Just kidding. Everyone knows that it’s been The Year of Linux on the Desktop for the past decade. It still hasn’t happened and it’s not likely to happen. Except Linux kinda sorta mostly has taken over the computing world; at least, in sheer numbers but more hidden from users. Chromebooks? Linux. Webservers? Linux. Amazon’s Fire tablets? Linux. Android smartphones and tablets? Linux. Internet of Things (IoT) devices? Linux.
Linux is already the most used operating system on planet earth but it just hasn’t had as much success on the desktop as Windows PCs or the Mac, or as Linux on mobile devices. Derik Diener thinks Elementary OS would be the best Linux version for Mac users.
Linux for the Mac, whether using Parallels, Boot Camp, VMWare or any other method to get Linux onto a Mac is, 1) an exercise in frustration with little benefit, or, 2) an exercise that is interesting for the adventurous or geeky Mac user, but not likely to catch on with the masses.
Elementary OS is derived from Ubuntu OS, another Linux version popular with a subset of the masses, but the user interface is inspired by macOS.
The clear choice for Mac users new to Linux is Elementary OS. It’s a Linux distribution with heavy Mac OS inspiration. Don’t call it a clone though, because that’s just not true. Instead, Elementary OS takes the good ideas from Mac OS and implements them with a twist.
Translation: It’s familiar. And then, quite unfamiliar.
Those switching from the Mac should take notice.
If you’re switching from the Mac, or, as is the case for most, simply trying out something different, you’re already taking notice. Duh.
The Elementary OS operating system is perfect for all types of Mac users. Be it power user or beginner, everything will feel at home. Everything will, to quote Apple, “just work”.
No. No it’s not. No, it doesn’t ‘just work‘ in the same sense as the Mac. Elementary OS will be interesting and a diversion from Apple’s macOS ecosystem, but what you get is not a Linux version of the Mac. You get another– one of many, many, many versions– Linux version on the Mac and there will be hiccups along the way.
Think familiar but different.
Consider the table stakes Apple gives to Mac users. It’s a long list of applications that have counterparts on Linux versions, but not with the same polish as on macOS Sierra.
- Safari – or Chrome, Firefox, et al
- Mail – email is email
- Notes & Reminders
- Pages, Numbers, Keynote
- iMovie, iTunes, Photos
- Mac App Store
See? And that’s just the start of what you won’t find on Linux in general, including almost automatic sync between devices; Mac to iPhone to iPad to Watch.
Diener goes on to describe a number of other Linux versions including Deepin, Ubuntu itself, Solus, Trenta OS, not to mention the dozens of other Linux derivatives available to run on the Mac.
If you’re sick of Apple treating power users like trash in favor of general users, this list is for you.
Apple doesn’t treat so-called power users in a specific way as if they are a targeted group. Apple just does what Apple has always done. People do what they always do. Like and use. Or, not like and use it anyway. Or, grumble and try out something else.
macOS Sierra is more powerful and more useful than any Mac OS I’ve ever used in the past 25 years and macOS High Sierra will bring a better experience that is safer, more secure, and offers better privacy in a very familiar system.
A lot of Linux distributions targeting Mac users tend to recreate the familiar OS 10 desktop. They come with a Mac-like dock, an icon theme that might as well be taken directly from Apple, among other things. On the surface, you’d swear it’s just superficial changes, designed to copy, but that is wrong.
Translation: Still superficial; Mac-like on top, Linux underneath.
In fact, a lot of the operating systems we mentioned work very hard to implement features that will set themselves apart.
The superficial part; the look and feel, but it’s still Linux underneath; no Microsoft Office, no Adobe Creative Cloud, no iMovie, iTunes, Messages, Photos, or any of the popular Mac apps we know, love, and use. Final Cut Pro? Uh uh. Logic Pro? Nope.
If Linux on the Mac works for you or you need it for development or you’re just curious, great. Enjoy. But Linux is any form is not for the masses to use and never has been, so 2017 is not The Year of Linux on the Desktop or the Mac.