Migrating back to Linux (Ubuntu) from Mac OS X

Mac OS X

Vinh Nguyen


July 24, 2010

After abour 1.5 year with Mac OS X on my beautiful black Macbook (v 4,1), I've decided to migrate back to Linux, namely Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Why? Well, I was actually using Kubuntu (KDE version of Ubuntu) from about Spring 2006 to November 2008. At the time, I remember setting up Kubuntu on my Dell Inspiron 700m laptop was quite a task: getting the display to work at the right resolution, wireless, etc. Once everything was set up I loved the environment. Afew things bothered me then: no MS Office (OpenOffice doesn't cut it sometimes when you have to collaborate), graphics environment (KDE) crashed from time to time (probably because laptop was too slow and I multi-tasked daily) and lack of support for third-party hardware (syncing Palm Centro and ipod, scanners, etc). I would have to do lots of research to figure out the third party issue, and often, a solution was not available (maybe arriving much later). I kind of got sick of this whole process so decided to switch to Mac OS X since it was Unix-based (all tools available), had MS Office, pretty, stable, nicely built (quality), and had third-party hardware support.

Once on the Macbook, I configured it to be my workstation with all the tools I need. Since Mac wasn't truly Unix, compiling and getting certain software needed special attention despite the availability of MacPorts. Often times I would have to compile things from source manually (no apt-get!), maybe after having to tweak the source code a little.

Now I'm quite sick of not having apt-get or tweaking source code prior to compiling. So, I'm moving back. By now, the third-party issue isn't too much of a concern since my ipod works with it and Android syncs to the cloud (and is Linux-based). Certain things will need to be resolved for new hardware specifications on newer Laptops, but this doesn't bother me too much as I'm sure a solution will be available in a matter of weeks or months – plus, the community is very helpful. MS Office can run with WINE/Crossover Office (I did this before too, but I think things should be better now). I would also like to note that in the mist of all this I have servers and and a NAS that are debian- or ubuntu-based, and that I use the school's Linux servers quite often. It's only natural that my main workstation be Linux-based again, for ease of use and for efficiency and productivity.