I'm A Potential Convert From GNU/Linux

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Libertarian, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Libertarian macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2008
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Happy Holidays, Mac community! I'm a LONG LONG time lurker of these boards. I can't remember when I didn't lurk around this place. ;)

    My PC is from the stone age. I built it two years ago from spare parts, which were already several years old. I've pretty much maxed the thing out in terms of hardware upgrades. It's at that age now where you know something major is going to croak any day. I'm planning on buying a new machine within the next several months. A Mac is one of the possibilities. :cool:

    I'm a long time GNU/Linux user. At the moment, I have settled on two distributions. Arch Linux, and Ubuntu Linux. As much as I love GNU/Linux, work and school are taking up too much of my time to be able to mess with it. I need something that I won't have to mess around with, but will be able to if I so choose. This is why I am considering Mac.

    I have always built my machines (since I was little). One of my concerns is that I'll miss being able to know my machine inside and out. Is there anybody here who used to build, who can tell me how easy it is to give this up?

    Does Mac have a package manager available (having to install it from a third party source is fine), such as apt-get in Debian/Ubuntu? How full are the repositories? What kind of packaging system does Mac use?

    How easy would the transition be for somebody such as myself? Would not having much, if anything, to configure make me lose my mind?

    For Peace and Liberty,
    Libertarian :apple:
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I was in the same boat - I have built PC's since the early '90's, but like you said - life started getting in the way, and I decided I didn't want to invest all the time and effort into making something work. I just wanted something that does work.

    I remember the feeling of knowing exactly what hardware was inside the machine, but honestly, I still feel that way about my Macs - and actually, if two people buy a stock Mac of the same build/generation, their machines are more or less identical. So it's not really so far-fetched to say you still "know your machine inside and out."

    Hope this helps!
  3. trule macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    I used to build, gave it up with the mac...apple does a better job of building than I can AND I don't waste so much money on what is generally crap. My spares box stopped filling up the day I got the Mac.

    Forget packaging, you just download stuff and use it...novel concept eh?

    If your tired of wasting time with Linux then a Mac with its L/Unix underpinnings is just great.
  4. Cory5412 macrumors member

    May 14, 2004
    On its own, the Mac doesn't really do package management. When you download the Mac native version of firefox, you get it as a disk image file and you drag the executable .app package into your Applications folder, or wherever you want it to be.

    You can set up macports or a similar system I believe, for GNU software you want to use through the terminal or through the X11 windowing system, but I'd say that for 90% of what's out there, you can get a native Mac application.

    In terms of knowing the hardware, it's not quite as good as building yourself, but you are able to get a pretty good feel for what type of hardware a Mac has by going into the system profiler (Apple Menu > About This Mac > More Information), and sometimes, just taking a wild guess. Knowing what Intel has available pretty much means knowing what Apple has available.

    In terms of having things to configure... The Mac has things to configure if you want to, but they typically come set up for you. What I've found is that when I'm on my Mac I spend less time problem solving the computer, and more time problem solving my work, or my school assignment, or actually doing what I need the machine to do. On the other hand though, the Mac is not without it's little idiosyncrasies.

    The good news is that you can put linux into a virtual machine (Sun xVM/virtualbox, Q, VmWare, Parallels), and I think you can even install it into bootcamp or a usb2 disk, so having a linux playground won't be too far away. If you decide you dislike Mac OS, I do believe you can boot from a linux CD and wipe the whole hard disk and use it just as though it were a fancy, silver x86-based PC. Although I'm not 100% sure about that.
  5. edgew8 macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2008
    I found it very easy to give up building my own PCs personally. I was a former ricer. Life got in the way for me, so it was easier to just have a Mac to check my emails, surf, watch porn, photoshop ect. ect. and not have to think about anything.

    Packages..lol leave that to the linux world. In the mac world, just go to Apple website and download software from there . Its drag and drop installing, literally

    Despite what PC builders will say you can get to know you mac inside and out, even the powerPC models. Components are not that different than PCs. motherboard,proc,ram HDD, GFX card, fans, and dvd drive. There are plenty of documents online on how to fix and maintain Macs, even the all-in-ones

    hope that helps.

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