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Article:
  Switching Back to Desktop Linux
Subject:   Linux vs. OS X
Date:   2006-06-05 11:54:29
From:   JayBerringer
The deal breaker with Linux for me is the amount of time I have to spend to administer the thing: with every security update to the kernel I had to recompile both my wireless and VPN apps. Add to that dual monitor support sort of works if you're willing to tweak X settings (on a laptop), lack of decent APM support (again on a laptop running a 2.4 kernel), no Office (I need this for work and Open Office was a poor substitute, MS Office under Wine was unstable as a Jello mold. Then there are RPM's and dealing with dependencies (or not) when installing an app. I don't see paying $129 for an OS upgrade any different then suffering through myriad Fedora Core releases. Or worse, compiling my own kernel, taking half a day to download the latest KDE or Gnome and having to do that every 6-months or so.


What do I miss from Linux on OS X? I really can't think of much. Focus-Follows-Mouse would be nice but given the OS X menu bar, I can't think of a way to make it work though apparently one software company has along with their virtual desktop product(CodeTek). (I'm using an open virtual desktop software that I build with XCode and works remarkably like my old Solaris CDE did.


I am glad you found something that you can work with. I loaded Ubuntu onto my back up "just in case". While Ubuntu is nice, like Windows I only need to use it for an hour or two before I'm pining for OS X.

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  • Linux vs. OS X
    2006-06-05 12:52:31  chromatic | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    That's a good point. If I had used kernel 2.4 and an RPM-based distribution, Linux would have been less interesting to me.

    I don't perceive an administration burden greater than I had with Mac OS X (especially when using a distribution that handles package management gracefully), but I am comfortable upgrading configuration files by hand if necessary, so what is acceptable to me might be too technical or complex or burdensome for plenty of other people.