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Going from macOS to Ubuntu (kvz.io)
74 points by kvz on Oct 30, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 85 comments

> On the one hand, yes Electron eats a lot of RAM and native apps are more efficient, BUT you can buy 16GB for $100 (and that will only get cheaper/more abundant), and we do finally get to have nice things on Linux, which is new and exciting.

I'm on the fence about Electron. While I do love how it's made portability easier (especially to Linux) I do think people outside of our tech circle get forgotten about.

For example $100 might be pocket money for us but we do need to remember that not everyone in the world has that luxury. I think sometimes peoples obsession with making pretty things with Electron leads them to forget about people on low income or countries where computers are expensive resources.

There's also an argument to be made for how native applications are generally better for people who depend on accessibility features too.

I went to my bank one hour ago and was just reminded of that reality. While I was waiting for my turn, I couldn't help but hear the man before me. He thought his card was broken, but the bank worker told him there were only 9 € on his main account. So he transferred 50 € from his savings account. Overall, he had 189 € at his bank. He was in a hurry, he had to buy a toy for his daughter.

Also laptops with soldered RAM, I'm on a 13 inch MacBook Pro for example, and you cannot move beyond 16GB on that hardware...

Yes you can, buy an old one from 2012 ;-P

Thank you for voting me down on this - it was intended as a joke and not to upset you. I think you need some vacation.

I did read your reply pretty much as a joke. :-) (and didn't downvote you for that one)

The real problem with the older MacBooks (Pro) is weight really, for a machine that I have to carry with me every day.

As far as I know, there aren't that many 13 inch or less light options with more RAM outside of Apple either.

Ok I am sorry I assumed you did - so thank you for not dragging me down :-D It must have been some anonymous jerk who doesn't have the balls to tell me what upset him and give me the chance to argue with him.

In comparison the MBP 2012 and a MBP 2016 do not differ in weight so much (1.4kg vs 2kg which is basically a package of flour) and if I am honest I don't really recognize the difference when carrying them in my backpack.

But it depends on the bag as well, because if you use a messenger bag for example the strain on the shoulder and the back is probably noticeable. Also many people like to carry their notebooks around with one arm / hand and of course this will be a huge difference then.

Some people like to use the Thinkpad X1 or the Dell XPS as a replacement but I don't have any hands-on experience with those.

I hope someone will recognize the gap in the market and jump in to produce 13 inch, retina screen uni-body metal notebooks with the ability to upgrade the parts and with all the ports you still need when not living in some bubble where magically everything was converted into USB-C overnight.

FYI, HN doesn't allow you to downvote responses so it must have been someone else.

I see, thank you for the heads up.

Whether joking or not, you are incorrect. The 2012 non-Retina MacBook Pros do not allow more than 16GB RAM.

You are right and I apologize for not reading carefully enough.

Of course 16GB is the max. you can put into an MBP 2012.

But: Who needs that anyway? Yes if you do heavy tasks like 4k-stuff and 3d-rendering but for most tasks you do with computers it's quite sufficient.

Personally I move my tasks to servers if they need more resources.

Author here. Yes I do realize I'm quite privileged to be talking about $100 that way. I was hoping more to illustrate that RAM will only get more abundant, and Electron only more RAM efficient, as time progresses. I would have liked a world where there was a perfect native app for every app on every platform, but I'm happy that while that world does not exist, I now get to use Linux for all of those apps. Also when you're less fortunate but managed to save up for a machine, you now have the option to spend the money that would have otherwise gone to deepen Apple/MS pockets, on more RAM instead.

> Also when you're less fortunate but managed to save up for a machine, you now have the option to spend the money that would have otherwise gone to deepen Apple/MS pockets, on more RAM instead.

For many people it's not even a case of "saving up for a machine," because they might be using donated hardware. For example the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project that runs Fedora on low powered machines[1].

Even for people who can save up for new machines and do install Linux on them, that $100 is still an additional expense they wouldn't have needed irrespective of any comparisons to Microsoft nor Apple "taxes".

For these people, particularly the first group, Electron simply isn't an option. So at best developers are depriving themselves of a future growth market but at worst they're excluding deprived sections of society who are already isolated from the IT industry as it is.

That all said, I don't mean any of this as a criticism of yourself nor what you had written. None of what you said it technically nor morally wrong despite the points I've made. I see this as similar to the discussions made about non-English speakers being disadvantaged when learning programming languages.

[1] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Hardware

> For example $100 might be pocket money for us but we do need to remember that not everyone in the world has that luxury.

We're comparing to a Mac though, so that sentiment really has no place in the conversation. The cost of more RAM in the world of Apple is much, much more than $100.

I run both Ubuntu and MacOS systems in my studio, each functioning as DAW's in various capacities, and I find myself feeling very relieved, more and more, whenever I sit in front of the Ubuntu Studio DAW to work .. everything just works, and with every update the system is more and more of a joy to work with.

I just suffered through an automatic update on MacOS to Catalina - this has been the most painful, idiotic thing to happen in my studio in a long time, and I now feel about Apple the way I did about Microsoft last century, when I abandoned them .. just utterly disappointed, and more the point I feel exploited just so that Apple can update its OS and force us to move onto their next big thing.

More and more, I'll replace the Mac with an Ubuntu Studio-oriented DAW, and then I'll phase out using Macs entirely. Linux is catching up in a big way, especially for use as Audio/Media workstation. Its not 100%, but its certainly better than having arbitrary decisions forced on me by the OS masters in Cuppertino.

(And yes, I've disabled auto-update. Shouldn't have been on in the first place, on this production system...)

> and more the point I feel exploited just so that Apple can update its OS and force us to move onto their next big thing.

> its certainly better than having arbitrary decisions forced on me by the OS masters in Cuppertino.

This is a rather curious stance, as "force" is a hyperbolic word indeed to describe a default setting that you can permanently turn off in literally four clicks (System Preferences > Software Update > Uncheck the box for automatic updates, and accept the warning)

I'm confused, there was an automatic update that took you from Mojave to Catalina without your permission?

(Not sure why you got downvoted btw)

Yes - The update was downloaded automatically, when the machine was shut down for the night, it installed the update automatically on bootup. This caused days of frustration and lost productivity.

This can't happen unless you approve it. You can sit on old versions of MacOS for years.

If you don't mind me asking, which software have you been using, especially regarding audio? I'm thinking about making the move to Linux but the lack of audio and music pro software always make me stay on macOS.

I'm wondering what interfaces are you using. Are you using DSPs?

For Audio? Presonus, as it is first-rate under Linux - it just plain works (at least in Ubuntu Studio). Also have other ADDA's too, such as RME .. same result: just works under Linux. Best latency stats of any DAW setup.

Thanks! That's great to hear. When I was working with audio, I had a good experience with the E-Mu devices, but everything else what iffy, e.g. TC Electronic or Focusrite that I otherwise love.

Things like battery life, suspend/resume and proper handling of multiple/hidpi displays are the Achilles heels of open source projects.

They are notoriously hard to get right, require lots of work invested, and easy to break (regressions!) but are not too sexy or interesting, require insane amounts of QA and don't have low hanging fruits. As a consequence, nobody wants to do them, and so the Linux desktop will probably always be a mess.

Oh, and then there is that aspect of it that unixes in general were not built with the desktop in mind, so things like vm.swappiness defaults might be completely wrong (Ubuntu still defaults to 60 to this day!) and the kernel low memory handling is just outrageously bad, if you compare it to Windows, for instance.

I would be the first person to pay proper money for any Linux-based OS that at least _attempts_ to solve these issues. I might even go as far to purchase a laptop specifically to get the OS on that laptop, like the Macs, however I'm not willing to sacrifice on the size and quality of said laptop, actually, I expect a very high quality product for my extra money, so unfortunately at the moment there is nothing out there right now that I'd buy based on this.

There are Chromebooks that you can buy today that give you best-in-class battery life with good suspend/resume, and run android apps as well as containerized Linux. Multiple/hidpi displays are handled, but I don’t know how good it is, so I can’t say for sure. Full HD is fine, and hidpi & 4K displays exist, so it’s not impossible, but I don’t know how good it is. These are generally priced quite competitively compared to MacBooks Pro and higher-quality wintel laptops, and they also have a lower-quality, lower-cost tier that’s very close to the cheap end of wintel. They have pretty good security as well, although the Google connection is a problem for some people. What do they lack? Photoshop/AdobeCC. The high end of PC games. Some direct hardware access things (due to the security model). If those aren’t a dealbreaker, then it’s actually quite good.

POP OS seems to be trying to fix the problems every Linux user spends the first hour fixing on a fresh install.

On some Lenovo hardware it’s usable, but still so far off of power management and suspend resume of both macOS and windows that it’s not an option for someone who spends a lot of time travelling with a machine.

Desktop workstation wise it is fine.

This matches my experience. Open source usability is terrible, especially in the laptop space. Apple is leagues ahead still.

AFAIK, macOS only supports 2x DPI scaling, so Linux here is not the worst offender.

No, it has extra options. It defaults to 2xDPI by default but you can choose a different resolution if you want.

I often switch from 2x to higher resolution when I need more workspace.

You can see how it works here: https://www.imore.com/how-change-display-settings-your-mac

That looks like a resolution change, not a DPI change.

Reading those long installation commands makes me appreciate Arch's AUR (also available on Manjaro). No curl, no manual adding of repos. Compare ease of installation for yarn by toggling the linux distro:


It's even more pronounced for VSCode.

For the jetbrains tools (including Datagrip), I switched to using Toolbox. It makes updating to new versions easier:


Author here. I'm hearing good things about Arch yes, maybe I should give it a shot one day. And thank you for the Toolbox recommendation, I added it to the post!

I'm personally running Manjaro, it's as easy to set up as Ubuntu and gives you access to the AUR. Much less of a commitment... An Arch installation requires plenty of effort

Same here. I used various other distributions for years until arriving here.

1. Suse Linux: don't know what version but it worked and broke my windows partition somehow (think it was a user error).

2. Debian: very stable but not cutting edge enough for my taste. I damaged it trying to get compiz fusion and all the wonderful 3d-FX to run on my desktop.

3. Ubuntu / Mint: more up-to-date than Debian plus some nice sane default etc. to just start working very quickly. Also a big community and some good ideas.

4. Manjaro (finally :D): even more up-to-date than Ubuntu plus AUR's! I love the way I can install software on this OS compared to Debian-derivatives. So far it's not much more work to maintain it than it was for my Mint/Ubuntu setup.

I installed Manjaro alongside macOS (high sierra) on my MBP 2012 to get the best of both worlds.

It pretty much works and I also don't have problems with hibernation as the author of the article describes. BUT I'm afraid my WiFi is not working as good on Linux as it does on macOS and also connecting my speaker via BT isn't working as expected - the sound is choppy and I'll need to fix it when I find some time.

I can confirm the problem with the clipboards, the key-mappings and also Snaps. This is something they did quite right on the Apple side and I hope enough people of the active Linux community will implement this consistency some time, too.

The problems with the keyboard maybe stem from too many choices how to set the layout. I was given the choice between 3 or 4 layouts without being sure which one to choose.

Now I can choose what OS to use depending on the task:

- Linux: Development (things like docker just work which is really nice), Mail (thunderbird is ugly but it can handle a lot more than Apple Mail which becomes unusable after some time), Security-related things (I trust my Linux more than macOS somehow)

- Mac: Office (especially when working with PDF but also compare Pages to LibreOffice which tries to resemble M$ office too much for my taste), Graphics (for me Gimp is no viable alternative to Photoshop; the GUI alone brings me into rage-mode), Day-to-day "tasks" (browsing, media etc. just work better on macOS)

There must be better alternatives for email. I just installed Thunderbird and it does lots of things I don't need (Chat, Calendar). It's really hard to give up on Gmail (the recent addition of powerful autocomplete is amazing!). Plenty of people are using Mutt, but that seems too minimalist to me.

What made me switch away from Ubuntu was that at some point I was forced to upgrade my OS version in order to continue to receive updates for my packages. I now prefer rolling the rolling release model (which Manjaro / Arch use)

Having relatively recent Linux Kernels available is also cool, I'm already on version 5.3.6 and this was trivial to do (5.3.8 is the most recent stable branch).

>10 years later, copy-paste is still a horrible user experience. Different apps use different clipboards :scream: Even for copying these commands from Firefox to the terminal with keyboard shortcuts (CTRL INSERT, SHIFT INSERT, as CTRL C has a different meaning in terminals), you'll need copy-paste fixed already.

IMO this thing is way overblown. What applications these days do not simply use primary and clipboard selections in a consistent way? (FTR I like them separate very much as I would hate to have my clipboard contents change by simply selecting some text.) Middle click is not a shortcut for Ctrl+V!

Ctrl-C is indeed used to send SIGINT to the foreground processes in terminals and thus terminal emulators, and the established alternative for terminal emulators is to replace Ctrl-C/V copy/paste with Ctrl+Shift+C/V (I think that's how even cmd.exe works these days). Copying and sending a SIGINT would hardly be a useful default.

Highlight and use The middle mouse button to past (often you can “click” the wheel of a mouse with a scroll wheel for middle button.). It’s quite fast.

When I switch to a Mac at work I miss this functionality (though middle button copy works in the Mac terminal)

And honestly on Mac copy/paste between jet brains software and x windows, it’s not working great on all Mac apps either..

In fairness to the author, if you're used to cmd+c and are switching to Linux (or Windows for that matter), the ctrl+c / ctrl+shift+c could be a little jarring.

I say this because I have ctrl(+shift)+c committed into muscle memory and find it jarring to use cmd+c

Is there a way to configure a <Super> or <Meta>-C/-V on linux to be copy/paste in a halfway compatible way? I often struggle too with my <Cmd>-C/-V muscle memory when using linux.

Take a look at Kinto https://github.com/rbreaves/kinto/

Seems like an awful lot of configuration to get it half working like you want.

On the one hand, I’m thinking about getting an XPS because it’s literally 2K cheaper than a macbook and is upgradeable. On the other hand, a macbook still has a bit better build quality and macOS is still the most polished and easy to use OS (even after Catalina).

I need a stable OS that allows me to be productive without having to waste hours looking for workarounds and setup and doesn’t break my config every upgrade. I also really, really like Time Machine.

> Seems like an awful lot of configuration to get it half working like you want.

Now look at it other way around. How much time would you have to spend to configure OSX to behave like Ubuntu?

As someone who uses both, I'd kill for middle click paste...

I'd kill for having a fully consistent copy/paste on Linux :-D

As of today, without any extra clipboard manager installed, if I copy something from the Network Manager GUI, and I close it, the content is lost.

(I'm a hardcore linux user, so this is a small joke, but still a typical Linux issue)

Karabiner, and it’s free.


KeyboardMaestro could probably do that on the Mac

People using Mac hardware never seem to be aware of how simple life is with select + middle click

Author here. Agreed, macOS is much quicker to get going. Although if you'd really log all the `brew`s and UI interactions that made your machine yours, it'd still be a long post too : )

But again, if this post is signaling to you: Ubuntu is still no macOS. Then that's exactly what my experience is like. That said, I'm productive on it, and there's things to like even so.

> Agreed, macOS is much quicker to get going

It really depends on what you're preferences are. The author is customising Ubuntu to behave like macOS, so naturally it will take longer. I have the opposite problem where I've spent hours in total configuring macOS to be more Linux-like and it's keyboard controls are still not quite "right", CLI isn't quite "right", etc. It's still a nice OS to run but it will never behave quite like the my personal preferred platform.

However I'm not saying one OS is better nor worse than the other, just that the level of personalisation on modern OSs will always depend more on the person than the OS.

Why does it have to be one or the other? Speaking for myself, I believe I try to create more coherent experience on different OSes, so that the switching is less severe. This is true regardless of OS, but the modifications are just different. When I share my experience with my OSes, this is where I am coming from, but it is unrealistic for the rest of the world (due to my modifications).

We should, IMO, take into account the default user experience. How is that? Sure, you can install WSL and Bash on Windows but by default you have a different CLI. How is that CLI? The reviewer went with Ubuntu because that is the most popular Linux desktop with a healthy community, yet at the same time considered NixOS [1]. At the same time, they're making all kind of modifications which makes it very personal and unique but also less useful. As a blister, they're sharing their modifications (with comments) which is nice.

Whenever I use a VM in macOS (usually Kali) I also am running with hacks in macOS to make copy/paste work seemless in the VM. Because from Linux, I can't expect it to work. But that is also why this review is useful: you can try to run a VM on Linux, and see if you can modify it to a more Mac-like experience. If that works for you, perhaps running macOS on your laptop and Linux on your desktop works out. Because for something like a desktop, I find it silly to shell out so much for so little (iMac, Mac Pro) given you can build a powerful workstation for very little amount of money (I just did that with the latest Ryzen series).

[1] I'm currently trying to find time to install NixOS on a separate partition and giving it a whirl to replace Ubuntu 19.10.

Sorry but I'm rather confused about the point you're address because your opening sentence is a disagreement to my post yet the rest of your content is anecdote where you reiterate the same points I was making. Obviously you're welcome to disagree with me but I can't tell what it is you are disagreeing with.

Sorry, I did not quote properly. I was replying to this specific part:

> The author is customising Ubuntu to behave like macOS, so naturally it will take longer. I have the opposite problem where I've spent hours in total configuring macOS to be more Linux-like and it's keyboard controls are still not quite "right", CLI isn't quite "right", etc.

I could've summed it up as follows: reviews like these are in-depth but specific, while generic out of box experience applies to all but lacks for power users.

As an example, macOS does not come by default with a package manager, it nowadays has Zsh as default shell, and does not ship with Python anymore.

> I need a stable OS that allows me to be productive without having to waste hours looking for workarounds and setup and doesn’t break my config every upgrade.

You won't get that in my experience. I've used MacOS, Windows 10, and various Linuxes over the last few years. Every Linux I've used swallows literally 10x the amount of fiddling / searching / configuration time compared to the mainstream alternatives (I log all my sysadmin time, so this is an objective measure for my own case). Linux is currently my main OS (indeed the only one on my daily work laptop), because I find the trade-offs for development work worth it. But only just. It is a total pain in the arse.

You will of course get people informing you that distro X just works, but invariably they either have minimal requirements that a default installation meets, or they have accumulated thousands of hours worth of expertise that naturally makes it seem to them that everything is simple and transparent. Which it really isn't.

Recently switched from MacOS to Pop OS on Thinkpad X1 exreme gen2, very satisfied with the high level of immediate productivity and minimal required fiddling. For a Linux distro, "it just works" rather well.

Add to that an appreciation for better keyboard and non-shiny screen... overall I feel better developing on this than Macbook pro surprisingly.

Contrary to my comments about wasting time distro-hopping, I was tempted enough by some of pop_os's claims (good hdpi support etc) to give it a try on a spare partition. Probably my worst Linux installer experience yet - it was a mess on my machine (Dell XPS 15). Didn't boot in UEFI mode, then when I got past that it didn't allow me to assign partitions as I wished. I got past that with an installer-bug bypass kludge, and then .. the install itself failed.

When I'm in the programming flow, I kind of love Linux. Everything's super-fast, the UI is unfussy and keeps out of my way, and it mostly kind of leaves me alone.

But when it comes to actually configuring or changing anything, the irritation mounts and I wish we had a real 21st century desktop OS. By the 22nd century, maybe.

You've probably made a smart choice with the Thinkpad, as by all accounts it has good Linux h/w compatibility. I'd consider something similar next time I'm up for a replacement. Others have recommended pop_os to me, and from all accounts it's great, but distro-hopping isn't a productive use of time.

> overall I feel better developing on this than Macbook pro surprisingly

Me too with my current setup despite some configuration frustrations. I do actually prefer it (which is why it's stuck around), but that's after having spent far more hours fiddling around than I ever wanted to, and with a bunch of things still not set up because I've spent my sysadmin time budget.

This reminds me of "Every OS Sucks" by Wes Borg of Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie (with Chris Smith playing the guitar).

Here's the relevant part of the song about Linux: https://youtu.be/CPRvc2UMeMI?t=316

Note that even an XPS requires some workarounds, at least on a vanilla Ubuntu installation. They're just a few, however.

Having said that, with the HWE and PPA strategy, Canonical effectively solves the problem of troublesome upgrades. Nowadays one can stay on a LTS for many years, and still have an up to date system.

Of course with the strategy one won't get desktop environment updates, but that's implicit in this choice.

As a small footnote, Linux-compatible machines to consider (but not necessarily preferrable as whole), are the Lenovo alternatives, as the XPS has a disappointingly mediocre keyboard, whose keys bend on the sides.

I would just get a XPS if I wanted a better Linux experience rather than install Ubuntu on my MacBook as Macs are optimised for macOS which is why it is easy to use but they always have poor support for Linux. I see less of a reason to mess around with something else less optimised unless you are ready to tolerate the oddities and inconsistencies found from switching from macOS to Ubuntu.

> I need a stable OS that allows me to be productive without having to waste hours looking for workarounds and setup and doesn’t break my config every upgrade.

Exactly this, If I just want to get my work done and avoiding tweaking sane defaults or googling issues or reverting settings in my specific desktop setup, I'd choose macOS straight away. For only development issues, I would need a machine that is better for finding or debugging system-level bugs in low-level software components, I'd choose a XPS with Ubuntu.

A Hackintosh or Linux on a Mac both require extensive tweaking depending on your requirements and may not be for the faint of heart. Your milage may vary here.

> Seems like an awful lot of configuration to get it half working like you want.

Switching from X to Y while expecting Y to work like X requires some configuration however not that much these days. It used to be impossible.

I am a linux and ios user and in 2019, "the world is my oyster". I can effortlessly work on terminals and servers of any contemporary OS. Damm, I can even linux apps on one of our intern dedicated chromebooks if I were to forget my laptop home cough.

I feel a bit sorry for windows and macos users. It seems their ways were a bit too opiniated / proprietary to be embraced at large.

I've also been looking around for an alternative these days. The main reason for me is performance: you can get a HP ZBOOK STUDIO X360 G5 with 64GB RAM, i9, 2TB SSD, solid 4k display and graphics for roughly 3500€

I'm just unsure of how much productivity I'd lose when going back to windows with a virtualized linux for software development.

I guess I have to hold out and hope for the new macbook pro 16".

Take a look at popOS

Have you heard of our lord and savior NixOS?

I'm always amazed by the obsession of mac users with "just closing the lid for sleep".

I simply don't want that. If I close the lid then to move the laptop more easily to the next room/next floor for a meeting, I might not want it to go to sleep. When I want to suspend I run a single command. I could put that command on a key combo, so it's not like I can't fix it. I want to control what happens when I close the lid, and more often I want nothing to happen. I have a shell open anyway, so I can run my command...

But I've had that close-lid-for-suspend fail on Windows so many times, so maybe my Linux stance is too muddled anyway :P

Also both of my ThinkPads stay with power for days when suspended (ok, not weeks, I admit that) so in this case Dell is to blame I guess.

>I simply don't want that. If I close the lid then to move the laptop more easily to the next room/next floor for a meeting, I might not want it to go to sleep.

Don't worry, it's configurable.

> Don't worry, it's configurable.

As a related aside, it's amazing the number of people who earnestly believe that macOS comes with a completely locked down set of options/preferences that you cannot change at all.

If it's configurable doesn't matter. I'm talking about the fact that I've had a lot of mac users tout this as one of the best things about the mac. OP only touches on it and I mean it's fine - it's just that I personally find it a horrible setting and keep wondering why everyone uses it :)

Author here. I can relate to that sentiment but indeed, closing the lid worked so reliably well on my MacBook that it would basically be the same as keeping the lid open and walking to the next room. Meaning: I open the lid, it wakes up, unlocks with either my watch or fingerprint, all within a second and I'm right where I was; meanwhile, while the lid was closed, power consumption was near-zero; I could leave it like that for a month, and open it, I hear the clicking sound from unlocking via watch with a tap an my wrist, and voila. Even my running VMs would still be in the same state.

And yes, Dell is to blame for the power consumption, also according so someone commenting on the blog post, I updated the blog post accordingly

There'are some options on macOS: - InsomniaX : do not sleep when lid is closed - Amphetamine: do not sleep when locked (⌘⌃Q)

I have an old Macbook Air 2014 with 4 gb ram. It is sluggish af. If I open many heavy apps and then lock screen (I do every tim I go to kitchen or bathroom on job) then when i unlock it - it can take up to several minutes to function normally. So Amphetamine.app is must for me.

We had a certain coworker spamming IRC all day by closing the lid and thus disconnecting all the time, that's my most hilarious memory. On the plus side you always knew when he left his desk. And yes, this can be fixed, it's just that not all connections are stateless.

I’m firmly in the camp of use what makes you feel productive, and can’t really grasp the tribalism around OS choice. I generally have bought Apple hardware because it’s nicely engineered and offers the most choice for “legal” OS usage. I’m not all that thrilled with my latest MacBook Pro keyboard and I definitely use it less because of that. I know it’s a popular meme right now to say Apple software sucks now! But I’m not really seeing it with Catalina. In fact I usually wait about 6-12 months to switch to the new version and didn’t this time. Audio apps are notorious for lagging behind in supporting the latest version of the os. This time around I updated my iMac Pro and it surprisingly just worked with all my outboard gear, all my apps and it seems rock solid. I recently bought a surface for my kids who can’t wrap their mind around Mac OS and it has been largely uneventful as well. I think that both windows and Mac are in a pretty good state when using the official hardware. Maybe I’m just lucky...

> And say what you will about Electron being a memory hungry beast... but it is what allows me to make this jump now, at all.

I never thought about it that way, but this is kind of true. Many apps I use everyday on Linux are available on Linux because they are built using Electron.

Wow, best argument I've seen in a while for not switching. ;-)

I'm holding out hope for new keyboards so I can stay with macOS. For now using wonderful Realforce keyboards 99% of the time anyway.

Author here. Yes it certainly wasn't meant to be a piece to advocate switching. Just meant to give an honest review of my experience, good and bad and cumbersome. Hopefully this helps people make more informed decisions, whichever that decision may be!

You can use Clipman from the Xfce project to merge your two clipboards into one or ignore the select one. Doesn't completely solve your issue but it gives the user more control, and also a nice clipboard history.


I've recently switched jobs and got a Mac work computer after using Ubuntu for more than a decade.

I like some things but I am also frustrated with a number of things: I miss the split clipboard, I hate the insufficient number of USB ports and the fact that I have to use a dongle, I miss the vertical maximize and the touchscreen.

Again with the 'have to compile the kernel' meme...

Seriously, I've been on Ubuntu for 11 years prior and Arch for 3 after that. I have built Linux based supercomputers, and administrated clouds of thousands of raspberry pi edge nodes and I have NEVER compiled a kernel in all that time.

Likewise. I've been using Linux since the very early days when compiling the kernel and creating a root filesystem was the only way to use it. I moved to Ubuntu Studio and have never looked back - it has been the simplest, easiest to use and maintain system of all the machines in my purview, by far.

I'm very much looking forward to ditching the Mac, especially after the Catalina fiasco. Ubuntu is catching up in leaps and bounds, and the existence of a distro variant designed specifically for Audio/Video professional use (Ubuntu Studio) is very, very compelling. The Ubuntu Studio guys, as well as the Ardour group, get my monthly donation with pleasure ..

Compiling the kernel used to be common if you need to enable certain driver or hardware support though.

But not 10 years ago, more like 15+.

And I did have other machines than ThinkPads...

Author here. Thanks, yes, but I'm basically saying I don't want to do that anymore, and don't need to either these days with Ubuntu :) Perhaps I should improve the working in that regard!

Even if you do compile your kernel, it really doesn't take that long on modern hardware. I just set up Gentoo on my main computer and the kernel literally took five minutes to compile on an 8 core AMD FX-8300 with 12GB of RAM. I spent much more time configuring it, of course :-)

I suspect these moves will continue to accelerate with pro users as Apple continues to offer the current gen MacBook "Pro" with the annoying Touch Bar and unreliable keyboard

Why `&& true` after that apt command?

Author here. It's a noop that lets me put a \ after each lines (not all lines except the last) which lets me re-order commands easily. It's a bit like enjoying trailing comma's for all elements/lines in an array. I agree it's a bit weird.

Maybe it's a typo and they meant "|| true" to always return success?

Yeah, at a quick glance I don't see what that's achieving.

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