Three Reasons Why I’m Switching from Mac to Ubuntu

The rage these days is to switch to the Mac, so you may find it strange for someone to voluntarily switch from Mac to Linux. But I am and below are my reasons.

I’ve been using Macs for 21 years

I’ve been using Macs for 21 years. I learned to use computers with the first Macs in 1986. I own one of the first Bondi blue iMacs, a clamshell graphite iBook, an aluminum PowerBook and a PPC Mac Mini. They all work great and I’ve never had a problem with Apple hardware, software or service. I don’t drool at the sight of a Mac but I do enjoy the many hours every day that I spend in front of one.

So Why am I Switching?

  1. Mac hardware is underpowered and expensive. For the same price as a high-end Mac Mini I am getting a Sable from system76 with all kinds of ports, dual dual core 2.6 GHz AMD processors, and a larger disk. It still comes in a small box, but I’m getting more out of it for the same price.
  2. I’m not seeing the benefits of open source software on OS X. I can’t install or run just any old nix app on my OS X boxes like I can on my FreeBSD servers. For example, I struck out installing Tracks on my 10.4.9 Mac Mini, but I had it running in 20 minutes on my FreeBSD box. Its like putting a lawn mower engine in a Ferrari. What’s the point?
  3. The consumer culture around Apple is not conducive to my financial health. I find myself spending $20, $30, $40 for applications whose equivalents are free on Linux. Mac users welcome a new version of OS X like a liberating army, but at $129 for more eye candy, its money down the toilet. Ubuntu updates are free.

Why NOT Switch to Ubuntu?

  1. I won’t be able to get any work done in Ubuntu. I’m already doing most of my work in Firefox, Adium (Pidgin), iTerm, KeePassX, TextMate, Transmit, Virtue Desktops and VoodooPad. These all either run on Linux or have (better) equivalents.
  2. Linux isn’t pretty enough. Gnome and KDE are plenty pretty and now may even be prettier than OS X, thanks to Beryl.
  3. Linux has no games. That’s not true, but if it were, good! I already waste too much time with games. I need to spend more time on work, family and enjoying the outdoors.
  4. You can’t run iTunes on Linux. That’s not true, but if it were, great! I should buy CDs instead anyway.
  5. You might run into weird, inexplicable problems. That can happen with any operating system.
  6. Linux updates are worse than a Greek tragedy. That’s also not true. And OS X updates are no walk in the park.

Ubuntu is a Viable Option

Will Ubuntu put Apple out of business? Unlikely. But Ubuntu is a viable option that thinking computer users should consider. If you’re planning on buying a new Mac, think twice before you flush more cash down the toilet on an overpriced, underpowered, lock-in platform.

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By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

5 replies on “Three Reasons Why I’m Switching from Mac to Ubuntu”

Interesting…. I have to say that os x has been good me. I think it’s an interesting idea to move to Linux but the reason i would never really do it is that the reality for me that is, i have gotten to a point with this system were I no longer waste any real time figuring anything out. Even if the hardware is more expensive (which does not really seem to be the case with laptops, in my limited reserch) I am saving so many hours sticking with the same old (or new) mac system, that if I consider my time of any monitary value, I am saving a fortune… and any potential savings in hardware is easaly offset.
Like games, playing with new systems is a huge wate of time, searching for drivers, software, trasfering data etc… But if you do make the move, please post a note about your experience. I would be curious to hear how it goes. Good Luck! H

PS. aren’t you curious about Leopard?

Oh the new machine is just a day away so I’ll be making the move.

Leopard does not seem like much of an improvement frankly.

Thanks for your comment.

I haven’t run Linux as a desktop in quite a while, so it might be worth checkout out again. However, I suspect I’d really miss the iLife apps. iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD in particular, are very nice to work with, and are a good example of what Apple does best. Seamless integration with the hardware (built in camera, for example) is pretty nice too.

What accounting software are you using in Linux?



I switch to Linux as soon as my 3 year old laptop stopped getting updated. I have no desire to deal with another company with there hand out asking for money. I have used mac’s for the last 9 years and love the build quality and how comfortable the os is but for none of the price I can keep up to date and have something far quicker. I never thought I would stray away from OSX but mac has lost a very loyal customer that will no longer recommend there product.

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