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w1k0 04-24-2009 04:33 PM

Why I don't use Windows?
In the former thread we reported why we use Windows sometimes -- the present thread is for reporting why we don't use Windows usually. Both these threads are complementary.


I don't use Windows because I don't like it. I have thousands of reasons for that.

1. In Windows there is no comfortable command line interface nor fast and reliable file manager. In Linux I have constantly opened at least one xterm window and still use Midnight Commander.

2. In Windows I can't compare files with diff and cmp, I can't process files with cat, tac, head, tail, grep, sort, etc., I can't process texts with sed, awk, and Perl, I can't find files fast with slocate, and I can't write sophisticated shell scripts. In Linux I have all those programs and much more out of the box.

3. Most of Windows applications are commercial programs or shareware. I don't like to pay for software. Linux is for free. Most of Linux programs are for free. I bought only one application for Linux -- commercial English-Polish and Polish-English Collins dictionary.

4. Windows has no implemented secure mechanisms and is vulnerable to different malicious applications: viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc. Linux is more secure each day, because each day someone finds a bug and reports it.

5. Every time I run Windows I'm disappointed and frustrated by the things that I can't do with it or I have to do in some strange manner. In Linux everything is arranged logically. It's enough to understand that logic and to comply with it.


Windows is like small prison cell with the little window vent by the ceiling. Linux is like large estate built for many years by lots of bricklayers, carpenters, and roofers, and fitted with plumbing and wiring by hydraulics and electricians.

adrianx 04-24-2009 05:13 PM

Apologies if this has already been posted (I didn't really check), but this is a big reason why I don't use Windows.

A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm (333.2 KB)

As far as I'm concerned, they are not at the forefront of innovation, they are actually slowing things down to suit their own pockets.

VRV 04-24-2009 05:21 PM

I won't use Windows if I need to pay someone for operating this system.

H_TeXMeX_H 04-24-2009 05:23 PM

1) Because it crashes very very very often, way too often for any sane person. Recently they reduced the number of crashes, but that doesn't cut it, it still used to crash almost every day or other day without BSOD or some other stupid error. I remember a distinct feeling of fear and dread in my heard as I used it ... like walking on tightrope across the Grand Canyon ... a wrong step and it's over. It really was like that, you pushed it too hard or press the wrong button too many times ... BSOD !

2) Because you can't surf the web without getting tons and tons and tons of malware, and you can't stop it. I tried every f'n way possible. I locked it down as much as is possible, but you can't stop it, it's impossible. It's f'n ridiculous, and when I realized that I downloaded a Fedora Core 4 DVD, wiped the crippled barely working Window$ (mouse seemed to stopped working) and never looked back. This was all before a term paper was due ... I know now I made the right choice and the term paper was on time and a good one. Maybe it was fate that I would be working on a term paper when Window$ would crap out on me ... and it would piss me off so much that I would eradicate that plague off my system for all time ... nah, I don't believe in fate.

3) Can't play games reliably. I can't count the number of times games have not worked on Window$ ... but they work through wine ... surprisingly enough. Maybe Window$ was just too messed up at the time ? This happened with Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, The Punisher, and a few other games. It wasn't on the same computer, which may have had something to do with it, or not, who knows. It's so hard to diagnose such problems, especially on window$. In fact this is the reason I've bought many consoles, cuz on consoles games are supposed to just work ... sadly I have found this not to always be the case. BSODs happen on Xbox and XBox 360 (curse it to hell !), and I've experienced many as well as complete system failure.

4) Costly programs, or shareware, or "FREE!!!"ware / crippleware are needed for MINIMAL functionality on Window$. Just to do some basic work, either I shell out the cash ... or I suck it up and use crippleware that barely gets anything done ... or say it ain't so ... pirate ... arrrrr (note: I'm not a pirate anymore)

5) S****y interface that is unstable and unintuitive and uncustomizable. I hate it, same freaking Start button, and some freaking menu and all the freaking shortcuts spread out all over the desktop, it hurts me inside to look at it and know it exists. Whenever I see a teacher boot up one of these a chill goes down my spine and I send a prayer over to the GNU/Linux devs (and I guess BSD too) for showing me the way out of hell. Also, I've never been able to figure out how to make it always alphabetize the programs list ... any way to do that ... damn if I know or care anymore. To hell with it.

6) Bloat, bloat, bloat ... you can't get rid of it. On Linux of course you can, and I did.

7) It's really hard to do something complicated ... probably because the CLI interface is missing to a great degree. I see at school all the time the admins and teachers trying to do something that would be so simple on Linux ... but so difficult on Window$. For example remote distribution of files ... it's usually done with USB sticks, computer by computer ... the primitive way. Nothing every works quite right, at least 1 or 2 computers just refuse to do as they are told, they are possessed ... they must be purged :D Not to mention the tons of crashes that waste both my time and theirs. Don't tell me batch files are a solution to anything, they are a pitiful attempt, nowhere near the power of bash and compatibles.

8) DRM now, I guess it used to be less of a problem, but now it's becoming a big problem. I guess Bill Gates always owned you when you were using Window$, but now it's for real. I don't want to have anything to do with DRM.

9) I don't see why people come here saying: Linux fails again, Linux won't work ... sorry I don't get any of that. That's what I get with Window$. Things just don't work ... until you do the magical reboot ... the solution to all Window$ problems ... reboot it !

10) I could go on, but I'm going to go to sleep now. Death to the evil empire ! ... another reason why I don't use it. It's an evil empire and it must fall ! and it will.

joutlancpa 04-24-2009 05:50 PM

A windows crash can result in serious data loss. I basically don't like the windows system layout, as opposed to Linux, having all my settings and data in one place. Windows grinds away the HD will all these daemons running all the time. Linux likes to sit quietly and speak only when spoken to for the most part :D

em21701 04-24-2009 06:14 PM

I like to have control of the things I own. If microsoft wants to run something there is no way to stop it. With Linux you can kill any process/program, even if it will destabilize the system. You can only ask windows to kill a process, if it decides it does not want to it won't. I'm stuck with it at work (I virtualize Linux there though :)). Don't even get me started on DRM :tisk:.

samac 04-24-2009 06:15 PM

Because they decided that my hardware was obsolete and I didn't agree.


slackass 04-24-2009 06:24 PM

Because I care to feed the worms.

Noddegamra 04-24-2009 06:56 PM

I stopped using Windows because it got way too difficult to keep my computer running with the settings and layouts that I liked. (Seriously, have to patch a system file just to use 3rd-party themes?) I also didn't like that 99 times out of 100 if Windows didn't give you an option in the Control Panel to configure it, it could not be changed without serious registry hacking.

Now that Linux has become my main OS, I won't ever go back because I think that the GUI gets in the way of real work. I'm too addicted to the command line now. :p

w1k0 04-24-2009 07:02 PM


``A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm'' is about ideology and economy. I concentrated my attention on the technical aspects. Of course I don't disregard moral aspects, though in ideology and economy often there isn't any morality.


1) In Windows I always used only a couple of programs so it worked usually well without crashes.

2) I used Windows to surf before 2000. In those old times there were less malware then today.

3) Playing games in Windows is the esoteric domain of knowledge I never managed to meet.

4) Right!

5) Since Windows 95 I observed that my configuration of the system is a complement of the default configuration. Default settings were not efficient and uncomfortable for me.

6) Right!

7) In the times of DOS I wrote a lot of sophisticated batch files using different fine techniques. In Linux I can do all of that in a simple way and a lot more.

8) I definitely don't keep my fingers on the pulse. I didn't know about DRM. I read an article in Wikipedia. Big Brother! (see: George Orwell, 1984).

9) When I used in Windows pendrive to print some PDF files stored on it I was unable to unmount it after printing. The only method was to reboot the system.

10) Good night!


Old hardware works nice with Linux. I use my old laptop as a jukebox.


The idea of system registry is a nightmare for users and a blessing for editors of computer magazines.

CoderMan 04-24-2009 07:22 PM

My reasons for not using Windows
1. I can't study the code running Windows
2. I can't copy the code running Windows
3. When I'm running Windows (instead of FOSS OS) it makes no positive statement about my philosophical commitment to FOSS.
4. The Windows "command-line interface" is layered /on top of/ the GUI
5. Windows "command-prompt" barely qualifies as a command-line interface
6. I cannot build Windows from scratch the way I like it
7. Only one option for a desktop environment
8. One frozen application can actually force me to reset my computer
9. No software repository
10. No system for updating software outside of core system updates
11. Licensing fees for /every/ computer or virtual machine I would want to install Windows on
12. Malware and spyware
13. Have to get permission from Microsoft in order to reinstall my OS
14. /Not/ using Windows helps shift the market share away from Microsoft, forcing hardware and software vendors to support other operating systems and to consider using open standards.
15. /Not/ using Windows helps debunk the popular myth that it is impossible to do common, day-to-day computing tasks without Windows.
16. I don't trust Microsoft. Who knows what back-doors or other vulnerabilities they might have slipped into the code? I am forced to accept the assurances of a few Microsoft programmers whose code I am not allowed to see.
17. No run-levels
18. No highly customizable installation options (unlike, say, the Debian "Expert" Net-Install)
19. You can't "strip down" Windows for a specific piece of older hardware.
20. Windows security updates tend to be reactionary, while FOSS developers can examine all the code (the "enough eyes" principle) and deal with vulnerabilities before anyone even thinks to exploit them.
21. It is simply too frustrating to put up with the slowness of Windows (compared to my customized Linux installation).
22. Internet Explorer
23. Windows file permissions

Well, that's a few off the top of my head. I'm sure I could think of more if I had the time.

lumak 04-24-2009 10:18 PM

I don't use Windows because it's Microsoft and on a side note, I don't use OSx because it's Apple. I don't agree with either of the companies so I don't use their products for personal use.

hitest 04-25-2009 12:41 AM

To be honest I don't think about Windows very much unless I'm at work helping my co-workers deal with MS oddities. I've grown accustomed to Slackware, it is a comfortable fit for me. I don't dislike Windows, I don't care about it very much.

H_TeXMeX_H 04-25-2009 05:16 AM


Originally Posted by hitest (Post 3520198)
To be honest I don't think about Windows very much unless I'm at work helping my co-workers deal with MS oddities.

That's a good point ... I used to help people with Window$ problems, but have decided not to anymore. I just shrug my shoulders and tell them I don't know. You might think it's mean, because technically I could solve them, but the solutions are almost never permanent and never really work as they are supposed to, and the solutions often cause other problems, so I think it's a waste of time to try to help them. I usually say "I don't know how to fix it, but if you have a problem with Linux, I'll help out."

Also, although I really do try not to help people with their Window$ problems, sometimes I end up helping anyway ... especially if it's a nice girl who looks like she's frustrated and had enough of Window$, I can't not help in this case.

brianL 04-25-2009 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by w1k0 (Post 3519933)
2. In Windows I can't compare files with diff and cmp, I can't process files with cat, tac, head, tail, grep, sort, etc., I can't process texts with sed, awk, and Perl, I can't find files fast with slocate, and I can't write sophisticated shell scripts. In Linux I have all those programs and much more out of the box.

So you're not aware of Cygwin, MSys/MinGW, GnuWin32, UWin, UnxUtils, etc?

Originally Posted by w1k0 (Post 3519933)
3. Most of Windows applications are commercial programs or shareware. I don't like to pay for software. Linux is for free. Most of Linux programs are for free.

The only thing I've paid for is the operating system, everything else is free in one or both senses of the word.

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