Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!
  • Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

evilmurries

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 29, 2019
43
19
Bay Area, CA
There are plenty of users in this sub forum that made the migration to windows. How about those that primarily use linux now? I am a comp sci student, and predominately use my macs for programming + command line. This makes the move to windows more difficult than running software. Unfortunately the allure of better hardware is always strong. Who made the switch to linux? What distros are you actively using? What is the use case, and how well did it go?
 

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,797
3,159
I'm using Linux for quite some time now. Programming and command line, just like you want.
Unless you need something specific, Linux will do just fine. For instance, only thing lacking for me personally is official Unity3D editor on linux. It's in beta, and it's buggy.

But everything else works like a charm. And the ability to customise your own environment is almost unlimited. But be warned, you will probably want to customise your DE of choice. And you will break stuff eventually. But live and learn, because various linux distros helped me learn a lot.

I'm using PopOS and Manjaro KDE, POPOS being my primary OS.
 
Comment

jrichards1408

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2016
554
174
I'm using Linux for quite some time now. Programming and command line, just like you want.
Unless you need something specific, Linux will do just fine. For instance, only thing lacking for me personally is official Unity3D editor on linux. It's in beta, and it's buggy.

But everything else works like a charm. And the ability to customise your own environment is almost unlimited. But be warned, you will probably want to customise your DE of choice. And you will break stuff eventually. But live and learn, because various linux distros helped me learn a lot.

I'm using PopOS and Manjaro KDE, POPOS being my primary OS.
I started using pop os a few weeks ago for work and so far it's good.
 
Comment

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,482
9,999
Detroit
My path to Linux was different. I started on DOS, then Windows 3.1 and on up. Then in 2006 I bought my first Mac. In 2019 I bought and sold my last Mac and moved over to Linux, building my own PC.

I’ve played with Linux over the years off and on in VM’s or secondary PC’s. A couple of years ago I switched from Windows 10 at my office to Linux after an update reset all of my personal start menu tiles for the last time. But it was a couple of years at home on the Mac still until I decided to leave Mac for Linux.

Over the years I’ve used Ubuntu, Mint, Pop!_OS, Manjaro, MX and probably others I don’t recall.

After distro-hopping for a while I settled on Arch and that’s where I’ve been and plan on staying for a while.
 
Last edited:
Comment

evilmurries

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 29, 2019
43
19
Bay Area, CA
I installed fedora 31 onto my lenovo laptop and pc yesterday, and started getting all the dev tools set up. I actually have been running linux on the laptop for a while now because I was displeased with my 2016 13" mbp. Recently got my first computer job as a sysadmin and that came with a 15" mbp, so between that and my personal iMac most work is still done in macOS.

The plan right now is to develop the workflow. Once I feel comfortable working exclusively in fedora, I will probably see about selling my iMac to get a monitor. The PC has a windows gaming partition on it so there is a familiar commercial os to fall back on in an emergency. Currently the biggest things holding me back to the apple ecosystem is having to learn terminal differences and the software integrations that come with the apple environment. The big ones for me are iMessages and seamless notes handoff with iOS. Swift has been fun, and I thought about pursuing a job in that kind of development, but currently I am getting more enjoyment out of learning and doing projects with golang.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AxiomaticRubric
Comment

Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
91
32
Hello, I am a user of the 3 operating systems, starting first with Windows since age 15, Linux approx since age 20 and OS X since age 24, I am 25 years old haha.
I did not make a direct transition from OS X to Linux, but the distribution I currently use is Linux Mint (previously I used Ubuntu, and I have some experience in Debian and CentOS)
I recommend 100% Linux Mint or alternatively Ubuntu, they are very easy to use Linux operating systems, they are recommended for people who come from Windows, they have friendly graphical interfaces, they do not consume many resources (although they are not characterized by being the least consumed).
Coming from OS X then:
  • If you use Linux Mint you can install programs via the Software Manager (similar to the OS X App Store) and install programs with extension .deb (similar to .dmg) you can also install programs in other ways such as extensions .tar.gz and lines of command, etc.
  • Forget about using the Microsoft Office, in its place is the OpenOffice, whose interface is not as pleasant as the original Office.
  • The default browser is Firefox, you can install, not so easily, Safari if you need it.
  • Linux Mint is the distribution where you have fewer problems with drivers and compatibility in general, but there are cases to give an example: Incompatibility or hidden drivers for Wi-Fi boards.
There are many more differences, but I tried to list a few.
I believe that each operating system has a purpose and although it can "live" using only one, using all 3 daily should not be bad.
  • Windows: Definitely for Gaming, and in general, when you need to do something fast without complications.
  • Linux: Useful for programming (compared to Windows), since having bash natively benefits from related languages, and also useful for server machines.
  • OS X: Useful for programming for Apple devices, and for rapid transfer between devices such as iPads, iPhones, etc; In addition to exclusive tools such as Pro Tools, Final Cut X, and I'm sure forgetting some other benefits.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AxiomaticRubric
Comment

LeeW

macrumors 68030
Feb 5, 2017
2,516
4,578
Glasgow, Scotland
Install VirtualBox, install any Linux flavour you want and try it out to see whether you can live with it before making any decision. For your use case, a virtualised install will work just fine for testing.
 
Comment

faust

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
381
172
Los Angeles, CA
I started using Linux with Ubuntu's Hoary Hedgehog release back in 2005-ish. I'm very familiar with it, but I don't like having to fiddle with the distro on a daily basis, so I switched to macOS with the 16" MBP. No longer do I have to reload PulseAudio to get my Sony 1000mx3 to work. Woo. It's just not useful for me, although I would very likely use it if I ever stopped needing excellent support of Nvidia dGPUs(to allow me to play games). I truly hope AMD continues to improve their dGPU offerings to be on par with Nvidia.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iAssimilated
Comment

sanfrancisofont1984

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2020
235
63
Linux (GNU/Linux if you will) terminal is the gold standard now given Linux's popularity in the server space. macOS's out-of-the-box terminal is the odd one here (homebrew is very good though).

I use VS Code and sometimes Emacs so there is not that much development tool change across operating systems. There are IDEs for Linux as well. A long-standing issue was the lack of good C/C++ IDE. I think CLion might have changed that.
https://www.reddit.com/r/cpp/comments/9iek9e
Linux supports Blender very well (better than Windows allegedly) and it has a decent amount (more than that of macOS) of PC games these days. Other than that there aren't many exciting apps. Linux does support GTK+ based (typically open source) apps better as GTK+ supports macOS poorly.
 
Comment

Erehy Dobon

Suspended
Feb 16, 2018
2,162
1,990
No service
Linux on the desktop is absolute garbage.

I went from Macs to a dual-boot Windows/Linux environment in 1997-1998 and returned to Macs in 2002.

Here are the main reasons why desktop Linux continues to suck large rocks:
  • piss-poor device driver support
  • excessive system administration load
  • abysmal end user documentation quality
  • laughable battery management on notebooks
After nearly two decades, the Linux development community still can't resolve these basic issues.

Linux is a fine operating system for servers and embedded devices such as POS terminals, routers, smart "whatever" devices, videogame console emulators, etc.

Some people here might say "hey, try it today." I have a Raspberry Pi 4. Desktop Linux (Raspian) still blows. My Raspberry Pi 4 runs LibreELEC quite nicely. I'm happy with it mostly because it isn't desktop Linux.

I will point out that the last big institutional adopter of desktop Linux -- the Munich City Government -- kicked desktop Linux back to the curb a couple of years ago and returned to Windows. There are no large institutional supporters of desktop Linux anymore.

There are good desktop applications have emerged from Linux: the GIMP photo editor, the Shotcut video editor. I'm sure there are some others.

Linux is great resume fodder if you are jockeying for a corporate IT position but a total waste of effort as a desktop OS.

Torvalds is smart enough these days not to encourage any notion that Linux is a credible desktop environment.

Summary: I transitioned to Linux and I successfully transitioned out of it when I decided my time was more valuable than anything desktop Linux could offer to me.
 
Last edited:
Comment

LeeW

macrumors 68030
Feb 5, 2017
2,516
4,578
Glasgow, Scotland
Linux on the desktop is absolute garbage.

For some, it can work depending on the use case but it's not something I would say is worthwhile for most. People will constantly tell me that I don't understand it enough to appreciate how powerful it is despite my 20 years of using it daily in a server environment. It is never long before those people are back on macOS or Windows as they start to realise how much work it ends up being.
 
Comment

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,840
35,313
Boston
Linux on the desktop is absolute garbage.
I wouldn't say garbage but it is one area that has room for improvements.

Here are the main reasons why desktop Linux continues to suck large rocks:
  • piss-poor device driver support
  • excessive system administration load
  • abysmal end user documentation quality
  • laughable battery management on notebooks

  • I've found device driver support to improve immensely over the past few years and if you use fairly standard hardware then its a non-issue. Additionally if you're looking to work with Linux, then its behooves you to find a laptop that is more compatible
  • I found my last foray into Linux to be the polar opposite, there are distros that are nearly hands off
  • User documentation? What modern OS comes with a complete set of docs these days? I found the user community to be very helpful, and that's what counts. Not some static PDF that doesn't fit my needs, or issues.
  • Again, this seems to be based on the laptop, the MBP yes horrible battery management, but that's not limited to Linux, windows as well, simply because of Apple's closed and proprietary designs.

All in all, my opinion is that linux can be a great OS for some, but it all depends on their needs. I'm a big proponent of getting the right tool for the job and for some Linux can be that, for others not so much, that doesn't make Linux a bad OS or garbage as you say. Its just that it doesn't fit your needs.

I would also venture that many Mac users may have a harder time with Linux simply because there may be an expectation to work on the OS, and for many they just don't have the knowledge. Maybe its the idea of embracing it just works and don't touch the system or perhaps they spent all of their computing life on a Mac and then try to jump into the deep end of the computing pool with Linux, it will be a struggle.

Apple has embraced the walled garden approach, not just to iOS but closing off their macOS stuff too, and it can be a struggle for some going from a place where its all set up for you, to one that you need to make some changes that perhaps you are not used too (you in general, not you specifically)
 
Comment

grmlin

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2015
538
334
I transitioned from a Mac to Linux. Well, a little bit. First I tried the full thing. Linux only. Somewhat worked on my desktop, did not work at all on my ThinkPad with my setup.
in the end I switched to Windows and I now use WSL for my dev environment. It’s pretty great, and if MS keeps improving the service it will become a perfect solution. Right now it still has some rough edges, but I can deal with them.
It’s not quite the native experience you get using a Mac, but I also don’t have to deal with Apples nonsense that drove me crazy for the last years. And you have 90% of your development environment in a file if you want to backup/move it.
no regrets.
 
Comment

filu_

macrumors regular
May 30, 2020
160
74
I have been using Linux for 12 years and I do not complain. Yes, I took some time to find the right printer, but it still doesn't work perfectly.

I don't play games, maybe because I have linux or I have linux, because it won't come off my games. I use the stable distribution and usually the usage like mail, internet, office suite - works. For this torrent, smb, DLNA. No viruses, no spyware.

Something for something. The use of stable linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuse) minimizes the risk of problems. I have an endless amount of system configuration options, including several desktop environments (Gnome, KDE, Mate etc). Also, I have never done any system backups, the files I care about are simply duplicated on an external drive.

My wife's laptop with Windows can hibernate during the update - world championship.

On a Mac, I am terrified of messing around with files by apps like Music and Photos that try to do it their way instead of just being a file playback application.

Yes, I am willing to pay this price by switching completely to the Apple ecosystem (and the price in money). I have several Apple devices and they will work well with a Mac.

You can't judge Linux based on your experience twenty years ago or compare Linux twenty years ago with what Apple offers today ...... The Munich argument ... no, I don't have the strength ... Millions of flies can't be wrong ....


Edit:
Do you know why I returned my Mac mini? Because he could not wake up the external monitor ...

Before I bought a mini, I read a lot about butterfly keyboards in Macbooks, dusty matrices in iMac ... A lot for a professional company from the Premium segment, right?
 
Last edited:
Comment

sanfrancisofont1984

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2020
235
63
Do you know why I returned my Mac mini? Because he could not wake up the external monitor ...

Before I bought a mini, I read a lot about butterfly keyboards in Macbooks, dusty matrices in iMac ... A lot for a professional company from the Premium segment, right?

I haven't been buying new computers for quite some years now. I feel more comfortable buying something that is tried by others (thanks!). Looks like right now all new MacBooks are using magic keyboard rather than butterfly?

Choosing a good IBM PC compatible prebuilt or notebook for Linux isn't easy for me either. I would go with second hand HP workstations or ThinkPads for Linux for simplicity.
 
Comment

filu_

macrumors regular
May 30, 2020
160
74
Yes, they're back on the scissor keyboard. Nevertheless, the point is that the world is not black and white. Even spending a ton of money on MBP does not guarantee trouble-free and comfortable work.

I love my iPad Air, but it won't replace my computer. I bought a Mac mini and returned it because I didn't want to randomly see a black screen. Apple support is great but it didn't help me. I thought about the MBA, but the price for the i3 is so absurd that the i5 subsidy seems like a great deal. Until the macbook boils, because Apple broke the cooling ...

It's just that Apple solves some problems and we get others ...
 
Comment

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,797
3,159
Choosing a good IBM PC compatible prebuilt or notebook for Linux isn't easy for me either. I would go with second hand HP workstations or ThinkPads for Linux for simplicity.

I hear this argument a lot on these forums. That for some driver issues Linux doesn't work on laptops, etc.
Well, to be honest, I haven't tried a lot of laptops + linux. But on all laptops that I have tried, it worked like a charm as far as drivers go. Only issue I had was with XMG/MAG 15. Fans would spin up like crazy most of the time.

I don't use printers, so I really can't say anything about that. But drivers + linux has been a better experience to me than drivers + windows 10. 'It just works' for me. Either I'm really lucky, or? But since I'm mostly on nVidia cards, and the most popular ones (mid range), I simply can't see why the same driver couldn't work for the same card?

Even spending a ton of money on MBP does not guarantee trouble-free and comfortable work.

Indeed. Multiple failed keyboards, throttling, my mac mini has to use external bluetooth adaptor since built in one doesn't work... All that in just lat 4 years. I know you're being sarcastic, but I'm not. Mac OS is the most 'fluid OS' out there. Gestures, speed... Nothing can compare. But I do believe Apple has abandoned it completely. Some will argue with my complaint, but, while Mac OS is still king for some of things, most basic things like bluetooth are really ruined completely. Mi AirPods work way better under Windows, no disconnects or anything. Under Ubuntu I even had to edit config files to get them to work. But after that, no disconnects.

No matter what I do under Mac OS, sooner or later I'm gonna have disconnect issues. And it's been like that for 2+ years. If that isn't neglect on Apple part, well then, I don't know what is?
 
Comment

2984839

Cancelled
Apr 19, 2014
2,114
2,211
I've been OpenBSD only, with some Linux usage here and there, since 2010 with no problems doing anything I need to do. I keep a Mac around for testing software, but I really dislike macOS. It is feels designed completely orthogonal to how I want to use my computer. I haven't really used Windows in a decade apart from my work computer at my previous job, so I have no idea what that is like anymore.

I'd say unless you have some oddball hardware or need to run some software that is not available, Linux works fine for desktop usage.
 
Comment

0920872

Cancelled
Nov 3, 2018
188
2,683
Linux on the desktop is absolute garbage.

I went from Macs to a dual-boot Windows/Linux environment in 1997-1998 and returned to Macs in 2002.

Here are the main reasons why desktop Linux continues to suck large rocks:
  • piss-poor device driver support
  • excessive system administration load
  • abysmal end user documentation quality
  • laughable battery management on notebooks
After nearly two decades, the Linux development community still can't resolve these basic issues.

Linux is a fine operating system for servers and embedded devices such as POS terminals, routers, smart "whatever" devices, videogame console emulators, etc.

Some people here might say "hey, try it today." I have a Raspberry Pi 4. Desktop Linux (Raspian) still blows. My Raspberry Pi 4 runs LibreELEC quite nicely. I'm happy with it mostly because it isn't desktop Linux.

I will point out that the last big institutional adopter of desktop Linux -- the Munich City Government -- kicked desktop Linux back to the curb a couple of years ago and returned to Windows. There are no large institutional supporters of desktop Linux anymore.

There are good desktop applications have emerged from Linux: the GIMP photo editor, the Shotcut video editor. I'm sure there are some others.

Linux is great resume fodder if you are jockeying for a corporate IT position but a total waste of effort as a desktop OS.

Torvalds is smart enough these days not to encourage any notion that Linux is a credible desktop environment.

Summary: I transitioned to Linux and I successfully transitioned out of it when I decided my time was more valuable than anything desktop Linux could offer to me.
Agree with some of this, but I think Linux is the best way these days to run CUDA dependent stuff
 
Comment

sanfrancisofont1984

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2020
235
63
I've been OpenBSD only, with some Linux usage here and there, since 2010 with no problems doing anything I need to do. I keep a Mac around for testing software, but I really dislike macOS. It is feels designed completely orthogonal to how I want to use my computer. I haven't really used Windows in a decade apart from my work computer at my previous job, so I have no idea what that is like anymore.

I also barely used Windows in the last decade. What use case makes OpenBSD better than macOS or Linux?
 
Comment

filu_

macrumors regular
May 30, 2020
160
74
I think there is a lot of truth to this, that you sometimes have to carefully select Linux hardware due to lack of drivers. I don't have a laptop, I have an old ~ 8 years old desktop. I have problems with my Brother printer, sometimes I can't handle pdf printing. This is frustrating. But the same drivers perfectly support the scanner in this device.

When it comes to editing configuration files - in most cases it is not absolutely necessary because out of the box works. If someone does, they either have specific non-Linux hardware components or have more advanced needs.

In mature distributions, such as Opensuse, I can set everything up via the graphical interface, although I prefer to do SMB settings via a file, for example. Probably in Ubuntu or Mint it is done in the easiest way for the user.

Even a not very informed user is able to cope with this system. Although I have not been persuading anyone for a long time and I am not converting to linux. Maybe with the exception of people who have too old computers to use Windows - linux with a light desktop manager will give it a second life. My 70-year-old mother uses a slightly younger Dell with Mint installed. I'm serious.

Linux is not for everyone, but it is also not true that it is completely unsuitable for the desktop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: C.D.Burner
Comment

Erehy Dobon

Suspended
Feb 16, 2018
2,162
1,990
No service
This thread is a hilarious throwback.

The same lame excuses used by Linux apologists in the late Nineties are still being used in 2020.

"Oh, the system administration load isn't excessive." But you still haven't gotten that multi-function device/printer to work correctly after how many hours of diddling around with it? The same MFP that I bought from Best Buy and got running in my dual Mac/Windows household brainlessly in about the same amount of time that it took to download the software installer?

"It's best to research the hardware before you installing Linux." Again, more system administration + poor end user documentation (which doesn't refer to deadtrees manuals according to one narrow minded interpretation).

Yes, the best Linux hardware is three-year-old mainstream Windows desktop PC hardware. Creative SoundBlaster PCI64. Intel Ethernet cards. As soon as you try recent hardware, all bets are off with Linux. Some corporate notebook PC. Or it's "just recompile the kernel with this patch which is still beta but it mostly works" or "just edit this file so it'll load this external kernel module." I have been there.

Speaking of Linux system administration load, how is that dependency hell thing working out for everyone? All cleared up in 2020?

Sure, it's easy to get ___ Linux distro basically working on ___ proven hardware in ___ time in a basic manner.

And the "oh end user documentation isn't a big deal." Going to a community forum and getting "RTFM" or "just dive into the KnowledgeBase" as a curt response isn't the same thing as consumer-grade end user documentation.

Yes, I know how to read the effing man pages; I read man pages periodically on macOS (I sure wish Windows had man pages). Release notes. I can even watch a stupid YouTube video if necessary. At least when you look at written documentation one can generally how much effort the author spend in the first paragraph or two.

I read man pages on UNIX boxes in the early Nineties. This isn't my first rodeo. I know how bad Linux is as a desktop computer operating system because I've dealt with UNIX versions that had a far steeper learning curve.

Remember that I still see all of Linux's warts when I fire up my Raspberry Pi 4 and select the option to boot Raspbian. Even something like updating the OS and included software packages is a massive pain in the ass. Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, Gentoo Linuxes plus OpenBSD. GNOME. KDE. XFree86. All a barrel of laughs.

Desktop Linux still looks like a piece of ****. All of the decent UI people are working somewhere else.

I realize my dismissive attitude toward desktop Linux is still not appreciated by some but don't tell me it's based on lack of experience or because I "haven't given it a chance."

Oh "Munich ditching desktop Linux isn't a big deal." Sorry, it is. The Munich city government was never 100% Linux anyhow. There were certain functions/applications that simply weren't available in Linux, at least at a robust level a large institutional organization would require.

Worse, desktop Linux is getting left behind when considering integration with mobile devices and cloud services. How are those notifications working on your Linux notebook PC? Like two-factor iCloud authentication approval? Is Zoom working? Skype? Trading software from your brokerage firm?

How easy is it to configure your Linux computer to view/edit/share what photos your smartphone took? Manage a basic shopping list shared between a bunch of devices? View today's schedule? Add a new address book entry?

And beyond the printer thing, how is the Harmony software needed to reconfigure your programmable Logitech A/V remote?

"Oh, there's no additional system admistration load in Linux. It's really easy to install Linux." But that doesn't include hours and hours of editing configuration files in a text editor or the time I spent taking copious notes on the exact steps on how to get the kernel to recognize a $25 part.

And then there's the moment when it might come time to flash the firmware on some hardware. Good luck with that on Linux.

I get the fact that Linux is very customizable and very powerful in the hands of experienced users, particularly in a server/development environment.

It's still a massive failure as a desktop operating system.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: LeeW
Comment

sanfrancisofont1984

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2020
235
63
Dependency hell is less of an issue now with the proliferation of flatpak and snap.
GNOME online account seems to do a decent for cloud integration (Microsoft, Google, etc.) No iCloud.

The hardware is hit and miss for me on laptops (running my printer using Google cloud print for now) But with some laptops known to work well for much cheaper compared to similarly spec MacBook it is a tradeoff worth considering.

Worth checking out https://pop.system76.com/ (uses GNOME and flatpak)

Linux desktop is not a smashing success but I think it is doing okay.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: alex cochez
Comment

jrichards1408

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2016
554
174
Linux on the desktop is absolute garbage.

I went from Macs to a dual-boot Windows/Linux environment in 1997-1998 and returned to Macs in 2002.

Here are the main reasons why desktop Linux continues to suck large rocks:
  • piss-poor device driver support
  • excessive system administration load
  • abysmal end user documentation quality
  • laughable battery management on notebooks
After nearly two decades, the Linux development community still can't resolve these basic issues.

Linux is a fine operating system for servers and embedded devices such as POS terminals, routers, smart "whatever" devices, videogame console emulators, etc.

Some people here might say "hey, try it today." I have a Raspberry Pi 4. Desktop Linux (Raspian) still blows. My Raspberry Pi 4 runs LibreELEC quite nicely. I'm happy with it mostly because it isn't desktop Linux.

I will point out that the last big institutional adopter of desktop Linux -- the Munich City Government -- kicked desktop Linux back to the curb a couple of years ago and returned to Windows. There are no large institutional supporters of desktop Linux anymore.

There are good desktop applications have emerged from Linux: the GIMP photo editor, the Shotcut video editor. I'm sure there are some others.

Linux is great resume fodder if you are jockeying for a corporate IT position but a total waste of effort as a desktop OS.

Torvalds is smart enough these days not to encourage any notion that Linux is a credible desktop environment.

Summary: I transitioned to Linux and I successfully transitioned out of it when I decided my time was more valuable than anything desktop Linux could offer to me.
So windows is better?
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.