In the comments section of a recent Hackaday.com article about some Windows 10 updates, there was a lively discussion taking place regarding the merits of using Linux instead of Windows 10.
Many sung the woes of how awful Windows 10 is, how bad the updates are, and how switching to Linux saved them in some way or another. And if you’ve spent any time in discussion groups where Linux users congregate, you’re bound to have heard such things. And in fact, many of them have valid points! Linux is a great OS for a lot of things and when it’s right. But when it’s not…
Haters Gonna Hate
Despite that I ran Linux on the desktop for most of the 2000’s, my own experiences with Linux on the desktop since then have been mixed. I said as much in a comment on Hackaday and received some very interesting responses- and not all of them were telling me how wrong I was! Here’s the original comment:
…I’m going to say something that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows and maybe generate some hate mail:
Windows 10 is awesome. It’s got its quirks, but so does every Linux distro out there. I use Linux every single day of my life, but on my desktop, W10 reigns king. It Just Works. Yes, updates can be arduous. Yes, it has weird things about it that are frustrating vs how they were in XP. But is Linux immune to such things? One word: systemd. I’m not saying systemd is horrible or anything, just that the same argument that people who hate W10 over XP or 7 is used for people who hate systemd over sysinit. “change for the sake of change is bad!” while ignoring the growth that’s occurred.
I tried running my ham shack computer on various Linux distros, and while they worked, I didn’t feel like they worked *well*. And because my distro wasn’t supported well by a software maker (JS8Call) I had to wait a long time for updates, or compile it myself. No thanks. Back to W10. Linux won’t make it to the desktop until somebody can just point click install, and have it work without having to drop to a command line, and that experience is pretty hard to get in Linux.
I posted that, then braced for impact. What I got in response was not exactly what I expected!
“Thank you for championing the unpopular opinion… No version of Windows is perfect, but none have driven me away from the OS.”
“Agree totally. I have serious issues with Windows 10, namely the forced, unprompted updates which have killed overnight 3D renders more times than I care to admit, but 1, that seems to have been largely addressed in the past year, and 2, even with those setbacks, I’m still far, far ahead in terms of lost time than my attempts to use Linux.”
“Hackaday could add a private upvote feature just for comments like this. I also use linux frequently, though not every day as I’m not currently paid to use it. But there are some very real reasons to switch to w10…”
Whoa. It looks like this minority opinion isn’t such a minority after all. One commenter said something out loud that I’ve been thinking for a long time:
“I don’t foresee being able to use Linux as a primary OS anytime soon. The Linux community just doesn’t seem interested in acknowledging, much less addressing, it’s usability shortcomings. They instead roll out one distro after another differentiated by nothing more than UI skin and default set of pre-installed apps…”
Don’t worry, Linux is awesome too!
Now here’s the thing: I’m not against Linux. This Site is hosted on a Linux server that I configured. I run Linux at home, at work, on this server, on my Raspberry Pi, all over the place. I even have Linux on a couple of laptops for a rainy day. And when I am opening a known sketchy website (such as a hacked WordPress site) you can be sure I’m going to do it in a Linux VM.
Do I think that Linux is horrible and that everyone should switch to Windows 10? Not by a long shot. But I do feel that Windows 10 is the best tool for the job for me. My daily driver is Windows 10 because my workflow tools are there it fits my needs. For others, Linux or Mac is the best tool for the job, and for them, I applaud their use of the right tools for them. Because in the end, that’s what it’s about: Using the right tool for the job!
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Wait- that’s it?
By now some of you are saying to yourselves “There is nothing here but opinion and some loose evidence-free assertions that W10 is the right OS for the author.” That’s exactly correct. My point is that it’s the right desktop OS for me. Windows 10 is a good desktop OS, Linux is a good desktop OS, and yes, even MacOS is a good desktop OS (despite that I despise it). Each has the features, workflows, and software that make it the right choice for those who prefer it. And that’s the main point. The “Best OS” debate is moot- it’s completely subjective.