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Are you sure this isn't a hardware problem? I've been running El Capitan on really quite unsupported hardware (Skylake K6700 / Samsung 950 Pro SSD) and haven't had a single kernel panic – nor on the Macbook Pro.

Also if you're looking for quality (opposed to freedom or configurability) Linux on the Desktop really doesn't fit. I adore it on the server, but there isn't a distribution/hardware combination where essentials sleep/wifi/graphics/sound work out of the box. UI inconsistencies are a constant annoyance, dist-updates will always break something etc. It's not an indictment of Linux, it's just that GUIs are terribly hard to get right.

I'm absolutely certain it isn't hardware: It started to happen the same week I upgraded to Mavericks. Besides, it's a Macbook Pro 2013. I had noticed several comments on HN about kernel panics in Mavericks, I didn't want to give them credit when I upgraded.

As you note: I reckon Linux isn't much better. I switched to Mac when Ubuntu dropped a bugfix for Ethernet encryption in 13.04 which prevented me from working for my employer (and reduced mouse controls in the UI since 12.04).

I'd pay $200/yr for a maintained OS.

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