Unix vs. Windows vs. Apple vs. BeO

ok. this is a thread for you to argue the merits and demerits of various operating systems you use.this is not limited to desktop/server OS'es... people using IOS, JuniperOS, PalmOS, etc. etc. and other embedded/palmtop/etc/ stuff can feel free to weigh in on those experiences...I'll startWindows XP - meritsVisually, it's pretty nice.pretty simple to operate as a user- you could be drunk as hell while using it and not fuck anything up too badly...it just works.... most of the time. When it doesn't, it can either be simple or get a lot trickier and be out of your hands....if you like IDE's, Visual Studio really is pretty good.demeritsnot great for Unix-style programming- why? Because Windows scripting is not nearly as powerful as Unix scripting in general. You can make Windows as powerful as Unix by adding Perl, Python, or similar scripting language, but the built in scripting and shell don't impress me from what little I know of them.not open source - you are at the whims of Microsoft. not a problem if you are a user, bigger potential problems if you are a developer or sysadmins.security- while MS has improved it's coding somewhat, their first motivation is selling the product and making money. If they can put out a program with a fair amount of security flaws and just push out patches for them when discovered and still make beaucoup, as opposed to creating software with a low occurance of bugs but incurring significantly higher project cost that would cost more than the patching cycle in the long run... they will go with patching every time.there is so much old WinNT and Win2000 code from before the security sweeps that M$ doesn't want to get rid of... that is going to be a thorn in their side for quite a while.Gentoo Linux-meritsPortage is awesome.. you can install damn near everything you need from a simple script calling 'emerge foo', 'emerge bar', etc.system is very BSD-like... makes a great transition either way.the community is great... lots of experience to tap without some of the flaming that goes on the BSD's.Hardened Gentoo is a great way to get a more secure Linux server or desktop...demeritshigh learning curve for non-Unix heads. This is mitigated somewhat by the excellent but sparse tutorials on Gentoo.org and good adminstration programs...Portage is not as polished as the BSD's ports... due to the nature of Linux development, some of this can't be helped... but some probably could. Occasional broken ports for anything really new but labeled stable are a fact of life, but can usually be fixed by emerge syncing the latest portage tree.....FreeBSD-meritsmost user friendly of the BSD's- it's ncurses based installer runs on every arch AND is fairly simple to use.More friendly user community that other BSD's, though less so than Gentoo.rock fucking solid with great performance.... makes a great server....the jail function.it's getting pf as an option for firewalling...demeritshigh learning curvedevelopers get into wars and political fights more often than other open OS developers...OpenBSD-meritsfrequently audited source code.Secure by Default.pf/altq is the best open-source firewall out there, period.Propolice, W^X, and non-exec stack.....more secure XFree....demeritsmonumentally hard learning curve.community is very uptight. Be careful about asking for help. You will be and are expected to learn almost everything yourself.Theo DeRaadt (OBSD Project Head) is a fucking uptight asshole who likes to randomly make fun of people asking newbie questions, no two ways of getting around it.performance suffers somewhat because of security focus... sometimes a little, sometimes a LOT.

Good thread

RH Linux

Merits - Relatively easy to use. Huge user base, huge 3rd party vendor support(relative to other linux). kickstart, used to install 100's of machines, is great. As of a few years ago, RH linux is the *only* linux to ever make money.

Demerits - They want to charge now. Policy of "buy support for one machine, must buy support for all machines you have". 'rpm' sucks, though this is better now with 'yum'

Suse Linux

Merits - Relatively easy to use, easier than RH in some ways. Yast configuration tools are easy for beginners. Used in europe (this could be a demerit too).

Demerits - Uncertain future since being acquired by Novell. NOt as big user base as RH.

Debian linux

Merits - Rock solid stability for Linux. apt-get installation tool rules

Demerits - On the other side of stability is slowness. Every package is old - it's still gcc 2.95 for the love of God. dpkg installation is incompatible with many 3rd party vendors. 3rd party vendors don't support. More difficult to install than others. Zero usage in business.

Tru64 Unix

Merits - Nice graphical interface. Compaq support. Nice compilers.

Demerits - Where to start? Crashes a lot for Unix. advfs filesystem is weird and fussy. HP is phasing it out. Cost is $10,000 for a 4 processor machine over Linux.

Sun Solaris

Merits - Sun support. Wide use base in business. Relatively easy. Jumpstart gives an easy way to install 100's of machines. Sun's docs are awesome. Awesome stability.

Demerits - cost. Speed- Sun fortran compilers suck, and they have no math libraries to speak of. pkgadd installer sucks.


Merits - HP support. Very stable.

Demerits - very old also. Small user base. HP-UX compilers are not as good as Compaq ones.

The other neat thing about this thread (if people reply) is that it will show what is important to people. For instance, I would expect Rob and Warez's comments would be from a security point of view.

great thread

im starting in on my linux learning curve so im not going to comment til ive played alittle

Windows has sucked up til XP imo but the ecurity problems arent as bad as people make it out, do updates, run up to date anti-virus and firewall and do be stupid and open attachments

which linux version would u guyz recomemd for a beginner, i have Mandrake 9 or something home, should i start with something different

I highly recommend Knoppix, a full linux OS (all the tools) contained on 1 cd (i.e. runs off the cd but you can mount drives).

Jerkie you should look into Knoppix if you do not want to partation a drive for linux, its perfect.

I think there are many suitable Linux distros for beginner. RH is fine, Suse is fine, Mandrake is fine. Knoppix is good for the reasons roc311 says, but is deb based, so that is a minus if you more business oriented (IMO).

I think the average Joe or Joanna worries too much about "which distro should I use to learn Linux". They are all basically similar with similar commands and similar file formats (Except for maybe the package managers). It's much more important to get GOOD at Linux than to worry about which distro. In a production environment, I'd go with RH, but at home, there are many options.


so true.

I think I going to have to try Gentoo out one of these days.

Knoppix is pretty darn sweet. They went out of their way to make it
look nice right off the bat with all your necessary tools for the desktop.
I think its based on Debian.

In the Linux desktop arena, I think SuSE has a pretty competitive
offering versus Redhat, and now that Novell bought them out and also
owns Xymian and IBM injecting 50 Million into Novell, I think they are
going to make a run at Redhat.

For servers, I always love the FreeBSD. Just take a look at Netcraft to
see the top 3 most reliable ISPs run FreeBSD. Its poorman's Unix, but I
wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, when the horse is FreeBSD and
wins the Kentucky Derby for you. ;-)

For the desktop/personal use... no surprise here. Mac OS X rules all.
Its God's gift to humanity.