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Discussion on: Best Laptops for Software Development in 2021

leob profile image
leob • Edited on

Gnome Classic (yes, Gnome Classic please, not that Unity thing which they're promoting on Ubuntu) looks just fine to me, but maybe I'm a bit more tolerant to that kind of stuff ...

I've used Linux for years and it was solid and reliable, so I have no idea what you're talking about when you say "Linux is constantly breaking something". It's more than 10 years ago since I last used Windows, but how many times has a Windows upgrade screwed things up badly? Too many times to count.

You may be right about some things like a higher chance of drivers missing or hardware not supported, but there are companies you can purchase laptops from with Linux preinstalled, and they will make sure that the hardware and the drivers work (including power management), meaning it's not really an issue then ... same situation as when you're buying a PC or laptop with Windows preinstalled.

And personally I don't use MS Office or Photoshop, so for me that's not an issue either (but obviously that's depending on personal needs and preferences then). If ever I'd occasionally had to use that kind of thing then VirtualBox worked well (with a "developer version" of Windows that's free to download).

Now for the upsides of Linux over Windows:

  • performance: Linux is way way way less of a memory and CPU hog, it runs rings around Windows performance wise ... it simply means that you'll be left with tons of usable RAM and disk, compared to Windows on the same hardware

  • for devs who prefer to work with the command line (which are many): Linux shell and terminal are vastly superior (even when taking into account improved Linux support under Windows via WSL)

  • the ability to install software and perform other (admin) tasks via the command line rather than having to do everything via a GUI is worth a lot to me (but again that's down to personal preference I suppose)

But I'll readily admit that I'm biased - I dumped Windows more than 10 years ago, switching to OSX and to Linux, and haven't looked back ever since ... whenever I'm forced to use a Microsoft product I notice that I dislike it a lot - and having to endlessly click around Windows config dialogs whenever someone asks me to "fix their PC" is something I hate with a vengeance, and try to avoid at all cost.

(Windows is the only OS that I've used which manages to have problems with something as basic as connecting to a Wifi network - I'm not kidding you, it happened to me AGAIN just a week ago with someone's PC - and no, I'm not going to waste my time fixing that, I told that person "sorry but this is Windows, life is short and I'm not ever going to waste my time again with this MS crap")

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wkrueger profile image
wkrueger • Edited on

Yeah windows is not immune to driver issues (it actually happens a lot, which usually culminates in blue screens, bad wifi etc). And yeah you can buy a System76 (but why when you can buy an M1?)

Ive used linux a while ago, but I also play games in this machine, so dual-booted. When I noticed I was managing to do all my dev work just fine, Ive never logged back in linux. Yes you can game on linux (ive done it), it runs fast, but its linux, its quirky, it has bad support.

I dont feel performance issues on windows, while in linux the UI frequently does not even run at 144hz for some reason (when moving windows, scrolling etc). I never have issues after the PC sleeps/hibernates, bluetooth and connected devices work great, the UI do change sound outputs is great. Face recognition login works out of the box. Discord on windows is not bugged...

While linux uses less memory, when you get to swap land even the mouse freezes, which is ridiculous. When windows swaps you dont even notice it. Id pick linux for an old computer (windows 10 really sucks for old computers) but I got no reason to use it in this PC.

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leob profile image
leob • Edited on

Gaming is often a reason for people to prefer (or even require) Windows ... well it shows that this is really down to personal preference and requirements - and everyone's experience with these systems or OS-es seems to be different, whether in a positive or in a negative way ... I think what's most important is that we have options, alternatives - what I wouldn't like is if we'd have ONLY Windows, or ONLY Mac/OSX, or ONLY Linux for that matter ... I would certainly dislike a monopoly, choices and options are a good thing.