Are you a Linux user or Windows user? Or maybe a macOS user?

Are you a Linux user or Windows user? Or maybe a macOS user?

  • Linux

  • Windows

  • macOS

  • All of the above

  • Other (please specify or discuss)


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TrashyMG

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Windows looks like its derived from CP/M.
DOS was derived as a CP/M clone, so very similar and Windows was essentially built on top of DOS until Windows NT came along. Windows NT was developed to be OS/2 3.0 which Microsoft at the time was co developing it with IBM, however the relationship soured and they came out with NT on their own and geared it to servers as it was an OS friendly to different CPU architectures. So essentially Windows 1.0 - Windows ME were all DOS based, Windows 2000, XP and everything past that is built on Windows NT...
 

DrasticNerd

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I use several flavours of Windows, Linux and Android on a regular basis. Horses for courses.

A non-exhaustive list following:
  • Linux for Pandora :p&|a: (And on several other Linux handhelds but those are no longer used regularly)
  • Various Linux OS installed on several flash drives so I have portable OS by booting from USB sticks ;)
  • Android for my cheap 'no name brand' tablet which I only use for e-reading
  • My gaming computer is perma-offline and triple boot - Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10. (Windows XP is necessary as some older games don't play properly in a 64 bit OS and why virtualise the OS when you can easily run the real thing?)
 

ckblackm

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Most of my computers run some variant of Linux, although I do have a couple with Win10 on them (my microPC and a laptop... mainly to run tax software on).
My "main" computer runs Linux Mint... I use it for gaming (mostly blizzard games) as well.
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
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DOS was derived as a CP/M clone, so very similar and Windows was essentially built on top of DOS until Windows NT came along. Windows NT was developed to be OS/2 3.0 which Microsoft at the time was co developing it with IBM, however the relationship soured and they came out with NT on their own and geared it to servers as it was an OS friendly to different CPU architectures. So essentially Windows 1.0 - Windows ME were all DOS based, Windows 2000, XP and everything past that is built on Windows NT...
Yes, I was being more than a little flippant there. But a DOS like terminal is still part of NT based windowses, with their drive letters and backslashes that came from CP/M (maybe powershell is different, but I've not had the opportunity to play with that yet). In a similarly flippant manner, the WinNT kernel reportedly has more than a little similarity to VMS, but I dunno about that personally.

I'm not convinced that WinNT was truly derived as part of the OS/2 stream. Microsoft have a long history of looking for something to replace DOS, they started off in the early 80s with Xenix, then switched to OS/2, and by 1990 switched again to WinNT. I know what Wikipedia says, but Dave Cutler joined Microsoft after OS/2 had been released. In terms of the project structure internal to MS it may well have started out as OS/2 3.0, but in terms of the raw code and kernel behaviour, it was Dave Cutler's project, not an OS/2 project.
 

TrashyMG

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I'm not convinced that WinNT was truly derived as part of the OS/2 stream. Microsoft have a long history of looking for something to replace DOS, they started off in the early 80s with Xenix, then switched to OS/2, and by 1990 switched again to WinNT. I know what Wikipedia says, but Dave Cutler joined Microsoft after OS/2 had been released. In terms of the project structure internal to MS it may well have started out as OS/2 3.0, but in terms of the raw code and kernel behaviour, it was Dave Cutler's project, not an OS/2 project.
Well what I understand the project started as a re-invention of OS/2 for IBM, a completely new code base. It was shifted into NT after things got rough between Microsoft and IBM, but the intentions prior to this shift was to be OS/2 compatible. I only have Wikipedia and a few articles to go on so hard to say anything 100%.
 

ssokolow

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So essentially Windows 1.0 - Windows ME were all DOS based
That's not quite accurate.

[...]
MS-DOS served two purposes in Windows 95.
  • It served as the boot loader.
  • It acted as the 16-bit legacy device driver layer.
[...]
Once in protected mode, the virtual device drivers did their magic. Among other things those drivers did was “suck the brains out of MS-DOS,” transfer all that state to the 32-bit file system manager, and then shut off MS-DOS. All future file system operations would get routed to the 32-bit file system manager. If a program issued an int 21h, the 32-bit file system manager would be responsible for handling it.
And that’s where the second role of MS-DOS comes into play. For you see, MS-DOS programs and device drivers loved to mess with the operating system itself. They would replace the int 21h service vector, they would patch the operating system, they would patch the low-level disk I/O services int 25h and int 26h. They would also do crazy things to the BIOS interrupts such as int 13h, the low-level disk I/O interrupt.
[...]
In other words, MS-DOS was just an extremely elaborate decoy. Any 16-bit drivers and programs would patch or hook what they thought was the real MS-DOS, but which was in reality just a decoy. If the 32-bit file system manager detected that somebody bought the decoy, it told the decoy to quack.
[...]
(The idea being "If they didn't care about compatibility with legacy hardware, they'd have bought Windows NT".)

Speaking of which, the mixed opinions on Windows ME are down to a similar compatibility hack that didn't go as well.

Windows ME supports two different generations of driver APIs but, if you mix drivers from both generations, you're likely to get instability. People who tried it with earlier hardware (eg. upgraders) remember it as instability hell. People who bought hardware that was new enough to be entirely on the newer model remember it fondly.

[doublepost=1567326984,1567326082][/doublepost]
But a DOS like terminal is still part of NT based windowses, with their drive letters and backslashes that came from CP/M
The drive letters came from CP/M and DOS didn't gain the concept of folders until 2.0.

The backslash as a path separator came about because, for DOS 1.0, IBM supplied various utilities and chose to follow DEC convention in using / to signal a command-line switch, rather than the UNIX convention of -. Then, for DOS 2.0, they couldn't break backwards compatibility when they introduced folders, so they went with the next-best thing.

Here's a little known secret about MS-DOS. The DOS developers weren't particularly happy about this state of affairs - heck, they all used Xenix machines for email and stuff, so they were familiar with the *nix command semantics. So they coded the OS to accept either "/" or "\" character as the path character (this continues today, btw - try typing "notepad c:/boot.ini" on an XP machine (if you're an admin)). And they went one step further. They added an undocumented system call to change the switch character. And updated the utilities to respect this flag.

And then they went and finished out the scenario: They added a config.sys option, SWITCHAR= that would let you set the switch character to "-".

Which flipped MS-DOS into a *nix style system where command lines used "-switch", and paths were / delimited.

I don't know the fate of the switchar API, it's been long gone for many years now.
but the intentions prior to this shift was to be OS/2 compatible.
That's an understatement. the NT kernel has a concept of "subsystems", with things like drive letters being part of the Win32 subsystem. It was originally intended to have OS/2, Win32, and POSIX subsystems and Windows 10's WSL is the latest incarnation of the POSIX subsystem. Internally, it uses a singly-rooted hierarchy that outdoes UNIX on the "everything has a path on the same tree" front.

NTFS is also set up that way, with both Win32 and POSIX personalities. That's why WSL can have case-insensitive files with special characters that Win32 tools have trouble with and why, if you mount an NTFS drive on Linux, you can confuse Windows tools with names that differ only in case. (eg. If you try to delete one, you're likely to delete all of them.)

Heck, internally, the NT kernel's object manager actually allows a wider range of characters in filenames than POSIX because it uses counted strings rather than NULL-terminated ones, so it can use NULL as a character in object paths, leaving the path separator as the only character that cannot be used in names.

...though Linux still beats Windows NT for path length. Both impose a 255-character limit on filename lengths, but, even if you opt out of the legacy 260-character path-length limit on Win32 APIs (Chosen because C:\<256 chars>NUL for historical reasons), the NT kernel's counted strings impose a hard limit of 32,767 characters in a path. Linux, on the other hand, does have path APIs in the C standard library which are limited to 4096 characters, but it's possible to work around them and then there's literally no hard-coded limit to how long a path can be on Linux.
 
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levi

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Yes, in the linux world they're still arguing over the best way to handle filesystems that don't care about case sensitivity. For me personally, the number of times I connect an NTFS drive to my linux computers has dropped since I started sharing folders from the windows device and mounting it over cifs from linux, thanks to them being addressable from the same network.

Edit: And I have no problem with the Windows kernel and filesystems being able to do things linux can't. They're extreme corner cases mainly for me, and even if it could do something I would quite like to use, there are other reasons why I won't install windows on any of my machines.
 

levi

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Linux has at least in the heart of the mainstream already lost of the phone space, and the tablet space. And to a slightly lesser but still massive extent, the laptop/desktop space. It only really had a foothold in the server space.

The benefit that Linux (as a desktop OS with the GNU toolchain) has is that even if it's only serving a couple million desktop users, therefore individual projects only maybe a few dozen users, it doesn't really matter; they're not paying for it. The only benefit you get from users is bug reports, and even then that's a little bit of a double edged sword.

And even if Linus does get speared, or just one days says 'fuck it' and goes back to his day job and an easy life, just looks at the contributors to the kernel these days. Linus goes on holiday and Greg steps in and does basically the same job. I guess his main value these days is really in code reviewing the crap that intel and others submit (no idea if intel is the worst contributor, but it's just my default big tech firm who does contribute these days).
 

ClockworkCoder

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Nothing short term. But see how Andoid pushed Linux out of mobiles.
Keep your eye out for Embrace, extend.... or maybe this? Seems similar to WikiLeaks...
Link appears to be blocked / unavailable for me (I have quite a pessimistic hosts file...).

I do wonder sometimes what would become of Linux without Linus at the helm. Or to FOSS without Stallman.
 

ssokolow

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Yes, in the linux world they're still arguing over the best way to handle filesystems that don't care about case sensitivity. For me personally, the number of times I connect an NTFS drive to my linux computers has dropped since I started sharing folders from the windows device and mounting it over cifs from linux, thanks to them being addressable from the same network.
Yeah, because it's a hard problem. Case-folding requires massive Unicode tables and it differs from locale to locale. I think I remember reading that NTFS bakes in a copy of the Unicode case-folding table as the OS knew it at the time and in the locale the drive was formatted.

(And it's an infamous i18n problem that programs which rely on case-folding tend to break when you try to run them in a Turkish locale, where lowercase dotted I and uppercase dotless I are not equivalent.)

From a technical standpoint, it makes a lot more sense for a filesystem to be accessed as a tree of literal tokens (ie. case-sensitive file and folder names) which are handed around without modification and just happen to have meaning to humans. (Though I'll definitely agree that mojibake from making the character coding out-of-band information is a mistake.)

That said, NTFS isn't a case of Linux being unsure how to handle it. It's using NTFS's POSIX personality exactly as it was intended. The problem is that, because "Nobody really uses NTFS's POSIX personality" was the de facto standard for so long, Windows's built-in options for file management access the filesystem through the Win32 personality, which has limitations.

Edit: And I have no problem with the Windows kernel and filesystems being able to do things linux can't. They're extreme corner cases mainly for me, and even if it could do something I would quite like to use, there are other reasons why I won't install windows on any of my machines.
Nor I. I just find it fascinating to see exceptions to the "POSIXy OSes can do anything that is doable and, if they don't let you, it's an artificial restriction to preserve sanity" trend. (eg. Disallowing hardlinks to directories so that all it takes to keep the filesystem an acyclic directed graph is to not resolve symlinks.)

Nothing short term. But see how Andoid pushed Linux out of mobiles.
Keep your eye out for Embrace, extend.... or maybe this? Seems similar to WikiLeaks...
You always want to double-check with alternative sources before believing what you read on Breitbart. They've been caught fabricating or twisting things many times. (Heck, their Wikipedia page is mostly a list of well-known examples of Breitbart getting caught in fabrications, such as the claim that the October 2017 Northern California wildfires were started by an illegal immigrant which the Sonoma County Sheriff's department responded to with "This is completely false, bad, wrong information that Breitbart started and is being put out into the public.".)

That aside, if you're worried about that, I'd be more worried about FreeBSD than Linux. According to the commenters on Phoronix, the FreeBSD Code of Conduct considers "virtually hugging" someone in a chat channel without their permission to be equivalent to doing it physically without permission and unacceptable.
 
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second exodous

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Linux Mint for my notebook and desktop and I guess Raspian for my retropie setup. So 100% Linux. I sometimes install windows on virtualbox to say update the firmware on 8bitdo controllers and the like.

I figure windows is just for games and specialized software. If you don't need it then I say avoid it. I don't need it, all my gaming is done through either emulation, on console, or has a native port on Linux.
 

ssokolow

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Oh, yeah. This thread was about what we're running.

I've been 100% Linux (except for my airgapped retro-nostalgia PCs and BSD-based routers) since 2002, when I got fed up with Windows XP and switched to Mandrakelinux 10.0 mid-way through a game of Dungeon Siege.

About a year later, I switched to Gentoo Linux and stayed on it until I needed to reinstall and didn't have time to rebuild everything from source, so I switched to Lubuntu Linux 12.04 because it was during that window when KDE 3.5 wasn't being distributed anymore and KDE 4.x was unacceptably buggy.

I then upgraded to Lubuntu 14.04, let KDE components trickle back in, and I've been on what is effectively Kubuntu 16.04 since 14.04 LTS fell out of support earlier this year while I squash the bugs introduced by moving from Upstart to systemd, KDE 4 to KDE 5, etc. Once I've finished clearing out under-considered hacks on my part or rewriting bits that KDE is taking in a direction I don't like, I'll upgrade to 18.04 LTS since that's the newest 5-year Long Term Support release at the moment.

As for the the aforementioned retro-hobby exception, I have an AST Adventure 210 (133MHz P1) dual-booting DOS622/Win311 (with a bunch of FreeDOS bits like ANSIPLUS, 4DOS, UIDE, SHSUCDX, and CTMOUSE mixed in) and Windows 98SE, sharing a KVM switch with an Athlon64 3200+ running Windows XP. Details and photos here.

...oh, and, of course, the specialty stuff, like the aforementioned BSD-based routers, OpenELEC-based (Linux-based) media center thingy, Rebirth-edition pandora (which I need to send in to have a cracked hinge replaced), and my Sony PRS-505 eReader which is technically running Linux-based firmware even if all I've really done with it is apply a customized update to the last version of the firmware ever released that bakes an "if found, call ..." message into the logo graphics.
 
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Inferrrer of Types Dr. λ

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Nothing short term. But see how Andoid pushed Linux out of mobiles.
Keep your eye out for Embrace, extend.... or maybe this? Seems similar to WikiLeaks...
For a second I thought that you were referring to the fact that Microsoft is now a Platinum member. Although now that you mention EEE, EEE is something that Microsoft has tried multiple times in the past.

Personally I am not as trusting towards Linux as I used to be. After M$ became a platinum member I looked at the list of Linux Foundation members and there are a lot of organisations which I do not trust there.

But GNU/Linux is still pretty libre and I really like NixOS. Besides, what will I go to? Windows? macOS? Those are too restrictive and even less trustworthy. Maybe I'll try GNU/Hurd, BSD, or Linux Libre someday. Those can probably also run Nix, or maybe Guix which appears to be similar.
 

FBnil

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I do wonder sometimes what would become of Linux without Linus at the helm. Or to FOSS without Stallman.
Just like that one guy that maintains the time-shifting tables. Yeah, it takes a good leaders to keep the FOSS jenga tower upright. There are capable people that could pick that up, but I do not know if they have the charisma.

The attacks on FOSS come more often now. Remember secureboot, that did/does not let unsigned (read: Linux) OS'es boot?
The computer Industry is using RedHat (bought by IBM) or Centos (a derivate). Not sure if this is a good thing (keeps RH away from the industry juggernauts) or a bad thing (everything rebranded and Centros gets... not dropped, but transformed, with less working code as an incentive to buy the RH. Which then needs extra repositories to be tested for stability and compatibility. And at that point they might poison the well, like npm had (has?).
Just like driver blobs are: You have to run the blob if you want functionality. Do you trust it?

@Lambda Had that feeling too for a while. But you need to do that to keep money coming in. It's expensive to keep an organization running.
Hey Hurd works now? Will need to give it a try. Gnu/BSD so far is, due to the nitpicking, still something I trust; but due to the harsh rules, once the beards die, it will drop in popularity.
And we also have minix because that is still auditeable by a small team. Oh, and Germany has it's own Linux (SuSe).
 
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ssokolow

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Remember secureboot, that did/does not let unsigned (read: Linux) OS'es boot?
For the record, here's the state of things:
  • ARM-based Windows devices are forbidden from allowing non-Windows things to run
  • x86-based Windows devices are required to allow Secure Boot to be disabled, but that feature is sometimes buggy
  • The Microsoft signing key used to sign Linux bootloaders is listed as "recommended" rather than "mandatory" for motherboard manufacturers to include in the default key store.
 
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