PDA

View Full Version : Your definition of a good operating system



stwschool
April 30th, 2009, 04:27 AM
There was a troll thread closed a couple of days ago but before it closed someone posted a relevant question in it, so I thought I'd ask it here and give my own answer, and see what everyone else's was too.

To me, an operating system is just somewhere to run my programs and manage my files. That's it. A good operating system will let me do what I want to do, the way I want to do it. A good operating system will look after my security without me having to work too hard at it. A good operating system will run the programs I need to run. A good operating system is fast and doesn't waste resources.

For me then, Ubuntu GNU/Linux is a very good operating system. My Windows games (barring Empire: Total War and GTA 4) all work, my windows apps all work (thank you Wine) and the native apps I have on here are excellent. I couldn't now live without Quanta, Inkscape, Transmission, Leafpad, etc. If I need a speed-boost I run Gnome with E16 window manager and my god it flies.

Your turn :)

garythegoth
April 30th, 2009, 05:03 AM
Intrepid.

Icehuck
April 30th, 2009, 05:12 AM
A good operating system? One that launches my desired application and gets out of the way.

Einsamkeit
April 30th, 2009, 05:32 AM
To me, a good OS is an OS that functions smoothly, launching the programs I need quickly and without blowing up. It's an OS that is compatible with the rest of the world (webpages and documents from other OSes for example) and that can run useful applications (like OpenOffice).

Other than that, it's an OS that is customizable if needed and that doesn't bother you at every moment with something (quite like what IceChuck was saying about getting out of the way).

It's about it.

amingv
April 30th, 2009, 05:35 AM
A good operating system lets you choose how to make it a good operating system.

djdarrin91
April 30th, 2009, 05:38 AM
I agree! Ubuntu is a great OS! It handles day to day tasks quite well,It's fast and keeps my files safe and i didn't have to fork out a truck load of money! -\\:D/

C!oud
April 30th, 2009, 05:40 AM
See my sig, that should give you a good idea of my definition of a good OS.

juancarlospaco
April 30th, 2009, 05:43 AM
Jaunty.
Hardy LTS Server.

Wes7
April 30th, 2009, 05:46 AM
There was a troll thread closed a couple of days ago but before it closed someone posted a relevant question in it, so I thought I'd ask it here and give my own answer, and see what everyone else's was too.

To me, an operating system is just somewhere to run my programs and manage my files. That's it. A good operating system will let me do what I want to do, the way I want to do it. A good operating system will look after my security without me having to work too hard at it. A good operating system will run the programs I need to run. A good operating system is fast and doesn't waste resources.

For me then, Ubuntu GNU/Linux is a very good operating system. My Windows games (barring Empire: Total War and GTA 4) all work, my windows apps all work (thank you Wine) and the native apps I have on here are excellent. I couldn't now live without Quanta, Inkscape, Transmission, Leafpad, etc. If I need a speed-boost I run Gnome with E16 window manager and my god it flies.

Your turn :)

Secure, file management, no blue screens, games. Ubuntu does almost all except a few games (Just use Windows for those :|) Overall, I consider Ubuntu the best OS.

halovivek
April 30th, 2009, 05:48 AM
Security ((Linux)Ubuntu) + User Friendly in screens ( Windows (now ubuntu also coming)) + Installing of files fast and user friendly ((windows) ubuntu also starting) + Sound and video ((MAC-OS) Linux and windows thriving in this area) + No virus and Mal ware problem ((Linux)) + frequent updates ((Linux is King) other OS started )+ Lot of softwares ((windows 1st) now Linux in second place)

I am looking all these combination's of software then it will be called Full OS.

Saint Angeles
April 30th, 2009, 05:51 AM
to me, its really important that my OS be 100% customizable and display things EXACTLY how i want it. i need to be able to choose every single aspect of the GUI from the fonts, to the colors...

GTK themeing allows me to do that.

and of course, stability is very important. theres not much point to having an amazing application if its going to crash a lot.

i like very simple applications... but only if the options are configured the way i want. for example, i use totem a lot because its simple and works very well most of the time. but sometimes, i like to run mplayer because the amount of options are staggering. the same thing is true with OSes.

OS X is very simple, but its not configured the way i want it (the GUI is hideous and i dont like the way the menu items are on that top bar)... on the other hand, windows has a lot more options than OS X but its not nearly as stable, the filesystem is totally weak (C: drive?), and its basically just overall ugly.

Linux allows me to customize my GUI, it uses a virtual filesystem (like how any folder or drive can be mounted just about anywhere else), its powerful enough to offer me a lot of options reguarding audio devices, video settings, networking, etc..., and of course, the whole Open Source philiosophy is totally awesome.

EnGorDiaz
April 30th, 2009, 05:54 AM
since moving from ubuntu and going onto os's likes freebsd a good os to me is a stable os something you can make unstable yourself and not the devs making it unstable

lykwydchykyn
April 30th, 2009, 05:58 AM
Where do the applications end and the OS begin? With Windows you get a disc and a license, and if it's on the disc and covered by the license it's the OS, if you bought it separately it's an application.

After using various distros for years, to me it's all just one big stack of software that starts down at the kernel and works its way up through the libraries, engines, and frameworks to the programs I run. I interact with that stack at various levels as required, I sometimes remove bits that aren't needed, or add bits that are.

I like having a software stack that lets me interact with it at whatever level I need to, without making arbitrary distinctions between OS and application.

logos34
April 30th, 2009, 06:02 AM
I'd have to agreewith the customizable aspect...that's really important for me.

Also, security. To think of all the time I wasted on avg scans and whatnot back in MS days...Now I just laugh at all those windows users running around scared out of their wits by the conficker threat and the like...

EnGorDiaz
April 30th, 2009, 06:44 AM
I'd have to agreewith the customizable aspect...that's really important for me.

Also, security. To think of all the time I wasted on avg scans and whatnot back in MS days...Now I just laugh at all those windows users running around scared out of their wits by the conficker threat and the like...


i dnt laugh as that brings ignorance to me

Paqman
April 30th, 2009, 07:40 AM
A good operating system? One that launches my desired application and gets out of the way.

Absolutely.

I'm not a Linux hobbyist. I couldn't give a monkey's about fiddling about with the innards. I want to use my apps, not waste time massaging the OS.

The OS needs to run the hardware, manage security, file management (storage, transfer, search) allow me to install and remove software quickly and easily, and provide me with an efficient and aesthetically pleasing interface. I want it to do all that with the absolute minimum input from me. Automation is what computers excel at, so I want it to do as much as possible behind the scenes and leave me to get on with my stuff.

etnlIcarus
April 30th, 2009, 07:50 AM
I'm trying to avoid this post becoming a *nix vs. Windows comparison but I'm not sure how else to write it succinctly:


- Powerful (yet unobtrusive) interface, which helps me get stuff done without getting in the way.

That's a tall order but I find modern *nix DEs (Xfce especially) do this brilliantly. OSX and Windows are mediocre at best (and that's usually after a fair bit of tweaking).


- Minimum of obligatory tweaking but plenty of optional (low-risk) tweaking.

*nix tends to come with lots of both. Windows comes with a moderate amount of the former but all it offers in the latter (courtesy of dodgy third party hacks) tends to risk compromising the system.


- Price.

No guessing which OS butters my bread here.


- Centralised package management.

The single greatest innovation in OS design.


- Security & a minimum of maintenance

These two are in the same category for obvious reasons. I think the little bit of convenience lost through a decent security models pays off in spades when it comes to the savings in maintenance time, effort & heartbreak.


- Software, hardware and format support

Probably the one area where I'm left wanting with *nix. Also the one area which I can't realistically expect to be fixed, without *nix first gaining a much larger foothold on the desktop.

lisati
April 30th, 2009, 08:01 AM
Where do the applications end and the OS begin? With Windows you get a disc and a license, and if it's on the disc and covered by the license it's the OS, if you bought it separately it's an application.

Very good definition, but confounded on three of my machine by them having custom recovery DVDs/partitions with "extras" (ok, bloatware, if you want to call it that) installed by the manufacturer.

For me a good OS is one that lets me get on with what I need to do with the minimum of fuss, with options to customize as required.

hessiess
April 30th, 2009, 08:01 AM
Isnt made by MS
extreamly easey to custmise
Mouse free

lisati
April 30th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Mouse free

Nice touch: I had to pay for my mice!

etnlIcarus
April 30th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Wait, do you mean free-of-mouse or with-free-mouse?

skymera
April 30th, 2009, 10:48 AM
There was a troll thread closed a couple of days ago but before it closed someone posted a relevant question in it,

Do you have a link to this thread? I can't seem to find it and am intrigued :)

khelben1979
April 30th, 2009, 11:12 AM
A good operating system shall have the following features:

stable
robust
easy to use (for me, ha ha!)
fast feel in graphical mode
reliable
powerful
easy to maintain (installation and upgrades)

and.. gives a sense of personal satisfaction which makes you enjoy using it! :)

.Maleficus.
April 30th, 2009, 11:24 AM
My definition of a good OS would be Arch with Zsh.

I'm picky, what can I say.

hatten
April 30th, 2009, 11:30 AM
one that is KISS, and let me choose everything! (and is bleeding edge)

PacSci
April 30th, 2009, 11:39 AM
A good operating system:


Doesn't cost a ton of $$$.
Doesn't go behind my back and spy on me.
Has programs that do what I need or want it to do.
Can be customized however I want it.
Is fun to mess around with.


Pretty much, Linux (and maybe BSD - haven't tried that before, maybe in VirtualBox) are the only things that fit.

k2t0f12d
April 30th, 2009, 11:50 AM
To me, an operating system is just somewhere to run my programs and manage my files. That's it. A good operating system will let me do what I want to do, the way I want to do it. A good operating system will look after my security without me having to work too hard at it. A good operating system will run the programs I need to run. A good operating system is fast and doesn't waste resources.Those are nice qualities to have in a system. The integral problem is the point of view that reduces the complexity of a collection of programs needed to operate a general purpose computer into a singular object and then applies generalizations to it. The power and benefit of free software operating systems is not simply that the ability exists to compartmentalize parts of the system, but that free software itself is hostile to any other style of development. The popularity of the Linux kernel stems directly from the promiscuity of its code and lack of specialization in the mainline.

EDIT: To me, an operating system is an emergent system, with horizontally rather then vertically integrated social control, evolving rapidly, scaling easily to growth, and merging readily with new technology.

My requirements for a good operating system;
It must boot
It needs to drive the computer's devices (device specifications are a prerequisite)
Memory management!
At least one shell with a rich command language
Simple, powerful programs to handle filesystem management
Simple, powerful programs that perform text manipulation (which must also include at least one text editor!)
Simple, powerful programs to measure, benchmark, and debug system performance
Source code for everything licensed a la FSF
At least one compiler each type of complied program included
At least one compatible interpreter for each type of interpreted program included
Documentation that clarifies and compliments the source code

I would strictly consider anything else to be outside the umbrella of the "operating system", even if it is usual and practical for such features to be integrated with other programs I think make up the operating system (such as the GUI and graphics, networking, security, and applications software).

Except for the ones I forgot, of course! :popcorn:

Pasdar
April 30th, 2009, 12:32 PM
One that squeezes the maximum juice out of your hardware and at the same looks appealing, the former being more important than latter.

lvleph
April 30th, 2009, 12:34 PM
One that runs my apps, has the drivers I need, and lets me customize. Based on this definition it does not exist.

sim-value
April 30th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Is able of actually using Dual-Core to its fullest (no windows not you)
Good memory management
Fast boot up times
Customizable
Terminal ...

SunnyRabbiera
April 30th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Well for me Linux is the definition of a good operating system, its walk between ease of use and being very secure.
Linux is the most diverse OS on the planet, it can do anything all the other OS's out there can do and in many accounts better.
Sure Microsoft and Apple have the advantage in terms of money, influence, and power, but their time might be running out.
With the current economic crisis both companies seem unwilling to change to the times, while linux will remain reasonable OSX and Windows will get more pricey and more crappy.

Sublime Porte
April 30th, 2009, 02:11 PM
The OS should be a 'facilitator' for your use of the computer. It should be there, to serve you, and to facilitate your exploitation of your compmuter. It should be able to do what you want, and you should be able to modify, customise, add onto, delete from any single part of it that you need to.

It should converge towards compatibility, not diverge away from it. It should strive to allow you to work and interact with other systems, even if they are not from the same producer. It shoulld strive to support all file systems, to support open standards that make interoperability easier.

It should not be a system engineered for 'lock-in', trying to coax you into buying certain devices that sync well with it (xbox, ipod et al). It should not try to coax you into upgrading to newer versions, just to squeeze a few extra bucks outta ya wallet.

It should be a system by the people... for the people! Making life easier, not harder.

jordanae
April 30th, 2009, 02:46 PM
A good operating system lets you choose how to make it a good operating system.

That's a good answer. Most Linux distro's are are perfect in the sense that it lets you customize it to meet your needs (and wants), and it's usually easy to do.

lykwydchykyn
April 30th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Very good definition, but confounded on three of my machine by them having custom recovery DVDs/partitions with "extras" (ok, bloatware, if you want to call it that) installed by the manufacturer.


Well, I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it is interesting to wonder what people mean by "OS". Once upon a time, before Windows, things like web browsers, file browsers, and even the GUI or audio support were add-ons.