Are we talking only on a regularly used home or work machine here or do ATMs, ticket machines and that game console you tried once at a friends house all count? Same question for arcade machines? What about calculators? What about when you call an automated telephone service? Are we only making the distinction on the OS family or would, for example, Windows 95 and Windows NT count as two operating systems? Presumably different Linux distros would count as different OSes too? So many questions! I just about lost count, even going by OS family / primary product name.
And to add, I assume different distros are counted as different OSes (Debian vs Arch vs Slackware vs ....), so then do we then also count release versions (Ubuntu 12.04LTS vs Ubuntu 16.04 vs ...) like we would for Windows (95 vs 98 vs XP vs 7 vs ...)?
release versions?! But I'm on Gentoo!
so then do we then also count release versions (Ubuntu 12.04LTS vs Ubuntu 16.04 vs ...) like we would for Windows (95 vs 98 vs XP vs 7 vs ...)?
What about DOSes from before the GUI became common?
TRS-DOS don't remember what version(s)Apple DOS 3.2, 3.3, ProDOS 8, ProDOS 16, GS/OS multiple versions, Beagle Bros ProntoDOSCP/M don't remember version(s)MS-DOS 3.3, 4.x, 5.x, 6.xDR-DOS 5.x, 6.x, 7.xPC-DOS 3.3, grud-knows-which other versionsFreeDOS 0.x, 1.x
And that's before considering the BSDs, the many Linux distros and releases of each, Mac OS versions and the various flavors of Windows, Android versions, iOS versions, etc.
Hey! Where's my Commodore 64 [wikipedia.org] you insensitive clod!
C-64. Poser! Real computer users were on the CBM or PET! (Actually it was 4016s and 4032s I used at school when I couldn't get time on the TRS-80 Model IIIs. Until my folks gave me an incredible present of a Model III of my own.)
Count all Linux versions as one thing (Although, obviously Yggdrasil ought to count on its own). And all Windows versions is one (But DOS is a separate thing). DRDos and Gem are different - get the idea.
Do I count real BSD from Berkeley with and without my hacks as two different things?
If I count the modern *BSDs as 3 different things, then I get to 40, and I am sure I forgot some. What about USCD Pascal? (Its behind you! - Oh no it isn't) And that Fortran only environment on CDC6600s?
That's not really fair. You can't lump Windows'95 in with Windows 8 - they are significantly different beasts in all aspects that anyone encounters.Different suggestion: count every version that you'd consider separate as a different OS.Sure, it's somewhat arbitrary, but it beats lumping everything from WfW3.11 to Win10 into one category.
Moreover, as to embedded systems (e.g. microwave, car) or other OS's where you don't really know what the OS is (e.g. NES, SNES, ...): don't count 'em.
For me, this leads to the following list:- ZX Spectrum Basic- C64 basic- Dos 3.0, 3.1, 3.13, 5.0, 6.0- Windows for Workgroups 3.11- Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, NT, Vista, 8- Ubuntu LTS: 6.06, 8.04, 12.04, 16.04- Ubuntu 7 (i think)- Slackware- FreeBSD
That's not really fair. You can't lump Windows'95 in with Windows 8
I beg to differ. Once set up, there's not THAT much difference between 95 and 7 (I haven't really used Vista much, but when I did, nothing really surprised me. Ten... ten may make me change my mind, tho - I've SEEN some things in Ten, man...)
Turning off all the thrice-damned "dynamic menu" garbage helps a lot (where am I today? Am I overrr here? NOPE! I'm over here! Can't catch me!), and the Windows-style shortcut keys haven't changed insofar as the really common ones. I can still pop open an Explorer window from anywhere with windowskey+E and then just drill down to the program executable's location.
Under the hood, yes, there's a lot of changes from 95 to 8 - most of them quite good. From the usability and UI perspective, tho, with a little bit of tweaking using the very options provided within Windows itself, you can maintain a mostly-consistent look all the way from 95 to 8. My Wintendo's desktop and Start menu on 7 looks almost identical to 95, as does the Control Panel and Explorer layout.
C64? XZ81? Many would debate it wasn't technically an OS on there.
Soooo one needs to define what an OS is as a baseline, and at what point does a derivative count as a unique entity. ( like going from 98 to 98SE should not count as 2 )
I went much more conservative:
All Windows Oses, I counted as one.All Linux distros, I counted as one.All pre-Mac OS Xes, I counted as one.All Mac OS Xes, I counted as one.Each separate BSD, I counted individually. But each of the "desktop friendly" BSDs were all considered FreeBSD, so not counted again.Old SunOS and Solaris were two OSes.All Androids, Windows Mobiles, and IPhones/IPods were counted one each.
My interpretation of this question implies "with full privileges".
I'd propose an interpretation of "did you act as a systems administrator or software dev on that OS" as the cutoff.
Side question, bare metal or is retrocomputing simulation OK?
I know enough OS/8 (the PDP-8 OS, not mac), MVS/360, and TOPS-10 to be dangerous, but I'll never run them on bare metal (probably).
Let me just throw it out there that TOPS-10 is a cool OS. Long before apple tried to define itself as the friendly computer, TOPS-10 was actually friendly. MVS/360 is technologically impressive but no one would ever define it as friendly, its more of a KafkaOS. OS/8 was written in the 70s for 60s/70s minicomputers and is what 80s first wave home computers SHOULD have had instead of CP/M msdos and TRSDOS. Imagine the progress lost in IT/CS because of 80s home computers. Imagine the progress of a world of $100 PDP-8s running OS/8 instead of $100 commie 64s barely able to run MS basic.
I'd think using it as your primary OS at least some of the time. I have an install of Minix that I installed out of curiosity and played with a bit. I didn't count it. I'm posting from an obscure semi-dead OS with a year old browser, which I counted.
The joke is on you. You have more than one install of minix ( assuming you have a recent intel board.. )
Luckily my CPU is probably too old to include Minix.
According to that criterion probably the vast majority of computer users have used no operating system at all. The OS came preinstalled on the computer, and they didn't change anything until they dumped the computer for the next model.
Hmm first is probably Commodore BASICfollowed by DOS, I can't remember specific version numbers, but at least 2Then the many versions of Windows3.1, 95, 98, NT 4, NT 5, 2000/ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, I have so far managed to avoid 10, but it will probably eventually roll out to my work PC.UNIX as well as various versions of Linux; Redhat, Slackware, Ubuntu, Mint, Chrome OS.A few others, BeOS, FreeBSD.
Oh and a few MacOS versions starting around system 6 on.
Many of these were at work/school and were used only minimally, but many of them were installed (usually by me) on my own machines.
Hmm I voted 16-19 but this looks like more, but it depends on how you count version/revision.
If you count mobile and other devices, I guess you could also add versions of iOS, android, TI calculator OS, and too many others to count.
The funny thing is I don't even really think of myself as a computer expert, I just dabble a little.
Yeah, it's hard to vote ( I voted 20 or more) given a move from red hat 5.2 to redhat 6 could be considered 2 different OS.....
Let's say lots and lots, no matter what you consider an OS!?!
Same here, if we're including versions, then I've done about 8 Ubuntus alone... Does Debian count different from Ubuntu? How about Gentoo? Raspbian? Slackware, etc.
Then there's OS-X in half a dozen cats and national parks, several iOS, uncounted flavors of Android.
Then if we're going back in time, we've got the Windows family: 3.1, 95-98-98SE-ME, NT, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10... DOS, DrDOS, CPM, Atari BASIC, Commodore, Tandy, VAX, Gould, and I've probably forgotten more than I've included.
Favorite? Whatever works and doesn't prompt me to update it.
I miss BeOS. It was super fast on the hardware of the day, simple, and had a nice interface. I never actually had a BeBox, but I missed around with the Developer's Edition or something like that shortly after Be Inc ceased to be. Nostalgia drives me to test drive Haiku on occasion, but it just isn't the same.
If you liked BeOS, then you should check out HaikuOS.. (https://www.haiku-os.org/). It is pretty much BeOS and though its still alpha, its pretty stable, and runs BeOS software.. Theres a lot of ports of Linux programs over to it... I run it frequently in Virtualbox... Very Cool!!!
Thanks for reminding me about the C=64...
I'm grouping a lot of these together, as I consider some of them too close to being different versions of the same OS.
I'm also not counting OSes that I only touched a few times on other people's computers (Commodore PET, WinME, Mac System 7(?))
So, my list would be:
Vax/VMS (used during my university days to chat and send email over this thing called the "internet")
MS Windows 3.0/3.1 and 3.11 for Workgroups
MS Windows 95/98/ME
Windows NT 3.51/ 4.0/2000
Windows 8/8.1 (this probably should be grouped either with 7, or with 10?)
GNU/Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Slackware, etc)
Off the top of my head, I recall using, installing, and/or getting work or play done with these operating systems:
So that's at least a few dozen. ~ Means that I still have it installed and usable on a real or virtual machine. * means I use it on a day to day basis for a workstation or server (or phone/tablet) OS.
Reading over this, it looks like I've been spending my life preparing for this one sidebar survey. And this is what I *remember*. No telling what all I've forgotten.
Favorite: Debian. Thanks guys, Debian is excellent.
Yup, I'm to the point that I could probably take the same choices for "How many OSes have you used this week?" and be safe hitting 20+ without thinking about it.
Right off hand I can think of thirteen that are installed on something in my house right now. Add three more for the SN servers and one for The Roomie's truck and I really don't have to get out much at all to break twenty for the week.
I really don't have to get out much at all
Of course you don't have to get out much when you're satisfied to stick your dick in the robotic vacuum cleaner. Right, Uzzard?
Boring. Troll better.
'How to tease the troll with food without feeding it' by The Mighy Buzzard
And Psion's EPIC.
I note that hardly anyone has answered the 'favourite' part of the question, but that one (or, rather, EPOC, it's correct name) is mine - specifically EPOC16 (a.k.a. SIBO). It ran on a 4MHz 16-bit CPU with 256KB of RAM, ran a useable (though not WYSIWYG) word processor, a spreadsheet that's still probably my favourite (I actually still use it in a Psion emulator in DOSBox sometimes, because it's the only one I've used where keyboard navigation was easy), and came with a reasonable programming language (with support for structured programming). In spite of the tiny amount of RAM, it was a multitasking environment and still had RAM left over to use a RAM drive as the machine's primary storage (though I got a 128KB Flash SSD for mine as well - I remember not being able to fit the H2G2 text adventure on it).
I'm almost tempted to buy a 3a or 3c now that they're so cheap on eBay, but for the fact that even emulating an x86, DOSBox would probably run the emulator fast on my cheap mobile phone than the real hardware would run. And, in the emulator, you can easily set the screen resolution to 640x480 (and the built-in apps scale to that resolution, so you can see a lot more without scrolling).
By the way OS-9 is written with a dash instead of a slash. But the real reason I'm commenting is OS-9 is definitely one of my most favorite operating systems. It has a much larger range of machines it runs on than the Tandy CoCo. It's still in use today in embedded systems, etc. Multitasking, real-time, multi-user, reentrant code, etc. Quite a decent OS. I learned a lot playing with it.
By the way, for those that don't know, this isn't the mac os 9. This was designed back in the 80's and ran on 6809 chips. And still runs today.
Right you are. Sorry about the MacSlash.
The command "DOS" was added to Disk Extended Color Basic specifically to be able to boot OS-9.
And boy was I glad it was! :) Have a good day fellow old-timer!
Yup, same here. I reached 20 so quickly I stopped counting. Most of those I have touched on my day job too, I didn't even start to include all those custom Linux derivatives on media players or NAS devices that I've modded, or the microkernels I've toyed with.
I did group different Linux distro's from the same vendor together (so Red Hat, Fedora and RHEL == 1; SuSE, SLES, SLED and OES == 1), and counted Microsoft OSes as five different families: Dos (non-graphical), Windows 3.x (16-bit x86), Windows 9x (32-bit x86), Windows NT (entire kernel lineage), and Windows CE (handheld devices).
Here's some that I haven't seen mentioned yet:- Apple iOS- Cisco IOS- Juniper JunOS- VMWare- Novell Netware- HP-UX- IBM AIX- Sun Solaris- Illumos- OS/400 (IBM iSeries)
Apple DOS; ProDOS 8; ProDOS 16; GS/OS; MS-DOS; DR-DOS; FreeDOS; Windows 3.1; Windows NT; Windows 2000; Windows 95; Windows XP; Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10; ReactOS; Macintosh System 6, 7, 8, 9; Mac OSX; AIX; SunOS; FreeBSD; NetBSD; OpenBSD; GNU Hurd; Linux; Android
I grouped my list into OS families, these being OSes that I used regularly at one time or the other. For example, despite the similarity of names, Windows 3.1 (is it really an OS?) is essentially a different OS from Windows 95, which is completely different from Windows NT and its successors up to the present. These are (in no particular order):
DEC RSTS/EControl Data NOSPrimeOSTRS-80 DOSApple DOSAtari DOSCP/M-86MS-DOSWindows 2.0/3.1Windows 95Windows NT 4/2000/XP/7/810VMSDEC UltrixDEC UnixIBM AIXHP-UXSunOSSolarisAT&T Unix System VLinux (SLS/Slackware/SUSE/Ubuntu)MacOS (from the original System/Finder to version 9)MacOS XFreeBSDAndroidiOS
I now feel very old.
Get excited by something not tried yet - not quite OS-es, but:- some microcontroller developer boards are quite cheap - see Arduino- even FPGA-s aren't that expensive
Oooh, reminded me: NIOS cores... not really an OS, but certainly a toolchain and a half to get them to do anything.
Ooh, good call... there's also MicroPython [micropython.org] (bare-metal Python implementation), that counts as an OS too, right?
I forgot to mention BeOS. I still have an installation CD and boot disk in my garage somewhere. It was a kick-ass OS for its time. It's unfortunate that Apple didn't buy Be, Inc. but they made the right decision in acquiring Next instead.
You're the only IRIX here, along with me. You'd think there would be more.
Though compared to your lists and those of others here, mine is pretty pathetic. Also, no Solaris?
My list is like yours, except I never used CP/M, Atari DOS, or Android (surprisingly). I can add Unicos (Cray's UNIX), Next OS, and Data General MV series. I also feel (am?) old. :-)
I only use a Gnu Hurd that boots directly into Gnu Emacs.
Gnu Hurd doesn't count, emacs is the OS here.
Hurd doesn't count, emacs is the OS
To be fair, emacs is the more polished, finished, complex, and usable of the two.
I have used various versions of DOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and '80s home computer OSs, mostly covered by other posters' lists, but I didn't see Amiga yet (I played with MorphOS a bit too). And how about MSX-DOS, Human68K, and whatever OS the TI calculators used?
It's too bad that the Amiga didn't have memory protection from the beginning. It worked pretty well, in between crashes/gurus/reboots. Of course the 68000 had no MMU, and many 68K-based computer lines were born and died without ever getting a proper protected mode, preemptive multitasking OS. I guess the 68000 suffered from being "good enough." PCs started with the inferior 8086 and were able to move beyond its limitations. Imagine if the 8086 had 24-bit addressing (shift those segments left another four bits). Without having run out of address space so soon (640KB/1MB limit vs. hypothetical 16MB limit), how much longer would 16-bit DOS/Windows have hung on before finally being displaced by Windows NT?
Moving to NT as soon as the hardware supported it well would have happened if only for the memory protection, at least assuming the vendor put in close to equal support.
The OS I am currently using. Assuming, I'm not wishing death on the creator of said OS, because it's so useless. Then, it's just about anything else.
How about strangest OS?
An old version of minix on a 8086 XT. How are you doing memory and task protection? Oh I see, you aren't. None the less, it kinda worked. Ancient BSDs are one form of minimal unix, this was another, stranger form. If HP Lovecraft tried to write a unix on a 8086 ....
Urbit. Author's sometimes seem cantankerous lets redefine stuff just to F with people. Yet, it mostly works most of the time.
Every software developer's first interaction with a RTOS seems to involve a lot of "WTF". I have to do what, to make a LED provably reliably low latency high reliability blink? F it, lets just design a 555 timer into the hardware to blink the LED. I will admit RTOS are kinda cool once your brain finishes wrapping around the minimum required set of weirdness.
For weirdest we had Apollo workstations at school, I forget what they named their OS, but it was basically Sun Unix but with all the commands renamed... PITA, but they had sweeeet high res (like 1280x1024) 19" color monitors.
AEGIS and it was weird. Global root networked filesystem. Everything old is new again, eventually. The unix compatibility was skin deep.
Yep, that's the one - wouldn't work without a network card and the network was token ring... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain/OS#AEGIS [wikipedia.org]
but the actual commands themselves were designed to be easier to remember and use than their sometimes cryptic Unix equivalents
I call complete marketing BS on that line... they were renamed, equally if not more cryptic than their Unix equivalents, and no easier to remember - especially if you were simultaneously operating in MS-DOS, VAX and Unix elsewhere. The easiest to use aspect of the AEGIS commands was that, in practice, they worked almost identically to their Unix equivalents.
Linux on oldworld PowerPC Apples.
One wag described it as a continuous IQ test. For example, dual boot mandatory, no live CDs possible, and you had to choose your partitioning scheme before reinstalling MacOS. And the nightmare of the X server not starting unless you set the color depth to 15 bits. And so on.
At least the audio worked.
Dual-boot was not mandatory. Life was much easier with it, but definitely not mandatory. I ran NetBSD on my PPC ibook G4 until I got tired of fighting and returned to OSX.
Windows from 3.0 to 10 count as 1 OS, all Unix's count as 1. Thinking back I come up with 10-11. TRS-DOS, NEW-DOS, CP/M, RSX-11, VMS, Pyramid-OS, Windows, *nix, TRS-80 Basic, GEM, and a couple more in school (early 80s) I've forgotten the name of.
DOS-based Windows and NT-based Windows are completely different operating systems. In fact there was an unreleased version of NT called Microsoft Neptune which was actually not named Windows. I have used Microsoft Neptune and it might have been nice if Microsoft had dropped the name Windows but brand recognition prevailed.
> Microsoft Neptune
Should've named it Microsoft Uranus. Then you could call tech support and say that Uranus is being an ass.
VMS = "Virtual Memory System"
'W' == 'V'+1'N' == 'M'+1'T' == 'S'+1
WNT = "Windows New Technology"
NT = "New Technology"
NepTune = 'N' +"ep"+ 'T' +"une"
Ahahahaha I get it now. Dude pass the weed dude.
Yeah, hello? My planet is being a jenny.
I mean, my celestial body is being a donkey.
What? No, I mean, I'm being orbited by an equine.
Hello? Please help me with my errant asinus satellite! Hello!?
The sun finally calls his supermassive black mother?
That's why I broke out TRS-80 Basic and TRS-DOS. Never mind I spelled the OS that has made me successful *nux. Sigh.
"It goes on forever, and oh my God, it's full of operating systems!"VMSOS/2CP/MVic-20 & C=64 (I'll put them on the same line for argument's sake)AmigaDOSUnix in several of its myriad variants (SCO, VXWorks, SunOS, Solaris, DOMAIN, HP/UX, Mac/BSD*, blah, blah, blah)Unix-esque router/appliance OSen (e.g., IOS)Linux in all its myriad variants (Red Hat, Ubuntu, Slackware, Debian, etc., etc.)Netware (2.x and 3.x -- and if you think those are close to the same, well...no)DOS (and variants, such as FreeDOS and Dr. DOS)Winders (DOS-based)Winders (non-DOS based)Apple IIMac (pre-Unix)BeOSMVSAtariDOSWhatever the heck ran on the 6502-driven Commodore 1541 and 1571 floppy disk drivesVarious forms of embedded Hell (mostly on miscellaneous telecom switches and PBXes)PICK OSEmacs (This line's a joke. I think.)Whatever else it is I'm forgetting from, like, 1987. For example, does the fact that I ran BASIC on an Atari 2600 count? Probably not. Likewise, the fact that I've gotten console from various devices that the creators of which really rather wish I hadn't.
I guess it depends on how you count an OS. I'm don't think that Linux distros really count as separate operating systems, even if there is increasing divergence over the years. It would be ridiculious to fluff up the count that way.
So I guess that's about 11, not counting ones that I've dabbled with like QNX, HaikuOS, and FreeBSD. Somehow I missed OS/2 completely. I had looked forward to it but after a short wait saw what M$ did to IBM because of it and knew to not expect anything.
So your number is two then? Mac and all that other cruft?
I mean, no one takes these polls too seriously, but I really don't know how to answer. Heck, I don't even know how to count. Windows 3.1, Win NT 4 and Win 10 are surely different operating systems, but what about Win7/Win10? If those count as different, then so must Xubuntu 16.04/16.10/etc.. In which case I may well be in the hundreds by now: Android since the beginning, Windows since the beginning, Linux since, maybe not the beginning but a long time, etc..
Then there's the question of "used". Being just a pure user of a system, you generally have little contact with the OS. Back in IBM 360 days, I just submitted my jobs, and had no idea (and didn't care) what version of O/S was in use. What about the bank ATM? Maybe it really is still XP, but I actually have no idea.
Heck, I don't even know how to count. [...] Then there's the question of "used".
I used to ask people what the most widely used file system was, to get them to think a little. Mostly they'd try to foist some bullshit answer like VFAT or NTFS.
However, I'd respond with either Google File System or ISO-9660. Back then all computers came with several CDs or DVDs, same for most commercial packages. The world was then full of computer CDs and DVDs, so that would be a case for ISO-9660. However, most people connected to the net use Google at least a few times per day, and that's a lot of people, so that was a case for GFS.
But if you connect to Google, you don't use Google's file system. Google does, to provide you the service, but you don't.
It's like saying I'm using the telephone if I go personally to an office, and then the officer makes a phone call in order to serve my request.
But if you connect to Google, you don't use Google's file system. Google does
Further, just because the world gets mailed an AOL CD which is using ISO 9660, does not mean that everyone in that world is using the CDs as intended. Maybe they use them for coasters (the original ones, under drinks on furniture), or make art out of them...
I'd say Vista and Win 7 are "the same" and that 8 and 10 are "the same". I think that because of how the stuff under the hood is lumped together or presented; like how 2000 and 2003 for server are similar, or 2000 and XP are similar. But 95 and 98 are like each other but not like NT. With that logic, 7 and 10 would be different to me as a result. I am sure some people with only MS experience would lump all of Linux under the same category; just changing the name or version number might not count to someone that has no idea what the differences are.
But aside from that, I am also confused. There is used, there is actively used, and there is 'exposed to', 'sort of touched once' and 'locked off behind a session on a dumb terminal because I only accessed the program running on the OS and any of the OS gritty details themselves but knew it was on a mainframe or mini computer or x terminal or...'.
I think for this poll, I'll stick with "devices I had user rights to install stuff onto" as a valid OS. If it was locked in a browser,telnet, ssh or terminal emulator, then that is a gray area -- many CLIs give you access to whats under the hood, yet other ones are no more the OS than dialing into compuserv.
I'd say Vista and Win 7 are "the same" and that 8 and 10 are "the same". I think that because of how the stuff under the hood is lumped together or presented; like how 2000 and 2003 for server are similar, or 2000 and XP are similar.
From my vantage point, XP, Vista, Win7, Win8, Win10, and Server 200x are all various presentations of Windows NT. Thus, same operating system, released with different defaults and added/refined features over time.
There was windows 1 and 2 that had no memory management to speak of (relying on DOS for that), that were just programs running on top of DOS, and not operating systems in themselves at all, although DOS+Windows was an operating system (just not a very well-supported one).
Then, there was windows 3.0 and windows 3.1x that had advanced memory management (EMS memory mapping and EMS memory mapping + 386-extended mode memory management, respectively) albeit 16-bit, that made them at least a different thing if not a different operating system, the difference being in the base internals, not so much in the presentation.
Then Windows 95 through Windows ME, which, still being graphical things on top of DOS, were 32-bit foundations with preemptive multitasking, completely different from what came before, and DOS+Windows 9x/ME being again, arguably, a separate OS.
And finally, Windows NT / 2000 / Server / XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10, an independent system that does not run "on top of" DOS or anything else, but that other things run on top of--arguably a completely different operating system, similar in appearance (initially, anyway) to those that came before: Windows NT 3.1 looked an awful lot like Windows 3.1x despite having almost nothing in common with same, and NT 4.0 looked almost identical to Windows 95.
I am sure some people with only MS experience would lump all of Linux under the same category; just changing the name or version number might not count to someone that has no idea what the differences are.
Even the *nix people might have trouble with this one, I guess. Again from my vantage point, since Linux proper isn't so much an operating system as it is a kernel that you make operating systems out of, there have been many operating systems made out of Linux, from Slackware to Debian to Android.
I would count distinct (Gnu/) Linux distributions as distinct-but-similar-operating systems based on the word "system" being "one thing from many parts" and the parts being different (packages designed for the Red Hat ecosystem, Debian, and Ubuntu, are frequently three different packages because of differences in the underlying OSes involved).
But the lines here are more fuzzy, sometimes indistinct.
TRS-DOS (TRS-80 disk operating system)Vulcan (Harris minicomputer 1970's)CP/M (briefly)SOS (Apple /// for several years)UCSD p-System for years and yearsI could mention Corvus Concept, yes, really, but it hardly counts.MS-DOS 3.x to 6.xLisaMac OS (classic all versions 1.0 to 9.x)Windows (3.1 onward)Linux (SuSE 5.1 onward, Ubuntu 2006 onward, etc)
Favorite:From 1982 to 1984 and beyond, UCSD p-SystemFrom 1984 to 1999 favorite was Mac OS classic.From 1999 on, Linux.
Honorable mention: that Vulcan minicomputer was a passionate favorite when I was young, 18-21ish, because I had access to source code, and absolutely plumbed the depths of what could be done down in the bowels of the OS. But I quickly moved on to microcomputers when I graduated.
I developed for UCSD p-System for years. Employer's product (same source code) ran on Apple II, Apple ///, Corvus Concept and IBM PC. The "write once run anywhere" naturally made me like Java many years later. On the IBM-PC we found this Canadian product Datalex Bubble that ran the entire p-System inside an MS-DOS wrapper, so PC users had no idea our app wasn't actual MS-DOS native.
I developed new versions of employer's product for Mac OS, for years, until the late 1990's.
Once I learned Linux I never looked back. Timing was convenient because Apple completely abandoned everyone's investment in expensive hardware that ran Mac OS classic. You had to get all new hardware to run OS X. Why bother when there was this new Linux thing.
Oh, yeah, forgot about NeXT. I didn't develop for it. But we got one and used it a fair amount when we got an internet connection (not dialup).
I forgot about NeXT since I only used NeXTSTEP on HP PA-RISC workstations instead of NeXT branded hardware.
Four that I know of...
1) Many, many Linux distros (Currently running in my home: Antergos, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Proxmox, OpenWRT, Raspbian, LineageOS, Cyanogenmod, Mint)2) A couple Unix variants...some college labs that I don't recall; brief installs of Solaris and OpenBSD; currently using a lot of AIX boxes at work; and my home firewall is pfSense which is based on a BSD.3) Various flavors of Windows (and a bit of MS DOS), from 3.1 to 7 (I've briefly touched 8 and 10, but never for more than a few minutes!)4) Apple...though I think the only Apple system I ever spent any significant amount of time on was a IIE, and that was just the elementary school labs. Mostly including this to take myself out of the 0-3 category, not sure if it should count ;) Occasionally I also have to support people on Macs, so I've touched OS X a few times, but I generally try to avoid that.
Not counting each individual Linux distro because that's too easy, I'd be 20+ from that alone...And those aren't really separate OSes, just variants of the same kernel.
Also not counting different releases of the same OS...might be a new version, but it's still the same OS. Particularly since I'm running a few rolling release, so any attempt to count those would be fuzzy at best.
And not counting appliances because those OSes don't matter. Sure, I've done a lot of graphics calculator programming, and I've done some game console and digital camera hacking, and I'm sure all of those devices have operating systems...but I can't even tell you the name of it and it's pretty much inseparable from the hardware itself. It's hard to say I've "used" an OS when I don't actually know anything about it!
CP/M 2.2CP/M Plus 3.0MS-DOS 5.0MS-DOS 6.22 + Windows 3.1Windows 95Windows 98Windows 2000Windows XPWindows 2003Windows 7Windows 2008 R2Windows 2012 R2Windows 10Slackware 3.0MandrakeDebian PotatoDebian SargeDebian SqueezeUbuntu 14.04Ubuntu 16.04CentOS 5.11CentOS 6.9SCO OpenServer 5.0.7Solaris 8
The first time I used a computer was playing some kind of educational game on MSDOS before I could even read, so ik not counting that. But early on all windows - 95 ->98 -> ME -> XP. Then it was Mac OSX, and a lot of time playing with an older MacOS (9 I think but can't remember, might still have it though so I should check) box that my dad got when some school sold off all it's old computers. I got into Linux at some point, went from slackware -> debian -> gentoo. Abandoned OSX once I got too used to minimalistic tiling window managers to use screen wasting mouse centric crap anymore. Nowadays I run mostly crux, an OpenBSD box, and I do some routine maintenance on another friend's box which I put Ubuntu on because I got tired of dealing with the viruses and toolbars.
Mobile, first non featurephone was windows CE, then windows phone 7, then Android, then windows phone 8, and soon I will be back to Android.Favorite non-mobile would be OpenBSD, if it had the hardware support of Linux I would use it everywhere, but crux is a nice alternative once I wrote enough Pkgfiles and scripts to get everything I wanted running.Favorite mobile would be a tie between wp7 and CE, but the Samsung featurephone I had before those was my favorite touch screen phone.
Basically, SysV was Unix, before Sco or Berkeley got hold of it. I've used SVr4 and SVr5 - or, they've used me. Industrial embedded systems, which are locked down pretty tightly, to prevent really stupid situations from being created. Our systems have an odd flavor - they don't feel like any other Unix-like that I've ever meddled with. In all cases, SysV has been drastically customized for the machines on which it is installed. Strange stuff, really, but I'm sure that SysV survives outside the plastic moulding industry.
Huh. All the plastic molding machines I've used have had various flavors of windows on them, except for the very old Maplans that we used for testing prototypes, which I have no idea about , and could have been anything.
Anyway, I chose 8-11 by omitting questionable entries.
14. IOS15. Android
I entered 8-11, but to get to 8 I needed to count IBSYS as an operating system, and I'm not sure it really counts. OTOH, if TOS does, why not? The TOS machine could also only run one job at once.
Not counting all variants, I have lived on and, in nearly all cases, coded for:
UNIX Version 6,7UNIX SVR 3,4 (many platforms; I still like STREAMS)Original BSD (VAX and Amiga 68030)SunOSSolarisRSTSVMS (VAX)DEC Ultrix (MicroVAX)Apple DOSTRS-DOSUCSD P-systemMS-DOSMS-DOS with various Windows shells (3.1, 3.1.1, 98SE)Windows NT 4Windows 2000,XP,7,Server 2003 (2000 was the best of these)CP/M-80 (learned to despise Microsoft on this)CP/M-86 (on 68k)AmigaDOSOSXDR-DOSLinux (desktop, server, embedded)Linux AndroidOpenBSD
and coded for:
AIX (360s, as a VM guest, and PS/2s)
OS-9 (on 6809)OS-9/68K
I really should quit reading this poll before I have more comments than OS'.
Very vague. To little info to deterimine what the poll creater considers a distinct OS. But making some assumptions:
Some old Unix computer from my uncle to play games when I was 10yrs old.MS-DOSFreeDosApple DOStWindows 3.1Windows 95/98/MeWindows 2000Windows XPWindows Vista, 7Windows 10Windows SMB 2003Windows Server 2008Windows Server 2012Windows Server 2016NetwareRed Hat LinuxFedora/Fedora Core LinuxKnoppixSlackwareRed Hat Enterprise LinuxCentOS LinuxDebian LinuxUbuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Edubuntu/etc LinuxArch LinuxYellowdog LinuxMint LinuxLindows/Linspire LinuxCorel LinuxSuSE LinuxSCO LinuxSmoothwallPCLinuxOSMandrake/Mandriva LinuxProbably forgot a few other distros that I tried out.Mac OS, various versions up to 9Mac OSXPlan9ReactOSA few other random alternative OS's in a VMFreeBSDOpenBSDCisco IOSAndroid, all stock versions from Cupcake to Oreo, Amazon Fire, Cyanogenmod, etcPalm/HP WebOSWhatever OS's my old feature phones ranWii's OSNintendo GB/GBC/GBA/DS OSGamegear OSPS2's OSPS3's OSPSP's OSXbox's OSXbox 360's OSXbox One's OSXMBCVisio TV's OSMitsubishi TV's OSOS on TWC/Specturme/Uverse DVRsOther random device's OS'sDo the TI-82/83/83+ have an OS?I could go on and on. When do I stop?Rockbox Firmware and whatever the default firmwares for my MP3 players were.
So, just a way to encourage people to list every OS variant they can think of and show off their knowledge of arcane OSes.
and that was lumping all Linux variants as Linux, BSD variants as BSD, several different RTOSes as RTOS (I know, me bad...) etc.
Hell, I even left out PRIMOS asa. I'd only used it in anger twiceb. I still feel guilty about the day I was forced to pull the plug on an active Prime system similar to the one in this photo [pr1mehost.com] but a lot bigger with fun things like film recorders etc attached to it, can't recall the model number.
The system was to be scrapped with zero notice to anyone, I didn't even know the thing existed 10 minutes before I was told to pull the plug on it. I ran into someone almost a decade later who was logged into the system from across the pond (system was in London, he was in New York) when I pulled the main circuit breakers, he always wondered WTF happened that day..bought him several pints as a belated apology, spent the rest of the night getting royally rat-arsed reminiscing about old systems.
Favourite OS: TOPS-20
Coming up with this list made me think of things I haven't thought of in *years* - some are probably repressed memories.
There are some that I've probably missed, but so far:
IBM S/360 and Amdahl 470 running MTS (Michigan Terminal System)HP-1000/RTECDC 6600/6700 running SCOPEInterdata running BOSS and SuperBOSSPDP/11 running RT-11 and TSX+Textronix 4054VAX/VMSIBM PC compatible running DOSApollo workstation running DOMAIN/OSSGI IrixCray running UNICOSMacOSWindowsLinux (Slackware, Redhat, Madrake, Fedora, Gentoo, SUSE, Ubuntu, Mint)HP-UXAndroidIOS
As either a user or a dev....
A timeshare system at a university in the late-70s. (Actually doesn't count. My older sister logged in and let me play Star Trek on it.)A Model I TRS-80 (actually wasn't allowed to touch it but it was demonstrated for us).Commodore CBM and PET (4016 era).Model III TRS-80, TRSDOS, RAM, Cassette, and Floppy varieties. Several versions. We had a network with a networked 5MB hard drive system in High School.Model III TRS-80, LDOS and NEWDOSDumb terminals of different flavors... yeah I'll count a boot-to-VT100 as an OS even though I shouldn't.Radio Shack Pocket Computer PC-2 and PC-4. With color "plotter".MS-DOS... can't remember the flavor numbers but I think in the 3's starting up through 6.Windows 3.1, (then later 95, 98, ME, XP, 7, 8, 10.)Mac SE (student operator at a Mac Lab in college. Used them, too. I also worked in the IBM lab and the central terminal room but never used the CMS/VMS/VAX terminals - just cut printer output for users). Got to see a Cray-1 up close too on a tour.Apple Newton OSPalm OSiOSSeveral flavors of Linux.Raspberry Pi - should count it as Linux but instead I'll say that it was its own beast.Do I get to count programmable HP Calcs that I wrote programs for? (15C, 28C, 48s, 50g, and I want a hardware Prime so bad I can taste it. My friend had a 41CX and I was so jealous because my 28C was stolen and it took awhile for me to get the 48s.)
Wow, some really impressive lists so far. Mine doesn't have anything really exotic. Only counting things I actually used for a decent period, things capable of doing interesting things to, such as installing software, extensive configuration, writing programs for. Also only counting stuff I actually used for a daily tool for some period. Yea I have used a Mac, but a few hours on someone else's machine doesn't count. Game consoles and embedded OSes in home entertainment gear don't really count. OSes spun up for a few days in a VM really don't count.
Coco 1/3 Disk Extended Color BasicOS9 Level I/II (Microware, not Apple)C-64 BASICTandy Pocket Computer (can't remember which one now and I carried the darned thing for several years)MS-DOS / Windows 3.x / Win9xWindows NT (3.x through 7)Linux / GNU / X (too many variants to bother listing them all. Yggdrasil, then mostly RedHat family, now Devuan and PCLinuxOS)Cisco IOSSolaris (on a Sparc 20 with four CPUs I picked up cheap with a pair of 20" displays. Was totally sweet.)Palm OSLinux / Android (Different enough to count as a different OS)OpenBSD
I have used 4 families of OS's:
- Unix family (Sinix, Ultrix, Tru64, AIX, Solaris, HP/UX, Linux, freebsd, MWC unix, OSX)
- Windows (3.0, 3.1 NT 3.51, NT 4.0, 95 etc)
But there were two that I didn't have time to try, but I think they would have been interesting:
I have no particular favorite. All the OS's were reasonably good for the time and hardware and purpose. From a programming point of view I do have fond memories of the consistency in the OS/2 APIs.
The best was whatever powered my old siemens gsm phone.Not one glitch, easy enough not to need instructions.The nokia 33xx was unfriendly in comparison.
On the PC side, debian up until wheezy was the best. Wheezy started looking a bit bloated. Then systemd happened.On the UX PC side, pre-quicktime MacOs was the best. All the options neatly classified in a smalltalk like menu.Then came quicktime with its fancy interface, which was not bad itself but opened the door to anarchy.
The hp48s forth, I almost forgot.By putting commands between double angled brackets you had lambdas...
Commodore | Vic-20 / C64 / PETVAX, Unix and DOS in the 90's.DOS / Windows 98 / Win2K in the 00's.DOS / Windows 7 / Linux / Debian in the early 10's.Windows 7/8/10, Linux and Debian in the late 10's.
Used to accomplish work:MS-DOS 2.1, 5.0, and 6.22 (did a lot of my grade school homework in Q&A word processor).Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7AndroidVarious Linux Distros Since 1999 but my preference went from Redhat -> Debian -> Ubuntu -> Mint.OSX
Experimented with / minor work:OS/2 Warp 4BeOSPlan 9 / 9 front / HarveyInfernoOpenBSDFreeBSDNetBSDDragonfly BSDPC BSDIrixSolaris/Nexenta/illumos/etcReactOSTempleOSWindows NT 4 (WS and Server)NeXTSTEPMinixQNXOpenDarwinRedox OS
Lets see:CPM, DOS, GEOS, Irix, Solaris, Minix, DrDos, PC-DOS, HP/UX, Windows, Linux, UnixWare(makes me feel dirty, now), OS/360, OS/2 Warp, PIX/IOS, OS X, OS 9, ProDOS, FreeBSD, AmigaOS, Symbian
Trying to remember did the TI-99/4A have anything that could be considered an OS,BASIC maybe?
I am counting Maemo, MeeGo and Android as Linux, which is my fave.
Day to day desktop/laptop use: MacOS
Everything else: OpenBSD
Linux for DevelopmentMac for ProductivityPalm for PortabilityWindows for Solitare