Linux vs Windows

Context I’m often asked why I prefer Linux over Windows, I figured a more comprehensive and permanent answer was in order.

A large part of my work on my PC is web development or computer programming. Ideally, the most suitable environment for that type of work is something reliable, customizable, and non-proprietary. Following this, Linux provides just that. It encourages open source contributions and has created many sub communities within its ecosystem which continually provides support for new technologies, and a more appealing appearance.

Windows on the other hand, although perfectly capable of handling a heavy development workplace, is not ideal because:

It’s proprietary

One of the biggest reasons why I don’t use Windows is because it’s built on proprietary software which often leads to vague or obscure documentation on some frameworks, or libraries. There is very little that you can do to personalize your workplace, despite having much more customization in Windows 10, it’s still not enough.

One of the integral parts of Linux is the ability to change absolutely anything, at your own risk of course. You can create your own themes, changing the color of title bars down to the actual kernel itself. It’s entirely up to you.

Large system overhead

Although there have been improvements in Windows 10 decreasing the minimum system requirements, Linux remains unparalleled. Windows has so many features (albeit useless to me) and applications that it can hold your system’s components hostage even at idle. Linux on the other hand can be run on the simplest of systems, for example a RasPi.

It targets a different audience

It may not seem so, especially with Microsoft’s recent efforts to support the open source community more, but Windows targets office productivity. Office productivity encourages plug-n-play usability and a restrictive environment, which is not ideal for someone who enjoys building and hacking things apart. The time that it takes to configure a development workplace on a Windows PC vs a Linux PC is very distinguishable. With Linux, it is much easier to debug issues because the directory structure is simple with well-defined standards. Whereas on Windows you are usually stuck with a particular structure and changing it can cause a lot of issues for internal applications.

In the end, Windows and Linux can achieve the same things, to a degree. However, being a part of the open source community and speaking as someone who values high customization over plug-n-play; I will always prefer the option that provides just that- a fully customizable, globally supported initiative to create a more open OS.