1. 29
  1.  

  2. 14

    I’ve been using Macs for nearly a decade on the desktop and switched to Linux a couple of months ago. The 2016 MacBook Pro finally drove me to try something different. Between macOS getting more bloated each release, defective keyboard, terrible battery life, and the touch bar I realized that at some point I stopped being the target demographic.

    I switched to Manjaro and while there are a few rough edges as the article notes, overall there really isn’t that much difference in my opinion. I’m running Gnome and it does a decent enough job aping macOS. I went with Dell Precision 5520, and everything just worked out of the box. All the apps that I use are available or have equivalents, and I haven’t found myself missing anything so far. Meanwhile it’s really refreshing to be able to configure the system exactly the way I want.

    Overall, I’d say that if you haven’t tried Linux in a while, then it’s definitely worth giving another shot even though YMMV.

    1. 4

      terrible battery life

      Really? It’s that bad? The Dell is better?

      1. 3

        I don’t know about Dell, but my 2016 MacBook Pro was hit pretty hard after the Specter/Meltdown fix came out. I used to go 5 or 6 hours before I was down to 35-40%. Now I’m down to %20-25% after about 4 hours.

        1. 2

          Same here. I wonder if the specter/meltdown fiasco has at all accelerated Apple’s (hypothetical) internal timeline for ARM laptops. Quite the debacle.

          In regards to the parent, I have actually been considering moving from an aged Macbook Pro 15” (last of the matte screen models – I have avoided all the bad keyboards so far), to a Mac /desktop/ (mac pro maybe). You can choose your own keyboard, screen, and still get good usability and high performance. Then moving to a linux laptop for “on the road” type requirements. Being able to leave work “at my desk” might be nice too.

          (note: I work remotely)

          1. 3

            I honestly don’t understand the fetish for issuing people laptops, particularly for software development type jobs. The money is way better spent (IMHO) on a fast desktop and a great monitor/keyboard.

            1. 2

              Might be the ability to work remotely. I’m with you, though, that laptops are a bizarre fetish, as is working from Anywhere You Want(!)

              1. 2

                It’s an artifact of, among other things, the idea that you PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS and DO WHAT YOU LOVE*; I don’t want to “work anywhere” – I want to work from work, and leave that behind when I go home to my family. But hey, I’m an old, what do I know.

                *: what you love must be writing web software for a venture funded startup in San Francisco

            2. 2

              Same here. I wonder if the specter/meltdown fiasco has at all accelerated Apple’s (hypothetical) internal timeline for ARM laptops.

              I wouldn’t guess that. Apples ARM design was one of the few also affected by meltdown. Using it for a laptop wouldn’t have helped.

              1. 1

                I bought a Matebook X to run Arch Linux on and it’s been pretty great so far.

                1. 1

                  I’ve been thinking about a librem 13. I’ll take a look at the matebook too. Thanks!

            3. 2

              Yeah I get 4-6 hours with the Dell, and I was literally getting about 2-3 hours on the Mac with the same usage patterns and apps running. I think the fact that you can be a lot more granular regarding what’s running on Linux really helps in that regard.

              1. 5

                +1 about deciding what you run on GNU/Linux.

                I have a Dell XPS 15 9560 currently running Arch (considering switching to NixOS soon), and with Powertop and TLP set up I usually get around 20 hours (yes, 20 hours) per charge on light/normal use.

                1. 1

                  Ha! Thanks for this I didn’t know these were available!

                  1. 1

                    No problems! They’re very effective, and are just about the first package I install on a new setup.

          2. 2

            I did the same thing last 2 or 3 years ago. Had Mac’s for 10years and I couldn’t justify buying a laptop where nothing was replaceable or serviceable. I bought a Lenovo x121 to test if I could manage and it was a pleasure to come back to Linux. I just bought a new old Lenovo x260 and it’s awesome. I stopped using Linux on the desktop when things like WiFi and battery life where shoddy at best, and X crashed regularly on all hardware I tried. When I came back everything kind of just worked and all tools I used where an apt/snap install away.

            1. 1

              “I stopped using Linux on the desktop when things like WiFi and battery life where shoddy at best”

              Did you mean laptop, since I can’t imagine that battery life is an issue on desktops?

              1. 2

                This seems unhelpfully pedantic. People run desktop software on laptops.

                1. 1

                  Linux on the desktop is a reference to ‘year XXXX will be the year of Linux on the desktop’. It doesn’t refer to the computer it’s running on, but to the desktop experience in general. It’s about a large group of people using Linux desktop environment and not windows.

                  See: https://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2017/12/19/why-hasnt-the-year-of-the-linux-desktop-happened-yet/

                  1. 1

                    Oh!!!! I do know the reference - I was using Linux back in 1999 - but I didn’t realize that’s what you were getting at here :)

              2. 1

                I’m going on 10 years with (x)ubuntu for personal use. At the big dumb corps I’m usually at, I suffer with windows, and use cygwin. The few times I’ve been issued macs, it’s just jarring. I’ve never spent enough time with them to get used to the bsd heritage. I personally just don’t see the appeal.