Best OS for Programming | Apple, Windows, Linux?

For most developers, knowing the best OS for programming is essential. Programming is an evolving field of study which is constantly growing and constantly attracting new people. This is particularly the case since last decade or so. Suddenly everyone wants a programmer in their company to help them with various personal projects.

Most people use their computers, tablets and mobile phones without asking themselves how that particular device works. Additionally, when anything goes wrong while a regular person is operating the device, he or she will have no idea what to do.

Because of that, it’s of huge importance for people to try and learn more about technology.  It has become an unavoidable part of their lives. People don’t know that computers are actually stupid and that someone has to tell them exactly what to do. That someone is a programmer and those instructions given are programs.

Let’s Choose Our Candidates

In this article, we’re going to discuss the best OS for programming and what makes that operating system better and different from others. For starters, we should acknowledge that most programming languages, as well as developer tools, are cross-platform. That means the software we mentioned has a specific version for each OS.

Three operating systems will be compared in this article. You can already guess that those are Windows, Linux, and MacOS (or OS X). These operating systems are the most popular ones in existence, with each one offering some certain characteristics and flaws. Let’s start with the MacOS.

An Apple a Day

best os for programming

Is this the best os for programming? MacOS was previously named Mac OS X, and it’s the operating system which comes preinstalled on all Apple’s Macintosh computers. It’s the second most widely used OS in the world, coming second to Microsoft’s Windows.

MacOS is based on UNIX, an OS which powers most servers in the world. That is its number one advantage since most companies require UNIX knowledge. Additionally, Apple has very strict policies when it comes to license. If you want to develop software for any Apple device such as iPhone, iPad or a Macintosh computer, you will have to use MacOS. However, you can use Mac OS X to develop for any other platform.

Most developers choose Mac OS X because they want to avoid incompatibility issues they would run into if they used Linux. They sometimes avoid Windows claiming that Windows interface is complicated and you can’t really see “under the hood” to fully understand what is going on when you write the code.

Also, it must be mentioned that Mac OS X is really fast and user-friendly. It’s generally believed that developers and developing firms use MacOS.

Does the Penguin Stand a Chance?

best os for programming

Linux is a free, open-source computer operating system which sort of resembles UNIX. This factor for many qualifies it to be the best OS for programming.

Around 2.3% of all desktop computers use Linux as its operating system. There are many different Linux distributions, but they all share pretty much the same characteristics when it comes to programming. Linux is an excellent choice for new programmers because it is easy to install.

It is well supported for many programming languages, and there are many different coding applications.

On the downside, however, there exist a few programs which are exclusive to oWindows and Mac OS X. For example, Adobe Photoshop doesn’t support Linux, and you will have to try out different alternatives for your photo editing needs.

The great news is that you can easily dual-boot it alongside Windows or some other OS. Therefore, you can give this operating system a try easily.

A major issue lies in the compatibility. Not all hardware and software support Linux, and you will need to look up online every time you want something new installed. Feel free to try it out. The installation is as simple as downloading the necessary files from the Internet, burn them to a DVD and start the installing it.

Does Windows Deserve the Hate?

windows for programming

Microsoft’s Windows is the most popular operating system in the world with most PCs and laptops coming preinstalled with this OS. The idea of creating Windows made Bill Gates a multi-billionaire, and almost every ordinary person considers Windows as the best solution for their computer.

However, some developers disagree. Some developers say that Windows is not the best solution for programmers since it can be difficult even to begin. Windows does not come preloaded with any useful applications for coding, and you will have to download everything yourself.

Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world, and it is logical that almost every piece of software in existence is designed to function on Windows-based computer fully. You certainly won’t face any incompatibility issues with any hardware or software.

It should be understood that Windows is made and designed for the average consumer. Most people don’t bother even to comprehend what is going on when you open a certain program. Windows is often criticized for being slow and unresponsive.  It should be realized that the sole purpose of Windows was not to write code on it but to appeal to an average Joe.

Who Wins the Race for Best OS for Programming?

There is no winner. If we asked five programmers about their favorite operating system, we would most certainly get five different answers. Everyone has their own taste. Programmers use the operating system which allows them to express their skills and knowledge fully. You should make your choice by checking out the price, the interface and supported programming languages and software.

There is a general advice which can be given, your best OS for programming is the one that you will develop for. For example, if you want to develop applications for iPhone, use MacOS for development. If you want to produce software for Windows, it’s easier to do it on Windows than to torture yourself with dual-booting on a Mac OS X or Linux.

The winner is whatever you choose it to be. It depends on what you want do so don’t hesitate to start programming today on any operating system!

What About the Chrome OS?

You may have heard about this operating system now and then. In fact, recently it has become quite famous. This is the only purely cloud-based operating system in existence. It comes pre-installed with Google Chromebooks. These are a breed of laptops that highly inexpensive, light, portable, low-powered and compact. They do not have the best of the hardware since they rely on the cloud performance.

Coding on Chromebook is an interesting question. Instead of installing standalone software, you would be using editors that are cloud-based. Some these coding software require internet, while others can be worked offline. The future could well be with Chrome OS.