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Old 01-16-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
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Post mac vs linux why linux?


I am presently using a mac book with leopard as the OS and as I was looking for a linux ditro for one of my old computer I was wondering why someone with a mac would want to change to linux? I am not implying that mac OS is better, I am simply looking for someone to tell me the main advantages of switching since I dont know them


Old 01-16-2008, 10:23 AM   #2
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Commodity hardware support

Lack of support for some commercial applications (photoshop, etc..)

Nice hardware
Commercial application availability

Must use Apple hardware

I'm sure you could go back and forth and come up with lots of reasons for either..
I think mainly if you have need of some specific commercial applications you would want the Mac.
Old 01-16-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Not had something like this for a while. I have moved this thread to General - "OS"vs"OS" discussions live there.
Old 01-16-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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I use Linux for:
  1. Free software
  2. Freedom of coding
  3. Support for almost any hardware
  4. Helpful user base!
  5. Of course stability!

Last edited by deepumnit; 01-16-2008 at 10:56 AM.
Old 01-16-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Everybody has his/her own opinion on this, here's mine:

a) Lets start with Windows, it's out there, we cannot ignore it:
1. It's monolithic, not configurable, lacks flexibility.
2. It's insecure.
3. It cannot be trusted, user has no control of data MS is collecting.
4. It's unstable compared to best POSIX systems.
5. You pay for it, and it's not worth the money they sell it for.

b) Mac OS X:
1. It's proprietary, so point one from Windows is valid here to a certain degree, too.
If you are just a computer user who is happy doing things the way Apple programmers want you to do, OK.
Getting underneath of GUI and customizing it is harder because you are not supposed to do so, much easier than in Windows though. Using OSS is possible but not everything is ported for Mac.
5. It's probably worth the money you pay for it, but you have to buy it.

With Linux you have everything other operating systems miss. The only price you pay for using it is the time you spend on learning and fiddling. More you learn about it greater the satisfaction. One day you'll notice your productivity and overall satisfaction is highest with Linux - and there is no way back then. Be warned!
Old 01-16-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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More you learn about it greater the satisfaction. One day you'll notice your productivity and overall satisfaction is highest with Linux - and there is no way back then. Be warned!
I second that. It really really sucks if you used linux for an extended period of time, and you have to go back using another operating system for some special application, or at work. It's unbelievably frustrating.
I don't know much about macs. I guess, if you can connect a 5 button (scollwheel!) mouse to those things, it might actually be usable :P
Old 01-16-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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I like all two (three) OSs.

I think that when a person starts having something to do with PCs it should start MacOS, where everything is there and just works.
Then s/he might start to have the desire for some more flexibility, SW availability and the need to fiddle around with settings, therefore Windows.
And after that s/he gets nerved with no-workaround error messages, misterious system-slowdowns & hangs, the impossibility to have a deep look at what's going on in the background, and the feel of being spied and paying much too much FOR JUST AN OS, s/he might choose to try out Linux.
In Linux unluckily I miss a lot the functionalities of Excel - only a part has been integrated into openoffice - and sometimes the effort that companies put into write their drivers/software as well for Linux. But luckily this is slowly getting better. I always think that it is amazing how much free software is available for Linux, and that it mostly works better than on the other OSs (e.g. X or mplayer) and that you can customize anything.
Old 01-16-2008, 12:46 PM   #8
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You'll only change if you like to. If you don't, you won't, and I don't see why you should.

Two main things I see:
1) price
2) updates - you can upgrade the whole operating system (usually) without paying anything for the years to come. Try to do that with your copy of Windows or Mac's OS without breaking any laws.
Old 01-16-2008, 01:17 PM   #9
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I'll add that a lot of people think that using GNU/Linux is "hard" or "advanced," but the two are really different. In other words, using Linux does make you an advanced computer user, but I think that's because it's so easy to get so good at it. When you have the entire machine, all the software's source code and and all the documentation that is included by default in most distributions, you have a huge amount of resources to learn from.

I started using Linux because I love Unix, and I was over-joyed to find out that I could have a Unix-like system at home for free. Also I felt ripped off by getting a $1500 Windows machine that worked like a piece of crap. It's works like a computer now.

You can use Linux as a substitute for Windows or Mac OS if you like, but you can also use it in a radically different way, configuring everything from text. However, there are distros in which you can configure everything by GUI with their default setup. Try as many as you can on LiveCD, and see if you like any of them. I suggest Slax (Slackware LiveCD), and PCLinuxOS.

Old 01-16-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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If someone hands me a computer, I know I can install linux on it (not quite as assuredly as NetBSD, but I haven't run across any Atari computers lately...)

Even if the hardware is old, I know I can find a distro that will run and will let me do what I need to get done....but c'mon...RAM's dirt cheap...

It just feels wrong to pay for software...and often hardware (hehe). Voluntary (minimal... *grin*) contributions after seeing how much a package helps you is another thing entirely....

The amount of gpl'ed software out there is astounding...look at the debian repositories some time....why hassle to install some windows version of it...or to get fink and X11 working on a mac...synaptic....synaptic....

The great feeling of knowing what people can accomplish when they work together as mutually-respecting, social beings....

Since it's gpl'ed, it will always be there for you...people can tweak it decades from now, and no group of lawyers or execs is going to pull the rug out from beneath you...

It's about Freedom...but the Free (gratis) part is nice....

Live evaluation CDs are the greatest thing since sliced bread....

The internet changed is no longer tied to a physical item you obtain...the infosphere saturates your surroundings, and you simply tune in what you want.

Last edited by ehawk; 01-16-2008 at 02:29 PM.
Old 01-16-2008, 03:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ehawk View Post
It just feels wrong to pay for software...and often hardware (hehe). Voluntary (minimal... *grin*) contributions after seeing how much a package helps you is another thing entirely....
Hmmm ... That almost sounds spoiled. It's like saying "I expect to get something for nothing." Linux, GNU and FOSS are like gifts. You can't expect gifts, but you can appreciate and contribute to the work.
Old 01-16-2008, 04:15 PM   #12
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My friend has all three on his macbook pro. He mostly uses his OSX for the Adobe suite, Windows for conformity sake, and Ubuntu in his free time.
Old 01-16-2008, 06:00 PM   #13
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Linux and here is why in my own opinion

Security (I will explain this one)
All I hear these days about windows and mac are viruses (not too much mac but they have there share)
Linux on the other hand has seemed not to have this problem, as long as you don't run as root and run processes that connect to the internet in a chrooted jail, nothing can really hurt you.

Linux simply runs on anything, even 286's!

Software (This is where Linux falls a bit short but in my opinion it really doesn't )
Sure Linux may not have a lot of commercial software, but look at all the apps it does have
it has a lot, more then one would think, sure there are a lot of Mac apps too, but not as many as Linux has.

As most people say Mac's are really reliable, but I have seen my share of non-reliable macs as well, not to hold anything against apple, everyone makes engineering mistakes. But since Linux runs on anything it's kinda hard not to be more reliable because bugs that are on other platforms will not necessarily exist on every platform, ther will always be bugs so I am not saying Linux is perfect at all.

Unifyed GUI
There is where apple is the smoking gun, Linux has it's nice GUI's but it's nothing like OSX, this is mac's pride and joy a simple yet pretty interface people can work with. There is one minor annoyance with it, and that is OSX will never tell you a good enough error message, using a msgbox popup displaying error when i place my cdrom in the trash can, doesn't tell me anything. KDE will hint at what is fron if you hot alt + crtl + F1 it will display in output of what it was trying to do, or what the error was about, it just gives a little more detail in what is/was happening and hints a lot more then OSX does when something goes wrong.
Old 01-16-2008, 06:46 PM   #14
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As said and above..

..but the biggest thing you have to face is the learning curve of Linux, you gotta have an open unbiased mind and unlearn Mac/Windows, remember Linux is not either of them and you will run into problems sooner or later. The biggest joy is knowing these problems, taking them head on and defeating them.
Old 01-17-2008, 12:46 PM   #15
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well thanks to everyone for their replies, it really helped me understand why some apple users switched to linux.


distros, linux, mac

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