> Apple’s most recent OS where it appears that low-level system API such as exec and getxattr now do synchronous network activity before returning to the caller.
Can anyone confirm this? Because honestly this is just terrifying. I don't think even Windows authorises every process from a server. This doesn't sound good for both privacy and speed.
"Full Disk Access" to allow a program to access any place on your computer without a warning. A few programs requested this, so it looks like it's been around for a while.
The other one is "Developer Tools" and it looks pretty new. The only application requesting it is "Terminal". This "allows app to run software locally that do not meet the system's security policy". So, my reading of this is that in Terminal, you could run scripts that are unsigned and not be penalized speed-wise.
- Location Services
- Speech Recognition
- Input Monitoring
- Full Disk Access
- Files and Folders
- Screen Recording
- Analytics & Improvements
Are you running a beta build or something?
Update: Okay, I checked on my other machine and that one does have it (Terminal is listed but disabled by default). What in the actual fuck?!?
sudo spctl developer-mode enable-terminal
Interestingly, I rebooted the machine without after some benchmarking and experimentation with syspolicyd (see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23274903), and after the reboot the category has mysteriously surfaced... Not sure what triggered it. Launching Xcode? Xcode and CLT were both installed on the machine, but I'm not sure when I last launched Xcode on this machine. Another possible difference I can think of: the machine without was an in-place upgrade, while the other one IIRC was a clean install of 10.15.
In the worst case scenario, you can probably insert into the TCC database (just a SQLite3 database, located at ~/Library/Application Support/com.apple.TCC/TCC.db) directly:
INSERT INTO access VALUES('kTCCServiceDeveloperTool','com.apple.Terminal',0,1,1,NULL,NULL,NULL,'UNUSED',NULL,0,1590165238);
INSERT INTO access VALUES('kTCCServiceDeveloperTool','com.googlecode.iterm2',0,1,1,NULL,NULL,NULL,'UNUSED',NULL,0,1590168367);
Back up, obviously. I'm not on the hook for any data loss or system bricking.
Does this not require disabling SIP?
(I'm also on 10.15.4 (19E287))
Don't think so? Apple now theoretically has a centralized database of every Mac user who's ever used youtube-dl. Or Tor. Or TrueCrypt.
Either you have the ability to control the software, or it controls you
First, there was Apple scanning photos to check for child abuse (that obviously got no attention on this site), then there was this one - Apple uploading hashes of all unsigned executables you run.
Do people really accept that company's "privacy" selling point?
 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21180019, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22008855
Not sure how a list of installed apps is going to be worse than that.
Speed, definitely not, this is going to make things slowwwww
That's security, not privacy...
I could not for the life of me understand why go build would take upwards to 30 seconds to run and sometimes 100ms. I finally realized it was related to my internet connection being extremely spotty. I went online and searched if anybody had the same experience with `go build` but couldn't find anything.
I finally know what happened. This is a pretty intolerable "feature".
> /tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 0% cpu 5.746 total
> /tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 79% cpu 0.006 total
And even if I didn't connect to my VPN:
> /tmp/test2.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 0% cpu 1.936 total
> /tmp/test2.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 78% cpu 0.005 total
That's just ridiculous and unbearable.
Apple should provide a way to disable this notarization thing, and the user should still be able to enable SIP while disabling it.
- macOS version: 10.15.4
- terminal: iTerm2 3.3.9
- didn't install any "security" software
Here is the new result (I only run once for each case):
│ │ │ +"Developer Tools" access │
│ terminal │ 1.448/0.004 │ 0.016/0.004 │
│ iTerm2 │ 1.240/0.006 │ 0.024/0.007 │
(It seems I have "good" VPN/internet connection condition at this time)
airyote% echo $'#!/bin/sh\necho Hello' > /tmp/test.sh
airyote% chmod a+x /tmp/test.sh
airyote% time /tmp/test.sh && time /tmp/test.sh
/tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 74% cpu 0.009 total
/tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 75% cpu 0.007 total
I have my complaints with macOS Catalina, and I know that Apple's "tighten all the screws" approach to security is anathema to a lot of developers (and if there was a big switch that I could click to disable it all, I probably would), but I'm using Macs running Catalina every day and I gotta admit, they just don't seem to be the dystopian, unlivable hellscape HN keeps telling me they are. At least off the top of my head, I can't think of anything I was doing on my Macs ten years ago that I can't do on my Macs today. ("Yes, but doing it today requires an extra step on the first run that it didn't used to" may be inconvenient, but that's not the same thing as an inability to perform a function -- and an awful lot of complaints about modern Macs seem to be "the security makes this less convenient." There's an argument to be had about whether Catalina's security model strikes the right balance, of course.)
However, I was able to reproduce this by downloading a whole new terminal app, Alacritty. With the random script and file path I can always reproduce the delay in Alacritty. My guess is Terminal.app might have some special case behavior?
See my comment above on some shell script that does the random file name stuff for you.
First, disable SIP to allow yourself to modify the system. Then, disable AMFI, the component responsible for code signature checking, entitlement enforcement and all that very useful stuff, with a kernel argument:
if he switched the /bin/sh out to /bin/zsh or /bin/bash which ever his default shell was, he wouldn't have seen the first delay.
Also worth noting "echo" doesn't spawn a process but is a routine in the shell itself. If you replaced echo with something that does spawn a process "like scp" it would be interesting to see the results. And if that's doesn't introduce latency then I'd try it with some hello world programs with a UUIDv4 in the binary to ensure they haven't seen the hash before.
In Bash echo is a builtin but /bin/echo also exists if you do actually want to spawn a process.
Catalina has a huge number of things that synchronously block application launch, and if any of them fail you get nothing but a hung app. A friend and I have a running discussion of the many ways where an application would just hang and we’d send samples and spindumps, to each other trying to figure out the right daemon or agent to kill to get the process to start responding again. It’s madness.
My only problem in moving to Linux software is that I prefer Apple's hardware. I'm on the 2019 16-inch MBP. Linux's compatibility with all the T2 and SSD hardware isn't there yet, but apparently it almost is.
If Linux on the T2 MBP becomes solid and stable in the next 1-2 years, after extensive testing I may move over permanently. I already use Linux on secondary computers, and I love and value its privacy. Same with my phone. I just love my privacy.
My needs are a high bar though. Productivity must be held back by nothing. I use macOS notes extensively and it syncs with my iPhone which is an extremely useful tool for me to note things down both in audio and. It needs to be reliable and - heh - 'just work'. I just discovered the cross-platform 'Standard Notes' app, with a bit more money paid out to Linux-compatible services like that, maybe it can all work. Casual photoshop can be taken care of via a VM.
Surprisingly, macOS Catalina is itself a disrupter to my productivity. It seems buggy as hell - glitchy, and weirdly slow for many extremely basic things - all since Catalina. I just don't get it. Is it caused by this article's observation? Something's definitely going on.
Maybe Apple will fix this in the next release? Like how they fixed the keyboard?
Either way, I still want to move to Linux on this fabulous (fixed) hardware that is the 16-inch MBP. (T2 issues aside.)
That's just the technical problems. I'm willing to give the UI a break, since it's probably as much me adjusting as it being bad.
This is my first Apple anything, and if this is what "just works" looks like, I don't want it. I could be more productive on an Android tablet at this point.
I also am sick of the touch bar now - after 2 years living with it. I have to press it twice to actually pause my media, because it's an LCD screen and it has to auto turn off to prevent burn-in. That's a regression from the old hard media button in the Fn row which was both instant and far easier to press. At least we got 'Esc' back.
But man, their trackpad...nothing beats it. Still.
I usually have to restart and reset the "SMC" to stop the fan from nuking the computer.
I can let the computer drop to 5% battery life and the fan will turn off and the computer will cool down. Which is the opposite of what you want if it was actually overheating.
Each time I want to do something, I goddamn will spend 8 hours figuring it out if have to. E.g. this: https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/381441/163629 - one hotkey to change macOS Notes text into a specific hex colour (and/or bold etc). It took me a day but I worked it out. Where there's a will there's, 99 times out of 100, a way.
You can seemingly do almost anything with AppleScript. Emphasis on almost.
Here's another example: Right after I plug in my iPhone via USB, I have one hotkey to automate a little-known feature of macOS where you can turn your Mac into a speaker dock for the iPhone. Awesome thing when you have the dramatically improved 16-inch MBP speakers. Here's my applescipt for that, just customise according to your iPhone name near the bottom and try it out: https://pastebin.com/raw/9BY710Y6
YMMV, if you have additional audio devices in sound prefs so may need to change the code a bit.
AppleScript also has the ability to perform unix bash scripting and commands, so with homebrew able to install most common Linux packages, you can go wild if you want.
I'm definitely not 'advanced' applescript level, I'm intermediate. Hundreds of HN readers would know more than me. I just google and think until I find a way. I'm not a programmer.
I have other shortcuts e.g. to control the MPV media player even if it's not the currently active window. Again, weird personal needs, but awesome. AppleScript to the rescue.
FastScripts is how I assign universal hotkeys to any of my applescripts.
I first used the author’s timing method. First runs are consistently about 300 ms, subsequent runs consistently about 3 ms. Something is happening at first run.
Some in the comments are saying it’s “local stuff”, so I tested timing again with internet off. First runs go to about 30 ms, subsequent remain the same. So there is “local stuff”, but it doesn’t explain the delay.
Just to be entirely sure, I installed Little Snitch and got clear confirmation: running a script you just wrote results in syspolicyd connecting to api.apple-cloudkit.com. syspolicyd is the Gatekeeper daemon.
I don’t know what exactly is being sent. Maybe somebody else can do a proper packet analysis.
I worked on the team in charge of improving iOS (13) perf at Apple and IIRC there was no dedicated macOS “task force” like the one on iOS.
Luckily some iOS changes permeated into macOS thanks to some shared codebases.
Apple doesn't give a fuck about macOS since 2015.
It's not surprising. Macs are less than 10% of Apple's revenue.
They are risking their entire empire because (apparently) someone at Apple has an axe to grind with macOS's Unix underpinnings. And until they start getting real consequences (developer's leaving in huge numbers), it doesn't seem like it's going to stop. The tragedy is, if they ever do reach that point, where developers are leaving in huge numbers, it'll be too late. Platforms are a momentum game, you're either going up, or you're going down. And once you're going down, you're as good as dead.
And I'd wager that some iOS games are released without the developer ever touching XCode: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/UnityCloudBuildiOS.html
To me, the idea that an OS is mostly finished is completely bananas. There's so much room for improvement and hardly any of that potential was tapped into in what's starting to feel like a decade.
And if Apple had invested into a successor for Cocoa, there might be a larger gap between native apps and (Electron) web apps, leading to some lock-in. Instead most new stuff is not native and for good reasons (and I do dislike the way they don't adhere to Mac conventions, but still).
I think ultimately the problem is Tim Cook. He's too attached to Apple's stock price. I think that's the one metric that he believes rates his performance. But inertia is a bitch. Like in politics, the effects might hit hard only once he's out and it could be too late to fix by then.
If I think about how much this impacts the economy overall (i.e. make millions of knowledge workers a little bit less efficient) then I can only hope that I'll see more sophisticated organizational structures in my lifetime that prevent such erosion.
It took longer than expected. I even intended to buy put options, but someone I trust told me otherwise and to invest in equity instead, which I did, because I know that most buy decisions are not made rationally.
But it looks like the time has come now?
On the other hand, I have been off by several years before.
People are crazier than you think, especially when it comes to status and association with brands and self-confirmation of past decisions. They might well put up with Apples moves for a few more years.
If the Mac revenue was separated out on its own, it would be about Fortune 120, that is higher than Kraft Heinz. With plenty more space for growth. Apple only has 100M Active Mac users. There are 1.4B Windows PC.
Maybe it's not related to revenue per se, but clearly since iOS became their main thing the Mac has suffered tremendously.
Less than 10% is no excuse.
The rest of the market is roughly $100B, and has net profit margins of 2-3%.
Without Macs for developers and other content creators that other 90% doesn’t exist.
No. A special directory can be created at the root of the file system called /AppleInternal. Then, if you work at Apple, you can put some special files there that do stuff. I've read somewhere that they are able to easily disable all of this privacy protection crap and other annoying stuff.
Not to mention people defend and market their products for free.
Perf changes are too numerous to mention, I’d recommend watching last year’s WWDC keynote describing the iOS 12 v/s 13 perf advancements.
This design seems to cement the trend at Apple to position their products as consumer appliances, not platforms useful for development.
Mac OS was the last bastion of somewhat good, thoughtful design, user experience and attention to detail and now they've gone to shit too.
I'm honestly pretty baffled as to what keeps this meme alive, as KDE and GNOME are both very popular and provide simple, intuitive interfaces for the typical user. Plasma is only complex if you're the type that really wants to customize, but there its complexity is (mostly) necessary for its wide range of possible configuration. People have this idea that desktop Linux users are all a bunch of dorks playing around with Arch and tiling window managers all day and then posting their anime wallpaper setups on /r/unixporn, but that hasn't actually been true for a long time.
The settings UIs in Mint are easily way better than in Windows and Mac.
Windows is a unfixable disaster, you can't fix it sorry.
Mac OS is now an unfixable disaster, you also can't fix it sorry.
Linux may be a UX disaster, but you can, uniquely, modify it. You can change your UI. You can attempt to fix the problem, and have a real shot at doing so.
Linux is the only one where you can do something about the problem - which is a strong reason to prefer it.
The biggest reason I enjoy elementary OS as a distro is that everything lives on GitHub, package releases happen through GitHub Actions, etc. Fixing a bug can be faster than merely filing a radar in the Apple ecosystem.
Nonsense, 'Linux' can be what you make it. You can have it as sleek as something straight out of the fruit factory or as spartan as a VT100 and anything in between. If you're new to the game the pre-packaged 'consumer' distributions might be a good starting point but for those with a bit of nix savvy - of which I assume there to be many on this board - those bells and whistles probably just get in the way.
If my 8yo daughter and my 82yo mother can use Linux - the latter through a remote X2go session from her kitchen table in the Netherlands to my server under the stairs in Sweden - I'd say people around here can be assumed to be able to handle it. The nice thing about 'Linux' is that you can change out those parts which you find disagreeable for whatever reason for those you like better, this in contrast to that last bastion of somewhat good, thoughtful design, user experience and attention to detail* which by your own statement has been changed into excrement. Just take out the shitty bits and replace them with something better... oh, no, not possible...
That is why the parent poster is right in this sense, things in 'Linux' land might not be perfect - and can never be 'perfect' since one person's perfection is another's nightmare - but at least you get to do something about it.
Curious: what have you tried? People who use "Linux" as a catch-all in terms of UX usually have only tried a single distribution with a single desktop environment.
Have yet to see a distro do multi monitor hi dipi that results in readable fonts out of the box..
This gets updated yearly -
What do you mean by 'there goes your install'? There are multiple ways you could run bleeding-edge software before it's packaged for Arch. See for example every 'xxx-git' package in the AUR. Or Flatpak.
I had an ubuntu machine that took a while to boot even with an SSD. Later I installed arch linux on the same machine and boom! it would be to the desktop in seconds. It was night and day.
Rolling updates for me have not been problematic.
I've had a few updates that gave an error message, and they were easily fixed in one minute after searching the arch website.
I think one was a key expired - I had to manually update it and redo the update process.
The other I can recall was a package that had become obsolete/conflicting and a question had to be answered.
In general rolling updates are a tiny blip every few months.
In comparison, the several debian based distributions I've run have been a "lost weekend" type of upgrade for major updates.
In which respects? Are you talking about apt vs pacman or something? Default DEs?
- multi-language support requires a lot of work to get to the same point as macos.
In particular I use third party shortcut mappers to get language switching on left and right command keys (mimicking the JIS keyboards, but with an english international layout). That looks like something I’d have to give up on code myself.
- printer support is not at the same level.
Using a xerox printer, some options that appear by default on macos where not there on ubuntu. I’m sure there must be drivers somewhere, or I could hunt down more settings. But then my work office two other printers. It would be a PITA to hunt down drivers every time I want to use another printer.
- Hi DPI support is still flagged as experimental, and there’s a bunch of hoops to jump through to get a good setting in multi-monitor mode. Sure it’s doable, but still arcane.
- sleep/wake was weird. It would work most of the time, but randomly kept awake after closing the lid, or not waking up when opening. Not critical, but still not good (I’d ahte to have the battery depleted while traveling)
Overall if I had no choice that would be a fine environment. But as it is now, with all its quirks, I feel macos is still a smoother environment.
Portability is also a fair issue to raise, but it's simply not a problem for me. When I say Linux "on the desktop", I literally mean it: to me a laptop is simply a slightly more portable desktop computer. I sometimes take my work laptop to/from the office, and the battery lasts long enough for that. I'm not worried about longer trips, since I don't use laptops for that. Again, if you do care about this (which is completely fair), I'm aware many Linux distros still have issues with battery life. You certainly can't compete with a Macbook Pro, that's for sure!
I do note that my experience with printers is opposite to yours. Like I said, when trying to connect to an HP wireless printer, Ubuntu autodetected and self-downloaded the necessary drivers; however, it took a lot of patience to get it to work with a Macbook Pro. Today, that I have it configured for my Ubuntu laptop and my wife's Macbook Pro, the Mac will sometimes fail to print (the print job simply stuck in limbo) while my laptop prints reliably. Who knows?
And like I said in another comment, I game (or used to, anyway) a lot with Ubuntu, and many games are even AAA (though they tend to arrive later than on Windows).
So I really have a hard time believing Linux is not "ready for the desktop". It is, and has been for many years now.
edit: one last thing. You mentioned HDPi modes, multimonitor, multilanguage... none of those are for average users. My mom would be comfortable browsing the net, reading mail and watching movies on Ubuntu. She doesn't even know what HDPi is, nor does she want external monitors. (Spoiler: she still uses Windows because she can't learn anything else at this point... I've thought of tricking her by themeing Ubuntu to look like Windows, but that would just be mean).
For the printers, you are right in that it’s far from being a solved problem on macos. I had an EPSON all in one before, and it was also a pain to get everything working. If I remember correctly the generic driver could print, but we didn’t get “advanced” options without going through the EPSON pkg installer and all the garbage coming with it. I’d totally imagine the linux driver being done cleaner than that.
For the record I’ve worked with a decent number of devs using linux workstations, so I totally vouch for your use case. I’d just temper the niche nature of multi-language support; that’s an everyday need for basically all Asia. Granted my use of shortcuts is niche (I wouldn’t need them if I had enough keys), but looking at maintenance projects annual reports there seem to be a sizeable amount of quality of life fixes still on the way.
I get a fair bit of weekly exposure to Windows 10 and well, it's not like heaps of fun, UX wise.
I'm reluctant to drop Apple mainly because I'm so 'tied up' with the rest of the ecosystem, iphone, Apple Music, iCloud etc.. They are not irreplaceable (for sure) but it always feels like moving away will cost way too much effort and be a pain...
Well played, Apple.
This is why I don't want anything by Apple.
It's really hard for me to use non i3wm supporting OSes now, even though I have to use Windows from work, and have used Macs for the better part of the last 2 decades personally and in college.
Linux sucks, but I use it becuase it sucks less than windows, for programming at least.
Yup. You've just described a disaster. How many permutations of <hundreds of distros> x <dozens of DMs> must a user try before finding a good UX?
Because there are at least four BSDs, Mac therefore isn't good.
Do you see how ridiculous applying that logic to any operating system is?
Linux isn't a disaster. It's a kernel. There are Linux distributions with great user interfaces and great UX, developed by people who are great at it. There are also distributions that aren't.
Could you name some? No sarcasm, actually interested!
In terms of defaults:
I've heard really good things about Solus, and its use of AppArmor seems really cool. Never touched its package manager, so I won't recommend it, but it might be worth checking out. Its desktop environment is really snappy and has an interesting design philosophy.
Elementary is really cool as a boutique distribution; I don't personally feel any urge to use it seriously (I dislike apt as a package manager), but I always keep its live environment on a flash drive, because it works without any setup on basically anything I throw it at, painlessly, and without error. It's got a cool indie app store full of curated Elementary-centric free software, and overall just feels great. Using it, you'll probably notice a few areas that it clones Mac on, and a few that feel delightfully different.
Clear Linux (Intel's desktop distribution) is pretty popular right now because of how simple it is & how Intel seems to be going to great lengths to optimize it and make it a serious contender, but I don't like its desktop environment (vanilla GNOME 3 as far as I'm aware) all that much.
ChromiumOS is probably the best-designed desktop operating system on the planet right now technically, and I say that as a person who really hates Google. UI-wise it's so-so, but UX-wise it's really something special.
But more interesting are desktop environments in general, since they can be used with any variant of Linux you feel the urge to use. There's an exception there, though, in that Elementary's DE and Deepin's DE tend to not work so well or nicely on platforms that aren't Elementary or Deepin.
There are modern environments:
Plasma has hands-down the best UX of any sort of desktop operating system assuming you've got an Android smartphone; you say you're coming from Apple's environment, so imagine the interop between your Mac and your iPhone, but going both ways instead of just Mac -> iPhone. Texting, handling calls, taking advantage of the computing resources of connected devices, using your phone as an extra trackpad, notifications, unlocking your PC, painless file-sharing, pretty much anything you'd like. There are a bunch of distributions that ship with Plasma by default.
Solus's Budgie is kind of neat in that it takes the main benefit of GNOME 3 (ecosystem) with far fewer downsides.
There are also retro environments, if those are your thing. There's a pretty much perfect NeXTSTEP clone (including the programming environment, not just the UI), amiwm is still pretty interesting, there are clones of basically every UNIX UI under the sun, so on.
I'm not the best person to answer your question, because for the most part I don't go out of my way to use new desktop environments and distributions, and nothing above is my first choice. (In terms of window management, I usually stick with 9wm & E just because I have ridiculous ADHD and 9wm forces me to focus while E allows me to tile painlessly if I ever need it. I use three distributions overall, none of which are very popular at the moment, pretty much solely because I'm really picky with package managers & design philosophies.) That's a "me" issue rather than a Linux issue, though.
It sounds like the finding right combination of DE and package management solution plays a big role here. I don't remember much of my experience with Gentoo's package manager in the early 2000's other than finding it generally did its job (if a bit slowly)... Experience with package managers on Mac (brew, macports) hasn't been great so I'm eager to play around with modern ones on Linux. Same goes for the DE actually: stock, out-of-the-box, macOS is essentially unusable for me until I get my customization (scroll, trackpad, KeyboardMaestro) done exactly right, I can't imagine this not being better on Linux, if anything for the ability to switch among the various DE's.
I'm starting to contemplate this (fully untested) strategy: trying out a few distros and installing the one I like best on VMWare Fusion and then try to use it as much as possible, falling back to macOS if I get stuck or I'm short on time but gradually replacing Mac-specific stuff as I find suitable replacements.. TextMate, the masterpiece of Allan Odgaard (author of the article being discussed here) probably going to be the toughest one. If I'm successful, I should eventually be able to let Linux 'out of the box' and run it on real hardware..
PS: amiwm! This is going to be a must. I do miss the Amiga, a fair bit..
apk (terrible interface; wonderful technically)
pacman (wonderful interface; so-so technically; dislike the distro that uses it because of technical choices)
InstallPackage (GoboLinux is kind of cheating, because InstallPackage isn't a "real" package manager, but that's kind of the point)
I love TextMate, too! Something you might find nice is how easy it is to run Mac in a VM on Linux; there are scripts that manage the entire thing for you, and it's pretty painless (and so fast; I was surprised). Useful if you have a few packages you can't find replacements for.
You mention Apple Music elsewhere, which you might be interested to know has an Android client and a web client, and you can probably get a native client on Linux, though I'm not immediately aware of one.
That would be excellent! I like the idea of swapping host and guest with this VM strategy, sort of evolutionary platform switching.
Really, really fast, and fairly painless.
The last few years I've run Linux VMs on a Macbook, but I'm transitioning to a Linux desktop probably running a macOS VM, which you mentioned in another comment - didn't know there was a practical solution.
It sounds like distros like Elementary and PopOS might suit me as a gentle transition from Macs.
Somehow, when you ask a person about PC or a Mac, the answer is: Windows or MacOS, and then the discussion is about their quirks, or advantages, or deficiencies.
You ask about Linux, and this is what you get:
> Linux isn't a disaster. It's a kernel. There are Linux distributions with great user interfaces and great UX
So, once again: which one of the hundreds of permutations of <distro> x <DM> has a great UX?
I'm sure there are other user-friendly distros that similarly let average users browse the internet, write documents, listen to music and watch movies painlessly.
The fact I can install Steam and play an AAA like Mad Max or Shadow of Mordor mostly seamlessly makes me wonder why people still claim Linux on the desktop is a no-go.
Because they and few others are exceptions? Can you play the latest CoD? GTA V? Assasin's Creed maybe?
> GTA V?
I honestly don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if I could using WINE. A huge library of Windows AAA games work on WINE.
> Assasin's Creed
I don't know, but Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor are pretty much the same kind of game as Assassin's Creed, following the same kind of gameplay and using the same kind and complexity of 3D graphics/engine.
In any case, these are not exceptions. I forgot to mention the XCOM remake, Alien: Isolation (this is interesting because it has tons of graphics effects, including chroma aberration -- it looks awesome on Linux), SOMA, Victor Vran, Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II, L4D2, and many others. There are tons of Linux games on GOG and Steam, many of them AAA games. If you count indie games or 2D platformers there are literally thousands of them, but I guess that's not what you're after.
My point is that you can't run most AAA games actually, and many of those you can - will give you enough problems (like frame drop or some graphical features unavailable).
And I really don't understand what's the point of being able to run some games. I want to play the games I'm interested in, not the ones that 'are playable'.
>I don't know, but Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor are pretty much the same kind of game as Assassin's Creed, following the same kind of gameplay and using the same kind and complexity of 3D graphics/engine.
No sure what's your point here. You can't replace one with another just because they have similar mechanics.
Steam\GoG has many games that run on linux and macos (by the way), but most of them are indie platformers or things like that. People don't play random games just to kill some time (well, some do), they play TITLES.
> I forgot to mention
more exceptions. They will stop being exceptions when you will be able to run 80% of titles without any issues and not sooner than that.
Gaming is not important to be, I'm a PS4 guy ever since macos switch, just pointing out that games are still has little to do with linux unless we are talking about rare AAA titles and indie scene
> And I really don't understand what's the point of being able to run some games. I want to play the games I'm interested in, not the ones that 'are playable'.
With this definition neither Windows nor the PS4 are valid gaming platforms, since not every game can be played on them.
> They will stop being exceptions when you will be able to run 80% of titles without any issues and not sooner than that.
So now it's 80% when before it was "a few exceptions"? Sorry, I'm uninterested in discussing your arbitrary definitions with you. Nice try moving the goalpost.
PS: re: "without any issues", back when I used Windows for gaming, there was always some issue. The graphics card, drivers, config issues. I guess Windows is not a gaming platform either then?
Hardly. The existence of a distro I don't like doesn't degrade my experience using a distro I do like. You may as well be upset at an ice cream shop for having dozens of flavors when you only like strawberry. Choose the one you like and ignore the ones you don't. It's not rocket science, even children can figure that out.
The problem under discussion here is not that of using a distro you like, but finding a distro that you like.
If you want something more traditional with the start menu or dock or desktop icons, perhaps something like KDE Neon is better place to start. It might feel more familiar. Will be lighter/faster too.
Put each of them on a USB and run them live on your machine for few minutes each and see which one makes more sense to you.
Each of them has something done better than the others, but all of them are delight to use.
I would recommend: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS
if you want: nice experience out of the box
I would recommend: Arch, Gentoo, Debian Net inst, Void
if you want a base system and install things you want on top of it
The (hopelessly unscientific) test plan was:
Challenge 1 - write live system ISO to USB drive and boot it on my 2015 MacBook Air (which, though old, still counts as exotic, I guess.)
Challenge 2 - make sure display, network, trackpad and keyboard (+ intl. layout) work correctly. Be able to SFTP to my Mac
Challenge 3 - with little to no docs reading (how is the package manager invoked from CLI?), use the terminal to set up the right environment for a couple of relatively portable hobby projects I've been recently working on (on Mac), compile and test them. This includes, among other things, installing clang or g++, SDL2, Wine (to run an ancient ARM assembler) and finding a usable GBA emulator.
A: 8GB RAM. More ambitious stuff (KVM macOS, VisualStudio Code) will have to wait for an actual install.
B: Deliberately avoiding exposure to the docs is silly but I thought
such an approach would give me an indication as to whether
there exists a distro that uhm, "thinks like me".
Challenge 1: unremarkable. All worked right off the bat except for Void, which made it as far as showing the mouse pointer but then froze.
Challenge 2: well, boring ;) All distros were pretty much ready to use and required minimal tweaking. With the tweaking part ranging from effortless (Mint) to minor headscratching (Neon). Not sure whether /etc/X11/XF86Config still exists but I did not miss editing it today.
Challange 3: more interesting:
Neon: all worked as expected except some trial and error required to get Wine working: wine32 was required but it wasn't getting installed by default, apparently. (Not a whole lot easier on Mac anyway, with separate downloads & installs for Wine and XQuartz)
Ubuntu: I failed as apt refused to acknowledge the existence of the packages I needed. This is weird as I believe Neon relies on the same package database. Though undoubtedly my fault, not reading the manual, it is perhaps a bit interesting that I could not readily find my way around the problem.
Fedora: everything worked except for Wine, as the live system ran out memory (disk space) on installing it. Not a big deal, everything else worked very well. Aside: I'm an avid runner and "DNF" is not the most likeable of names for a program I have to use very frequently! j/k..
Mint: everything worked at take one.
I know this isn't even scratching the surface of the surface but I think for now I'm going to go ahead and play more with Mint and Fedora after installing them on MB Air hardware or MB Pro VMware.... with a mind of getting back to KDE/Neon eventually.
I haven't used Ubuntu much lately but I remember always having to add community repository to get some package I needed. (Also one of the reason I love Arch, a lot of packages there updated more quickly than most distro + the AUR for everything not present in official repo)
I use Debian, I like Debian. When I run Wireshark I don't see unknown requests destined to debian.com. That is the definition of simplicity for me. And yes, it doesn't always work out of the box, you have to install some drivers, change configurations but it's getting better and easier. Yet, I'm a software developer so I understand and like that stuff.
No, you can't define it as a disaster, it's not. If you're an end-user that understands nothing of computers maybe you can but otherwise it's not a disaster. It's just harder and getting easier by day.
Yeah, but they're the ones who paid for their machines. So... you're saying they're not allowed to use them how they wish?
> Leaving a backdoor to real admin access for the experts just means laypeople will abuse those backdoors and mess up their machines again
Remembering the last 20 years of computer history, most of the critical fail wasn't caused by "laypeople abusing backdoors" but horrible security holes in popular, widely used software packages: Outlook, Flash, Acrobat Reader, Internet Explorer. Apple/Microsoft are not locking down their OSs to protect users from themselves, but rather from other developers. We, software engineers, seem to have completely failed our users as a profession.
This as true today as saying java is slow. Why not just try? You might get pleasantly surprised.
Try Pop_OS!. I switched from macOS and it's been a relatively painless experience with some tweaks.
> Is there any "security" software running on your Mac? I've seen this sort of thing caused by that, but not in general.
> I ran the two line test and it had no delay at all. The Mac doesn't check for notarization on shell scripts or any non-bundle executable. I just did it again with a new test2.sh and Wireshark capture and there is nothing.
> I do a lot of Keychain code and I've also never seen those delays. The reason I suspect they told you not to use that API is that it's in the "legacy" macOS keychain. They really want everyone to move to the modern keychain but lots of people, myself included, still need the older macOS specific features.
> I'm not saying you are crazy, but all of these things though are the trademark reek of kernel level security software that is intercepting and scanning every exec and file read on the system. We had an issue with Cisco AMP once that took Xcode builds from under 10 seconds to over 5 minutes until we were able to get it fixed.
Having to wait 5-10 seconds for a new terminal tab as Sophos churns (checking autoccomplete scripts, rbenv, etc) was infuriating. Oddly, there was fate sharing with Internet interception, so there was a good chance the browser was getting dragged down too, and vice versa.
Convincing corporate IT of how bad the problem was was maddening. Based on what this author says, 10.15 on rural internet sounds like hell.
% rm /tmp/test.sh ; echo $'#!/bin/sh\necho Hello' > /tmp/test.sh && chmod a+x /tmp/test.sh
% time bash /tmp/test.sh && time bash /tmp/test.sh
bash /tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 83% cpu 0.004 total
bash /tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 77% cpu 0.003 total
vs the one from the article:
% time /tmp/test.sh && time /tmp/test.sh
/tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 2% cpu 0.134 total
/tmp/test.sh 0.00s user 0.00s system 73% cpu 0.004 total
(edited for formating)
And I don't mean developers. They're all pretty educated people but it's taken me by surprise. They come to me in frustration over Mac, they don't want to return to Windows and they really, really, really want linux. I've been using linux since about 1997 so they come to me. I usually push back, thinking "do you really want a unix workstation?!" but they insist.
My strategy has been some x2xx lenovo (like x230 or so) for about $300 from ebay, 8/16gb of ram or so with an SSD, the extended battery pack, putting mint on it and then just handing it over. Everyone, much to my continued surprise, has loved it and are really happy with it.
It's happened 4 times now and I'm still shocked every time. They've told me they use youtube to figure things out.
They're fine with libreoffice, gimp does what they need, supposedly spotify works on it fine, they don't know what bash or the kernel is and it's all fine. Incredible.
I switched back to my 2012 MBP and it's predictably gone well since, plus I get iMessage integration with my iPhone.
>HiDPI support is a giant mixed bag
I will say that this is still a thing, although with experimental gnome fractional support it works pretty well now.
Honestly I have a 2019 macbook pro 15 and have more problems with it than I do with my Thinkpad X1 Carbon 6th gen with Fedora 32.
The crazy thing is that I haven't heard it yet from the people I helped. Times may actually be changing now, just not swiftly. Perhaps it's the "decade" of desktop linux.
It's also not because linux is so great but because windows and apple are constantly stumbling over their own shoelaces and shooing customers away.
The major pain points are nearly all related to lack of integration with my iPhone (with Messages being the big one, followed by Notes).
$ google-chrome --app=https://www.photopea.com
I still use a Mac at home for entertainment (I'm typing this comment on one), and I have to say it works much better used that way. I don't have to worry anymore about random Mac OS upgrades breaking functionality that Apple doesn't care about because it's not part of their vanilla out-of-the-Apple-Store experience, but is vital to me as a developer such as 3rd party window management, dock improvements, keyboard tweaks, or not delaying every new execution by phoning home (LMAO).
This year marks the first year that I can just use linux without having to debug it.
Might give 20 a shot
Linux as an actually better experience, without gigantic embarrassing flubs like this, is looking better by the day.
Think that's hyperbole? Look at this, from the link:
> The first time a user runs a new executable, Apple delays execution while waiting for a reply from their server. This check for me takes close to a second.
> This is not just for files downloaded from the internet... this is everything. So even if you write a one line shell script and run it in a terminal, you will get a delay!
Consider a developer in this situation.
If your job involves lots of scripting - not unusual, for a dev - and you create dozens of scripts a day, or more - every single one will take about a second, and up to 7 seconds (!) to run, that first time you run it. And that could easily happen upwards of a dozen times a day, because it will happen for each script you create.
That's pretty terrible, for a developer. I don't think you can normalize startup times, for some hacky script, of 1 second as pretty okay or not noticeable. Certainly not if you're talking about a high end work machine.
Times that bad are associated with some junk laptop that's 15 years old - that's not supposed to be Apple.
Even if you build apps (I do), you might have the need to create scripts now and then, possibly even a lot of them (I do, for testing). I don't consider it acceptable to wait 1 sec+ each time I run one. It really does suggest that Apple has gotten extremely careless about their developer audience.
So, yeah - compared to that, Linux performs way better, and looks like a premium work machine by comparison.
It's also true that the trackpad isn't as good as Windows. (It used to be that Mac had the best, but Catalina managed somehow to screw up the trackpad and make it laggy. Catalina has not been good for me!)
But I agree that even WSL2 didn't cut the mustard, and I doubt GPU support will fix it. MS is advancing too slow, I think.
From my perspective as a quote-unquote power user, it feels like Apple just constantly insists on shooting themselves in the foot with unnecessary and ill conceived innovations. Either way, I'm happy with my new setup and probably won't go back to macbooks anytime soon.
Obviously you can use less elegant solutions like changing fonts but it won't work with multiple displays with different resolutions.
If you want to avoid tweaking, stick to native applications, and perhaps more importantly, go for a manufacturer with proper firmware support for high-DPI screens like System76 (Adder WS), Dell (XPS 13), or Lenovo (ThinkPad P1/P53/X1).
Edit: should note, when I say work I mean you can switch between GPUs/launch an app on the dedicated GPU with ease.
It works okay, but you have to launch processes with a specific set of env variables to use the Nvidia card.