What Operating System Should You Choose for Your Next Desktop

Last Edited: September 3, 2018 | Published: May 10, 2016 by

What Operating System Should You Choose for Your Next Desktop

Today, we all know that Microsoft dominates the PC world with their Windows operating system. Still, they aren’t the only player out there. The reality is when you buy a new desktop, and especially if you build yourself a new desktop, there many different options out there for you to choose from for your operating system.

Gone are the days where you only had one choice if you wanted to do anything. Today there are a wide range of operating systems that you can choose. So, if you are sitting there wondering what OS you should run on your next desktop, this is the article for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best operating system choices out there and highlight where they truly shine so you can make the right operating system choice when you get ready to buy a new desktop.

OS Options Perfect for Desktop

Let’s take a look at some of the options out there for your desktop. All of these operating systems should install just fine on your system and will make a great choice for your computer.

Windows 10


The most recent release of Windows from Microsoft, Windows 10 is sleek and fast and filled with every modern feature you could possibly hope to have in an operating system. Finally Microsoft was able to combine the very best of Windows 7 and Windows 8 into an operating system that is really a pleasure to use. Of course, you still have to deal with some of the problems that using Windows causes. While its better, viruses are still an issue even today and Windows still isn’t as user friendly as Mac OS or other options out there.

Where It Shines:

  • Latest most Feature rich OS from Microsoft
  • Great for Budget and High-End Gaming PCs
  • Great for Work

Its Drawbacks:

  • Compatibility Issues
  • Security
  • It’s Microsoft

Mac OS X


I almost didn’t include this one on the list, as you have to purchase a Mac desktop such as an iMac in order to run it. Sure, you can try some of the Hackintosh stuff, but your success and performance simply can’t be guaranteed. Mac OS X is one of the most secure and feature rich operating systems on the market. Built on BSD and great improved upon by Apple, it is secure and simple a pleasure to use. If you are in education, music, or graphics, this is definitely the machine to get. However, if you want to do other things such as play games, you may have to look at other options.

Where It Shines:

  • Stable and Secure
  • Beautiful Interface
  • Great for Graphics

Its Drawbacks:

  • Limited Gaming Options
  • Some Software Not Available
  • Expensive

Ubuntu Linux


One of the major leaders in the world of Linux on personal computers, Ubuntu is by far one of the easiest to use and is often credited with bringing Linux into a more mainstream light. It is gorgeous and easy to use, making it one of the best options for anyone new to the Linux operating system. It is a little resource heavy compared to other options out there, as it takes a bit of power to run some of its coolest features and drive the graphics that provide the beautiful interface. If you have been thinking of trying something different on your system, consider Ubuntu your gateway Linux. It’s filled with software and built to be used out of the box so you won’t have to spend hours configuring the OS before you can get to work.

Where It Shines:

  • Beautiful Interface
  • Stable design
  • Great Free Software

Its Drawbacks:

  • Resource Heavy
  • Gaming Limited

Fedora Linux


Fedora Linux was born out of Red Hat Linux, one of the leading Linux platforms that has long been in use in the business world. Fedora is kind of a test bed for the latest and greatest software and its developers are dedicated to only using free software. Because of this you may run into some bugs and other software out there may not be available since it isn’t considered free and open source. Still, if you want the latest that the Linux world has to offer, this is the distribution for you.

Where It Shines:

  • Cutting Edge Technology
  • Beautiful Interface
  • Great Free Software

Its Drawbacks:

  • New Tech Means More Bugs
  • Gnome 3 Not for Everyone
  • Limited Game Support

Bunsenlabs Linux


The successor to Crunchbang Linux after development was abandoned, this distribution is built for one thing – speed. It is fast and very lightweight, making it a great option for those who don’t want an OS to get in the way of their processing power. It’s also good for older machines as well, and it can even breathe new life into your aging desktop. It has a vast software library as well, so you will never run out of applications to try and use. If you are looking for something that’s fast and lightweight and don’t care if it isn’t quite as pretty as the other options, this is definitely the operating system for you.

Where It Shines:

  • Light and Fast
  • Abundant Software

Its Drawbacks:

  • Lacks That Pretty Feeling
  • Gaming is a No Go

Linux Mint


Another derivative of Ubuntu, Linux Mint takes this distribution in a different direction. While it has all the software, support and stability that you can find with Ubuntu, the design of the user interface is a bit different. At first glance, you will notice that it looks much more like a classic Windows interface than anything else. This makes it a great choice for long time Windows users to make the switch. Using the familiar menu system, you can easily find every app you need for both work and play. Add to that the Ubuntu software repositories and you have enough to keep you busy for hours or even days on end.

Where It Shines:

  • Windows-like Interface
  • Built on Ubuntu
  • Loads of Software

Its Drawbacks:

  • Ugly, Though Functional Interface
  • Gaming Support Is Poor



While FreeBSD won’t win any beauty pageants anytime soon, if you are looking for rock solid, secure and stable this is the OS for you. FreeBSD is another Unix derivative that focuses mainly on security making it perfect for servers. That doesn’t mean that’s the only thing it is good for. In fact, you can use FreeBSD to create a rock solid desktop that will never fail you. Still, if you want to setup a home server, this is one of the best choices out there. While you can install almost anything on it, it lacks the pretty GUI out of the box, so it will take a little bit of work to get it into that kind of shape.

Where It Shines:

  • Rock Solid and Secure
  • Great for Servers

Its Drawbacks:

  • Hard to Use
  • Not as Slick

Other Options

This is by no means a complete list. In fact, it is far from it. There are many other options out there for you to choose from. This list is provided to you with some of the very best and most popular operating systems out there today. Don’t be afraid to try one that you haven’t heard of before. You could find that you end up liking it much more.

Don’t Forget Dual Booting

If you can’t decide what operating system you should use, then why not setup a dual boot system so you can get the best of both worlds. This is especially great for people who enjoy gaming, for example. On one partition you can install Linux for example to get access to all the great software, security and freedom that Linux brings, while on another partition you can install Windows so you can play all of your favorite games.

This setup is also ideal if you want a separate partition for testing different kinds of software or even if you just want to tinker with some of the other options without giving up your favorite Windows partitions. If you decide to buy a Mac and use Mac OS X, you can still dual boot your system with Windows using Bootcamp if needed.

One of the great things about having a desktop with a large hard drive is the freedom it gives you to install almost whatever you want. So instead of just loading it up with files why not try a different operating system instead?

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many more choices out there for operating systems. Probably a lot more than you thought. Today you aren’t roped into just using Windows. Sure, if you want to play games, Windows is still king followed in a distant second by Mac OS X. But for all other tasks out there, you can get the job done with one of the other Linux or Unix based operating systems that are available.

If you can’t decide, try a dual boot setup and see which one you like the best. You may surprise yourself. Trying other operating systems is a great thing for almost anyone to do at some point. It allows you to expand your mind and learn even more about the technology you use on a daily basis. So the next time you setup a new desktop, why not try an alternative OS? You may find that you actually enjoy using them even more than you do your default Windows installation.

What OS is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. Do you use one that is not on this list? Then I definitely want to hear from you. You may even give me my next operating system to try.

About the author