switched to OSX 10.6.4 .... so why do i prefer Linux?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by stefan1975, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    So after using linux (mainly fedora and ubuntu) for years i recently made the switch to OSX and got myself an i5 MBP15.

    I expected it to be the best of both worlds, getting the M$ and Adobe apps i used in windows and getting the speed, stability, virus-free environment from a *NIX O.S.

    while i love my MBP to death and could never part with the amazing trackpad for near anything in the world, making the major investment well worth the EUR1900 i spend on the machine .... i still feel as if i am missing something.

    OSX is fine sure, but I cannot help but feel i actually secretly prefer linux. I expected to be amazed, but while it is decent it is not (that much) better then my ubuntu 10.10 maverick install. Heck ubuntu on my P4 boots in 17 seconds while my i5 MBP boots in well over a minute.

    I know ubuntu and gnome "borrowed" a lot from OSX and they are releasing more often, it feels like OSX is been standing still since leopard. OSX has spaces and it works well, but it is no where near as fancy as the compiz bling bling linux uses.

    With compositing enabled and using compiz and docky i have a fancier desktop then i have on my MBP which runs smoothly even on a P4, and with ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 the themes and fonts also have matured ages.

    I also somewhat miss the freedom linux gives me in tuning my desktop to my taste with the only possibility in customisation being changing the wallpaper.

    I even feel *cough* that windows7 is more of an improvement over vista then snow leopard is over leopard, but that also might be due to the state vista was in.

    the fact that i can use M$ office and the adobe elements suite make it a no brainer to use OSX plus the hardware of my MBP are amazing, but am i wrong in feeling OSX is a little dated and the real exiting stuff is happening in iOS and linux right now with windows and OSX being the mammuts in operating system land right now where everything evolves ever so slowly.

    i hope it isn't blasphemy confessing this here...

    thanks for reading, stefan
  2. Grannyville7989 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2010
    I guess it's just a matter of preference at the end of the day. I have a MacBook Pro that I mainly boot into Windows 7 on because I find myself more comfortable working in that environment than what Mac OS X offers, and I'm I prefer using certain apps in Windows than Mac.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Leopard to Snow Leopard update wasn't meant to be revolutionary for the end-user, it was mainly improving the Leopard from developer's perspective (much smaller footprint, 64-bit, OpenCL etc...).

    Windows and OS X are mainly meant for average Joes as they are mainstream OSs, but Linux is more for people who know a lot more about computers and also spends more time with them (hobbyists). Thus they have time to play with all little things and may prefer doing things little more complicated to gain customization.

    When Windows or OS X is updated, it must work. They cannot deliver half-done OSs. It must also be simple enough so that every Joe in the world knows how to use it. With Linux, new features can be added even though they didn't work very well. It's also free so people can't ask for so much as they can do with other OSs. There are lot of different distributions as well so you can pick the one you like (some are more simpler and others offer more customization).

    I have couple friends who are exactly the same. They use Windows because they have to but are Linux users in their heart. It has something unbeatable. Some people like it, others hate it.
  4. Grannyville7989 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2010
    While we're on the topic of Linux, does anyone have any suggestions for a Linux distro for me? I've used Ubuntu before and I do not like using the GNOME desktop interface.
  5. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well i am a fedora man myself, since it is where the upstream development takes place. but for a well developed KDE based distro i think opensuse might be the best bet, with a 9 month release cycle it also is quite stable compared to fedora.

    i mainly used fedora since i was a RHEL sysadmin, now i do internet stuff and don't have the time to tinker as much anymore .... so i just use ubuntu since it seems to be the it-just-works-TM linux distro.
  6. brucem91 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    Then try using Kubuntu. It's ubuntu with the KDE interface on top.

    OP: Why don't you dual-boot ubuntu on your MBP. I've done it in the past. Ubuntu was super easy to get the drivers working. I think fedora was pretty easy as well, but you have to resync the mbr on the computer after installation using refit. I couldn't find the proprietary drivers in fedora, so that sorta wasn't a good thing for me, but you could always manually install the drivers.
  7. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    i know lots more stuff gets pushed out on linux with the 6 month release cycles, and that snow leopard is the "0 new features" release. Although win7 is admittedly really stable, before that i had much more luck with drivers and stability on linux then vista/xp. everything up to the wobbly windows works ootb on ubuntu whereas windows kills me by not having wireless work right away and since it doesnt i can't download the drivers for it that will make it work .... sigh.

    perhaps it's the fact that i cannot reinstall every 6 months, change the look and feel of everything, make it break in so many ways it hurts .... that gives me the feeling that OSX is .... dare i say it ..... boring.

    that and the fact it feels kinda slow. a lot of it has to do with the crappy 5400rpm drive they stuck in this 'pro' machine but my wallet has to overcome the MBP purchase before thinks of a sandforce SSD, besides my P4 also has a 40gb 5400rpm drive and boots to gnome in 17 seconds.
  8. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  9. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well i bought the MBP for OSX, otherwise i could have gotten a EUR600 Dell and installed ubuntu on it, thinking it would be the perfect mix between linux and windows.

    i guess iOS is where it is happening right now with the 10.6.5 update taking long to come and no updates on an ETA or featureset for 10.7 as of yet.
  10. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    i never said you should care, i was under the impression that this is a user forum where users can express their opinions freely. besides using linux sort of does away with the major investment i made in purchasing this machine and can't run M$ office and adobe elements natively.
  11. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    If you think 10.7 is gonna bring 17-second boot times along with all sorts of cool "themes & skins"... think again.

    [btw, ever use 'sleep' instead of shutdown?]
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    For me, the thing that keeps me on OSX over Linux are two things.
    First I don't need to worry about editing conf files to get things running, both fedora and ubuntu upgrade every 6 months and while I don't have too, upgrading is a hassle.

    The second and most important reason, is applications. An operating system sole job in a sense is to run programs. Linux while it has a lot of open source apps, does not have apps that I need. Photoshop - much better then gimp. Lightroom or aperture which offer non destructive photo editing, there's nothing remotely as powerful. Rapidweaver, an easy to use web development program.

    Apple has done a great job with OSX providing a solid OS, that's stable and now has access to tons of programs. Even with apps that are available for linux, the OSX version can run better.

    I tried VMware on fedora and ubuntu, the performance of the guest OS was horrible compared with what I was used to under OSX. I still use Linux, but its in a vmware session. OSX is my primary OS and I'm happy with it :)
  13. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    oh no i am not expecting it to turn into linux overnight, but giving the fact that snow leopard is the stability release i was kinda hoping that 10.7 would at least bring "new" stuff again to amaze us all an be copied in linux and windows later on. perhaps even OS XI with a whole new level of userfriendlyness making gnome3 seem dated already.
  14. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    I find that it is easier to locate good open source software for Mac OS X. This is because you have so many options for any given type of software on Linux that you have to filter through a bunch of garbage before you find the software that does what you want without compromise.

    Open source software in Linux is also segregated based on desktop environment and packaging, such that it is hard to find the best of the software you need without installing both KDE and Gnome. You still have a largely consistent looking desktop environment (either KDE or Gnome) but with both installed you start to lose some of the small footprint that is a benefit of Linux.
  15. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    I have also been using linux OSes (especially Ubuntu) before switching to mac. Because the apps are better even if I like the linux system. I now get my satisfaction by administering linux servers.
  16. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    the GTK vs QT problem is unfortunate i agree, in that GTK apps are more often easier and just-work but that KDE is a more modern DE. However lately i have been finding myself just using the default ubuntu install with gnome, chrome, picasa and OOo and that seems to work fine

    (i also like that the chromium daily updates are in the repos and that chromium updates work, i never can seem to get chrome autoupdating to work on OSX).

    but apart from the branded apps like adobe and M$ office (which are *much* better then their free linux alternatives) i can seem to find almost anything i want with apt or yum, i never need to browse online for something, besides most google apps are readily available for both OSX and linux.
  17. smc333 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Mac OS X isn't about graphical boing like Linux. Compiz is no doubt cool, but OS X goes for a more professional like clean look as opposed to overdoing it. I prefer clean transitions with a small graphical effect, I don't like overly excessive cubes, rotations, wobbles, etc... It's a matter of preference. Also, I think the universal theme in OS X is much more pleasurable than the mish mosh of customizations in Linux.
  18. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well i agree for the most part, i turn off the cube and the wobbly windows myself as well, just the fact that i can *choose* to turn them off appeals to me. in fact my linux desktop doesnt look that much different from OSX right now with the ubuntu controls also on the left and using docky.

    I also like the OSX theme, it is very easy on the eyes, as is the font. I would like to try a dark theme though, ubuntu's latest releases have dark default themes and i have taken a liking to the dark themes over light greys.

    but it's not that i have anything against OSX and i know the forum this is posted in. i use my mbp 95% of the time and it is my main machine, i treat it like my baby with an incase shell, moshi guard and whatnot. i just imagined OSX to be further ahead.
  19. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    In terms of stability and security, Mac OS X is behind 64-bit Ubuntu.
  20. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    You must have an awesome P4.
    Mine uses over a minute to boot ubuntu.
    (P4 2.8GHz with HT, 1280 MB RAM and a brand new 1500GB SATA disk)
    Even loading the bios takes 17 secs.
  21. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    OMG, a responsive car, with familar controls of steering wheels and gas pedals is SOOOO dated. :rolleyes:
  22. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well in all honesty it's 17 seconds from after the bios post (which is about 5 seconds i guess). 9.10 took around a minute. 10.04 half a minute and 10.10 is faster still. i also noticed a big improvement from migrating to EXT4 as my default filesystem and disabling unneeded services from the init scripts.
  23. logandzwon macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2007
    My history;
    I started using linux full time in 2001. I started with RedHat 6.0, switched Fedora in the big split. I switched to mac in 2005 when the 17 intel based MBP came out. I've used Ubuntu since 8.04, but I prefer OS X on the desktop. I am RedHat certified and I'm an active Linux System Administrator.

    My OPINION on OS X vs 10.10 for desktop use;
    No questions, hands down, OS X. The user interface is consistent across the core apps, and 3rd apps, (that want to be.) OS X offers central services for your digital live such as calendaring, unified contacts (one place for a contact's e-mail, physical address, IM, name, picture, and notes), (so, Adium IM application is synced with the face tags in your iPhoto, mail.app, and iPhone.) Managing window size and space is consistent.
    The physical interface is consistent. I go from my iMac to my MBP, to my kids's iMac, to my mac mini and have the same exact keyboard size, feel, and spacing. The quality of the displays are similar, colors are similar from mac to mac.
    Ubuntu's uTouch looks promising, however as it is now, Mutitouch on the trackpad is incomparable. OS X's keyboard short-cuts apply across application. Mutitouch shot-cuts apply across application. (I can cut and paste, switch windows, handle multiple tasks in parallel much easier in OS X then any other OS.)
    OS X + MS office make it very easy to work and exist in all MS environment without the "please send this as an excel," or "when I opened your word document everything got all mixed up, please fix it and resend."

    Cost of a mac vs cost of a comparable PC + ubuntu ;
    Sometimes you can a PC for a small initial price, however, in practice every review I've done puts Macs at the lowest CTO. Flat-out lowest. I tend to keep my MBPs about 2 years before upgrading. I sell them for about 60% of what they were new. It works out to between $200-$400/yr to always having a mid range MBP less then 2 years old with the newest software. There is no resale value in a used PC.

    PS; 10.10 does seem to boot faster then 10.6.4.
  24. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well i agree with you there, however i find that such affects me less and less while i seem to get more and more dependant on Google (unfortunately?!). I use gmail for my primary mail, google docs online for basic word processing (while M$ office is still superior), google calendar for appointments, have my contacts in gmail, which also sync automagically to my android phone which never ceases to amaze me, chat with talk. i even use picasa as my primary picture manager and google maps as navigation device and of course google instant as my sole search engine. **sigh**

    heck i even use google DNS since it so scary fast.

    while i am somewhat afraid of google and think it might be skynet in disguise, it does make me less and less dependant on local apps and synchronisation between them in data and in GUI continuity.

    If not for printing, video editing, usb devices and my photocamera i could make do with a cloud enabled tablet or chromeOS i think.

    for me speed and availability outweigh GUI consistency and stability. (although the boot thingy is somewhat deprecated since OSX sleeps much better then ubuntu for some reason and always picks up wireless in <1 sec)
  25. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Oki that explains a bit, I'm still on 9.1, not that I ever restart my linuxbox tho :)

    I've been using Linux for ages.
    In late 90s i had LinuxPPC on my Umax SuperMac s900.
    I also ran YellowDogLinux on my powerbook G4.

    After I got an intel Mac I really haven't used linux much on my main computer, but I have KDE/GNOME installed in my X11 environment so I can compile and run the linux apps i need, and I do have a vmware installation with ubuntu(which I almost never use anymore).

    Linux is a great OS and I still use it, but mostly on computers that have server tasks. Ubuntu have become really easy to use and it's easier than installing windows (no need for getting extra drivers, which is a pain when you install windows).

    I also love the fact that the Free Software Foundation have saved the computer world from everything being proprietary

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