Is Linux as good as Mac OSX?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Tahko, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Tahko macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Location:
    Finnland
    #1
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    I'd say Mac OS X wins, but not by much - Linux has, by and large, caught up to Mac OS X in most respects. When X11 gets the graphical enhancements Mac OS X has, Linux and Mac OS X will be dead even, IMO.
     
  3. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    Linux was my OS of choice since the mid 90s IMHO it can't come close to OS X at all. OS X is a much better desktop UNIX like OS, it does everything Linux can on the desktop and so much more. In the end it comes down to software and the lack of proprietry software on Linux is what is keeping it down, also the fact there is no unified desktop, or graphical toolkit, imho it looks like a lot of pieces all chucked together. Also I don't know if this makes sense or not but OS X just seems to have an arty kind of class to it that you don't see on any other OS.

    Obviously this isn't the place to get flamed by the Tux fanatics _BUT_ if this was posted anywhere else it would become a religious arguement rather quickly.

    People should just use what they want imo but for me OS X is the best desktop OS in the world, and I doubt you'll find many people here that disagree.
     
  4. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #5
    Having used both OS X and Linux as my main desktop OS at different times my opinion is that OS X is better. Indeed I switched from Linux to OS X. As far as I can see it the main reasons not to use OS X are

    1) Proprietary Lock-In and Vendor Control
    2) You have to pay for it.
    3) It's a bit resource heavy.
    4) It's not as customisable.

    I can understand people using Linux on x86 but I have more difficulty understanding using Linux on a mac as the main problem (1) still exists.
     
  5. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #6
    I'm like caveman_uk in that I switched from Linux to OS X.
    I don't think Linux is as good though. In the looks department, Linux is way behind IMO; the whole thing feels like a ransom note. One widget style for this, another widget style for that, and it ends up looking like a mutt. KDE is cool but WAY too confusing; how do I change the colors? The theme? Not too intuitive. (I was a big fan of KDE 1.0 when I started using it.) Gnome I haven't used in a while so I won't say anything. Enlightenment? Okay, too each his own :rolleyes: :D I personally like WindowMaker the best, but no one seems to use it anymore.

    As for stability though, I much more prefer Linux. OS X on my machines (at least on my G5) goes for about 5-10 days before something goes wrong forcing me to reboot (no tech support help, thanks anyway.) When I was using Debian I'd have my machine up regularly for weeks at a time without restarting. Worst case scenario I'd drop into a terminal and kill my own login, which would usually fix things. Doesn't work in OS X. When I wanted to nerd-out in Linux I used to change my runtime level to 3 and just use console all the time. I'd be scared to use console only in OS X, and there are a lot of things I can't do anyway. It still feels like they've crippled the BSD part (maybe that's just me.)

    I like both OSs though, and I don't really want to see them pitted against each other in a windows vs Mac type way.
     
  6. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #7
    In a word: No. In two words: HELL no.

    Linux as a desktop OS...is not anywhere close. There are way too many issues with, well, take your pick. When wireless including WPA/WEP/etc support is supported out of the box, when getting sound to work properly doesn't involve the black arts of picking the right sound server, when there is built-in and WORKING GUI functionality for trackpad preferences, when X11->KDE/Gnome/etc become you know...useable, when pigs fly etc: thats when Linux will begin to approach OS X as a desktop OS.

    I don't understand how this is even a viable question once you hit the desktop. You have to hit the desktop at some point.
     
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #8
    Most of the Linux suites available are several iterations/versions away from the ease of use for the average user which is one of Mac OS X's (and even Windows', even if it's hard to admit ;)) strengths.

    But sooner or later one will come along with a well developed KDE, Gnome or some other window manager with a complete set of smart enough tools/utilities that the average user never have to touch the Terminal to use the machine.

    Then I think Windows might get a bit of a struggle, but Apple, as a hardware company who makes well designed machines with a very powerful, secure and easy-to-use Unix based OS, should not be that threatened by Linux.

    So, to answer the topic, in a Mac OS X/Linux competition Mac OS X will win almost every event... ;)
     
  8. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    #9
    IMO, the inner working of linux and mac OS are almost on a par with each other,

    however, the front end, and all the extra goodies in mac OS push it way ahead of linux


    The main problem i have with linux is a lack of documentation for getting started, when i first got ahold of a copy of, erm, red hat i think in around 98 i didn't have a clue how to use it, and just installing it took a couple of days of fiddling, admittedly it's much better now, i use a HDD install in knoppix on a PC in the bedroom for surfing and irc, runs perfectly

    It's also not at all obvious how to install programs, or even just where to put them, this is assuming you can find pre compiled binaries that'll work on your system, if not you have to compile it yourself, and more often than not it doesn't work first try... too much effort :eek:
     
  9. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #10
    This has been said for years now. There is one major issue with this thinking. Several iterations/versions inevitably means a few years down the road. Linux may very well have 'caught up' by then to where we are now. Its just too bad that it will still be a few years behind by that point. Linux is being left behind in the dust when it comes to the desktop. As someone pointed out in that other thread, Xorg is holding them back big-time. In a year or two, the paradigm of how a GUI functions will be drastically different than it was a year ago, and they'll just be behind the curve all over again.
     
  10. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #11
    That's why I was just so vague and said sooner or later... ;)

    They might never catch up with all the eye-candy of Mac OS X, but at some point (<- again pretty vague ;)) one or more Linux distributions will be good enough for the mass market, and then they might be a threat to Windows, that was my point...
     
  11. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #12
    I use Kubuntu Linux (and have used other Linux distros in the past). IMO, Linux with KDE is WAY behind OS X. In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, it's behind Windows when it comes to the GUI. Part of the problem with the GUI as I see it is that they spend too much time trying to be similar to Windows, instead of really coming up with a good, innovative GUI. Don't get me wrong, Linux is great if you want a really stable, free, open-source OS, but on the user interface front, it's got a long way to go before it catches up with OS X.

    Another thing holding it back is the lack of major software like Photoshop, Office, any kind of real video editing app, etc. I simply can't get my creative (video editing, DVD authoring, etc) work done with Linux.
     
  12. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    There are many GUIs for Linux, and KDE is only one of them. Some others are quite different from anything you've ever seen in Windows or Mac.

    Linux as a desktop OS is behind Mac OS X, no questions about it... but I think some Linux distros are better for other duties, and it has a flexibility you'll probably never see in a closed system like Mac OS X or Windows. Or have you ever seen a watch running Mac OS X? Or an iPod? I love Mac OS X, but Linux is fantastic in its own way, and if Mac should ever leave the UNIX path, I would return to it.
     
  13. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    #14
    Maybe if I was well versed in the inner workings of Linux/Unix, the situation would be different. But as far as I am concerned, OS X is better than Linux...
     
  14. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #15
    C'mon. It hasn't been that long since Linux desktops figured out how to get things like CD-ROM drives and (much more recently) USB keychains to automatically show up on a user's desktop when they get mounted. They're still trying to get the kinks worked out with switching screen resolution w/o having to restart X11 (yeah you've been able to switch resolution, but your desktop has stayed the same size... sheesh!). You still have to figure out, by hand, exactly where (meaning, on which device in "/dev") quite a few peripherals get mounted when you connect them to your system.

    I used a desktop Linux system for a couple years before switching to Mac. I still use one semi-regularly. They've made great strides, but they haven't really even caught Windows yet, let alone Mac. (Unless you count not having to deal with viruses as "ease of use" :D )

    I think these "comparisons" are largely made by long-time Linux desktop users who don't really understand what ease-of-use actually means. The Linux desktop is light-years ahead of where it was three or four years ago - but that is also a comment on just how awful the Linux desktop was three or four years ago.
     
  15. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #16
    Call me old-fashioned (because I can't spell "ludite") but I preferred KDE 1.0, as I mentioned earlier. I think KDE now, what I've used of it which is about 5-6 hours (so take what I say with a grain of salt) is far too complex. I'm happy to have shortcuts put on my desktop, but with KDE 1 I put a CD in, then clicked on its icon on the desktop and KDE would mount it for me (/dev/cdrom or something.) If I wanted to change my desktop picture, or the color scheme, or the theme it was easy to do- now those options are burried under like 4 or 5 menus. Also, how do I change my resolution? How do I change sounds (or the sound server?) How do I add things to the K menu? I shudder when I remember things like linuxconfig and f86config(?). I wish it were as easy as System Preferences, and I don't see why it's not. Linux has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. I would suggest the Linux GUI people have a read through the Human Interface Guidelines set forth by Apple so many years ago. I'm quite impressed with OS X and how it follows them (er, mostly anyway.)

    Strangely enough, using windows made me sick of GUIs (maybe all that gray?) so I switched over to Linux. OS X breathed new life into the GUI for me, and I loved the magnification effect of the dock. *sigh* Guess I was a sucker for shiny objects again.
     
  16. freiheit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #17
  17. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #18
    im yet to try linux( i want to soon) so i know that i have the best OS, right now OSX is the best
     
  18. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #19
    I know there are other GUIs for Linux. I've used Gnome, KDE, and fvwm the most. What GUIs (other than those three) do you really like? I'd like to try them.

    Linux is a great OS for some things, and I understand it's strengths well, but as a general purpose desktop OS, it is far behind OS X. I also have to agree that if OS X ever becomes bad I'll be switching to Linux most likely.
     
  19. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    #21
    As a desktop OS X hands down.
    As a Server LINUX by a landslide.
     
  20. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #22
    You've still gotta be pretty geeky to use Linux but anyone can use OSX out of the box.
     
  21. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #23
    I know a lot of people who feel like this. I really liked Gnome 1.4, except non-antialiased text really bugs me. :D But back in the early days it seemed like Gnome (and I'd guess KDE) were all about the user. Now Gnome (and maybe KDE) is more about weird things the developers want to try.

    My fave has always been Enlightenment. But it's not for the faint of heart - configuring it is not user-friendly at all. But it is amazingly powerful, and once you learn how to play with it E does things the other WMs only dream about.

    E is not a good choice for "that 486 you've got stashed in the closet" ;) but it runs well on any fairly recent processor - P3, P4 (on the x86 side) and I'd guess most any G3 or G4.

    BTW stick to the stable 16.x tree if you try E. E17 is a total rewrite - actually it's been totally rewritten about 5 times now :D - and it's not anywhere near ready to be used as your real WM.
     
  22. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #24
    I switched from Linux to OS X as well; I pretty much stopped using Linux about a year ago. While I liked Linux, the desktop and GUI aspects still needed a lot of work. Also, support for many laptop features such as power management, trackpads etc was lacking (I don't know if it has improved now).

    Basically Linux is fine if you have the time required to run it properly. Typically I don't.
     
  23. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #25
    Haven't you heard of Mac OS X Server...? :confused: :p
     

Share This Page