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There is no ideal OS for a programmer

31 Oct 2016 . category: os . Comments

There is no ideal OS for a programmer, for work and for home.

Written from JVM developer perspective. Maybe similar to all non-.net languages.


  • Most popular.
  • No one doubts, it is great for home use. It is tuned for that.
  • For work, it’s just not from Unix family, no central repository for development. Most servers are Linux-based, which are cheap, reliable and tuned for constant work.
  • You have here everything you need to work. But it is not easy to set up and to maintain…
  • Windows 10 has virtual desktops, at last!


  • Very good for work. What you learn here you can use it on the server side. Tools are easy to install and to maintain.
  • It sucks for a home usage… GUI environment is not tested well. It shares heart with servers but it is not enough. From time to time workarounds are needed.

If you want some fancy features that development do not need.. then you have to rely on work of not paid developers. If they have not done what you need then no private buisness will do it for you. In comparison to Windows, there is no big Linux group who pays for … anything.


  • Tend to be the best optimum for work and home use. It is designed for simple users and it is Unix based.
  • For work it is a bit worse than Linux. Default repositories are tuned for simple users, right?
  • 3D gaming, support of custom hardware, the great non-development experience is there for you.
  • Apple, with their products, shapes new global trends.


  • You have to learn new keyboard layout. Ctrl is cmd, super is.. arr, changing habits are hard.
  • It is so expensive. In Poland, it is even 30% more expensive than in the US.
  • Big user groups are only in rich countries. Do you want some gadget? Ship it from the USA.
  • Apple is giving new features intentionally with big delays. They do it for profit.. f.e. TouchId appeared 12 years after first biometrics readers apeared on laptop market and 3 years after they put it to iPhone.
  • Custom hardware often do not work with Macs if there are not designed specially for them. It raises the price of this whole set.
  • No numerical keyboard built in 15-inch Macs. If you don’t like the keyboard, then.. you can use external one ;P .
  • @2016 do you want TouchId? ok, you have to say bye to keys: esc, f1-f12.. Why? Because here developer is second class citizen… Simple users will benefit more from the dynamic touch panel. On Lenovo Windows laptops there is a similar story with F-X keys.

Now you see.

There is no clear winner here. If you have other solution then please share it in a comment.

For now I use Windows 10 and Linux(Ubuntu + Unity/Mate/Server or CentOs). With some virtualization skills and spare RAM I got best from two worlds.


Me: scala developer, father, husband and motorcyclist ;).