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General Discussion

Jonathan Grieve
MOD
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 91,028 Points

Development using Windows

So over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed I've written a few posts in the community which I've been positively tearing my hear out with problems using my Windows 10 Home computer to use Selenium, which is a great tool for testing and automating browser tasks.

I have devoted hours, literally hours to scouring the internet to try and find a solution to these issues. Although I haven't given up, I've found myself coming to the conclusion that my Windows Operating System just isn't the best suited for Selenium.

Another great development tool that I and probably yourselves have been introduced to is Docker. I jumped on the Docker bandwagon quite quickly and followed along with the course to try and download it But once Docker was on my system, I very quickly ran into a brick wall with trying to set it up to create containers for my projects and apps. I couldn't even get the program open. Try as I might, I couldn't get around this loop where I was downloading the software but any changes I made to my hardware just didn't seem to work. Apparently my version of the OS simply isn't compatible with Docker.

And then a couple of years ago (admittedly when I was typically using Windows 7) I was introduced to Sonic Pi, a system where apparently you could write music through coding. Which was very exciting but very quickly that fell flat too because I couldn't set that up.

All very disappointing as I'm sure you can imagine.

So yesterday for the very first time, I found myself asking the question "Do I need to call time on Windows and get myself a Mac"? .... something like a Macbook Pro for example.

All my life I have used Windows Computers. Our family is a Windows family of users ever since the old days of Windows 3.1 (blimey that takes me back). But it seems the best results for following courses on Treehouse are when you follow along with the same or similar Operating System (which are typically Apple Computers).

For the most part, Windows should work for me when following along. When I'm downloading NPM packages, for example, I get a few warnings and descriptions but packages behave as they should. But if I keep having trouble, particularly with Selenium I can't help but think this holds me back.

Questions.....

Do people have similar problems even when working with Mac?

Am I right to think about getting rid of Windows to work on Web Development?

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this, especially from teachers if possible. :)

2 Answers

Ari Misha
Ari Misha
19,286 Points

Hiya Johnathan! I can relate to you since im a windows user as well. Its feels like there is something kinda war between windows and rest of the computing OS world. And i, also, have been a windows user for a while now. Now one thing you could do is install Linux on your machine. I use like two different OS on my machine: Linux and Windows. I only use windows for general purpose and switch to Linux when tryna creating projects and codes. Actually im thinkin about switching to Mac as well. I'd like to hear/read other students notions as well. (:

~ Ari

Ari Misha #### ? I have a mac. I think that macOS is an awesome os for both development and personal stuff because it contains an awesome UI and the terminal there is Linux based.

Ryan S
Ryan S
27,276 Points

I agree with Ari Misha on the dual boot setup. When I first installed Ubuntu alongside Windows on my laptop, I did it with the intention of just experimenting with it. Turns out I now run Ubuntu 95% of the time, and only use Windows for Windows-only things. I do have an older Mac as well which I haven't felt the urge to return to ever since diving into Linux. Don't get me wrong, Macs are great, but Linux is pretty great too, and best of all it's open source.

Jonathan Grieve
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 91,028 Points

So that’s 2 recommendations for Linux. :)

How does that work in practice, do you choose which OS to start with on Bootup? Or does it run on Windows as a Linux emulator? :)

I’d be very hesitant to make huge hardware changes as when I upgraded to windows 10 last year there were huge problems and I was without my PC for months.

Seth Kroger
Seth Kroger
56,407 Points

In practice, there is a key you hold down during power-on that will show you a "Boot Menu" where you can choose a bootable drive. It varies by BIOS but it's often displayed on the BIOS splash screen that first comes up, and usually F12. (Linux bootloaders will also display a menu of bootable partitions on startup until a default is chosen and can load both Linux or Windows in theory, but in practice Windows does not like having it's bootloader replaced at all and it probably won't work).

Two other options you can take are are bootable USB drive or or use VirtualBox, etc. I'd suggest the bootable USB drive as a simple alternative. You just plug in the USB before startup/restart when you want to switch to Linux and you'll still have easy access to your files on the Windows drive without messing with the hard drive or boot setup.

Jonathan Grieve
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 91,028 Points

I'll have to research and see what might be done. After Windows though I find myself favouring Apple Mac over Linux though. I have even less experience with Linux than Macs and a bad experience with Linux and missing Flash Drives :)

Going forward I would definitely continue to store important files like invoices etc on Windows but store things I have on Version control across all systems!

Rixa Gregory
Rixa Gregory
18,633 Points

i grew up in a windows family too started out with windows 3.1. i stuck with it until vista came out then i just couldnt do it anymore it just sucked up so much space and irritated me. my friend was into putting linux on everything at the time so i handed him my laptop and he put ubuntu on it then i started learning how to use it. i only used the gui at first then got open office and figured that out. i was into graphics at the time and gimp was ok but nothing compared to the corel draw i had for windows. after taking some network admin classes in college i switched to mac and havent looked back for my own things like adobe suite, web design, its totally worth it! only for work my work pc is windows and the company loves vba i learned enough to format my reports fast but i dont like it much. the only thing that makes me even consider getting another windows box is the game selection.