I want to say that I work using OS Linux. In Russia we say "I work UNDER Linux" or "I work IN Linux". What is the corresponding phrase in English?

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    You can simply say "I use Linux". Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 14:54
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    OK, then how about "I work with Linux". Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 14:55
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    Personally, I'd probably go for "I work in Linux" (or possibly under) to unambiguously convey that I work in a Linux environment (as opposed to, say, Windows or Mac OS X). Most alternatives either imply or at least admit of the possibility that my work involves helping to develop the OS itself. Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 17:24
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    This should probably be referenced: xkcd.com/272
    – kingsfoil
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 21:15
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    "I don't do windows"
    – dotancohen
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 8:28

6 Answers 6


The most idiomatic and common way to phrase this would be “I use Linux.”

If you need to keep the “Work ... Linux” phrasing, you would say “I work with Linux.” But without more context, this sounds like you are a programmer who modifies the Linux operating system. It would be an unusual way to say that you just use Linux on a regular basis. It could be understood that way if you are having a conversation about whether Windows or Linux is better, for example.

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    I disagree on the sub-point -- "I work with Linux" is a phrase I use all the time to mean that I work with the OS Linux. To state that I work on the OS would be "I work on Linux." Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 20:02
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    My opinion, as a programmer, is that "I work with Linux" has connotations of writing programs to run on Linux, but can also be used if all your non-programming work is done on Linux (the latter is probably better phrased as "I use Linux for work" or "I do my work on Linux"). "I work on Linux" has connotations of modifying the OS source code itself. "I use Linux" is the generic term if you're not a programmer. Context factors in here though, and most people will probably know what you mean no matter what you say based on context. Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 20:17
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    Second programmer here; I think "I work with Linux" is just ambiguous and is going to cause them to ask for clarification, so avoid it if possible. When I hear it, I tend to imagine that you work on something very closely tied to how Linux works - such as device drivers.
    – Izkata
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 20:33
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    Third programmer here; I would say "I'm working on a program FOR linux". During my daily activities, I work ON linux. Under linux implies to me that you are working on the actual source code.
    – Sarima
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 11:52
  • Agreed, "Work with Linux" sounds like programming for Linux or working with some kind of Linux organization. Edit: Consider "I work with Ford" or "I work with Sony"
    – Preston
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 7:46

I want to say that i work using OS Linux.

The answer is in your question! It's just a matter of phrasing: "I work using bananas" would normally be said "I work with bananas", or "my work involves bananas". I'm a sysadmin and would introduce myself with "I'm a Linux sysadmin", but if I want to draw attention to Linux, I say "I work with Linux", but it's important to note that's all I do, 40 hours a week. I also use Windows to support my Linux work. At home, I use MacOSX.

And there's the distinction: what is your actual role? I work with software and electronics engineers who work on Linux: their main claim is "I'm an electronics engineer" or something like that. They might add "I do my work on Linux", or more simply "I use Linux".

Say what your role is, and it might be easier to answer your question!

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    Thanks, i'm programmer and i want to say that i'm writing my programs for OS Linux.
    – Kastaneda
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 7:57
  • Then "I'm a Linux programmer" should be all you need. Or classier, "I'm a Linux developer". Hope that helps!
    – Rich
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 21:55

Perhaps your intent is: I use Linux for work.

This would indicate that when working you use Linux. It conveys the idea of a Linux user (not a system's programmer, etc.) and that the usage is work related.

You would likely say I use Linux at work if you work at a location (not from home).


"I work on Linux".

You run your applications ON top of the Linux kernel, so in-effect you are working on Linux. At the same time this might imply that you are working on developing the Linux kernel. So the grammatically correct statement would be "I work with (the) Linux (OS)".

  • Thanks, it's answer for my question from comment above (i've edited comment already)
    – Kastaneda
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 7:59

I think the most unambiguous and still ok for spoken English is:

I use Linux at work.


We would say work with when referring to a complete product, such as an operating system or application, for example:

  • I work with Linux
  • I work with Photoshop

This is comparable to someone saying they work with children, or work with animals.

But, idiomatically, we say work in (or write/program in) when referring to a programming language, for example:

  • I work in Java
  • I work in SQL

This is comparable to an artist saying they paint in oils.

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