Linux vs Windows: Which System to Choose… Jamie Reid

As a developer with experience in different programming languages, frameworks, and systems, Jamie has delved into which one he believes is better for a developer. He wanted to share his knowledge with Joppy… and with all of his readers.

Jamie Reid is an experienced Senior Software Engineer. With a passion for programming since childhood, he excels in coding, scripting, and tinkering with languages like C++, Java, and systems like Linux. His diverse background includes teaching programming classes, contributing to notable projects at Thales, freelancing on platforms like upWork, and consulting for a Spanish firm. He found his true fit at OpenBravo, where he continues to thrive professionally. With his expertise and dedication, he brings valuable contributions to OpenBravo’s projects, driving innovation and success in the field of software engineering.

The transition from Windows to Linux is not always easy; sometimes, I still go back to Windows from time to time, but gradually, I’m getting used to Linux until I use it exclusively. That’s why I believe I can speak on this topic, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both systems from personal experience. The key question is: Windows or Linux?

Don’t become overly dependent on an integrated development environment (IDE). Even though it does the work for you, it’s also good to work with code “manually.”

Features of Linux vs Windows

GNU/Linux is an open-source operating system. It’s free software. You can modify, distribute, and access the source code freely. This is what has propelled it to stardom. Linux can be customized; it has various user interface (UI) configurations, some resembling Windows, others not… so you don’t have to use the UI if you don’t want to. It offers flexibility.

Is Windows an open-source operating system? No, it’s closed-source, which means its source code cannot be decompiled, recompiled, modified, or redistributed without Microsoft’s authorization. Windows cannot be customized in terms of the UI at all, but you have everything available to you right from the start. It offers stability.

So, is as much customization as in Linux necessary, or is it better to have everything pre-configured like Windows?

Linux, being open-source, is used by those kinds of users willing to help you fix an error. Millions of people act as a support service. Windows is a paid service with updates that can fix bugs… but you’ll have to wait, sometimes even months.

The open-source nature of Linux is fantastic because as soon as an error or something that fails is noticed, the entire community works to fix it within days.

Benefits of one operating system over the other

In my opinion, these are the advantages of Linux:

  • Cost-effective (it’s obtained for free)
  • Different types and versions to choose from
  • Completely customizable (from the core to the user interface)
  • Long-term support (3 to 5 years without rebooting)

In my opinion, these are the advantages of Windows:

  • User-friendly (and widely known)
  • No need for extensive technical knowledge
  • Extensive compatibility with various software
  • Official support

Using Linux… or using Windows?

Windows is perfect for the world of gaming: if you’re a gamer, you can’t be 100% on Linux.

For example, the company I work for uses hardware, which is why they use Linux. You can’t use Windows on a small device, but you can use Linux in those cases, like a POS, for instance.

Almost all available cloud environments are based on Linux, but tools are also available for containers like Docker, both on Windows and Linux. So, no matter which platform you’re developing on, you can still set up a cloud computing environment, although it will be based on Linux. Someone within the company should verify compatibility with Linux.

Advice: everyone uses integrated development environments (IDEs) on Windows, but when using Linux, I’ve been relying on that and am relearning to use my skills (coding manually). Using Linux without it definitely makes you a better developer… and adds an additional skill to market yourself as a developer.

As you may have guessed, I am in favor of Linux. I think it’s better not to rely on specific software, to be able to count on a community of millions of users willing to improve the system, and for you to create your own version.

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