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Ask HN: Experience with Moving from Arch Linux to Mac
7 points by oxplot 2 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments
Since a few month ago, I've moved from Android to iPhone and Apple Watch (naturally) after iPhone finally sorted out their support for U2F keys.

Now, I'm considering going the macOS way, from my 6 year old Arch Linux installation. I'm a power user and I tend to roll my own packages and use docker extensively but otherwise I don't depend on much of the Linux kernel functionality in particular.

I'd like to know if anyone has done the transition from Arch Linux to Mac OS and how that's been.

I use Arch on personal system and MacOs on Office MacBook.

Docker--> If you are not a paid user `docker desktop` will get updated automatically. Other than this annoying feature didn't faced any issue so far.

Brew --> For all pacakage management. It's a life saver.

Tiling Window manager --> I spend 80% + of my time inside Emacs. So I don't miss `qtile` much.

Terminal --> I use `vterm` mostly but `kitty` is also good alternative.

`ohmyzsh` --> It's just fluff and as power user you won't find it useful.

There are few default apps that you can not uninstall.

I did the transition around 8 years ago. I wouldn't say I was a power user in Arch, but used i3 as a window manager and lived mostly in the terminal.

However for a job I got a Mac and it wasn't really hard to get into it. There is a terminal application and you can basically install most Linux tools. I got used to the Mac and enjoyed that everything is working out of the box, like connecting external devices. I could use my work Mac for personal usage and after some time I abandoned my Arch machine.

I also don't use Docker extensively, but I sometimes have to create a container and so far didn't have any problems with it. I'm not having an M1, so no clue how it is with that one.

I'm still on Mac and don't miss the Arch days, where I had to compile some packages and install drivers manually. Also I don't use any Apple tools, like iTunes or so, and therefore I'm not locked into their ecosystem.

With iTerm2, oh my zsh, and Magnet for tiling-ish windows i am happier than i have ever been with linux.

There are a lot of very nice Mac-only Apps and the device integration is phenomenal.

You have to understand what "security" features to turn off tho before it is really usable for 3rd party apps.

How's Magnets compared to using i3WM

It is just rudimentary, but allows for placement and resizing of tiling windows via shortcuts and you can snap windows to the edge of the screen to tile them.

Oh i see So its very similar to using i3 Thank you for sharing your experience

I was going to eventually write a blog post on this that kinda focused on some of the tools to use and how to configure things to be more linux like, but I never got around to it. Some tools of note though to look into are: - Karabiner-elements - iStats Menu (paid) - Easy Move + Resize - Rectangle

I did transition 2 years ago as I got a mac from my job and I was in mobile development. Within a few days I got productive with it although it took more than a year to accept "the mac way". My arch linux was fully customized with i3 and the like. I still miss tiling window manager this day.

I did the translation from Arch Linux, 3 months ago, i was using bspwm, sxhkd, polybar and bunch of other nerd stuff. My overall experience is pretty positive even for me, i still feel like i can be more productive with my old setup but it is not that bad as i imagined with Yabai, skhdrc. Battery life is great, retina screen is great, package manager is great (brew), and many other things is better in MacOS and working out of box.

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