An operating system can simply be described as the system that your device runs on. There are three main operating systems in the world:
-Windows (with a 90% Market Share)
-MacOS (with a ~9% Market Share)
-Linux (with a ~1% Market Share)
Most of you probably have heard of Windows and MacOS – Linux is more likely to seem entirely new and unfamiliar. First, let’s talk about Windows and MacOS.
Windows – the most common Operating System in the world, downloaded automatically into Dell, HP, Asus, and Acer laptops and PC’s. There have been several releases of different models; the latest release was for Windows 10. (In 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be its final product.) It should come as no surprise that this system is extremely popular, and that most consumers often have nothing but praise for it. This is mainly because it’s extremely user-friendly. You see, back in the 80s and 90s, people would have to actually open up a command prompt (i.e. the coding page) and type in a line of code to access things we now consider to be everyday necessities, like Files Explorer and Downloads. Windows have made navigating technology much easier, and that we take so much of this for granted is a fact for which it is partly responsible.
Unfortunately, there are some elements that could do with some improvement. For one thing, it’s costly. Windows 10 is available to download on any of your devices for somewhere between $100 – $200, depending on what package you choose to purchase). Additionally, the system can sometimes be faulty, and it has an annoying tendency to crash every now and then – and in some cases, these problems are hard to fix. It also makes it easier than other operating systems for your device to contract a virus as well.
To learn more, visit the official Microsoft website to buy a Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10.
Next up – MacOS, the second-most common operating system in the world. It has a beautiful and easy-to-navigate- user interface (also known as the UI), making it an appealing choice for consumers. The MacOS shares similar features with the Windows 10 model mentioned earlier, complete with an efficient Files Explorer among many other things. The only difference, really, is that the MacOS runs on a different set of keys (there, the features you can utilize, for instance, can uniquely be found in the Launchpad at the bottom of the taskbar).
Perhaps the only downside is that this operating system is supported by no other device than a Mac. You can’t download this on your Windows laptop/PC – OS is Mac exclusive, period. And just as most Apple products are fairly expensive, so the Mac isn’t exactly “low-price.” As a result, many people are missing out on this system – perhaps that is why it’s not as common as Windows.
To learn more about buying a Mac, visit the official Apple webstore.
Last but not least – Linux, possibly the most underrated operating system on the list. It’s nowhere near being as well known as Windows and MacOS, mostly because it’s not very user-friendly like its more popular counterparts. You would have to actually write code in the terminal (the shell prompt that is also used in MacOS) to utilize features common in everyday life. For instance, if I wanted to use File Explorer, I would have to use a path line in the terminal and write a long line of code: /users/saad/home/downloads/[insert download file name here]. Obviously, not many people were programmers when computers started to become popular, and that is why Linux was left behind. You had to learn how to use Linux, whereas Windows and MacOS were built to be intuitive.
Linux, however, has grown over the years and is now much more user-friendly. It has adopted many of the same features a standard MacOS offers, including the very same type of pop-up taskbar that many of us are familiar with. On top of that, Linux doesn’t have any navigation issues as you can easily access your files explorer, just like on a Windows computer. The only real problem with Linux is the fact that not all softwares are supported on it. A lot of softwares are geared only toward Windows and MacOS, so it’s often ignored and underutilized.
Now, Linux has many distributions. These distributions are all free (in fact, Linux is actually free itself) – here’s a list:
-MintOS (aka Linux Mint)
Again, all of these distributions are free. I personally prefer the ElementaryOS one as it’s more elegant and resembles the closest version to a MacOS. Ubuntu (first on the list) is more similar to the Windows design-style. MinOS is mainly for Linux beginners.
To learn more about getting Linux, visit:
Elementary.io (to download ElementaryOS)
Ubuntu.com (to download Ubuntu)
Linuxmint.com (to download MintOS/Linux Mint)
This last topic isn’t an operating system, and it is exclusive to MacOS and Linux users only. On a standard Linux/MacOS-run laptop/PC, you have an application known as the terminal, and it comes free when you buy the device itself. The terminal is the command prompt, a place where you can code and execute commands – think of it as the Python Shell that would be used on Windows. Here are some common Terminal Commands that are usable on both Linux and MacOS:
- ‘cd’ This command changes your directory.
- ‘./(insert a .exe command here)’ This runs a file or program.
- ‘nano’ Opens up a file text editor that you can write in and save files on.
- ‘cat (file name here)(another file name here)’ This command concatenates 2 different text files.
- ‘mkdir’ This makes a new directory.
- ‘Touch’ This command would make an empty file.
- ‘Find’ This command would find files out of a full directory.
That’s it for this article. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you learned something new!