Cover image for What OS do you use for development?

What OS do you use for development?

madza profile image Madza ・1 min read

Do you mainly develop on single OS or multiple OS on separate machines?

If you work with multiple OS on a single machine, do you prefer to use dual boot or virtualization tech like VirtualBox, WSL, etc?


Editor guide

I married to Linux Debian (Ubuntu) for almost 20 years. Using it for embedded, desktop, and web development. But, I still have Windows running Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in Oracle Virtualbox.


Just curious, how much RAM, CPU do you allocate to Windows in this case?


I will very honest with you. I only allocate 1 Core CPU and 512MB RAM for that Windows VM. Everything running smoothly and no graphic chopping at all. I never ever shutdown the WinOS. I use the Virtuabox Save State feature. The VM need few seconds boot up the WinOS and I straight away using only Adobe PS/AI. Then, the VM closing is also take few seconds. I've been let the settings stays in this way and using it like forever. My laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad X1.

My laptop screenshot


I am using Ubuntu, but it not very easy. The team is using Windows. Some of tools they use does not work properly on Ubuntu. Some others does not exists in the Ubuntu.


For database, use jetbrains datagrip on Linux systems


Make the Windows software run hybrid on Ubuntu by using Virtualbox and or WINE. But I never find any difficulty looking development tool for Linux.


If you need virtualization, KVM is more performant than Virtualbox. It's worth a little extra study to set it up, especially if you have an extra graphics card that can take advantage of GPU passthrough.

I would like to try on KVM one day. The GPU passthrough is an attractive feature to me. But Virtualbox works fine, the VM no lagging or choppy graphic on Adobe PS/AI. Just these two Windows softwares I have been using.


You make me less frightened. Almost all people around me are using Windows. Sometimes I feel a bit isolated. I use LibreOffice while people use Microsoft Office. People use MS SQL Management Tool while I have no other choice than SQLCMD in command line. This list is more longer.

You also use office.com if you want Microsoft services.

Yeah I agree with this. LibreOffice just doesn't cut it for some of the things I need to do. Office online is actually really good.


By the way I use arch.


I'm surprised this is the only Arch comment on here xD


Coz it's not that user friendly but once you master in it you will fall in love.


Lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


I grew up on Windows starting back with MS-DOS all the way to Win10. Vista broke my heart, so I started using Ubuntu for the first time (2008?), just to check it out. Back then, it didn't run Netflix (i think it couldn't install SilverLight at the time?). Ultimately, I switched back to Windows, but I set up a dual-boot and kept Ubuntu on another partition. Fast Forward about a decade and I started Developing. Windows 10 was a HUGE improvement, but I got really tired of waiting for everything to load. A program I really liked told me to check out Ubuntu, so I decided to give it another go.
Omg. Linux.
I never really used cli in windows that much, but I took to the terminal like a fish to water.
Open-Source software was a revelation to me (I only started developing 2 years ago, and got serious about it this year), so I started looking for alternatives to common windows programs all over the internet. I'll likely never pay for software again.
IT'S SO FAST!!! The only programs I usually have to wait to load for any amount of time are Chrome and VSCode. To get around this (mostly), I switched to chromium (though of course I still have chrome and firefox installed for browser checking). I currently HAVE to use VSCode, but I think I prefer Atom. They both have most of the same plugins, but atom just seems to run faster.
NOTE: Linux Gaming is Garbage. Not just a little bit, either. I tried to install SWTOR and SC2 using WINE and the entire experience was a nightmare. I know Steam for Linux came out, but the titles I would be interested in are not available for Linux (yet? see SilverLight). That will probably change in the future, as the Linux Community is growing rapidly, but for now I'll stick to console gaming when I want to play (there's something ironic to me in the fact that I have to do SO much work to play a game on Linux that it's just not worth it. If I'm gonna spend that much time trying to build something, I'd rather just BUILD something.)
That being said, I am interested in checking out Windows 10 with WSL installed. Will it be the best of both worlds, or a sludgy, bogged-down, productivity-draining mess? I'll find out when I get a new laptop with windows pre-installed. Until then, I'm sticking with Linux.


WSL is good. You should try it before you knock it. Specifically WSL 2.


how did you install it, i tried it and it was a mess with a
lots of error, in the end i had to go back to ubuntu, sorry my english isn't good

I used this guide: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/w...

I use windows 10. You need to upgrade to Windows build 1903 or higher for some features(docker etc). Also, WSL 1 was not very good imho. With this Windows build you can install WSL 2 which is (from my simple understanding) more of a Virtual Machine.


If you are running through terminal, you would treat this as localhost (it's pretty much a virtual machine). I use vs code and I would recommend using the plugin for WSL2. You can connect to a remote host (your linux vm instance) and operate on it.

I've ran a number of different projects from it, django, node js, docker django etc.

thank you man, I think the problem is I run my project without docker or any other supporting software :)) and that is a very bad idea.


Thanks for the extended insight πŸ”₯πŸ‘


I used Windows 7 + Kubuntu dual boot, but it was very cumbersome to have to switch between operating systems due to different features. I’ve also tried Linux running in VirtualBox for a short time, but it’s not effective in any way (it eats up a lot of resources, I don’t even get everything working in it, etc.).

Now I use only Linux Mint XFCE for work and dev (I realized that not only Windows but also KDE is redundant for me), Windows only for gaming with non-Linux friends.


Work dev: Mac.
Play dev: Ubuntu.




i prefer ubuntu over windows in development and os desktop features , the only thing that makes me reboot to windows sometimes is unfortunately Nvidia doesn't support linux distributions, so my ubuntu doesn't give a good performance in 3d running and video quality also ubuntu doesn't have a good support from softwares like unity for example , but generally ubuntu is really amazing os


Did you have the nvidia drivers installed?


yah i installed it but it didn't do its performance like in windows


Mac OS. I enjoy that I can simply focus on developing without having to do too much extra tweaking. I have used Ubuntu in the past, but have since made the full switch to Mac and iOS. I love Linux, I just don't have time for it most days.


For my own personal development work I ran Elementary OS (Based off Ubuntu) but I work off of Windows. With WSL I get all of the functionality of Linux that I need (like when I checkout BranchA and mean to checkout branchA and Windows thinks it's the same thing but Bitbucket knows better and we got some weird git stuff). I know that Windows isn't the absolute best OS for development, but there are a few tools that make it a great option.


All of our office computers run Ubuntu latest LTS version.

My laptop came Win 10 preinstalled, so I used it for a while until I saw a friend losing all his important work files to a ransomware.

Immediately switched to Linux Mint 20 and never went back to Windows again.


All of my work is on MacOS.


I switched from Windows 10 to Manjaro Linux (XFCE) in July. Best decision I've made in my life. Overall I do everything on Linux, but I have a virtual machine (Virtualbox) running Windows 10 in case I need it.


I wish I used Arch. I just can't set it up.


Then you could be interested in Manjaro. It’s based on Arch Linux but all setup (little downside, the packages are a little behind, at leat on stable. But not by much).

If you still want some control over the install, manjaro-architect is for you


The first time I setup arch, it took me 13 days to get it fully configured, before that it was a mess,

Then for work I switched over to manjaro, boot time was 1.9 seconds, yes, you press power button, see the vendor logo, count two, it asks you for password, enter your password, in less than a second, it's ready

It has taken me over a month setting up arch. Everything works except the desktop enviromnent. I've installed whatever I've been told to install. Done everything but zero. I get the GRUB terminal screen when I boot so I uninstalled it.

It had taken me multiple weeks too to install arch the one time I tried it (I managed to make everything somehow work, but not after a lot of painful retries and some refining after the install). On the plus side, I learned a lot, but not again for me. Manjaro fits perfectly my needs.

Did you install Manjaro with additional software or the lighter version

I used the standard KDE version because I loved the UI


I always use the latest ubuntu LTS since 2014, with Windows 10 in dual boot in case I need to make some UI/UX


Debian. It began as a test and it worked. Turns out Debian stable is good enough for a daily driver and for web development stuff. Though I am kinda tempted to try sparky linux, they have a semi-rolling release version based on Debian.


As a beginner, I use Windows 10. There's no real reason for me to invest time in finding the exact Linux fork that's perfect for my purposes when I already have something that works well enough. Perhaps if I continue coding I'll find something better, but right now I'm fine for as long Windows supports Visual Studio (forever), Microsoft Edge (until they become overconfident in a new browser technology and ruin everything), and the Adobe Creative Cloud app suite (most likely forever).


Theres also no reason to go outside your home when your home works well enough. ;-)


Well I am using Debian Ubuntu for Development and i absolutly Love it. I have my dual boot for windows as Photoshop, Illustrator and Games can't be run freely on Linux so that is why I use both and in windows changing PHP versions is easier so some projects which require different versions of PHP, I usually use windows for testing.



I've worked for four companies that made me use Windows. I've tried using Windows 10 with WSL, ChromeOS, and Ubuntu (both ARM and Intel) for weekend coding.

I'm done trying other things. If I need to test on Windows, there's always VMWare. For cross-platform browser testing, there's always Saucelabs.


I find using ubuntu on gnome great for work-related projects but when I really enjoy myself on Manjaro.

macOS for apple app development and design in Adobe XD.
Windows has been with me from childhood but now I only use it for all my games over the weekend.

In the end, I sometimes wish all the best part of theses operating systems could be added up in one


So I Prefer Windows Or Mac OS for Beginners It's easy to use and Actually I use Windows 10
For Web Development yaa...Linux,Unix are also good but I prefer Win and Mac OS for beginners
Edit:But Still It Will be hard to Change your Operating System for those who work on win They Will Face It Hard To Switch To Mac OS ,Of Course "Linux Is Freind Of Developers"πŸ˜„.


I have been using Linux for about 20 years. Initially it was a mix of Fedora, Slackware and others. Then Debian for some years, and Ubuntu for a few more. Finally I am settled on Arch and now Manjaro (which is a flavor of Arch). I have used Gentoo in between too.

I have a Lenovo IdeaPad S540 with 4 (soldered) + 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD with Windows 10 dual boot for DotA 2. I play regularly.


fMy first job as a dev i was using windows (windows 8 /8.1) it was around 2015-2016, setting up development environment is really hard it takes time. i was using laravel framework (php). then facebook introduce HHVM and i was curious and wanted to give it a try so i dual boot my machine with ubuntu after that my windows is just for gaming πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Microsoft is the standard at my current place of work. They even bought Surface Laptops for developers so Windows is the only option. At my previous job I also used Windows, but I could have used Linux (except for the occasional Word requirement). At my previous job I did not mind using Windows that much. But at my current job I do use Docker on my development system, and kind of rely on it. And this makes Windows a really annoying OS to work with. Docker for Windows is simply shit. The previous construction with the Hyper-V Linux image was a pain, and the new WSL2 based Docker for Windows is probably even worse.


Ubuntu GNU/Linux. I only use Windows 10 for gaming now.


Same here. I dual boot win 10 and Ubuntu. Windows for gaming and Linux for dev stuff.



As an additional funny anecdote since everyone else's answers are longer than one word, I lost a dual-boot to OS updates expanding into the other OS's boot sector, so I started thinking about VMs. VirtualBox and the like seemed to resource-intensive to realistically run Windows in, so I dug some more and found Xen, and was like 'hey, I'm supposed to be a developer, roight? I bet I can figure this out.' lol

In any event, like 2+ years later I wrote this: medium.com/better-programming/how-...
I still can't figure out how to do wifi or get sound, let alone pass through the GPU (like, even an Intel Integrated), but, progress.


I don't develop modern web apps, but I do program daily on both Windows 10 and whatever Linux APT/Debian based OS I'm on at the moment (usually Ubuntu).
I dual-boot 1 Desktop and 2 laptops, WIn10/Ubuntu 20 for mine and Win10/Linux Lite for my kids laptop, but I code on that at times as well. I have one desktop that's just Ubuntu my kids use.

I do pen testing, system recovery, and just random messing around on persistent live USBs, usually Debian and Bodhi Linux. I develop both single and cross-platform (some gui, mostly cli) for both OSes for a variety of reasons from gaming, system/file management, organizing my life, and educating my children about both life and programming.


i started with windows, but IMO windows is not good for programming, so i am migrate to ubuntu and mint, but on my experience ubuntu is not stable for me, so i choose macOS for daily use programming, which is the same as unix.


I run two VPS-es. An OpenBSD and a Void Linux one. I connect to them from a Windows computer.


At work we currently use Windows with a virtual machine called homestead. We use this application called vagrant to interact with it, bring it up and tear it down provision it etc and virtual box.

We have a want to find an alternative were thinking wsl2 and docker for windows in the future once we can spend some time learning and getting the setup right for our team. Probably early 2021.

Preferably we all had Macbooks (OSX) and could use something simple like Laravel valet but its just not on the table and doesn't quite meet our team needs. But it sure would be fast.


Monday : Ubuntu
Tuesday : Mint
Wednesday : Kubuntu
Thursday : Kubuntu
Friday : MacOs
Saturday : MacOs
Sunday : Manjaro
Sunday at 11PM : Windows(for GTA)


Hahah, this made my day πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
Must love the Linux, right? πŸ‘€


For sometime I have used MacOS as my main driver but I would do all my dev on a guest vbox instance of either Ubuntu or Debian on my work machine. On my home machine I have been distro hopping for a few years until the early part of this year as the pandemic settled in and home became my primary workspace. Now I run Debian (XFCE / i3) on my primary system with a vbox guest of win10 for the adobe suite. On various other machine I have proxmox and Xcp-ng running various virtualized workloads as well as a number of raspberry pi’s running headless with raspbian lite.


I use Ubuntu, a Linux distribution a lot.


I started using Ubuntu 20.04 for development!!!


I run Ubuntu 18.04 in a virtual machine for development on a windows workstation. I ssh into the VM for most of my work.


I mainly use windows because my university administrator doesn't allow changing operating systems so I also use a ubuntu VM sometimes.


Manjaro Linux (Arch)
If you don't need Windows/Mac specific apps/services Linux beats them all (IMO).
MacOS is okayish, but Homebrew package management doesn't seem as stable as Apt, Pacman, etc.


I mainly work with Ubuntu, I've tried all possible OS to work with but since i always deploy it to Ubuntu hence i settle down with Ubuntu.


Kubuntu on my last three MacBook Pros, and hopefully soon DDDominuXXX (my own opinionated Ubuntu/KDE setup for creatives and devs).


I am using Ubuntu to work and personal too


Work: Pop!_OS
Home: Windows 10 + WSL 2


In our company we are using Mac for development team


About 10 years now, exclusively Linux. Was Mint/Cinnamon/VSCode till recently. Now is Arch/Xmonad/Vim


I using Kubuntu for development


Manjaro always!