SQL Server web apps in C# - when windows freezes you just flip over to the Mac and do a bunch of emails. Backups and snapshots are a breeze too.
Fusion won't get you as close to bare metal performance as (free) KVM (kernel level, as the "K" implies) on Linux. Not only can you run Windows and MacOS VMs easily, but you can get actual bare metal video performance with GPU passthrough.
Set up KDE Connect on the Linux host (and Windows guest) and Soduto on the Mac guest, and you get shared clipboard and easy file transfer (or just map shared folders).
Actually, one of the real reasons I would want to use Windows, is C#. C# development in macOS, and perhaps Linux is just horrible, if even possible.
I mean desktop apps, Xamarin, Blazor...
No problem developing Blazor apps in Linux. Dotnet even run better in Linux. I'm a dotnet developer myself and running Ubuntu on work and Fedora at home and never had any problem. SQL Server is also available on Linux. I think you can also develop Xamarin apps in Linux too but never tried that. With .NET Core the platform doesn't really matter :) By "developing is horrible on platform X" I don't really understand what you mean :)
I don't think I can install Visual Studio in Linux, and there is one for macOS, but is different version.
You can go even better - install VS Code! I went from Win10 and VS to Linux and VS Code and never been happier. VS is super heavy, while Code is lighter and I'm sure already has more features than VS because of the extensions. I remember a colleague of mine which refused to use Code spinning 4-5 VS instances for our projects while I was switching between them with a click of a button.
I can run
dotneton my Mint now.
Mono is a wonderful C# compiler, better than Microsoft's and MICROSOFT MADE THE DANG LANGUAGE!
Mono is led by the .NET foundation and Xamarin, a MS subsidiary... and honestly I'd never prefere mono over the full-fledged std libs released by MS.
Hackintosh or no balls. I'll never want to pay 2000€+ of machine (laptop) suffering serious overheating problems (=resource downscaling). Nothing to say against the OS though
OSX-KVM or simple-MacOS-KVM are less likely to give hardware issues or sudden (also kext-related) Clover/OpenCore issues on upgrade, on a Linux host more likely to support non-Mac hardware out of the box. Both are super easy to install, and you can easily beta test new MacOS versions without sacrificing your daily driver.
No point denying reality. From a market share perspective it's obvious game developers are going to support Windows over Linux. Lack of ability to game on Linux is a feature, not a bug. Linux is the game. Linux is geared towards being a production environment. Windows is geared towards being a consumption environment. They're different beasts imo.
Linux is getting better and better for gaming though. It used to be that you pretty much cant do it, to it being relatively well supported.
I prefer developing on a Windows machine, WIN 10 is great, just donwload full visual studio and you have everything for win specific development. Anyway an article from someone who have Linux in his/her name is far away from an objective view.
I don't have linux on my nickname, in fact i just don't give a f* about the environment's gangs. I use each OS for what it's better:
windows: gaming and visual edition (photo, video..)
Linux: programming (unless you need to code something on .NET environment or for MacOS/iOS, there's no reason for using another OS for coding and lacking the features and power that Linux have and others don't).
MacOS: It's not better for any task, if you want to remain with only one OS and you don't want to game then you can pick one and being "silly trendy". You'll have native UNIX terminal but you still need to virtualize docker anyway, and the performance on rendering is worse than on a native windows; if you dual boot your mac with windows the performance is worse than getting a win95 for a reason i can't figure out.
If you want more info I tested it with my own money on this specs:
Main Desk, (dual boot Win 10 + Elementary OS): Ryzen 3600X, 32Gb RAM, 5700 XT (Was with a 1700X and Vega 64 when trying Mac).
MacBook Pro 13" 2017 touchbar (i5, 8Gb RAM)
Tried MacOS and Windows 10 on it.
I sold it due to low performance, then I bought a Huawei Matebook D 14 (Ryzen 2500U 8Gb RAM) where I had dual boot (Win 10 + Elementary OS). Nowadays it's only with Elementary as there's no sense on using the laptop for gaming or visual editing on it having a proper desktop. I also tested Ubuntu (different versions) and used Feren OS for a long time (first versions was OK but now it's like an ugly frankenstein made of parts of another OSs with no much sense, that's why I moved into Elementary)
The most surprising was find that the huawei with the ryzen 2500u (which is not for heavy duty tasks) was rendering videos on premiere pro CC faster than the MacBook Pro (i must remark the Pro word on its name).
I use Ubuntu/OS X/Windows daily. 2 main computers A gaming dell and a 2019 16" inch MacBook. I use the dell machine from 3D modelling to Programming (mostly .net and TS), I switched from dual boot to WSL, I dont lack in anything. I have the Mac from work it is light and stylish, the gui is the worst, but thats my personal feeling, I feel really confy with windows. I dont have a direct hate to anything, But I feel like a lot of hate for win comes from ancient times.
I know about WSL but i didn't tried it yet TBH, It's a pending task that I can't face till I've some time for it (maybe on Christmas), even that I don't need to keep windows+ WSL on my laptop when having a linux is enough for coding and office tasks, it may be useful on my desk
Try out WSL2 on Win10 2004+, WSL1 is full of bugs (due to its partial kernel). Even docker can smoothlessly run on the new version (allowing you not to have Win10 pro just for it).
As for usability I suppose it's kind of subjective: I just love Plasma's environment (KDE)
I'm win 10 pro (latest version) so it's not an issue, thanks for the info, I'll check it out when possible :)
Notepad is not gone on windows 10, All of the windows 10 machines I use at home and work have notepad.
Writing: Comparing how the tool you use on Linux will run on Windows is not a valid comparison. This would be like saying MS VS does not run on Linux....
I think you title 'An honest comparison' should be 'an opinionated comparison to justify my conclusion that Windows is awful'
Not that I disagree, I LOVE Linux. But your write up is not up to the task of your title.
Package management is really important to me, and most Linux distros are fine in this area. On the other hand, Windows updates & Microsoft Store do annoy me from time to time.
I prefer to invest my time in stuff what matters to me (your mileage may vary) so I need an OS where I don't need to know what OS is or how it's managed and updated. None is perfect but if you tell me Linux (just any distro) was ahead, know that I have a bridge to sell you.
Adobe is exactly the same on windows than on Mac, whatever Davinci's support for Linux is a shame, CentOS? Are u serious? Who the f** has CentOS as workstation, for goodness sake!? I tried it, seriously, I tried many things on different distros, and I tried different softwares.
I finally made a brainless dual boot years ago and I'm sticking into it since then:
That's pretty good and sensible split. You probably know this, but Kdenlive is a pretty good cross platform video editor (it might not be the best, but I'm not a professional video editor). For photos there is GIMP, not as good as photoshop, but it works for most cases. Also photopea.com/ is a clone of photoshop that works in the browser. I love it. For drawing there is InkScape. I'm not trying to make you stop using Windows. I use Windows myself. I just want people to know there are some pretty good if not sometimes very good alternatives worth trying out on Linux. :)
Yes I used photopea and it's nice, inkscape is not that all btw, it's not compatible with my digital tablet :V
Having the option on getting a dual boot there's no much sense on keep trying softwares
In 36 years of running Windows and Linux machines I have never read such rubbish.
Notepad is still in Windows 10. Games run fine, as long as your hardware meets the requirements. File Explorer search is really slow, but criticising it for having a gui is very shortsighted.
I understand you have 36 years of expertise but I am 17, with 2 years of Linux usage and about 12 on Windows (sometimes in dual boot, sometimes not). I spent most of my life on Windows, including my personal favorites XP, 7, and Vista. I switched away in 2018, after wanting to experiment. I didn't even yet realize how much more I would improve my workflow. Even before I got back on to Windows 2 weeks ago after a total of 13 months without a Windows 10 machine being in my possession, I still considered Windows 10 to be an alright operating system. I call this an honest comparison because it was comparing coming back to a system I didn't touch in a little over a year. I was fine coming back to the system until I starting living in difficulty, and right now needing to fix my FerenOS dual boot as for some reason KDE is having issues with my monitor. Windows 10 had the same issue but I found a fix online, and I have been too busy to do the same for FerenOS. I understand I don't have 36 years of expertise but I do have a lifetime of history in Windows, and only 2 years at most in Linux. So, I get where you are coming from but understand my point here too. I didn't hate Windows 10 and even then many issues I still have to work with I simply call "flukes." While I despise development on the platform, that is not because of bugs, like what might have removed Notepad. I also often lose admin access until a reboot, and I sometimes lose my keyboard. Most of which are flukes which I was fine with as I couldn't blame Windows 10 for it all.
I hate windows but Windows File Manager is much better than mac's finder. for me, the only reason using mac instead of linux is the high quality commercial softwares. Some of usefull apps to me don't have linux version, like photoshop, sketch, xcode, affinity designer etc. please don't tell me to use gimp (or wine version of Ps) instead of photoshop :|
I am a Linux Embedded Developer and daily drive Linux more or less exclusively. And if I had a free wish regarding the futures of OS, I would wish for Windows to die. But still I have to disagree with this article. Yes Linux is absolutely great especially for development and just from a technical perspective it is also superior to Windows in most things. Also many distributions are even easier to use than Windows for basic users (most people who say otherwise are just used to Windows). But there are no doubtedly issues with Linux. E.g. problems with drivers are a more common than on win, also drivers are not handled as uniformly as they are in the device manager on win. I quite often had issues with the pulse/alsa needing a restart on some machines. And issues with gnomes file manager especially regarding broken/removable drives and slow/disappeared network shares are definitely much worse than on Windows, maybe KDE is better there (never tried).
MS Office is definitely superior to LibreOffice, from a functionality, usability and design perspective.
Missing professional tools from many industries (Adobe Cloud, CAD, Video Editing and more) are a big issue.
Gaming is STILL an issue, yes a lot got much better. But there are more titles than just multiplayer ones which won't work. E.g. the newest AoE versions. Even if there are workarounds at least for me the one click Lutris way did not always work. Also VR support on Linux is pretty much not existing.
HDR is not supported on Linux and HDCP stuff is also not yet fully working. Getting streaming providers like Netflix to play in >720p is also quite a hassle if possible at all.
So I've used Linux since the 90's. It's was my main OS for close to 10 years.. I now run both Windows and Linux. I find myself on Windows more and more. From my personal experience it's easier for me to get everything I want set up. I do love my Linux though.. mainly the gnome desktop look. But Windows works well for me. I don't game, but I play CS:GO at times through Steam. It runs better in Windows, noticeably better. I only have Intel graphics and a Galago Ultra Pro from system76. I've put Windows on it in the past and it performed a bit better though I of course there were the long drawn out updates, everything else was good. My favorite game World of Tanks Blitz, does not run on Linux yet for that matter.
As far as dev, I do some web, python, rust, and now flutter dev and it all sets up and works perfectly well on Windows. A large portion of the core Rust team use Windows as their daily driver for that matter. But it all works ok under Linux.
Wow, I babble a lot... in the end, I have a Surface Laptop that is my main dev machine. I also have the above mentioned Galago that now has vanilla Ubuntu on it and is my secondary/sit on the couch and watch Tv while surfing machine.
I do love both OS's...and if I had the loot I would probably have a mac and enjoy that also. They are all just tools. These days they mostly do the same thing, one is no worse than the other really, it just depends on the look and function of the tool you want to use.
A user of any of the above can easily belittle the others and most of it will be based on opinion more than technical merit. Let's stop bashing everyone and work together to make awesome opensource software that runs on them all.
I can't speak to video creation, but I know quite a bit about audio - and anybody doing serious audio creation will find your section thereon far too dismissive of Windows.
As much as I love Linux, JACK is, while more flexible, seldom on par with ASIO on Windows performance-wise (at least on higher end cards that include its drivers, not cheap soundcards with ASIO4All if that's still a thing). Commercial Windows pro audio software (and even some free, like my beloved Jeskola Buzz) typically blows away Linux offerings. And neither are as good as MacOS (which, unbeknownst to many, has realtime audio by default at the OS level via CoreAudio).
With all of this said, I still prefer Linux because RT audio is so easy with even the cheapest of USB interfaces, and because free audio creation software was what got me into Linux in the first place (though I keep hoping to finally run Buzz without crashing in WineASIO, which would make the penguin all I ever need for making music).
Sorry but gaming on Linux is the one that's awful, the number of games is substantially lower, the driver situation with NVIDIA is terrible, the performance is worse than windows and try to install a game on another drive than your main one... Most triple A titles are not available and anti cheat software for multiplayer isn't as well resulting in hardly any multiplayer games.
Then there is the inherent user unfriendliness of Linux as well ; linux is great if you like to tinker and mess about with computers but really sucks when it comes to gaming.
Pretending it's better than windows 10 for that is just laughable.
I understand wanting to comment, but please understand that Linux has severely changed in the last 5 years. More games work on Linux than don't, NVIDIA drivers are no longer a problem, it's really just specific Anti-Cheat software. And as someone who is not very good with tech (I know, seems ironic, but I suck), I can say with more than enough confidence in my heart to say Linux is easier than Windows 10. Don't just take my word for it, a lot of family members who I have worked with (either young children or elderly) have all preferred using my Linux installs than Windows 10.
Considering your reply i think you are a casual gamer and for casual games there is absolutely no problem under Linux although the selection, again, is a lot less than under windows. For gamer playing Tripple-A games and anything with multiplayer, linux is just terrible. Hardly any choice, the frame rate is substancially lower and there is lack of stability.
I don't just take your word for it, i run Kubuntu on a second boot and it's ok for productivity but that's about it. I am an IT professional by the way which doesn't mean i am Einstein, far from it but it does mean that i know linux in and out as well as windows ; and take it from me linux desktop is not suited for gaming or serious productivity. It has less than 2% market share for a reason. Linux desktop is fragmented, buggy, and not ready for prime time.
While I am not quite as biased against windows as you are, I can say, if you gave me the choice between having a windows OS for free or paying $100 for the right to use linux. I would choose to pay for linux before using windows for free. Back in the day when I only knew windows, I thought it was fine. Then I started doing dev worked and switched to a mac. Then I started exploring linux distros for fun. After my first year using non-windows OS, I realized just how bad windows is...
There are indeed paid *nix, although I don't yet see a reason to get versions.
One word: support. Payed Linux distros allow you to let others resolve eventual problems, like drivers incompatibility or software installation. Letting the distributor pay for any malfunction.
Thank you, i am a begineer and was learning bash, when i hit the low in the learning curb, I definitely thought is it worth doing what i am... but this made my day, made me chuckle, and realize that i should not yet give up. Thank you!
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