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Off-topic, and please believe me I'm not trying to start a flame war, but I'm really concerned about this and I think it could be time to switch -- is OS X any better in this regard? I had heard it has been phoning Apple since forever. (I'm not going to consider Linux for a desktop)



Linux is totally ok for a desktop, I would say much better than anything else! You have several desktop environments you can choose from and you can customize it to make it work exactly like you want it to. Once everything setup to your liking, the configuration can be easily copied to any other system because it is just files in your $HOME folder.

If you are a Hacker, you will be overwhelmed by the great amount of development tools that are much easier to handle than on any other system.

There are very few reasons nowadays not to use Linux.


I moved to Linux Mint for the very reason that I saw many comments in places like this. But I have to say, I have been seriously considering moving back. I love the stability and reliability of Linux. And By God it's fast, but the user experience is not the least bit as polished as people keep making it out to be. It's not intuitive, and half the things aren't as easy as people say they are. I lost a whole afternoon trying to get Photoshop to work through WINE and in the end resorted to setting up a virtual machine and installing windows. Less than ideal. I like Linux for what it is, but lack of compatibility with major apps is a major deal breaker. I've not been able to get a single windows app to work through WINE and I've tried a fair few. I would be less inclined to go back if more major app makers were willing to create native Linux apps. Take Quip or 1Password for example. No native Linux support.


I understand your frustration, I've been there too.

However, I think it's very important to understand, and go into it with the mindset as follows:

You're not going to have the same programs. You'll have similar programs and very good alternatives (Photoshop/GIMP, 1Password/KeePass, etc.)

Once I realized that I probably shouldn't try to shoehorn a program written for only a specific OS into what I was doing, I found the experience much better.

Sure, some of the alternatives aren't as good. If you really need them, then you should re-evaulate why you're switiching.


> very good alternatives

GIMP is to Photoshop what mspaint is to GIMP.


> You'll have similar programs...

Never said that one was better than the other, just that there are alternatives. :)

Again, if one really, really needs Photoshop, then they need to evaluate how much they want to change Operating Systems.


> just that there are alternatives. :)

It's an alternative in some restricted circumstances. Calc.exe is an alternative to Wolfram Mathematica. People who didn't just pirate Photoshop probably don't use the small subset of functionality that GIMP provides because if they were they'd be using GIMP before switching to Linux.


> You have several desktop environments you can choose from and you can customize it to make it work exactly like you want it to.

This is not actually a selling point to a lot of people. Some people just want a device to work, and not have to worry about it.

> There are very few reasons nowadays not to use Linux.

One should use the right tool for the right job. Sometimes, that's just not Linux.


Exactly! Why do the Linux people try to "take over" every Windows thread? The Windows folks don't barge into every Linux thread.

Windows 10 is excellent. We moved our all-mac company (~20 developers) off Macs and onto Windows over the past year, because Apple no longer supports the high end. We do GPGPU programming, and you can't plug a high end NVIDIA card into a MacPro. (The Mac Apologists will say you can, but you can't -- not in any useful performant reliable way.)


It's hardly "barg[ing] into" when somebody explicitly asks about alternatives. And yes, they said they wouldn't consider Linux, but that does mean they're the ones who brought it up!


If you are a Hacker, there are very few reasons nowadays not to have access to Linux. I run my development profile as a VM on my Windows machine. It's nice to have the distro packages to pull in any esoteric tool I need to solve problems.

But I play too many videogames to run it as my primary machine.


Genuine question: What are the equivalent easy to use development tools that map to sysinternals tools such as procexp, procmon, tcpview, ....? If it is just lsof, ps, top, netstat then I'm seriously missing some thing. It is one of my personal pain points with linux.


process explorer: htop, vmstat, iostat.

procmon: strace.

tcpview: netstat, wireshark.

They're all pretty easy to use.


also iftop and iotop to monitor network and file system usage by application


Didn't know about iftop; thanks for the suggestion.


I would be quite interested to learn what it is you would like to see that lsof does not show? (yes, this is a genuine question, I do not know Windows tools)


Maybe if you elaborate what exact functionality you are missing. Look at "sar" and "sag" for example.


games, games, games, just 3 reasons, very good for quite a few.

and let's not forget the whole corporate global space, where Exchange+Office suite rules unchallenged. whenever i try to see some excel in what gmail has for previews, i cry and run away (and those are simple excels out there, without any complex scripts for example).


Off topic


>I'm not going to consider Linux for a desktop)

Why not at least consider it? I run Arch + GNOME3 on my desktop and I haven't had any insurmountable problems, nor any that would be easier to solve in Windows.


> Why not at least consider it?

That is a fair question. However, it all depends on your personal use case and because of that Linux just isn't an option for most people. If you value gaming you can fine tune wine till the cow comes home ... it will never feel (always) right. If you're into music production Linux gives you another "screw you!" Then, there is this huge amount of software for which it seems as if Linux offers reasonable alternatives. But if you really consider what a user actually wants Linux doesn't cut it. For example, Word could be replaced with Libre Office or (my personal favorite) an intriguing combination of markdown and pandoc. If, however, Word is what you want to use (even though I do not understand that) then every click that is different poses as a minor frustration that together with all the other minor frustrations adds up to a huge disappointment.


I tried using LibreOffice last year and it was a total joke. Almost nothing worked the way it was supposed to, and it crashed often. When it came time to give my speech and output slides to a projector, that just didn't work at all. My presentation had to be saved by someone letting me use their Mac. It was the worst software experience I have ever had, and I've had a lot of bad software experiences in my 43 years.

It's so bad that I believe it's unethical to offer it for download as working software because people with work to do on short timescales (as I had) may choose to rely on it and then get screwed.


Have you looked at UbuntuStudio or other similar distributions? I'm not running a professional studio, but I do a fair amount of audio recording and production entirely in Linux for bands I plan in and personal projects.


> Have you looked at UbuntuStudio or other similar distributions?

I haven't but I worry that some VSTi plugins might not work.

For example: https://www.winehq.org/pipermail/wine-bugs/2012-January/3072...


When you tell OS X to shut up, it does. (It phones home as much as you heard or maybe even more so, but you can stop it from doing so too.) Dunno about Windows, I avoid using it for everything besides 3D or LabVIEW.

Could you explain why you wouldn't consider Linux for the desktop? Wine isn't horrible, if you want Windows compatibility, and it offers a huge range of functionality otherwise. It's the best platform for compiling and running stuff, for sure.


It has all the same sorts of Web features as recent versions of Windows, so I guess it depends on how credible the "always-on keylogger you can't disable" stuff turns out to be.


I honestly believe that Xubuntu is the best Desktop operating system.




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