"You don't use an OS, you use the apps"

This can be quoted of many people on this forum, but for me its always really pissed me off. What do you mean you don't use the OS? Have you ever heard of workflow? What do you do for file management? Whats your device tree? How fast can you get something done in a terminal? I have wanted to do a thread about workflows for a long time but I always thought that was too broad of a spectrum over all and it died pretty quickly. So, instead, a thread about how you actually use the OS you have installed just as much as your apps, you just don't know it. I'll compare windows to linux and if I get something wrong boohoo the last windows I used fluently was XP.

So first, I wanna talk file systems. Yeah its pretty stupid to bring it up, and yeah I bring it up all the time, but I always see Linus and peeps freaking out about SSD speed or gigabit dildos or something retarded. I will also bring up the file management itself in a short moment.

So, NTFS.... ReFS even, but NTFS more specifically for the moment. I hate this fucking thing a lot and I wish MS would just pick up EXT4 or JFS or something. NTFS has been the main FS for 24 years now and while, yes, there have been major changes since then in its development, it hasn't really been going much anywhere for quite a while. The filesystem needs to completely move files to another location, caching is pretty trash, and I don't know if it has any modern sense of journaling. Its slow, frags a LOT, and moving shit around is a pain in the ass. NTFS partitions also are bound to a lock file of sorts; they only become useable if the user of the FS detaches completely with a proper shutdown or demount. If you just hold the power button on your machine and flip to linux the FS is still locked and you can't do shit with it. Huge pain in the ass.

Now let me compare this to XFS, probably the fastest thing on the planet in terms of FS for the common market. While also being about the same age as NTFS, XFS has gone through many different stages of development. The main benefit is that its compression and high performance ratings keep it on edge. XFS keeps a cap on where a file is, and near as I can tell with it just renames where a file is. So, rather than moving some 8GB file from one folder to another and waiting 13 minutes on your 5400RPM laptop drive, its just bam. Done. XFS also has built in Defrag methods, consistantly updated journaling schemes, and file deduplication (which is only experimental in linux) among other things. Basically its like having a stupid fast raid with no load times. You can even pool XFS drives together with an even drive split if doing a raid is too risky for you.

The differences in these FS alone are in the loading speeds and file recall methods. These are the things the user uses the most, and the differences are so drastic it really isn't funny. While yes, with an SSD NTFS is quite fast nowadays, theres nothing that compares to the milliseconds of wait time of XFS. It isn't a contest there, NTFS simply cannot compete.

Now past this, the file system tree itself. In linux you have your home folder for your login profile. In windows you have your system profile. In linux if you open your home folder you can just throw shit in there. Its all right there. Theres nothing hiding, you can organise it however the fuck you want. For instance:

This is my home folder when I open my file manager. My Documents folder, music, video, projects, written items, video scripts, build folders, app folders, everything is there and in one place. I can throw my organisation into the side pane as needed. Its one two done. This is much faster to just have right off the bat compared to the windows file structure.

If you are a windows user and you have your default locations in your file explorer I want you to open it and stare at it. Either it puts you in the My Documents folder or pops you out at the "My Favorites" pane. You can't just throw shit in and around there, its not exactly the most sanitary for that. At that, you don't just have one My Documents folder, you have about 5 or 6. You have the one in your profile, then the public one, then your guest share one, then you have one in appdata local and another one in roaming. In windows I have had it happen countless times that Abiword saves something to an appdata folder rather than my profile folder when I type a document so I have to save to my desktop and then move the thing. Its annoying and apps can get confused sometimes. The closest thing for windows users to have the same setup as the linux tree is to just have all their files in a folder on their desktop or on another drive. Your base config in your file manager is literally just hyperlinks and theres no center for everything to be accessed quickly. You do have the reference tab though.

Next, I want to talk about update systems. I use arch, so I am a CLI junky, but in windows you have WSU. With arch here, all I do is

 sudo pacman -Syyu

and away I go. I can close yakuake or whatever terminal I have open and just go on with my business. More than likely I never really need to reboot. Even just to suspend is good enough most of the time if at all. 99% of the time I do an update and just let it go in the background. I don't have to check on it to make sure it didn't fail, or lose connection, or have it auto reboot when its done. Unlike linux, windows DOES do all that shit. All the time for me because I'm on wifi in the middle of the country. Updates are hell, so I never really do them which isn't safe. Between the two you really are better off with the way linux does it.

This has turned out to be more of a comparison post than anything, but you see what I mean here? Theres plenty more examples I can make for actually using the OS and the minute differences however so discrete. Even the DE differences and alt tabbing make all the differences, not to mention the compositor, the use of different kernel features, how drivers work... Fuck even separated root and /home setups! Theres so much that people don't realise that they actually do use all the time that its become the common knowledge base that "You don't use an OS, you use the apps"....

And thats bullshit.


Yeah, sure, that's great and all, but you don't use an OS, you use the apps.


TempleOS is best OS.
I use it to talk to God
Can't do it any other way apparently

My workflow?
Boot up
Open up the landing page
Talk to God
Stop talking to God
Close down landing page
After boot loader options show
Shutdown manually


I have to agree with the NTFS bit. I loathe that thing. Microsoft should just get on board and use the best of what's available. But even if someone at Microsoft had that idea at some point, by now it's dead. It's pretty obvious that Microsoft wants to copy Apple's business model. Especially the ugly anti-consumer parts. So we'll probably never see them adopt any file system that wasn't developed by Microsoft.

I read this a few years back and it was very illuminating: http://blog.zorinaq.com/i-contribute-to-the-windows-kernel-we-are-slower-than-other-oper/


This was my favorite part of that article

Oh god, the NTFS code is a purple opium-fueled Victorian horror novel that uses global recursive locks and SEH for flow control. Let's write ReFs instead. (And hey, let's start by copying and pasting the NTFS source code and removing half the features! Then let's add checksums, because checksums are cool, right, and now with checksums we're just as good as ZFS? Right? And who needs quotas anyway?


broken link?

Agreed and some what relevant



Every FS fragments. Every. Fucking. One. Unless it's a WORM device, obviously.

I just did the same on NTFS partition, moved 24 gigs into another folder in a matter of "just bam. Done".

NTFS is a journaling filesystem.

Regarding ReFS, however, I'm kinda suspicious of it myself. I can't trust the FS which is "designed not to break", because for me it means that when it breaks, you're in shit, having no recovery procedure or any tools or documentation for troubleshooting.

Patching kernel in RAM is kinda hard, which is why not every distribution does it. And there's a good chance that your updater will forget to regenerate the ramdisk for you and you'll have to fix it a month later, when your Linux won't boot.

Plus the ~/.some_app_config_file and ~/.config/more_config_files, /usr/local/etc/ and all the shit which may go to /opt.

I agree, that's bullshit.


Please correct me if I'm wrong here but are FS not an application that runs on top of the kernel? From my basic non-cs major understanding everything we use on a computer is an application and the OS is just the intermediary between the hardware and the software. I know most OS's today include things like drivers and such but are they not applications as well?
I eagerly await to learn how I'm wrong lol

Ultimately, everything is just software. The idea is to try to organize things in a sane way, hence drivers are not usually called applications and vice-versa. Applications normally refer to the junk people install on top of usermode in the computing stack. Drivers normally refers to software that tells a specific OS how to interact with a given piece of hardware.

The idea behind the terminology is to describe how that piece of software interacts with the rest of the system.

NT Diagram:

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture_of_Windows_NT

Normies are people who just want their "Facebook" and "Chat" to work on their phone and cannot tell the difference between a white Android phone with an Apple logo and iOS.

edit: So like, the file system provider could be thought of as a kernel service, so like within the kernel, unlike applications, which are usually thought of as sitting above user-mode.

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My point is people don't think about how they interact with a system. They don't often think about wjndow managers, how theyblog in, fuck even what keyboard for at they chose at install. They think about chrome and steam and the games they play. My specific examples of file management and fs are direct interaction with the os. Are they made up if apps? Of course. A whole os is build of application on top of application on top of application. You could even say hitting the power button on your pc is interation with an application and it technically is, but thats not my point.

Yeah I guess I need to straighten out my terminology if I'm going to talk about this topic. Thanks for the clarification Aremis & Peanut253

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Why should anyone other than server junkies care about the file system? That should be completely transparent to the majority of users, including us computer nerds.

The only time I've ever given a notion of thought to either Linux or Windows file syatems is for encryption or redundancy.

My biggest gripe is file and folder organization. But that's probably more for developers to get their shit together and agree on where to put files.

These two things have become a part of modern basic computing. Also with the growth in media content and big data people are more interested in keeping their data safe with help from the file system. It just the progression of modern computing.

+100000 for XFS

note: I can't believe 'aremisbeingstupid' is a tag... How?

This is a relatively new video. Microsoft's been trying to copy Apple at least since Windows 8 was released.

I created it while tags were still being made.

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FAT16 was job security for IT for years
"Wow your a genius! My computer is soooo much faster now!"


Meh you really just use apps. The flavors BSD, Hurd, Minix, Solaris and even plan9 are interchangeable with Linux. Windows has a Linux subsystem and powershell is getting ported to Linux. MAC os share a lot of DNA with BSD. So yeah, you use the apps. Especially, how much can be ran as a web apps.

I use the Linux so I can play my favorite game BASH. I wished I had more money so I could afford the Darwin to play the orignal version. :frowning: