Which OS Is Best for Java Development? Windows vs Linux. Why?

Both operating systems, Windows and Linux, are extremely popular among software development specialists. Despite the popularity of both platforms, some engineers prefer to use Windows, while others opt for Linux.

So, according to Statista, most developers used Windows for software development in 2018 and 2019.

However, it’s not that simple.

For instance, the latest survey by Stack Overflow found that Linux was the most popular platform among software developers in 2019.

As we can see, there is no consensus in the expert community regarding the best operating system for software development. Moreover, when it comes to Java application development, engineers tend to give completely different advice.

In this article, we will analyze the main differences between both operating systems in the context of Java development. This will help companies decide which platform is better to choose when developing a Java-based project.

What Are the Main Differences Between Windows and Linux Regarding Java Development

Let’s briefly discuss each of the differences one by one.

Open Source

The main difference between the two operating systems is that Linux is open source while Windows is not. Actually, Linux comprises a whole group of open-source operating systems, such as Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS, and others.

There are hundreds of free Linux distributions, therefore, developers can easily choose the platform that is most suitable to the needs of the project.

Moreover, Java programmers can create their own Linux-based operating systems which opens up huge scope for customization. Using commercial Windows OS, developers may be more limited in their actions.


In general, Linux may be considered a more secure operating system than Windows.

Given that the Linux is open source, developers are continuously working on it, and everyone can look through the code. That is why software developers often find security holes much earlier than hackers.

At the same time, Windows-based software may be quite vulnerable in terms of security. Linux distributions do not gather user data while Windows collects a lot of user information, which may be harmful to data privacy.

Large companies that often become targets of hackers tend to utilize Linux. For example, such giants as Google and Facebook use Linux for security and performance reasons.

Therefore, if your company is interested in the advanced security of a Java solution, you may consider using Linux. However, experienced developers can make your Java-based application no less secure while using Windows.


Some developers note that Linux is much more lightweight than Windows, which makes Linux much faster.

They also note that Linux is much more powerful, and the improvement in speed can be noticed immediately when starting to use Linux after Windows.

Another advantage of Linux over Windows is that the system is great at multitasking. Therefore, developers can perform many tasks at the same time, which can greatly increase the speed of project development.

Also, all the most famous supercomputers in the world utilize Linux, which also confirms its power.


Regarding support, both operating systems are good.

Linux has one of the largest communities on the Internet to help people get answers to their queries. Therefore, developers can always easily find a solution to their problems using thematic forums and resources.

Windows has easily accessible support (both free and paid), as well as many specialized forums and sites with useful information.

One way or another, by using any of the two systems, developers can always count on the help of the community.

Ease of Use

Regarding ease of use, Linux has both advantages and disadvantages.

One of the benefits is the fact that software developers can quickly and easily personalize and fine-tune their Linux distributions.

Also, Linux provides engineers with specific development tools for engineers that greatly facilitate the work and development process.

For instance, an advanced command line allows developers to automate many small routine tasks, which positively affects the speed of work.

Moreover, given the open-source nature of the Linux OS, developers can customize the interfaces, which makes their work more convenient and productive.

Among the Linux disadvantages, we can mention the fact that many Microsoft products (such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Word) may be poorly compatible with the Linux OS, which may add to the workload of the development team.

So Which Platform Is Better for Java Programming?

Although Linux has certain advantages over Windows, developers can use both systems for Java development. After all, the choice should be made based on the specifics of the project and the needs of the business.

For instance, if a company is developing a desktop Java-based app, it might be worth using Windows, because most of the users may utilize this operating system.

On the other hand, if a company is developing an Android Java-based app, developers are recommended to use Linux, because all Android smartphones work on the Linux-based kernel.

For those who are hesitating, Java provides the golden opportunity to create cross-platform code that can run on both Windows and Linux, which completely removes the issue of choosing the right OS.

In fact, it is much more important to choose a Java development company that has experience in developing Java projects using both operating systems. As a rule, development companies have teams working on both platforms and they assign the right team based on the requirements of your project.