Which operating system would be better for web development

I am new to the world of web development…and my laptop has crashed:sob: (after updating to Windows 10). Long story short, I need a new laptop and I just wanted to know which operating system would be better.
Thank you.

I don’t think any particular one is really that much better than any other these days. If you’re using Linux or OS X then the OS that you’re using will be more similar to that of the typical web server (both natively use the same command shell as Linux) but that doesn’t matter that much.

You get more bang for your buck buying non-mac hardware, and you can save a little bit of money if you buy a laptop without Windows and just put Ubuntu on it. (I think the usual licensing fee for OEM Windows is like $100, and you might be able to use the license key from the old laptop anyway.) Things like this are bigger considerations when choosing an operating system.

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You can develop perfectly well on any operating system. Many developers do choose to use a Linux or Mac though as they are based on Unix. A lot of developer tools are built for Unix systems first so they are typically easier to set up on Unix systems. It is also generally accepted that the Unix command line is superior to the windows command line.

A lot of developer go with Macbooks as they are well built, have a nice operating system and tend to last long. You will find many Mac users that will swear by their macbook. That being said they are expensive for the spec you get and more difficult to upgrade.

My advice would be to buy a mac if you have the funds, otherwise go with linux.

But hey if you are super comfortable with Windows go for that.


I am certain more experienced people will also react to this topic, but this is my two cents.

I think that all the major platforms (Linux with tens of different options, OS X, Windows 10) are fine for web development. Linux seems to be favorite among developers, but I have no experience with Linux. What I do know is, that Windows 10 is perfectly fine for web development. If you would like to change to Linux you will have to look if all your programs are available for Linux (no problem for web development).

I basically agree with what has already been said (slow typer :slight_frown:) .

EDIT: Also have a look here:

I want to thank everyone on their input. I received more information here than I did while googling this question. :slight_smile:
Thank you!

I’ll give a dissenting opinion and say that Windows is a horrible choice, but you won’t know that until you try to use a more advanced setup. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update has given me hope that the experience will one day be bearable, but every time I try to get anything approaching an ergonomic workflow, Windows punches me in the face and I go cry in a corner. For instance, the last time I tried deleting a node_modules folder, Powershell complained that the filenames were too long and it couldn’t proceed. I had to install a node module just to be able to delete a node_mdule folder. I tried terminal emulators, but the way Windows has its user data spread around is ridiculous and navigation is difficult. I couldn’t get git to work in the same command line environment I was running node in. This was all before I even tried looking for the nice amenities that I’m used to, like a Quake-style dropdown terminal and shell aliases.

I’m not saying this as a criticism of Windows users. If anything, my hat goes off to you all for obviously being more patient and clever than me. In the end, I just don’t think it’s worth it. I have all of my important configuration and settings backed up in files on github. If my laptop gets eaten by a stray moose, or I leave it on a rocket bound for the sun, I can go from a fresh install of any Unix like OS to a familiar, usable setup in under an hour (mostly from typing one command). If the same can be accomplished on Windows (and I don’t think it can), it will only work on Windows.

I don’t believe the Mac-Tax myth, at least as something we can single Apple out for. If you spend $1000 on a Mac, a Dell, or an HP, you’re going to get roughly the same value. Consider how much abuse your laptop is going to take, and whether it’s worth saving a few bucks now to have to buy replacement parts in a year or two.

My personal choice right now would either be a MacBook Pro, Lenovo Something-or-other, or a Dell XPS 13 with Manjaro Linux. Ram isn’t user serviceable in the MBP, so I lean towards Dell or Lenovo.

Agree, tried to use it aftef 5 years on Ubuntu, and it’s awful

I ran into that problem with PowerShell as well (specifically with google’s “web starter kit” which contains some fancy stuff like service worker caching and has tons of node.js module dependencies).

What I’d recommend for Windows is using something like MinGW64 which will give you a bash shell and a more linux-like environment. Actually, if you just install git for windows you’ll get a MinGW64 bash shell named “git bash” in the start menu. That should solve most problems.

You’re not really forced to use PowerShell just because you’re in Windows, but installing the latest “community” version might solve some (but not all) problems with it. I did a little writeup on how to get PowerShell set up for anyone who wants to try it, but always have bash available for when you get sick of messing with it.

The Anniversary Update adds Windows Subsystem for Linux which is sort of like inverse-WINE for windows, but it’s lacking in a number of areas. It’s worth using in some cases, but for most things it’s better to just stick with the MinGW64 bash shell since you can run actual Windows programs from that.

Anyway, it’s true that Windows is still a little more annoying than Linux or OS X when it comes to some stuff like this but most of those things can be solved by just installing git for windows and using “git bash”.


Yeah, I’ve had serious issues with Windows while trying to watch youtube or multitask. It mostly happened when I updated to Windows 10, though. This is very useful information. Thank you. :slight_smile:

Also, is getting a computer with 8gb of ram okay and what about hard drive space? 500gb overdoing it?

I have two 1TB drives in my laptop. One of them is full of audio samples, audio software, and RAW format photos, but my main drive is at 858.51GB free. I have all of my web dev stuff installed, MacTex (full), and Shadow of Mordor via Steam. Keep in mind I don’t carry music or movies with me as that gets streamed from my server, but I do think that 500GB is plenty for web development.

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Short answer-u already have windows, just get it working and stick with it for the time being. Loads of stuff you need to learn is pretty OS neutral .
If you are used to windows and use your laptop for anything other than development e.g graphic then stick with windows or get a mac with os x. However if you are doing a lot of back end server related stuff and are prepared to put in a lot of time and effort learning a new OS and can do without the amazing windows/mac commercial software e.g photoshop then install linux as your main OS.

I started on Windows and found that for the most part, it all worked fine. At least on Windows 7, you can run into path length issues when using Windows Explorer. Moving stuff around from bash provided by git for Windows works around that issue as does saving everything close to C:\ like C:\projects or whatever.

I also used Linux on laptops for over 15 years. Ultimately I grew tired of fixing random, bizarre behavior. My resume from disk times were horrendous. Eventually, the laptop was old enough that there was some issue with X Window and my video driver and upon resume it would randomly crash X Window, defeating the purpose of suspending. And I had other random issues of moderate annoyance over the years, under both KUbuntu and Fedora.

Finally bought a Mac in June. My first. Never been happier. It runs everything. It’s BSD Unix beneath. Many of the blog posts for development are written by those using a Mac, so I know I can follow along exactly. It suspends and resumes instantaneously. The battery life is fantastic. The screen is amazing. It never crashes. I haven’t rebooted it since I bought it. And it cost a small fortune… No regrets though.

$ uptime
20:32  up 89 days, 9 mins, 5 users, load averages: 1.57 1.50 1.48

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Wow! That’s awesome! So much RAM and hard drive space does your mac have?

As a former professional developer, I always used Windows systems at work. I wrote code in mainly VB/ C# .NET. Microsoft’s tools are excellent. Specifically Visual Studio and SQL Management Studio. These are available free now (not the full blown versions but enough to get you going).
I can’t say I have tried these under Windows 10 but I was fine with it for years under previous versions.
Having said that, my home setup is Linux Ubuntu. I have used Xammp to install Apache / PHP / MySql which I deploy test projects to. I use Bluefish as my code editor. Most developer tools and languages are easy install. The main reason for this is because I have web hosting which uses the same set up so if I want to test things locally before deploying to the internet, I can.
However, Visual Studio is one of the best development tools you will ever use.

Just a note about Macs, I see a lot of coding videos on YouTube and they all seem to use Macs!

16G / 500GB / dedicated GFX. It’s the 2015 MBP 15 through the official Apple refurb store for a nominal discount, like 8-10%. It’s plenty fast. I would have gotten an even older once if that was possible.

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It’s worth mentioning that in terms of Web development, Windows is the only OS where you can easily run a gamut of the most popular Web browsers for testing—Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and of course Internet Explorer and Edge. Neither Linux or Mac can lay claim to that, at least not yet. :wink:

Edge and Safari are pretty close in terms of users, and those others have long been released on both Mac and Linux. If coverage is a factor, remember that it’s far easier to run Windows and Linux in a virtual machine than it is to run macOS :wink:

First , configuring yourself the lamp stack is more easy on linux than installing xamp ,for lightweight code editors I would recomand you Sublimetext or Atom , and for a very capable IDE that surpass visualstudio is WEBstorm.
Sorry I’m a hater of Microsoft products :smiley:

Is WEBstorm free? I’m a hater of expensive products. It’s made by JetBrains who make a lot of tools for VisualStudio.

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