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Helix
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I have had the very same problems the author had with Linux, only with Windows. I have had countless driver crashes and Bluescreen™s, I have had Windows crap itself on updates countless times and every Win10 update they re-order the Settings app. Just recently a mandatory update which you can’t easily roll back as a regular user broke a lot of printers worldwide.

Every operating system is shit, Kev just happens to like the Windows 10 flavour of shite better than the Kubuntu flavour of shite.

[…] sheer number of ways to install applications. I had some that were DEBs, others were Snaps, a couple of Flatpaks and an AppImage to finish it all off.

In Windows, you have app stores like Steam, the Windows Store, Epic Games Launcher, random packages you download from untrusted sources, chocolatey.org. There’s a whole industry just packaging and re-packaging MSIs and similar software distribution methods. I’d say there are just as many package managers on Windows as on Linux.

whether it’s an EXE or an MSI, it’s all the same process. You download the package, click next > next > finish and you’re done.

Not really. Sometimes you have to log in. Sometimes you have to enter some weird key. Sometimes you need to hold your internet connection so the software can phone home. Examples are: Adobe software, Windows itself, Microsoft Office…

I don’t have to waste time troubleshooting a package that isn’t integrating with the system properly, or looks like it’s straight out of 1995 because no theming is applied for some unknown reason.

This happens on Windows, too. Every second app is a browser bundling some JS files sideloaded from an Internet server (e.g. Discord). Then there are pre-Win7 applications in 16 bit which can’t run at all, so you have to use a VM. Then there are applications which remove their theming. Some apply their own (Chrome), some completely disable them. At least in Linux I don’t have to reboot my computer because an app thinks grabbing the whole screen and not allowing Alt+F4 is a good idea.

all the apps that I use on Windows have an update mechanism within them

Dear Lord, how is that a plus point? Do I even have to comment on this? I prefer a single application updating all of my system’s packages. Which doesn’t really happen with flatpaks anymore, but that’s another battlefield. That the author prefers every single program to phone home is just their preference, neither a plus nor a minus point.

Firefox crashing pretty much every time I open it.

Someone fucked up their profile pretty bad. I have never had that happen, the worst problems were when they changed the plugin APIs to WebExtensions and redid the renderer and whatnot. Deleting the profile mostly worked. Firefox is an OS in and of itself, no wonder some weird edge cases crash your Firefox, Kev.

I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of heated responses to this post. I get it, Linux is better than Windows in a lot of ways. But, as much as I hate to admit it, Windows is better than Linux in many ways too.

That’s where you’re wrong, kiddo. Nobody cares which OS you use. And nobody should care. If you need a blog post to justify Windows for yourself or rant, fine. The post doesn’t go deeply enough into the reasons why the bugs happened because the author apparently doesn’t really care, so there’s not even much to respond to.

The issues are simply ones of the many thousands of edge cases which don’t happen on Windows because Windows is the OS used by >90% of desktop users. Statistically speaking, at least ten times more people are affected by any single bug, which means Windows gets priority fixes most of the time.


For most of these issues, you can buy support. You can pay people to do the stuff you want to be done. You can do it yourself. That’s not possible on Windows, because it’s so closed down that you can’t even change some system files when you’re Administrator, because there exists a SYSTEM account owning these…

Again, I’m not saying Linux is better than Windows, just that every OS is a different flavour of shite nowadays.

To add to that, I think the biggest difference is that with Linux at least you get to choose what you run and how it works. And there are plenty of Linux distros catering to different use cases such as running on older hardware. These are possible because Linux is an open ecosystem and if there is a group of users who want to use it in a particular way then they can get together and make a distro that serves their needs.

On the other hand, when you use a proprietary OS like Windows users don’t have any choice in how it behaves because the company making it decides this for everyone. The way I use my computer hasn’t really changed in at least a decade, yet in that time both MacOS and Windows have added a ton of shit to the OS making them sluggish and buggy without any clear benefit for a lot of users.

What I’ve learned over the years is that no matter how good a commercial product is, sooner or later either the company will go out of business or they will pivot in a direction that no longer fits your needs. This is a direct result of companies needing revenue in order to continue to exist.

I see commercial software as a risk and I prefer not to get too heavily invested in it whenever possible. A lot of commercial software is very useful, and sometimes there aren’t good open alternatives. However, whenever I have a choice I prefer to invest my time in open software because there’s a much higher chance that it will continue meeting my needs in the long run.

Helix
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if there is a group of users who want to use it in a particular way then they can get together and make a distro that serves their needs.

Good point! And not even users, you can also be a company which sells custom versions of “your” Linux, like Oracle does with Oracle Linux, Intel with Clear Linux, and some distributions like elementary OS even cater to end users.

You can’t just get Windows, slap another UI onto it and sell it. You can however customise Linux to the last bit of the Kernel to suit your organisation’s needs. That’s also one of the reasons 499 of the Top 500 supercomputers run some version of heavily customized Linux – it’s just not possible to do efficient supercomputing with Windows, because you can’t modify it.

What I’ve learned over the years is that no matter how good a commercial product is, sooner or later either the company will go out of business or they will pivot in a direction that no longer fits your needs. This is a direct result of companies needing revenue in order to continue to exist. I see commercial software as a risk and I prefer not to get too heavily invested in it whenever possible.

You talk about problems I associate with proprietary software rather than commercial software. In fact, if the software in question was commercial AND Open Source (which don’t contradict each other) you probably wouldn’t have issues with the company going out of business or pivoting.

If some company sells their product but makes it Open Source, that’s totally fine with me. In fact I’d love to pay more for Open Source Software but it’s either free or the business model is so complicated that I’d rather “pirate” it instead of jumping through the hoops. Patreon, Open Collective and similar donation platforms seem to slowly change this kind of economy, though.

Yeah, I completely agree with that. The main issue with software being closed, and funding projects is a really good way to ensure that they stick around. I support both companies working on open source projects and crowd sourced funding models. At the end of the day people have to eat, so they either work on projects off the side of their desks or do it as their primary job. The latter will generally result in more polished results.

Helix
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they either work on projects off the side of their desks or do it as their primary job. The latter will generally result in more polished results.

I wouldn’t generalise that much; many great projects have begun as side projects and slowly evolved into full-time gigs, only to devolve back into side projects. Apart from that you may still be right ;)

Of course, I mostly meant that people being able to work with funding tends to help polish things that aren’t fun to work on. :) I think the key part is that the project can go through phases of active development and being dormant without going away entirely for a very long time. Sometimes projects even become abandoned, but then new people pick them up at a later time. Meanwhile, proprietary software dies as soon as the company runs out of money or maintaining it stops being sufficiently profitable.

And another aspect is that the same project can end up moving in different directions via forks as well. GNOME is a good example where a lot of people didn’t like direction and made forks like Cinnamon that are now great projects of their own. Open source is truly a beautiful thing. :)

@PeterLinuxer
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I don’t want to mess with the system just to get it running. That’s why I don’t use BSD or Arch. (I use Xubuntu.) Surely Linux needs still more hassle than Windows to get things running, but it has improved a lot on that, and still is improving.

Also it’s just straight up punk and more free

Halce
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I never knew that the major complaints Linux-aware folks had against Windows was simply - regarding its stability!

Great write-up. I had similar problems with trying to get Linux; lots of manual work to keep it running. Even more so with Manjaro/Arch.

The breaking point was not being able to use a Sound Blaster audio card. Spent hours on that before just getting a simple external device for audio. Sounds not as good.

Sometimes I just want to get something done and not fuss with it.

Helix
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Sometimes I just want to get something done and not fuss with it.

The right tool for the right job :)

I recently had lots of problems with Docker on Windows while developing a Python application running in a Docker container. Once I copied the exact same repository onto a Linux machine, some of the issues (race conditions, certificate trust issues) just went away.

Anecdotal, sure, but most of the decisions for or against an OS are anecdotal. I’m just sad I’m stuck with Windows currently, because it seriously impairs my productivity.

@ajz
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@SameExpert
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

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