Which is the better OS for data science? Linux or Windows?

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The unending debate of what is the best OS for data science has finally came knocking on our doors here at Runrex and we thought it wise to address the same in this blog post. As you already know, Runrex is very passionate about data science and one of our intentions is to help our community members to understand some of the best tools to use to optimize their data science expeditions.

So, which is the better OS for data science? Linux or Windows?

Linux or Windows?

As people who are obsessed with optimizing the working environment, we always try out new applications and software that make work easier and results better and you can therefore expect us to vouch for an OS that we found the most effective.

We have tried both high end computers running on windows and Linux for data science and we have always been swayed towards Linux for a number of reasons. Although we are not experts in operating systems, we objectively think that Linux is better than Windows at data science. Here is why;

File managers

The file manager in windows is whack and unless you download a third party application, navigating between multiple tabs in windows is very difficult. In Linux on the other hand, file managers provide for multiple tabs and you can open two directories side by side.


Windows does not have an application or library that lets one install packages which have no binary forms for specific packages while Linux lets you to install packages directly from the source and even though it takes some time to compile, you don’t need a third party such as Rtools to install the missing files need to compile packages.

Package manager

The other reason why Runrex prefers Linux over Windows, is the fact that Linux comes with a package manager while Windows does not. Package managers are important as they take care of dependencies of system libraries when packages are installed or removed.

And there you have 3 reasons why we are very particular about the use of Linux in matters data science. These might look like minor reasons to some of you but as we earlier on mentioned, we are people who are try to optimize the work station as much as possible and will therefore opt for the more effective alternative.

Now that we have explained why we prefer Linux, it is time to explore which Linux distros are the best for data science. Here is a look at the tops for choosing the best Linux distro for data science operations;

Considerations for the Best Linux Distros for Data Science

Speed- Speed is one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing the best distro for data science. You want a distro that is very quick in data processing and providing feedback based on the data fed into the applications contained in the specific distro.

Application compatibility

You also need a Linux distro that is compatible with as many applications as possible. In essence, you want a distro that does not require additional third party applications. Research about all the applications you will need in your data science ventures and look into the distro that supports most if not all of them.

User interface

Linux is not renowned for user interfaces but that does not mean that you should not look to try and get a distro that makes your work easier when crunching numbers and trying to make sense out the data.

The size of the supportive community

The other thing that you should consider is the size of the community using a certain distro. You don’t want to use a distro which isn’t being used by a lot of people. You never know when you will need some form of help from the community and you should therefore choose a distro that has a good number of users.

Hardware support of the distro

The other thing you will need to consider, is the hardware support offered by the distro. Data science requires sophisticated software and you will therefore need a distro with good support for the hardware that you need for data science.

Suggestions of some of the best distros for data science

Depending on the type of data that you are handling, there are a number of distros that you can consider for data science. Some of the best include Fedora, Ubuntu, Centos, Mandrake, Mageia and Mint.

Talk to Runrex today on the Linux distro to use

Want to get a better understanding of data science and the programming language and Linux distro you need for data science? Give us a call here at Runrex. Runrex is a digital marketing agency with special interest in data science. Runrex not only offers the best data science service to companies, it helps interested individuals to get started in the world of data science.

Give Runrex a call today about your queries and we will be on hand to help you get started in the world of data science and the best software to use in data science.