Hey Mastodon!

I have a question for you all: What, in your opinion, is the most user-friendly OS ever created? I need some stuff to study for a thing I'm making that relates heavily to OS design.


@detondev I really like the OS in the new Audi A6. The Tesla OS is pretty good too.
On phones iOS is probably best.
PCs all have crappy OS in my opinion, unless you define your own desktop on some Linux and add all the bells and whistles you need, which takes about a year.

@detondev My experience may be quite limited, but I'm extremely impressed by elementary OS!

Things off the top of my head I like about it:
* Always-saved, because there's no reason anymore for us to manually save.
* Rather than welcome you to apps with a blank screen leaving you clueless what to do, it suggests some actions.
* Requires minimal clicks to achieve any feature.
* It looks gorgeous!
* Apps look & behave similarly (though they've dialled back a little)

To me the last great operating system was OpenSolaris.
HaikuOS is probably the best desktop-oriented OS.
Plan9 is also pretty good, at least in it's own context of an old and minimalist system done by one group and targeted at multiple machines, these days it would be mostly admin/dev-oriented though, but they are users as well.
@lanodan @detondev I had similar thoughts, I don't really use it on any of my primary machines but Haiku is probably a decent bet as far as desktop user-friendliness goes.


I think it largerly depends on who the user is. But personally I think that PopOS! is absolutely competing for the first place.
All my kids and my wife use it, and my mother in law to who is not great when it comes to anything tech-related.

One tip: Try to avoid #GNOME where possible. They seem to make stuff really obtuse, annoying and often ugly these days.

From what we can tell, it looks like a case of too many cooks, and they hide their development process behind way too many layers of security. If you had an improvement proposal but wish to be anonymous, they've made themselves unreachable.

Terrible from a #whitehat perspective.

Long story short, GNOME? Stay as far away as you can.


@dsfgs I mean running a DE with javascript is a pretty bad idea to begin with. Wikipedia has this to say:

> This session uses more RAM and CPU due to use of JavaScript for GNOME Shell and all of its extensions, and requiring 3D acceleration.

And then hard dependency to SystemD is not great. They should've at least kept other init systems supported, even with limited support + a note of this limitation.

Only plus is that GNOME has a good UI design IMHO. It's beginner friendly.

Many even question UI choices. Even if it is beginner friendly, we question how beginning-pleasing it is.

Or pleasing for most any user.

@dsfgs Yeah, but we need at least one DE to please the beginners.

They are an important part of the userbase. Bringing them in can bring us investments into the platform and new hardware. Kind of like Firefox. It needs to live in order to create LibreWolf or IceCat. 😆

I don't use GNOME anymore. I use Openbox and my system runs waaay fast. I can use it, config it and troubleshoot it. Some can use Xfce. But for some people GNOME is the matter of Linux or not to Linux. It's made for them.

@adnan360 @dsfgs

It's my understanding that GNOME Shell's JS code is not core. It has animations and it renders UI but the compositor and basically everything else is in Mutter and libmutter which are C.

@lionirdeadman @dsfgs Yes, but it runs JS somewhere. So there needs to be a JS engine loaded always.

We know how electron turned out to be. Last time I tried some apps, electron has improved but it still isn't as fast and takes a lot or RAM.

I'm a webdev myself, so I know how great it is to be able to do things in JS. But JS is ok on browsers, not on desktop.

@adnan360 @dsfgs

Eh, the GNOME Shell process takes about 160MB on my machine.

I don't think a JS engine is as much as Electron which ships an entire browser anyways.

@dsfgs @selea @detondev

I'm not so sure. IRC and Matrix are both accessible (pseudo-)annonymously.

I guess you can't really say the same of the Gitlab instance. I think this is a fair criticism and something I'd like to bring up.

As for not contributing or staying away, I don't agree at all. I think the community and project are pretty great.

@dsfgs @selea @detondev

I actually want to correct myself. GNOME has re-opened registrations a while ago.

Maybe we will try again, someday, but we tried to connect over a fairly long period of time and it was an impossible experience, and left a bad taste, unfortunately.

@selea @detondev

@detondev In terms of desktop Linux I wouldn't Focus too much on the OS but more on the different Desktop environments. There are a punch off and you do not have to reinstall the whole system to try a new one. On the bottom of this article are a view popular one.

There are also some less popular specially tuned for specific input methods or user behaviour.

@detondev In terms of initial ease of learning, Elementary OS and Linux Mint. Neither requires prior experience, both expose easy software and system management, provide friendly GUIs and insulate you from beginner mistakes.

In terms of use over time, KDE Manjaro. Fully customizable to become a perfect fit for the individual, provides access to the latest improvements to software with a little buffer of protection from the bleeding edge, bundles extra useful tools for more advanced needs.

@freedcreative @detondev these OSes are only user-friendly on the assumption that you're familiar with other OSes with similar design choices.

@detondev Anything that does not have a huge labyrinth of GUIs to blindly navigate. So far I think debian with default xfce the best / easiest for me.

@detondev From a "can be used by any bonobo" perspective: MacOS.
I just can't deny how easy it is to work in MacOS...
If only it wasn't for the rest of Apple to be a piece of shit.

@detondev Desktop: Having worked with the Big Three, I'd say macOS, in that it is the least lacking. But they're all shit.

But when we open out into mobile platforms, I'd say iOS. I probably haven't worked with Android enough to give it a fair appraisal, But I find it pretty confusing compared to iOS, so there you go.

If I were to answer this wearing my developer hat, and not at not just before I go to bed after a long day, answers may be different :-)

@detondev Most user-friendly depends completely on the type of users imho. But BeOS, MacOS and HaikuOS come to mind. helloSystem too perhaps,


The Apple operating system before the macOs X

It was called simply "System 7"

That's the most friendly thing I've ever experienced

@detondev AmigaOS. *Barely,* because the incremental improvements of modern OSs are not to be trifled with ­– but AmigaOS is just well-designed.

You could install .PNG support, then every program that opened images supported .PNG filles.

@detondev Linux Mint, Zorin OS and elementary OS come to mind. Also most flip phone operating systems.

I want to say Win95. Clearly labeled Start button to let even the newest user where to go to do something new.


for personal computer: probably Macintosh System 7.

for mobile: iOS, version 4 or 5 I guess? each new major release, the less accessible it became, IMO. less simple. in the earlier versions, the UI was so simple and there wasn’t actually a lot you could do. less to figure out, less to accidentally screw up :)

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