If you’re a front end developer then no need to worry about Unix / Linux ( but it is always good to know the basics )
All FE developers use Mac laptop including MS employees as well ( was a ex-MS employee )
So don’t get anxiety about Linux if you wish to be in front end itself, but if you wish to 1.5X - 2X salary by becoming full stack developer then Unix / Linux is must as it is most stable OS and being there since many decade.
I am also interested in this, as I think I should make the switch from Windows to Linux, but I’m not sure exactly which distribution is best. Mint is recommended for the uninitiated but I’d be happy to hear any thoughts?
No, not all programmers use Linux. When programmers talk about using Linux, it’s likely that their not talking about the OS on their work computer, but that their code ultimately runs on a Linux server. Most employers are going to purchase their developers computers with either Windows or MacOS installed - although most places I’ve worked have had at least one developer who installs a Linux OS on their work computer. Most of my work has been done on a Windows computer, but the code was actually compiled and run on Linux.
If you want to get familiar with Linux, you don’t have to change your computer’s OS. If you’re on Windows, you can run a Windows Subsystem for Linux. You can also try out different types of Linux in the form of virtual machines.
The vast majority of my jobs have issued me a Windows computer. My current computer is a Mac and I would have preferred a different device.
As others have pointed out, this is just not true. But I do think that the usage of macOS for developers is higher than the general population. Not necessarily because macs provide a better experience, but because Apple has traditionally made it very hard to run their OS in a virtual environment. Thus, if you want to be able to test on both Windows and macOS from the same computer, it has been much easier to use a macOS and run Windows in a VM than it has been to use Windows and run macOS in a VM (and I think for a lot of the past it has been basically impossible to run macOS in a VM).
I’m a linux guy and will readily admit that I’m not a huge fan of either Microsoft or Apple. But at least Microsoft has allowed their OS to run in a VM. They used to give out free VM images you could download and install. Now they just give away Win11 for free. But Apple has traditionally made it near impossible to run their OS in a VM, trying to force you to pay the Apple tax on their expensive hardware. That’s the main reason why I, like @RandellDawson, have never used an Apple product.
Edit: But I am currently researching ways to run macOS in VirtualBox. Not because I suddenly have a craving to use a mac but rather because being an accessibility specialist I really need access to Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader. So perhaps my anti-Apple streak will come to an end soon?
ok ok I agree with all the objections for above statement.
I will edit this to “Most of the developers across globe; use Mac Laptop by choice or asked by IT dept as Mac laptop has got longer life with lesser downtime / maintenance cost compared to Windows laptops”
@RandellDawson@bbsmooth some time back I had pinged to check stats with few of Indian friends who are in top position of IT department ( department who takes care of employee hardware, software needs ) of Meta and GoogleUS head offices and they have confirmed the fact that “Most of the developers across their global offices do use Mac Laptop” because of reason I had already mentioned “…by choice or asked by IT dept as Mac laptop has got longer life with lesser downtime / maintenance cost compared to Windows laptops”
The ‘macs are better’ myth just isn’t well supported. Any OS works fine for development.
Recent surveys in fact show that developers do not overwhelmingly use Macs.
It’s fine if you prefer Macs or any other OS. It’s just not accurate or helpful to claim that one OS is magically better or overwhelmingly used. That’s just not what the data shows. Use what you like or whatever your company gives you. At the end of the day, anything works.
Don’t worry too much about the version (Distro) of Linux you install, it is all Linux. The main differences are:
The Package Manager - a tool you will use to install, remove programs etc
The release schedule - Some Distros have a fixed upgrade schedule where they have major upgrades at a fixed point in time eg every 6 months (Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint) and others have a rolling release so you don’t have a scheduled large upgrade but update as new packages are available (Arch Linux is an example of this).
Rolling releases are not normally recommended for new users as cutting edge software could potentially create issues at some point - I use Arcolinux (Arch based) and any problems have been created by me tinkering and not broken packages.
Linux Mint is a good choice for Window users who would like a similar look and feel and would provide an easy and comfortable transition to Linux. You could also use Linux in a Virtual Machine until you feel comfortable or try many different Distros in a ‘Live’ Environment using Ventoy.