1. 30
    Farewell, macOS linux mac preslav.me
  1. 25

    I was hoping for a bit more. It looks like the only real content is a link to how to install Linux on Apple hardware. https://linuxnewbieguide.org/how-to-install-linux-on-a-macintosh-computer/

    1. 3

      Yeah I was hoping for strong arguments for why op decided to switch.

      1. 1

        Oh, yes, I tried that. Trust me, it’s a hassle for sure.

      2. 11

        and maintaining proper scaling across my laptop’s screen and my external monitor. The latter one is more of a general issue on pretty much all OSes

        Could you elaborate? I find that external monitors scaling works flawlessly with macOS, if anything, it’s the one thing Apple got right.

        1. 2

          And they got it right a long time ago. There was some attempt to replicate that fundamental success in the Linux world[1] but that work stopped around 2003 and we were stuck with X11 for another 15+ years. And now Wayland is… kinda not doing it right either, I think? But better than X11 still.

          [1] http://berlin.sourceforge.net/

        2. 11

          I haven’t desired an OS war debate since about 2005. I understand that this isn’t fair since I’m probably laying down kindling and not asking for a flame war.

          I would switch much faster if I had iTerm2 (don’t say tmux, alacritty unless they are 1:1) and a few other tools. I’ve run Gentoo as my main machine and many Linux-es in the past (all I can do for street cred folks). Xcode, the app store, economics or something else apparently just makes high quality UIs possible because it’s not the same? Monodraw, Alfred, Pixelmator and a few others. There are a few I could budge on. The Mac apps are very polished, fonts are the best and usually the UX is good (iTerm’s options boxes are kind of insane). I keep flirting with the idea but then I make a list of stuff I’d miss.

          Linux has upsides too. It’s really what I want, a Unix box. I could ditch tiling window manager clones or near-misses and get a full-on tiled thing going (of course the browser kinda of kinks the terminal based flow but whatever). That’s not my issue. My issue is that Linux is great on the server. Linux (unix) excels at text but its desktop and GUI layer has always been weird. I don’t want it to be like this. If Electron was magically as fast as QT (etc) and made it easy to layout GUIs like Xcode, maybe that would be it? I just don’t know what the issues are in the GUI space. Armchair analyst mode though: people pay for mac software.

          This just continues to be true: computers suck, macs suck the least. But everything can change with time.

          1. 6

            I’m not a fan of tmux and alacritty either but found kitty to be a great cross platform alternative to iTerm. At least if it’s the panes and tabs that you want.

            Much more pleasant configuration too if you like to keep clean dotfiles.

            1. 2

              What does iTerm2 do that’s not in something like gnome-terminal?

              I use both and I’d like to know about any cool features I’m missing in iTerm2.

              They look the same to me from my Linux accustomed experience, what am I missing?

              1. 2

                Does anything else have “native tmux” yet? That is, tmux windows/panes are just iTerm windows/panes—you don’t need to do any tmux key commands at all. Makes persistent server sessions very nice. I believe the iTerm author implemented the protocol for this in tmux but I’m not sure if any other emulator has adopted it.

                1. 1

                  iTerm has more customization knobs than gnome-terminal (or any other Terminal emulator I’ve used) by an order of magnitude.

                  1. 1

                    Same, would love to know what I was missing from iTerm2. I don’t use tmux integration, not sure about other cools features that I missed. But one thing I noticed is it’s significant slower thang the default terminal application.

                    1. 1

                      Good question so I’ll do my best. Most of this is taste but I hope I can explain a feeling.

                      1. The hotkeys are nice (to me). They are quicker than leaders and are basically the same as Chrome tabs. Cmd+T for new tab, Cmd+Alt+Arrows. And of course mac apps flash the menu item and have hints next to them. But that’s iTerm leveraging MacOS.
                      2. The pane splitting is easy. Moving panes is easy. Moving panes to windows or the opposite, easy-ish.
                      3. Broadcasting input to all tabs is neat (but rarely used). Tmux does this too.
                      4. The fonts look nice (because MacOS). I’m sure other terminals have 256-color and image support. iTerm was early on this (to me). Powerline fonts, all the fluff.
                      5. The fullscreen has native and non-native options, so it’s quick and has survived the Apple OS changes.
                      6. I use a global hotkey for a dev log described here.
                      7. You can temp fullscreen a pane with shift+Cmd+enter. It has an overlay telling you you are in this mode.
                      8. Like someone said, the customizations are great. Just one example: you can dim panes on unfocus to your liking. Even not graphics dimming, font color dimming. It’s great.
                      9. The tmux stuff is neat, a bit weird (root window has to stay open). Haven’t used it a lot.

                      I’ve tried the windows options. Putty (not the same thing) hasn’t changed in decades. ConEmu or Hyper is close. Hyper is a bit slow (maybe things have changed). ConEmu is close with WSL. But I’m biased because of muscle memory!

                      Sorry, getting off-topic. Back to the OP, I agree in the sentiment. I’m spooked by the changes. It’s consumer facing more and more. But I don’t know if any of these things are nails in the coffin or the community will continue to workaround/adapt. There have been breaking changes on major OS versions for a long time. People working sometimes wait when they optimize for stability. But, OP, I hear you. 🌻

                    2. 2

                      Yeah, it’s only a matter of time. After a recent upgrade of iTerm2 my whole screen would periodically flicker wildly. Occasionally my machine (2019 Pro) would reboot. I temporarily downgraded to Terminal, and everything settled down. My text mode apps also seemed snappier. My lesson from all this: to always be on the lookout for costs when things change. Even when the change seems pleasant (timestamps on specific lines in iTerm2, tmux integration, lots of other lovely stuff). Because we suck at changing things at scale without regression.

                      1. 2

                        I agree with this. And your description of Linux feeling different from macOS, at least in terms of GUIs, reminds me of this blog entry: https://blogs.gnome.org/tbernard/2019/12/04/there-is-no-linux-platform-1 IMO, to make a Linux computer feel like a real Unix desktop you need a controlling entity to smooth over the edges. Like Android or Chrome OS or even Raspberry Pi OS. Of course, purists would say “this isn’t the GNU/Linux I know”. They’d be right. But from what I can tell, we don’t even have that option.

                      2. 8

                        I’ve got a guide here that goes into way more detail: https://www.lewis8s.codes/apple/linux/archlinux/macbookpro/2020/01/18/how-to-install-arch-linux-on-macbook.html

                        What I would say is that you need to keep your Mac partition because that’s how you get firmware updates. Also the trackpad support on Linux/Ubuntu is awful, palm rejection just doesn’t work so I had to write a script that just disables the trackpad when typing. The battery life is also about 1/2 that of Big Sur and that’s with powertop etc. I just wouldn’t recommend it at all, if I need a Linux CLI I use Docker or AWS.

                        Also you have to disable SIP to install Linux which some users might not be comfortable with. If you’re buying a Mac don’t expect to run Linux/BSD on it, get a Thinkpad instead.

                        1. 1

                          Thanks for this. I am running Ubuntu 20.04 dual boot and I can’t get the trackpad working at all. I have to use external mouse and keyboard, but otherwise fine. If you have fixes for this, I would be interested, then I won’t need Mac OS at all. I can’t bring my keyboard and mouse to coffee shops.

                        2. 3

                          I’ve been on Linux machines at work since 2014 until just recently when I got a new role.

                          It’s shocking how much OSX and its associated suite of applications has not evolved materially from a UX perspective; the only “new’ aspects appear to be switching to zsh and having some kind of execute bit sandboxing for new apps. The machines are not being materially improved. Most memory/computational aspects for Linux/Windows workstations are 2x what Apple tends to ship.

                          It feels kind of this long slow slide into senescence and obsolesce.

                          After I assess the new role more, I am probably going to request a full-power Linux box and trade in this poor machine in.

                          1. 3

                            I’m really not enthused for the desktop Mac experience anymore (my Mac Pro runs Ubuntu). I don’t really like the Big Sur updates (how could they remove proxy icons? &c) and can’t afford a well-cooled Mac anymore. On the other hand, I’m kinda tired of Linux on the desktop (weird bugs, annoyances), so I’m going back to Win10, the first time I’ve chosen to run Windows since Win98. I still wish Apple sold OS licenses, even if only at Apple prices.

                            I’m quite happy with Mac on the phone/tablet/MacBook, Win10 on the workstation, and Linux for “the machines”. At least the hardware is really fast these days.

                            1. [Comment removed by author]

                              1. 6

                                I want to be able to use my banking app and watch Netflix and play games and get directions and such…

                                The various Google-free Android-based ROMs will happily do at least three out of four of those. :)

                              2. 2

                                I really liked this generation of MacBook. I had one running Windows as a gaming box after I switched back to an IBM eServer as my primary machine, but it got stolen when my house was broken into.

                                I have gotten MacOS successfully working on a modern Mac, but it was a pain:


                                The older Macs would make great Linux dev devices for sure and that is a really good use case for them if you can pick one up in good shape. The newer macs with their somewhat proprietary architecture will likely never run anything except Apple verified operating systems.

                                1. 1

                                  More minor issues include not being able to scroll with my Magic Mouse,

                                  Which magic mouse do you have? Mine (1st gen) works fine and has been since at least kernel version 5.0, if I recall correctly the driver was added around kernel version 3.17.

                                  1. 1

                                    I was hoping for how he got the touchpad working properly. I have to use an external keyboard and mouse to dual boot properly. I installed Ubuntu 20.04 in June. If I can get past the hardware compatibility issues, I will switch completely. Highly recommended if you don’t mind the external hardware dependancies. Btw, it is so so so so much faster than native Mac OS. It is insanely fast. Everything is instant. I didn’t realize all of the sluggishness on my 2019 16inch macbook pro until I used Ubuntu for 2 seconds.

                                    1. 1

                                      I’m pleasantly surprised to read that the 16” MBP is reasonably well supported by Ubuntu. According to this list, the touchpad should work, you just need to apply some patches.

                                      1. 1

                                        Thanks, I will take a look at applying those patches, when I did it earlier this summer I don’t think a few of the patches worked at all. Worth trying again.