Considering Switching From a Mac...to Linux

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Luigi239, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    #1
    Gahh, decisions decisions.

    I am seriously considering selling my Macbook, and instead getting a high-end gaming PC and an EEE Pc. Why? Because Linux is amazing. Ubuntu is the simplest, easiest distro to date and I love it. Gnome and Compiz really make the computer fun to look at and easy to use, and all for free.

    Linux is also alot more cutting edge than OS X. Although there are alot of things that Ubuntu does not have like iPhoto and Time Machine most of the feature sets are comparable, and in several cases, Linux wins. Also, the philosophy that everything is locked down and anti-customizable on a Mac bugs me. You can do anything you want to a Linux system, apply different themes, replace the taskbar with a dock, ext. The user has the choice, not the multi-million dollar company.

    The only thing that is holding me back is my brand loyalty to Apple. Apple has always treated me excellently as a customer, and there is still a "wow" factor every time I walk into a store. I still plan on keeping my iPod touch, and syncing it with a Windows partition, so it isn't like I would be cut off from the Apple world altogether.

    I guess what I am asking is, are there any compelling reasons not to switch? I run ubuntu on an old desktop, and probably use it more than I do my OS X laptop. Before I sell my Macbook, I need to be absolutely sure that this is what I want.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #2
    As long as the apps you want are available, then I say go for it.

     
  3. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    #3
    I use both and I enjoy using both. Personally I would stick with the MacBook over a high-end gaming PC for Linux because honestly the MacBooks are much sexier and OS X for me at least seems like it can do much more than Linux with the power of UNIX and the ease of the Mac. But that is me and you should do what you want to do and it isn't my job to talk you out of it. So go for it if you want to.
     
  4. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I really want to like Ubuntu and Linux, but it can be far too much work to complete simple tasks that are taken for granted in OS X. Driver issues also bother me a lot.
     
  5. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #5
    I think this (inadvertently) sums up the difference perfectly.

    Linux is a fantastic operating system if you like doing things to your computer.

    OS X is a fantastic operating system if you like doing things with your computer.

    Not that either is better than the other, but it's a huge difference. To me, the notion of replacing my taskbar and fooling with different themes ranks somewhere in between doing a root canal on myself at home using kitchen utensils and cleaning out my gutters. I lost my appetite for hyper-customizing my computers years ago. Now I just want an environment that gets out of my way and enables me to do things with my computer. OS X wins that contest hands-down.
     
  6. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Yep, you got it spot on. For me my Mac is a tool that I use to do my work (web development, music composition) and then an entertainment device (music, games) for after work hours, so Linux would make little sense for me. But to the OP, who wants to mess around with the computer like changing clothes on a Barbie doll, Linux would probably be a good fit.
     
  7. FrankBlack macrumors 6502

    FrankBlack

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Looking for Lucy Butler
    #7
    I played a bit with Yellow Dog Linux some time ago, when version 3 was the shipping version. I've heard good things about Ubuntu, but I've never had the inclination. It's absolutely true that Linux has a lot of customizable features, and that "you can do what you like". Still, I saw no distinct advantage to running Linux on Apple hardware. I was running it on a G4 Ti book, so maybe that had something to with my not-do-great impression.

    I simply like the integration of the Mac OS and Apple's hardware. The whole business with Linux and "finding a driver that works with my setup", is really more than I want to bother with. Of course, there are those folks that thrive on this. More power to them if they like it.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    I use Linux mostly at work now although I'm also using Solaris more and more. At home I mostly use an iMac but I keep Linux (ubuntu) running inside a VMware VM.

    My opionon on this is that Mac OS X will do almost anything Linux can do. It will mstly run any software that can run on Linux but the reverse is not true. I can't run Photoshop, iPhoto or Apple's Final Cut Express on Linux. I use these so that is why I bought the three Macs I have.

    Yes there are equivalent software for Linux. But I've not figured out how to put together a color managed photographic workflow using Gimp. I doubt it can be done. I was editing video on Linux but I now prefer FCE to Cinelerra. The Mac can run both the comermercail software and all the Open Source stuff.

    Is Linux more "cutting edge"? Not as far as the desktop goes. Apple wins there. How about the Kernel? I think Solaris wins there. Dtrace, ZFS, "zones" and the new network stack but Solaris 10 well ahead. Solaris is likely the best UNIX Kernel and is likely to remain there. Linux (ubuntu) wins if you want a simple desktop unix-like system. That said I'm mostly on Linux in the office and have been involved with liniux from the start, back with the 0.9 version Linux kernels back before there were companies like Red Hat. I think one of my fixes to one of the SCSI drivers is still in the Linux kernel but that was 10 years ago.

    Botom line: If you do not need or use any of the comercial software then look into one of the UNIX-like OSes. Bot do give Linux, BSD and Solaris all a good look over and pick which of them best meets your needs
     
  9. eric55lv Guest

    eric55lv

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Las Vegas,NV
    #9
    i dont really like linux linux is even worser than windows
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    Did anyone ask you? This isn't the subject of the thread :rolleyes:
     
  11. EricBrian macrumors 6502a

    EricBrian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    #11
    Yeah, I would agree... if all the apps you need are avail then make the switch.

    I made the switch at home and all is well. :)
     
  12. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #12
    I personally wouldn't do it. Why?

    Well you don't state any reason to switch from Mac OS at the moment, it does everything you want it to do, and does it well. Linux doesn't offer anything new/or exciting, just that you 'prefer' it.

    IMO, I think the reason you like it might just be because it's different. I remember liking XP when it first came out, because it was different, but I quickly realised I prefer the basic Windows 98 GUI (although the rest of the OS was dreadful in comparison to XP). I reckon it'll be the same for you in Linux - it'll wear off pretty quickly.

    By choosing Linux, you are pretty majorly limiting your future options in terms of availability of software and hardware. OS X will do practically everything Linux will do (and often just as fast/faster), and more. Most major software isn't available on Linux, and as new hardware comes along (the iPod and other very popular players come to mind) you'll find you just can't use it as effectively in Linux as you could in OS X.

    The other issue I have with Linux is that there are so many variants of it, that you'll find one distro is better for one need (application A for example), whilst another distro is better for a different one (application B), and you never end up with a distribution which can do everything.
     
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #13
    Of course the decision is yours, and only you can make it.

    But I'm also in the process of switching from OS X to Ubuntu for some of the things we do. We're in the process of moving our main OS X apps to Linux. It was a huge mistake in retrospect to base our main apps on an OS which is fantastic if you want to show other people how cool your computer is with minimal effort.

    I kind of talked myself into it at the time and a valid excuse is that our excellent developers are an OS X shop, but this was before I fully realised how relatively little substance there is actually behind the image of Apple as a premium computing company / manufacturer. For actually getting stuff done Windows is far, far superior for me personally and for the business, but from an applications development aspect for our particular use there are certain things I don't like about it.

    So we're porting our app into Linux, with the Ubuntu front-end coming first, followed by the back-end later to be ready when it comes for time to replace the XServes in around 3 years time. The back-end will be a problem most likely, we still haven't quite figured out how it will be ported. In that case it may be that we continue on with the XServes (one of just two machines in the Mac lineup I have/had no major gripes with) and an OSX back end for a while. I can't say I'm completely enamoured of the Ubuntu desktop and the way it works. No I'll rephrase that, I don't like it very much right now. As a desktop OS it's certainly immature when compared to OS X or Windows but the speed to mature is impressive. Provided you have the geeks around you or you are geeky, I think it's a very viable and as you say fun platform, especially for running specific applications. That said, I don't have any plans to have an 'everyday' machine running Ubuntu any time soon. I do have one machine running Ubuntu full-time at home and I occasionally have a play with it. Compared to a combo of Windows and OSX however, I don't find it - or more specifically the everyday apps on it - compelling since I'm not a tinkerer.

    The flexibility in being able to choose hardware that is actually built well, specced for our exact needs and supported well - instead of just being pretty - is a big plus, and is one of the main factors of the move for us. The same to a lesser extent, or just getting more bang for the buck, will undoubtedly the case for you.

    Meanwhile we've bought ourselves some extra time for the port by successfully getting Tiger to run on a mix of the Dell Precision and HP xw's recently, which perform better in our various working environments - which means we can toss out our Pros and at least get some quality hardware in.

    And that is also an option. If your use of OS X will be much curtailed by choice, but you still want to keep your foot in the pool, buy a copy of Leopard, hack it and stick it on a PC. If you want it as rock-solid as we need it for our production environment then there are quite a few tweaks and even a few hardware changes required (and it took our resident OSX86 guru many months of effort), but if your use is more casual, you can take a smart approach to building your PC and have a gaming machine which can also tackle OS X.
     
  14. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #14
    I could never go to Linux. Product compatability is what drives my computer purchases. I might go to Linux if I just need an internet computer, but then I could get a Mac and use it for more productive purposes...

    OSX is perfect for me as it runs Final Cut, Logic and gets everything done without fuss.
     

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