Operating System

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The Operating System is a often overlooked component a PC build, and is an essential piece of software which interfaces with your new and shiny hardware.

Operating System Options

Windows is Microsoft Operating System and is the go-to option for most people. This is due to high compatibility, large market share, and ease of use. The newest and most recently support version of Windows is Windows 10.

macOS is Apple's Operating System which comes preinstalled in all off-the-shelf Mac laptops and desktop computers. Simplicity of design and usability, as well as compatibility with the Apple ecosystem are the main draws of this OS.

Linux is a family of Operating Systems that run the Linux kernel in the form of open-source and free distributions. Examples include Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora etc.

There are other available and widely used operating systems, particularly in the Unix-like category.

Picking an OS

First and foremost in picking an OS you must think about the software you need to run and whether or not it is compatible. For example, many games (especially AAA titles) only run on Windows.

Acquiring an OS

Windows requires a license key and installation media to be installed on a device. For a majority of users this will be acquired either digitally, from Microsoft's online store, or physically from online or brick and mortar outlet. Be wary of purchasing Windows from online third party options.

If you are a university or upper tertiary education student you may have access to one of the many Microsoft Education schemes, through which you can acquire a valid and legal copy of Windows.

macOS comes preinstalled on all modern Mac devices, the licensing being associated to the device itself.

Most modern Linux distributions can be acquired online for free in the form of a disk image (iso) which can then be written to installation media such as a USB or DVD.