Which OS do you currently primarily use?

54% (1273 votes)
41% (966 votes)
3% (77 votes)
1% (29 votes)
1% (15 votes)
Total votes: 2360
Carlie Fairchild - Mon, 2021-02-07 18:24.

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On a comical note, I bought

On a comical note, I bought a new laptop with Vista Premium pre-installed and last night. Within 1 hour I got the "BSD" and it re-booted and told the error was a BlueScreen. (yeah I noticed, thanks M$) Then 1.5 hours later it locked up while surfing the net. The laptop runs fast, even with Aero enabled, but it is unstable just like every other pre-SP1 M$ OS. Wish I could have gotten a discount to have no OS pre-installed. (it was on sale in a store, not ordered, so no option regarding the OS).

Indifferent (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-14 09:17.

Will Linux spread to the point of becoming a serious competitor

to Windows on the desktop? No. And this has nothing to do with which is better, no matter how you judge "better". Servers are another story. So too are call centers and other single-use environments where Linux makes a lot of sense.

Tuning i zderzaki (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-14 02:52.

I use win xp

but without those stupid service pack2 addons.

Str - y internetowe (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-14 02:44.

I still use Windows

First of all I want to congratulate on your excellent magazine. I still use Windows because I´am a civil engineer and I need certain programs that the open source world can´t offer yet, for example: robust structural software, FEM software and some sort of AutoCAD-like software.
Although all I mentioned in the previous lines, I have tried Mandriva 2006 power pack that a friend of mine handed me over. It was very smooth and easy to install.
Maybe in the near future I will be able to switch completely to Linux.
Keep up the great job.

pablo (not verified) - Tue, 2021-02-13 09:19.


I use ms-windows 98se because I don't like XP

Tanie linie lotnicze (not verified) - Sat, 2021-01-27 04:56.


use Linux

程控交 (not verified) - M - , 2021-01-08 04:04.

Interesting ....

Wow, never thought, that windows would get about 41% percent.

glasperlen (not verified) - Wed, 2020-12-06 17:34.


I am using normaly at home Debian Unix. At the work we have Windows ... :)

Dominik (not verified) - Tue, 2020-11-21 05:32.

Linux is getting more interesting

Linux is getting more and more interesting. No virus, no or less license cost and most important userfriendly. Openoffice accelerate the process.

reisen (not verified) - Sat, 2020-09-09 19:29.


Linux is the best x 1000

BUses (not verified) - M - , 2020-12-04 20:05.

yes.. but..

yes i agree with you but... you'll have another winshit if it aint be so complicated...

Oferty Pracy (not verified) - Sat, 2020-08-05 03:13.


Linux - This is a wonderful, insightful and uplifting case of a revealing infrastructure implementation of Open-Source & Free Software.

Alice Buses (not verified) - Thu, 2020-12-21 20:02.

I think Linux is still too

I think Linux is still too complicated for normal users.

Michael (not verified) - Thu, 2020-07-06 00:42.

This is what I thought, but...

This is what I thought, but you should have a look at the new SuSe Linux 10. It got a lot of easier the installation is very easy and the style is very nice, too. You really should have a look at it. I love it.

Filmlexi (not verified) - Wed, 2020-09-27 08:15.


Not the best, but it´s a peg to hang a nagging on.

Volker (not verified) - Fri, 2020-06-16 05:33.


Im surprised that there are so many windows votes...

erde (not verified) - M - , 2021-04-17 16:02.



r - y (not verified) - Sun, 2021-04-09 07:10.

only win

unix to complicated

robi (not verified) - Sun, 2021-04-09 07:08.

Fedora rulez !

Fedora rulez !

Tom (not verified) - M - , 2021-03-13 15:30.

Yep.... right

That's right ...

Tottigol (not verified) - Wed, 2020-10-25 05:29.

Win on the desktop - linux on the server

It's still Win on my desktop - there is to much hassle with all the multimedia stuff I use, and the hardware. But on the servers it's linux of course.

serverbau (not verified) - Sun, 2021-02-26 05:26.

I never did use windoze....or

I never did use windoze....or a Mac. (Same diff.)

E1 (not verified) - Thu, 2021-03-31 18:15.


thanks for help with answer.

Pozycj - owanie (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-07 09:29.

9 years, baby

I've been 100% Linux since '96. NEVER had a need or desire to use Windows. I don't just do the 'email, web and word processing' either.
I do all of my photography editing as well (using GIMP and UFRAW to pull raw, unprocessed image data off of the camera.
Anybody that says you can't live without Windows because you can't do 'this' or 'that' is ignorant.

LordofKhemenu (not verified) - M - , 2021-02-28 11:44.

GIMP and UFraw

"I do all of my photography editing as well (using GIMP and UFRAW to pull raw"

I have been trying for three days now to get UFraw installed on SuSe Linux 9.3 and Novell's NLD. I have tried useing a RPM and I also tried ufraw-0.4.tar.gz. Any help would be appericated.


An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-08-22 11:09.

Switching to Linux slow process

I'm here 'cause I'm in the process of switching to Linux. I like the development model of Linux and the open software movement very much, almost as much as I detest the M$ model.

My first computer came with the optional 4K memory, and it wasn't until '78 and the Kansas City Standard that we could exchange software on cassette tapes. I've had and used DOS from versions 2.1 to 6.2, Windows from 3.11 to XP Pro, OS/2 from 3.0 to eCS1.2 and now I'm trying out SUSE 9.2

For several years I had high hopes for OS/2, which, frankly, I liked better than Windows, but for which I couldn't get all the drivers I needed. After Serenity took over OS/2 development under the eCS banner, I hoped we'd soon be able to get what I needed. Alas, I'm still waiting, and still haven't got the last release working properly.

My home system has four networked machines, my desktop, my wife's desktop, my laptop and an old Pentium II running a phone call centre program under XP Pro.

At the moment they're all running XP Pro on the network, although I have eCS (OS/2) dual booted on the desktop, and Linux Suse 9.2 dual booted on my laptop. I'm figuring as I have time, I'll get everything running first on the laptop, and when I'm happy there, I'll switch over.

Yes, there is a learning curve, and I'm trying out all sorts of different programs, almost all of which came with my Suse distribution. What I notice most, however, is that to do almost anything I have to call it by a different name. That's not bad, just time consuming.

What I'd really like to see in Tux is articles written on how to do things in Linux that are written from the point of view of someone used to various forms of Microsloth. I think a dependency is like a driver, but I'm not sure, for example.

So far Kmail looks like a fine replacement for Eudora, and I even have PGP working. I can make do with Open Office, I think, although I'd like a clone of MS Access to run some software that isn't going to get ported, for example.

If I can make this work properly, next I'll have a go at converting our IT department to avoid M$ fees, but that's another post.


Robert Smits (not verified) - Sat, 2021-02-19 17:02.


There is a very useful little package for Linux called win4lin, which costs $30 (for the basic version) or about $90 for the full version.... what it does is allow you to install windows as a virtual machine within Linux.

It supports windows versions up to 98 (doesn't do XP) and the cheaper one only allows you to allocate 64MB maximum to the VM, but this works fine for me where all I want is to run one or two windows applications now and then... for example, some websites won't appear without IE... so that's good, I click on the win4lin icon and up comes 98... bingo!

Better, I think, than wine or crossover office in that it's actually running 98 so (theoretically) just about any software you wish to install should run fine.


(more about win4lin here... www.win4lin.com/redirects/win4linhome.html )

Sean Miller (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-24 01:11.

Why I am here now.

Having been a computer user since the days when Commodor 64's roammed the Earth, I have seen many computer brands, computer manufacturers, operating systems, (ad nauseum) come and go. I have witnessed the birth, growth, and bloat of Microsoft. And like many others out there I went from 3.1 to 3.11, then onto 95, 98, ME, then eventually to XP. My hard drives had to grow from about five hundred Megs to multiple Gigabites.

I have been tracking the development of the project called "Longhorn" and I have to sigh. Rumors of a possibillity of S.P. 3, or whatever the name will be for the next round of patches needed to fix faulty patches from S.P.2, and to fix the bugs and previously missed security holes created by Microsoft's rush to get XP released. The version I purchased came with S.P.1 and took up about half of a five gig partition I set aside for the O.S. Then I had to move the Program Files to another much larger partition to make room for the ever growing O.S. As I was attempting to move my Windows install to a larger ten gig partition, one of my children found my installation disc and destroyed it. My untested backup copy turned out to be usless as well, cest le vie, I guess. To my benefit, I had by this time begun to dabble in several flavors of Linux so I had something to fall back on.

I am currently using XandrOS, and have mixed feelings, it does a lot of what I want, but I don't have any way to access the hundreds of mp3's I've got setting on my hard drive because I can't get a driver for my sound card, and many hundreds of $ of games I cant play because I have yet to find out how to get them to work.

As I ponder going dual boot I have to ask myself if I want to go back to the headaches of XP, or wait for "Longhorn" and hope Mr. Gates doesn't once again bite off more than he can chew and release yet another untested "beta" O.S. requiring a half dozen S.P.'s et.cetera.

Ed (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-17 22:23.

You will never find peace

You will never find peace

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-08-16 22:47.


drivers usually exist. The challenge if you're new to Linux is knowing where to find them and learning how to install them. Try to find the list of supported hardware for your distribution. If your sound card is not on the list you might try a different distribution and find they do support it. For instance my monitor, Syncmaster 213T, is supported in SuSE 9.2 but not in Red Hat, although in RH I can still manually set the sync rates and dpi etc, and it works well in RH too. Try the forums for specific suggestions, give all the details and someone will usually have the answer you need. Get a good book from Amazon for your specific distribution. Here's a quote from Sam's Red Hat Linux Unleashed:
(after describing how to configure sound devices in RH it continues...)
"If you cannot configure sound for your system using Red Hat's software, you can turn to software from Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) project at http://www.alsa-project.org. Download and install the ALSA driver, libraries, and utilities using RPM packages, or build and install ALSA from source according to directions at the web site.
Using alternative sound software can be helpful. For example, users running Red Hat on a VIA EPIA M mini-ITX motherboard(which uses the 8233 VIA audio chipset) will need to use ALSA in order to use sound, as the included drivers will not work. One way to do this is to first download...."

You get the idea. I am new to Linux as well but the more I learn the more I find that it is pretty unlimited. Drivers for cutting edge stuff won't be as readily available but they will be available with the exception of proprietary products. So keep looking...

Bob (not verified) - Sat, 2021-02-19 00:43.

Just starting out - SuSE

I was reared on Macintosh and when PCs won the battle and became the dominant desktop machine I was dissappointed. I eventually succumbed and have since spent a large percentage of my time doing clean installs, etc. The registry quickly got gunked up and my last experience was running a registry fix it tool only to find my major software no longer ran. I remember once slacking off running my lava soft adaware se for a couple of weeks. When I ran it I had 450+ pieces of spyware. It took 20 minutes to check the boxes to have them all deleted. Some were persistant and if I killed them using the task manager, they would pop back again in less than a second. When I figured out how to solve one problem, a new one reared it's head. At one point I used three hard drives each with it's own OS. The top was for trying new software and web surfing. It got a clean install every 2 to 3 weeks. The next HD was for software that passed the first drive test and more conservative browsing. If things went well for a long time applications made it to the holy of holies, the last HD which never went anywhere on the web except the microsoft update page.
I onced tried Red Hat but found no supporting drivers for my monitor and sound card. After a while I came back and tried SuSE. I had a little struggle figuring out how to get my internet connections set up (at this point I wasn't even interested in spending $ for a book) but I got the info I needed from a forum. Now I'm stoked. I have my "macintosh" back... stable, rock solid at the cheaper price of PC hardware and with free software. Now I can focus on what I use my PC for instaed of on my PC.

Bob (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-16 20:23.

Re Starting Out

Like the previous Poster, I too used another system when i started out switch to Pc in 1991 and now just getting into the idea of switching to Linux (one of the various flavours.

The problem (and the point of this comment) once i've learn to use Linex where to I get programs to run on it? (can't just go to zdnet.com and download an app)

any help or suggestion on either (a version of Linux or sites support software for it would be great)

David (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-17 09:23.

Re: Starting Out

Try ....


... and just type in the type of program your looking for.

RPM based distro?

http://www.rpmfind.net/ ( I think )



or ....


then there is ...


just to name a few.


George (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-23 01:36.

Correction ...

That last one should be ...



George (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-23 01:40.

try posting on one or two of

try posting on one or two of the linux forums. They are very helpful. Of course there will always be some applications that are only available for certain operating systems. But you'll be surprised at the number of high end applications that cost hundreds to put on Windows XP, but have free or almost free versions for Linux. At any rate if you can take your XP environment offline and use it only for apps that must run on XP it will be immensely more stable. Also using Mozilla Firefox as a browser on XP instead of Internet Explorer makes a big difference by itself. After I tried that, I would run Ad Aware SE and get nothing-zip. The download is free!

bob keller (not verified) - Sat, 2021-02-19 00:12.

Windows vs. Linux

A lot of you mentioned the security issues with Windows (viruses, worms, trojans, etc.), which should be a major concern for anyone that goes online. I will dare to add that 50% of the security issues with Windows are a direct result of Internet Explorer--mainly, that it can be programmed (customized). Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are a common example (those custom toolbars that everyone wants to add to your browser to "help you out") of spyware and adware and key loggers are pushed onto PCs running Windows. Next, there's VBscript, another major source of security problems with Windows. So, Windows users, start using Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, or Opera and you'll be surfing safer right away!

One major difference between Windows and Linux is the Registry. If that gets corrupted, your Windows install is broken. Linux has no such registry to get broken!

MS has been into UNIX since before the company ever went public back in the 80s. As you learn more about UNIX and its many flavors (BSD, Linux, etc.), you quickly realize that MS has been nothing more than a poor copycat with a fancy body style and paint job (using a car for a comparison analogy). MS has mimicked a lot of UNIX's commands and functionality, but the most powerful features are missing. (Written any shell scripts for Windows lately? MS-DOS was a very weak copycat of a UNIX shell. Windows Hosting Script language is another weak attempt to mimick UNIX. Innovation, they say? Being a copycat isn't innovative, neither is having your code be closed and proprietary.

The most powerful computers in America (and the world, for that matter) are running UNIX or better. I haven't heard of a single supercomputer that is running MS Windows or MS-DOS, have you?!

For example, find out how Linux was (and still is) deployed at the Argonne National Laboratory, the 1st national laboratory in the U.S.


NOTE: mcs stands for Mathematics and Computer Science division.

"Argonne's most powerful supercomputer is "Jazz," named for its ease in handling a diverse and dynamic mix of applications ranging from systems biology to nuclear physics. The supercomputer consists of 350 central processing units, all running on the Linux operating system. Jazz is intended for use throughout the laboratory to help advance computational science and engineering.

In its initial tests, Jazz achieved more than a teraflop of computing power, making it the laboratory's first terascale computing system and one of the 50 fastest computers in the world at that time."

Let's see Windows do that!! I rest my case. ;)

John (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-16 01:45.

How to have linux take over the world

of computing anyway. I read this thread with interest. I currently run win xp and have an eye toward one day running linux. Linux excells M$ in several areas already---cost, stability, not targeted by viruses / hackers / mal-ware etc.

I don't think linux excells in easy transition away from M$ or excells in installing new programs. Ouch....that implies moving away from our programing core and into making it easy for newbies...ewww...pftewww.

Yep, newbies are nasty things, but if you want to cultivate a following, you gotta cater to 'em.

I see a transtional strategy (modeled after firefox). Make it similar to M$ so as to ease the transition...then make it better. That way those people who did make the switch will convert others...."see, it's better."

Human nature has a resistance to change. So there has to be a lot of incentive to change and a long...steep...frustrating learning curve (or even the fear of one) is not an incentive. In behavioral psychology, we'd say easy "high incentive", "easy adaptation similar to existing behavioral paradigm", and "high reward."

You do that and you won't be able to keep people away from linux

Joe (not verified) - Sun, 2021-02-13 22:41.

Unity is strength

When I was young I was taught one strory,
strength of unity, the same is lacking with Linux.
Every Individual is excellent in his job but they creat
problems for each other. They devlop good
programmes but they run on perticular Linux OS.
The Quality is good but joint efforts will beat MS
demon very quickly.
Hope they will understand fast.

Vijay Joshi (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-16 00:01.

Re: How to have...

Joe, your statement makes it clear that you have never tried Linux. You think it's different, but it's not. It's all about applications.

I suggest you pull down a copy of Knoppix and give Linux a try. Or rather, try out the applications that run on Linux. Some you will be familiar with, such as Firefox/Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, Konqueror, because similar goals suggest similar designs.

The default KDE desktop will be very familiar to a WinXP user. Or set the "theme" in KDE to "KDE Classic" and have the Win95 familiarity.

You see, unlike the Microsoft/Apple style, the entire graphical environment is itself just another application. You can change GUIs like some people change shirts and all of the other applications still work just fine. I keep OpenLookWindowManager around, which is the first Unix GUI I used on a Sun Sparc 2 in 1992, in case I have a reason to cut away all the RAM and CPU overhead of a bells-and-whistles-and-eyecandy GUI like KDE.

You want to use Linux, so do. Getting a copy of Knoppix is much cheaper than getting a second machine, and it doesn't touch whatever is installed on your machine already. Your old system is just a reboot away at any time.

BobRoberts - (not verified) - M - , 2021-02-14 12:14.

Suse 9.2

I'v bee using Suse for about 2 months... Before that, my primary OS was Win*... I had dual boot for a long, long time and just recently decided to switch to Linux permanently... But still had to leave win* for some specific uses, app developing and testing...

Bojan Popović (not verified) - Sat, 2021-02-12 17:29.

For want of a nail...

Exactly ONE application prevents me from using Linux for everything.

I need a Linux analog of Callwaves Internet Answering Machine. Callwave promises they will someday support Linux, but until then, I must surf using Windows so that I can use IAM and have my dialup line still get messages through. Can't afford to install and maintain anything in the broadband.realms... Yes, I own a v.92 modem, but 'Modem on Hold' doesn't work for me, using SuSe 9.1 Pro.

Until the day arrives when Linux can properly support either 'Modem on Hold' or IAM, then I surf using swiss cheese.

mmmna (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-10 22:06.

No single one yet

I'm still looking.
And still at the same stage as untold numbers of wannabe newbies, I would guess.
The search is always about wanting everything windows instantly provides, usually hardware wise. The problem, for those use to windows, is finding the one distro that provides that.
I so far have tried:
Mandrake 10.0
Mandrake 10.1
Fedora Core 2
Fedora C 3
Ubuntu 4.10
Slackware 10.0
Debian 3.0 r4
Yoper 2.1.0-4
FreeBSD 5.3
Linspire 4.5
Knoppix 3.7
None of these, by themselves, can support all my hardware correctly. Linspire comes the closest. I'm composing this on Linspire.
I'm still looking however.
Gotta get away from MS.
The primary problem (my primary problem) is running SATA and IDE HDs together in order to dual boot. If I can do that though, something else will be missing.
I'm sure there are numerous ways to achieve my desires by fiddeling with any number of configurations, but to a windows user that's still pretty much a foreign language.
What little I have experienced, is great. So I have no intention of giving up. I do believe that learning is half the fun.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside the dog it's too dark to read."
G. Marx

Tom (not verified) - Tue, 2021-02-08 20:57.


Just wanted to let you know that I am currently running Mandrake 10.0 and Winxp on a dual SATA/IDE setup.
What I diid was put XP on the IDE and Mandrake on the SATA. I have had this configuration for the last 6 months without a problem whatsoever. By the way the board I'm using is ABIT VT7.

An - ymous (not verified) - Sun, 2021-02-20 17:22.

RE: No single one yet.

To place needed modules into kernel...

I would recomend sticking with Slackware 10.0 or 10.1. go to
< http://www.slackware.com/book/ > and start reading. ;^>
Then go to...
III.4 Selecting A Kernel...
Compiling A Kernel From Source.
download a 2.4 or 2.6 www.kernel.org

or... 2.4 kernel slack 10.0:
boot slack.
log in.
cd /usr/src/linux-2.4.xx.

If using an rpm based distro, options are available for rpm kernel.

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-16 11:41.

Using SATA

Have you tried the Darwin distro? It is the freeBSD distro used for Mac OS X and the new MACs utilize SATA, so try going to:


and downloading the x86 version. Let me know how it runs on a PC, I haven't tried it yet right now I am running Fedora Core 3 everywhere and I love it. Apache 2.0.53 just came out and it runs awesome.

Also if anyone can reply to this and let me know how Slackware runs Apache 2.0.53, MIT Kerberos 5, and MySQL 4.1.9

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-10 02:48.

Common standards

What about common standards in a OS like dirrectories titled My Computer and My Documenst? I know that MS does not use common standerds in say their web browser but. Honestly in Lindows you can type dir from the command line in a dirrectory to find a list of dirrectories in it. Just like in MS, you may know this. The point is where is the common standard common sense in typing ls or what ever it is for the same search?? There is no reason to get political here. I have had this discussion with a friend and all I see is politics.

Brotherred (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-10 02:45.

Standards? Whos standards?

Brotherred, it was Microsoft who changed "ls" to "dir" when they rewrote the DOS shell. Unix, which the QDOS shell was based on, has always used "ls" to list files in the present working directory.

Every Linux I've used has had "dir" set up by default.

Microsoft also took the idea of the users home directory and changed it to "My Documents". The *nix design standard has always put users in their own /home/bob directory by default.

I'm sorry that you're confusing what you are familiar with as "common sense". What you want already exists, only that the name may not be what you are familiar with. Try some things out. KDE, for instance, even has a trashcan. Oh, wait, in more recent MS products they changed the name to "recycle bin". See? You've had to get used to name changes in the past already. Don't worry, you can do it again.

BobRoberts - (not verified) - M - , 2021-02-14 12:25.

Common Standard

MyDocuments directory in Linux: /home/ (e.g. /home/brotherred)

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2021-02-11 10:40.

Common Standards

Add to your .bashrc

alias dir="ls -l --color"

and that will allow you to type "dir" everywhere, but most distributions allow you to type "dir" at a command line.

ls = list and there's the standard and its easy to type.


Curtis Maurand (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-10 22:44.

No Single Windows

You forgot a few OS entries on your list: Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional.

No Winblows OS has EVER supported all of my hardware CORRECTLY. Nor yours. You always accomodate yourself to it's myriad shortcommings.
It's no surprise that you have chosen Linspire as your Favorite Linux distribution. It falls to it's knees trying to emulate the Windows look & feel for you.
I'm currently running Mandrake 10.1. I just downloaded Slackware 10.1 and can't wait to try it out. How much did you pay Microsoft to download and try out all of their products? How much money and time did you spend trying to fix them? How many third party vendors have you paid to make things work in Windows, not to mention the cash & time you have lost defending Windows from every virus, hacker, spyware, adware malware & Trojan Horse that comes along every day.
You certainly don't remember how much time it took you to learn how to use the Windows operating systems, FIDDLING WITH ANY NUMBER OF CONFIGURATIONS. If you spend one tenth of that time on Linux, you will never go back.

"Utopia isn't all it's cracked up to be." -Joseph Carrier

Martin (not verified) - Wed, 2021-02-09 09:10.