A defense of Unix that always irritates me

May 23, 2006

One of the things that some people like to trot out in defense of Unix is the old chestnut:

On Unix everything runs as a user process, so you never have blue screen of death reboots like you do with Windows; even if something goes wrong, it's just a user process and your system doesn't go down.

I like Unix, but this sort of defense of it has always irritated the heck out of me. Ignoring how it can be false in practice, it's completely disingenuous.

For a desktop user there is very little difference between losing your entire session because the X server crashed and losing your entire session because your Windows machine rebooted. That your Unix machine hasn't really rebooted, and may even be showing you a happy pleasant login screen a few seconds later, is rather cold comfort.

Unix has a lot of good things going for it. But let's be honest about them, because being disingenuous makes people twitchy even when you have an excellent case. (Which is why it irritates me.)


Comments on this page:

From 24.98.83.96 at 2006-05-24 23:14:55:

I will take an X session crashing over a server hang. The reboot takes a lot longer to recover from.

- Ryan http://daemons.net/~matty

Written on 23 May 2006.
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Last modified: Tue May 23 01:14:51 2006
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