This is more of a sanity-check than anything. I’m not really sure what I’m expecting here.
To get it out of the way, I love Linux, but I do not like running it. Like, I love that you can get an entire OS for free, and it’s all open-source, but I still encounter less headache on Windows than I do in Linux.
The reason I’m making a post about this is because it’s weird having that opinion when it feels like every OS comparison I come across between Windows and Linux will inexorably tell you just how horrible Windows is compared to Linux.
Hence, this post as a sanity-check. Because for me, Windows has honestly been very pleasant (UX-wise, of course. Privacy-wise, it is still abysmal). It’s not perfectly smooth-sailing (Winget is no apt or dnf), but it’s generally smooth.
I have used Linux for four years now, and the amount of time I put into configuring things (such as QEMU or the nth problem with Nvidia drivers), as well as the distrohopping and whatnot, could honestly just as well be used to fix the things that annoyed me about Windows anyway.
So, does anybody else here feel the same way about Windows? Or have I just developed late-onset Stockholm?
I am in a particular spot as well, I use Windows Mac and Linux frequently and I do not a agree with many of the things being thrown around against all Operating systems… but this is, of course, fans being exited about their team and therefor have to throw shade against the others.
To give some more things that I encountered and why I personally use windows on some device:
Peripheral support is much better on windows
I hate that I have to lookup and hope that the hardware I buy will work with Linux, this is true for webcams, mice, headsets, some keyboards, most printers and so on… and when we started switching people in the office to Linux we had so much hardware that was incompatible all of a sudden, this can be e-waste that would not have been necessary.
Peripherals are sometimes an issue on mac as well, but with Linux this is more of the norm then the exception, especially with new hardware.
We dared to use USB C and Linux just is not there yet, with many peripherals designed to take advantage of this connection. My experience with contacting support of the Linux hardware vendor is always funny when you try troubleshooting issues related to USB C: “So what is the name of your USB C charger?” - “It is not a charger, it is a USB C Display!, that can also charge the Laptop…”
the old story about software not working
I don’t think I have to say too much about this, but over all, the issue is that this might impact some more then others, in a professional setting like mine, having the tools I know is just necessary, switching to something else, be it from mac to windows or windows to Linux, is too expensive in the time resources it would take.
advanced software issues
sadly the issues with software go a bit beyond the general topic from before. We use Jitsi at work, and screen sharing on Wayland does not work! I like using gnome, and gnome uses Wayland, so I cant share my screen, and we therefor have to use a mac for conference calls.
it is topics like these that make me, like you, wanting to use Linux more, but keep going back to other operating systems (where I need them)
I love the Gnome Desktop, I do think that the packaging system is a better way to distribute software, but as long as it requires so much additional work, I can not use it exclusively, and I will not recommend it to my mom who would call me all the time for troubleshooting reasons.
It does make the whole “Year of the Linux Desktop” ring a bit hollow when you hear and experience things like this. Of course, I \understand that a lot of these issues are from Linux’s unpopularity more than Linux itself, but acknowledging that doesn’t really make the problem go away.
For me, it’s also software support where Linux tends to start fraying. Stuff like Solidworks or games outside of Steam just don’t work. VMs carry an overhead performance cost, and they’re also finicky. Dual-booting is just outright annoying to do, and when both OSs are encrypted, makes getting data to the other OS a bit of a pain.
Nvidia sucks, as always. Even with the proprietary Nvidia drivers, my laptop never fails to overheat while not doing anything.
All of this said, it is a good thing that my major issues are all third-party stuff. Shows that outside of that, Linux is good enough to actually replace Windows. At the same time though, it is kinda sad that these issues are all things that the Linux community can’t really fix.
You’re going to hear different things from different people for sure.
I actually love every OS for different purposes. Huge fan of Linux for my personal life and any kind of development, but I despise Linux for video/photo production. MacOS is my happy place for creative work, and Windows is a place where I just know everything will work (from a software compatibility POV)
My largest issue with Linux, especially when it came to Techlore production, was what you described here:
When I’m working, I just want to work - I had this complicated Linux Host + Windows guest w/ GPU Passthrough config which made my life a living hell. It took numerous days to just set it up, updates would break things, some things never worked properly, and even after removing the VM and trying to move all production to Linux, I still dealt with issues that led to lost projects, lost time, and lost energy. I’m of the belief that if a tool is working against you, then it needs to go - and after trying to make Linux work for my production workflow for years, I gave up on it. Since moving to MacOS for production, life has been great
I like to look at operating systems as tools, and every person will have different needs/wants from a tool. Use what makes you happy, and screw the haters.
I assumed switching to Linux was one of those convenience <------> privacy/security balances one just has to deal with.
After perseverating for a few years I’ve finally decided on the distro I want to try as my main OS. (I don’t want to say what it is because I know I’ll get a million people telling me I made the wrong choice and I’ll be back in option-paralysis mode )
But since the laptop I will be converting over is used only for word processing, listening to music, and basic internet research, I’m hoping I don’t notice any inconvenience at all.
I never really thought anyone was arguing that Windows isn’t easier to use.
I started experimenting with Linux as a curiosity in the late 90s. When Ubuntu was released in 2004 I started dual booting (and distro hopping) with Windows but, whenever something didn’t work or was just different I went back to Windows (which was most of the time). After the release of Windows 10 I decided to “settle” on a distro and stop dual booting. I only use a Windows VM once a year to complete my taxes and now I think Windows is harder to use than Linux.
My experience has been varied. Windows 8 was such a clusterfuck that I have never looked back. Windows 10 might be better, idk, but windows 8 was completely unusable for me. Windows 7 was fine, until I accidentally bricked it trying to install bootleg alpha software cracks. Because linux works for me I just haven’t really considered window since then. However, my most recent experiences with windows weren’t any easier than with linux. E.g. when I installed windows 7 it didn’t have drivers for my wifi adapter that I had to hunt down and install.
Windows definitely has better software and hardware support. Especially when it comes to Nvidia, although I’m using an nvidia GPU now, if I were building a new box I would want an AMD GPU for linux. And many commercial / production grade software is only available on windows, which I don’t need. Supposedly Steam’s proton project is making gaming more viable but idk, don’t play games much anymore. Basically, for my use cases, I don’t need windows, but I understand that for other use cases it is necessary.
One thing that is rarely mentioned about switching to linux is that a lot of it is unintuitive. There is an enormous amount of legacy that linux tries to maintain backwards compatability with. So the FHS is esoteric (where are my programs stored? In a bunch of different root folders), CLI invokations (“pwd”, “cp”, how do I update?) are esoteric, etc. Once you get used to it or if you’re an old man who started with UNIX it makes more sense, but learning how things work is simply more challenging than on windows which is designed for new users to be able to figure out how to do what they want to do without having to read man pages. Not to mention, when you ask for linux support you get useless bs like “read the man pages” when that wouldn’t even answer the questions you’re asking in the first place. So I wouldn’t say that windows is easier to use, but easier to learn how to use.
I have the same opinion, honestly, (except the MacOS part. I haven’t used a Mac in a long time, so I can’t comment on that).
Yes, exactly! For me, the software was/is Solidworks. I’ve banged my head against the wall so many times trying to get that software running on Linux, and while I eventually did get it running, the UX and performance isn’t pretty. I haven’t tried to do VFIO, but it took so long to get to this point and when I can’t even guarantee that the UX is going to get better, I just have to ask myself if it’s worth the time.
I could set up a dual-boot, but sharing files between two encrypted OSs is always a bit of a pain, and dual-boots are just a bit of a pain in general, to be honest.
You’d be surprised. You’re one of the first people I’ve heard put it that way. Like, everyone does say that privacy and convenience are on a scale, but in my experience, it’s usually generally implied that Linux is on par with Windows, and it’s not a drawback at all to switch to it.
Of course, whether they’re right or wrong depends on your situation.
You probably wouldn’t in that case. Linux is fine for things like that.
I do wonder sometimes if a lot of Linux users just find Windows annoying to use when they try it out because they’re not used to it. Then again, a lot of stuff like the privacy toggles and ads in Windows Explorer (is that still a thing?) are stuff you really shouldn’t be getting used to.
For me, I’ve used both as I said for a long time. It’s not that Windows is generally easier than Linux to me. They’re pretty much the same-ish because I’m used to both of their quirks by now. It’s just that Linux has those edge cases where it kinda becomes complex out of the blue.
I didn’t realize how good I had it on my first laptop with an AMD GPU.
And Proton is getting there, but from what I remember when I checked their website a few weeks ago, a lot of the games are still “Gold” or lower, so tweaks are still a thing.
One thing that’s always funny to me is how some post’s first comments when somebody says they have an issue is to try an entirely new distro lol.
Desktop Environments are at a point that the user shouldn’t need to interface with commands that much anymore. Personally though, while I am perfectly happy to use the interface for cp, mv, passwd, updating is still something I like to do through the terminal.
Not just that Windows is easier but it does actually just work for me regardless of what hardware i use. I did not have the same experience after distrohopping this year trying to find something that just works OOTB with my desktop and Intel 12th gen laptop.
With my gaming desktop Win 10 is where i´ll stay until MS ends support for it in 2025 and then i´ll have to re-evaluate things and see where i will end up. This is just because this is the easiest and safest thing…Basically the smallest risk of anything breaking.
Though i am hoping that i can switch over my laptop to Linux at some point soon because i have started to like how stock Gnome looks and feels and can see it being a viable option for my laptop usage and needs.
Windows cannot be made fully or even very trustworthy at all in security without disabling major functionality if then. In the 21st century who needs their freaking proprietary drive letters, path separators etc. Who needs their gather your info and make it available to 3rd parties bullshit? Who needs their specialized proprietary and expensive for full development stack? I will grant that games work generally better. I would have been far happier as a developer if Microsoft had kept OS/2. It was much better in many respects.
In Linux I have zero time wasted on Ubuntu and Fedora stacks. So that is hardly a reasonable critique.
I prefer the easier-to-use Linux distros like Ubuntu and Mint
Been using Linux Mint for years and years and for a non-techy person like myself I’ve never really had any massive problems with them
(Privacy don't mean shit without Security)
Unpopular opinion: Linux is just not there yet. Linux is an insecure mess. Each dev having a different view that the other dev in the project and at the end of the day what you get is a compromise of opinions formed by all the devs. Lack of standardization of packages and SDKs for Linux just makes it harder to develop for Linux. Name one company willing to hire GTK devs. It’s because GTK coding is at this point coding with a blindfold on. No Quality Control on packages (except some distros like OpenSUSE and Fedora). Linux really is for servers and even in that area it sucks (BSDs are better). Linux is a piece of shit (Both Kernel and the Desktop packages). Embrace QubesOS and GrapheneOS.