Open Source Operating Systems

I’ve posted a lot of information about the common ‘free’ open-source software that I routinely use, however… I just realized that I missed one of the most important applications you use, the Operating System itself.

While my “day job” relegates me to use Windows products for much of my work, I do a lot of additional work at home and for friends.

Currently I use and highly recommend Ubuntu Linux for most users, it’s got most of the usability features of Microsofr Windows and Apple OS/X, but without all of the additional baggage. It’s updated regularly, with new releases every 6 months and software patches made available almost daily. Updates are as non-intrusive as the Windows Update process, and only a very few ever require a reboot.

To quiet the other Linux users out there, I’ve used a lot of Linux ‘flavors’ in the past… each has had it’s place and may do so again…. this is my opinion for the moment and will likely change again in a few years. 🙂

Here’s the list:


Open Source Text Editors

As an old UNIX developer, I spent a significant portion of my work experience using VI, as my development environment became more focused on Windows, I used Homesite for developing text formatted documents. I’ve found that the current offerings from Eclipse and other IDE’s are notoriously bad at displaying the source of many document types, particularly JSP, HTML, XML, JAVA, JS and CSS files; where you often want to see exactly how a document is structured. Additional spaces, tabs and carriage returns can cause display formatting issues and wasted bandwidth in many cases.

Many of my peers are fans of TextPad, but I’ve found Notepad++ to be quite up to the task:

  • it is available for Windows and LINUX
  • supports auto-formatting of many text file types
  • can ‘replace’ the default Source-HTML viewer in MSIE.

Happy coding!