Five Best Alternating Operating Systems for Your PC

When it comes to alternative PC operating systems, contrary to popular opinion, Linux is the not the sole choice in the woods. A few alternatives are coded by large companies and a few others are projects made by hobbyists.

It is recommended that you install virtual machine programs like Vmware Player or VirtualBox to test and enjoy them.

Linux and more

If there is a list of alternate operating systems, Linux will invariably find a place. It is at the pinnacle of the alternative PC OS world. It comes in a number of flavors, termed Linux distributions. Mint and Ubuntu are the most well-known and used. In case you wish to install any non-Windows OS on the PC- and use it- the sensible thing to do is to install Linux. It is like UNIX as a operating system.

Other than Linux, there is also FreeBSD. It utilizes a dissimilar kernel. However, it uses a majority of the same software you will use on general Linux distributions. Both Linux and FreeBSD provide similar user experiences.

Chrome OS

The Google coded Chrome OS is created on Linux kernel. However, it substitutes the user level software and desktop with specialized desktop which exclusively runs Chrome browser and the Chrome apps. The OS is not an all-purpose PC OS. It is purposefully designed so that it can be pre-installed on Google made specialized laptops, termed Chromebooks. The good news is that you can install the Chrome OS in your PC.


SteamOS is created by Valve and is presently in its beta stage. In pure technical terms, SteamOS is simply a Linux distribution. It includes a majority of standard Linux software. There is one small thing though: this operating system is now positioned as the new gaming operating system in PCs. Underneath the new version is older Linux. The computer, however, boots up to a distinct Steam interface purposely created for living rooms. Personal computers that are shipped with preinstalled Steam OS are termed as Steam Machines.


The Linux kernel also founds its place in Android. However, everything else is extremely different from the typical Linux distributions. It was originally crafted for Smartphones, but it is now also found on Android desktops and laptops. It should not come as a surprise that a number of projects aim to run Android on standard PCs. To put in perspective, even Intel develops their own Android port to the PC hardware. All in all, Android is not the best operating system for the PC. There are reasons for it -like you cannot employ multiple apps at same time. There is no bar to installing it if you need it.

Mac OS X

The Mac OS X comes preinstalled on Mac Apple computers. The Mac is a standard PC with a standard hardware. The only barrier to installing Mac OS on a standard PC is the license agreement dished out by Apple. The company also restricts their software. If you can bypass these limitations, Mac OS X can run smoothly in any typical PC. Many individuals do exactly that- leading to the term hackintoshes.


In 1998, BeOS was the PC operating system. It was lightweight and in 1998 ported to Intel x86 platform. However, it was not successful against the then power of Microsoft Windows.  Be Inc. then initiated a court battle against Microsoft, on charges of pressuring the likes of Compaq and Hitachi to stop BeOS hardware release. The matter was finally settled out of court, with Microsoft paying about $23.5 billion to Be without the admittance of guilt. Palm Inc. eventually acquired Be Inc. Haiku is the open source BeOS reimplementation. It is an alternative view of what would have happened if Microsoft desisted from using brutal business practices during the 1990s.


IBM and Microsoft were the original creators of OS/2 operating system. The latter left it, but IBM continued its development. OS/2 finally competed with MS-DOS and early stage versions of Windows. Even after Microsoft won the battle, there continued to be old PCs and ATMs along with a large number of old machines continuing to use this OS/2. IBM now no longer develops this OS, but Serenity Systems-another company- has rights of its distribution. They call this operating system eComStation. This OS is modeled on OS/2 of IBM and includes extra applications like drivers along with a number of other enhancements. Incidentally, you have to pay for this OS. If you want, you can download a demo version.



It is an open source and free reimplementation of Windows NT architecture. It is one of the many attempts to re-implement Windows as the open source operating system compatible with Windows servers and applications. ReactOS has no similarity with Linux, with coding similar to Windows NT.

You can always rent a computer with these operating systems to determine which option works the best for you, before you buy one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016