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Linux is Making Apple Great Again (jasoneckert.github.io)
154 points by jasoneckert on March 26, 2023 | hide | past | favorite | 153 comments

As someone who’s used macOS since the early betas I really don’t understand this perpetual meme that the early versions were so good and it’s all locked-down rubbish now. Seems more like faulty memory mixed with a general tendency to think that everything was better ‘back in my day’.

Every version had its bugs at release and were mostly fixed after a few point releases. If I recall, the only one that was fine from the start was 10.6 Snow Leopard, and that was only because 10.5 Leper was so bad.

> the only one that was fine from the start was 10.6 Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard had a bug where using the guest account would wipe the data from the main account.

Also worth mentioning Sierra (I believe...) that let you login as root without password.

For me the tooling on MacOS is the only advantage that it offers. I am familiar with it which makes some tasks quite easy and the platform more powerful for me than Windows.

The latter offers alternatives by now and they are quite good as well. Powershell is in parts just a bit more modern than the average Linux shell or you can just install a Linux subsystem to begin with. For me it was a bit late to the party though, but this is one part where Windows really did improve a lot.

But both closed source OS have become worse overall. This isn't some nostalgia the parent hints at, there are certain features that can establish that pretty clearly. From ads to account requirements or thorough suggestions at least.

I’ve long assumed it’s because it also coincidentally lines up with the Intel Macs, and especially the MacBook Air. Which was probably a lot of people’s first Mac ever. It was definitely an upgrade over Leopard.

I had started using OSX with Jaguar on my G4 PowerBook and Snow Leopard doesn’t stand out in my mind. I liked Lion more because it had full disk encryption and AirDrop.

Snow Leopard came with a certain ethos that I think was very appreciated: there were few feature changes and no aesthetic changes, but all the work went into the "under the hood" systems, lowering the memory footprint and preparing for the transition to all 64-bit everything. It was one of the rare times that a software company released a new major version with no consumer-apparent changes except for increased speed and efficiency. HN's audience might have a soft spot for that sort of thing.

Yes to me, snow leopard was the pinacle of macOS, pre-iMessage.

It was faster, smaller, did just as much as leopard, just solid.

Shakes cane in System 7

Also a big Snow Leopard guy here. Learned how to program Python mostly on my old white 13" MacBook. Everything just worked.

Imho the 2008-2012 unibody mbp was peak mac design, before they began compromising things in their quest for thinness.

I really liked the pre-Unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

I have both in my collection. Including one tattered 2006 first-gen Intel MBP that I picked up from a trash heap and restored.

Every time I open that MBP up, the design makes me feel like a high-roller Hollywood producer. I was just thinking the other day that I wish I could have that machine with M1/M2 guts inside of it.

Those plastic MacBooks are also a joy to sit in front of.

And though I thought the unibody MacBooks/Pros looked spaced aged at the time, they kind of look unsightly today. Those black bezels are huge and obnoxious, and give the laptop a raccoon look.

It’s a good point. The Intel transition is when Macs started to take off again, and the first experience is always special. That and a severe dislike of change.

While I have soft spots for 10.2 as that’s when OS X finally became usable and 10.4 when it overtook Windows there’s not a chance I’d want to use any of the older versions on a daily basis - it’s never been better than it is now.

Lion was a little sluggish and buggy at the start, but it proved itself to be a fine transitional release, and I agree about those feature additions - loved them!

Personal favorite release was 10.9/Mavericks.

> Snow Leopard doesn’t stand out in my mind

It does for me. It was the first Intel-only release and at the time I had G4 Powerbook. I was quite pissed at Apple at the time.

I don’t think OSX was better than MacOS, however I do feel like Apple has missed some opportunities for improvement and has introduced some head scratching UX elements.

I don’t feel like MacOS is any more locked down than before. I think that is just a thing people say because it aligns with their computing philosophy and makes it easy to hate on Apple.

> 10.5 Leper


10.6 wasn't even perfect from the start, it just has the standout point of being "perfect" by the end before 10.7 got funky.

Sequence of events for me: 1) stopped using the GOAT compiler GCC 2) killed X11 support 3) killed all 32bit support. 4) hit rock bottom.

I'm still using xquartz (https://www.xquartz.org) on current machines - with the last release just a few weeks ago. But it's only for retro stuff. Other than that, X11 was never anything why I would buy a Mac for.

1) was a problem in the early days, but what they poured into clang did eventually pay off. It's a reasonable compiler with tons of vendor extensions, many being Apple's, these days. Clang also served as a source for GCC to take new features from. Good to have some competition.

2) XQuartz took a while, but is doing well.

3) was a big one in making upstream wine not work. with wine32on64 you can sure still pull the pinball party trick, but building that thing takes too much.

4) was specifically SIP for me, especially when they started making updates break with system changes. The ntfs-3g automount thing has always relied on replacing mount_ntfs [which is, by the way, not the proper way to make an fs on a Mac -- there's some filesystem bundle business], and now it's too much of a pain to still access the Windows drive.


>Ventura dropped support for AFP and make it difficult to enable any sort of filesharing at all. In order to get the built-in samba server to work properly, you have to add a manual security exception for it using the command line.


I enabled SMB sharing along with joining my Windows-based LAN at home on my M2 Macbook Air and it was by far second only to Windows in ease of setup. No command line voodoo required, just set some configs under System Settings and Bob became my uncle.

In fact it was so easy to setup the Macbook is sharing everything onto the network...

I wish Samba was this easy to setup in Linux.

What is so hard about Samba on Linux? UID and GID management?

Quite literally everything.

I don't know what it is about Samba, but it's an imperial pain in the ass to get it working right.

Some things are heavily optimized to promote their ecosystem, I agree. But it's Apple software so it's expected they want you to use their ecosystem.

But they always provide an escape hatch. Yes random binaries are harder to run, but that's for the security of 90% of all mac users. The last 10% still have ways to run it anyway, it might be a few clicks more yes.

Overall I think it's still a very developer friendly operating system when you compare it with the competition, Windows. Which is spamming you with ads, also many Windows Defender warnings, random binary removals or refusing to execute them even when you allow it.

Holy taking the goalposts and running with them Batman.

> Apple is even doing it with file transfers. *On an iPhone* there's no way to select a default file save location; it always starts in your iCloud folder, and third party file sync tools are third class citizens.

We’re not talking about iOS here, we’re talking about macOS.

The bit about Samba is nonsense. It just works and always has. If you’re going into the command line to turn on file sharing you’re quite literally doing it wrong.

Yes it’s harder to run any random binary or delete an important system file, but that’s probably a good thing. Computers these days are people’s entire lives and therefore have to be reliable and resistant to user carelessness and external maliciousness.

You can still run totallynotavirus.app or delete Finder if you want, but it rightly makes you work for it.

> It's objective, provable fact that Apple has been steadily locking down its software ecosystem through restrictions and UI dark patterns in concert with ever-tightening hardware lockdowns.

Only if you intentionally conflate iOS with Mac OS.

Apple didn't create a new Mac bootloader that allows you to boot an unsigned third party OS without weakening the security when you boot the Mac partition because they are "locking down" Macs.


Ken Thompson, co-creator of UNIX, expressed disappointment with Apple's macOS, prompting him to transition to Linux, specifically Raspbian.

Apple's ARM-based Silicon architecture offers excellent hardware, but users like Thompson and Linus Torvalds find macOS restrictive.

The Asahi Linux project enables running an ARM64 Linux distribution on Apple Silicon hardware.

Any other example why the both said its restrictive instead of its not open source?

What linux can do but osx can? Because I always thought osx can do whatever linux do because its unix based

If you work within standard POSIX, sure. But there are many things that are not POSIX that are useful and not available on macOS:

- systemd has some inspiration from launchd, but certainly not its documentation strategy - `du` doesn't have a `-b` flag (repeat for oodles of useful GNU flags baked into my fingers) - getting a "pristine" environment on macOS is a true PITA and a horror for CI (containers win massively here) - some things are only available through the UI (e.g., TCC.db edits are SIP-locked to when Preferences deigns to ask you) - useful window management (macOS is quite a bit behind even Windows' rudimentary tiling and focus management and even Windows has all kinds of sad quirks compared to what XMonad and Awesome provide)

Can I switch to a different window manager, because I really don't like the default in macos - specifically a tiling WM.

There are tools like Magnet and such that help. Window management is maybe the worst part of macOS and it’s worse after each release of macOS.

It's been my biggest frustration with macOS over the years. I've never understood why Apple has never done anything about it. Talked to an Apple engineer once and brought this up and he said that macOS has always been Steve Jobs Opinionated on where window placement should be and what the optimal size should be instead of letting the user decide.

I've been using Amethyst for a few years now. It's not exactly a separate WM in terms of changing the window decorations, but it's more of a kind of an automation layer that works through the Accessibility access layer of MacOS. I've been relatively happy with it. The only bad thing is that because the Command key is used for so much in MacOS, it tends to need to be chorded with multiple modifier keys to ensure that there aren't keyboard shortcut clashes.


There is no real window manager on macOS, only hacks that fall apart very soon.

I've been issued a Mac Laptop for work, and for the first 2 months by far the #1 issue for me was the alt-tabbing (edit: always been a Linux/Windows user).

I've been successfully using Witch to restore normal window-tabbing (in place of application-tabbing): https://manytricks.com/witch/

Unfortunately after MacOS ~Vista~ Catalina you still need to grant Witch permissions for each application you're alt-tabbing to that Witch hasn't seen yet, but considering I use ~6 apps 99% of the time, this works for me.

To get simple window tiling/placement, I found BetterSnapTool to be sufficient for my needs: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bettersnaptool/id417375580?mt=...

It handles magnetic corners and placement via hotkey. I mostly work with a dock and external keyboard, so I bound CMD+SHIFT with numeric keypad buttons to reflect the placement (e.g: CMD+SHIFT+NumKey7 -> put the window in the top-left corner). I don't miss the hotkeys when I'm without dock because anyway the screen would be too small, so I resort to just alt-tabbing.

I think there's something called 'Yabai'.

EDIT: https://github.com/koekeishiya/yabai

https://rectangleapp.com/ works really well with OSX. Does everything wayland and others on linux in OSX and performs really well.

Wayland is not a WM. https://wayland.freedesktop.org Wayland is the thing "underneath" a Window Manager. For example you can run KDE on top of X or Wayland. There are a few blurry boundaries in all this but that largely covers it.

No it doesn't. Wayland is the window server. [DWM](https://dwm.suckless.org) allows new windows to automatically be tiled when created. It also allows you also to change the way the tiling occurs when new windows are opened.

My new windows used to split an ever smaller portion of my screen in a fibonacci spiral based layout. I could also move between windows with hotkeys.

Rectangle is useful in a pinch, but it's no tiling window manager.

> Any other example why the both said its restrictive

MacOS cannot run Docker containers natively, if you are a developer today that is a pretty big annoyance. The solution basically being to run Linux on MacOS.

You can't disable mission control, which I've only ever activated by accident. Same with fullscreening applications. I'm sure there are various other features that I'd like to disable but I simply cannot because the operating system doesn't make it possible. Generally though despite the occasional frustration I find the OS pleasant to work with.

The way articles like this end up down the grapevine, like a game of telephone, is “mac bad, Linux good.” And I’m considered the idiot for having to ask.

The article quotes Ken. Then in the next paragraph says “macOS move slowly towards closed standards and tighter control.” But is that what Ken was saying? That part isn’t a quote, and on a quick first read I almost thought that was the reason Ken gave.

Raspberry Pi is no more open than Apple. Sure it runs Linux, but is the ARM processor Raspberry Pi uses open? I recall it wasn’t.

So here are my questions:

1. Why did Ken throw away “zillion years in Apple”?

2. What Pi hardware is Ken using? Pi doesn’t come in laptop or desktop form factor.

3. How is driver support on Ashai? Is everything working?

4. Is there any laptop out there made from aluminum with a strong frame? And a 120hz mini LED or OLED display?

When I’ve look at the options from System76, Framework, Dell, Lenovo and others they all look like my PC laptops from the 2010’s just slightly thinner.

I don’t trust LG, Samsung or Lenovo. The latter due to its history with malware.

He is talking about using Raspbian, the Debian-based OS that runs on the Raspberry Pi among other devices.

I’m pretty sure he is running Rasbpian on some laptop and not using a Pi as his “daily driver” ;)

Ah ok that makes more sense

We can only speculate on what hardware Ken Thompson likes most, or what annoyed him about macOS, he didn't tell.

The article only deals with your question #3, and the answer is yes, everything's working.

As of the fourth question, the key message seems to be: don't buy a Framewok or System76 Linux laptop... the best Linux laptop is a Mac.

Not to nitpick but Pi 400 is a desktop form factor.


I'm getting flashbacks of my C64 seeing a computer being put into a keyboard.

I know. I never owned a C64 (I was a Z80 guy :) but I was tempted to buy a 400 just to have one!

I’ve been on and off mac’s since the late 90s. Contrary to the article and similar to comments here, their OS was never that good until last 10 years - not the other way around.

As I got older, I got less time to fiddle with drivers on linux (Nvidia/noveau drivers ptsd, wifi drivers…) why can’t it just work!?

The title should be the other way around: Apple is making Linux Great Again.

Having limited but excellent hardware configuration makes writing stable software easier.

I agree. Been developing since the mid 90’s. Gone are the days of forgetting to compile a nic driver and having to redo something with an install… I love linux. Heck .. love all OSs. They’re amazing.

Working in the current times on my MBP seems like I finally have my linux install “set up just right.”

Yeah, I tend still to toss around a dotfiles repo, stay in vi often, but stuff like vscode, obsidian, ios file sync, etc… just works.

Upgrades don’t brick shit.

I dunno. I am grateful I don’t have to use wsl/wsl2/cygwin anymore to get tools I need.

Anyone could help me what is limitting about macos?

I always thought os x is better than linux because its unix and it haves windows like software(ms office and adobes) and no other laptop better than macbook pro for me

Dont get it wrong i use linux on my desktop and server and currently burning tumbleweed iso to a dvd

A complete lack of focus stealing prevention, for one. Corner notifications that never go away even though I'm clearly trying to ignore them. Suddenly typing into some random new thing instead of where I want to be typing.

"All your 32-bit programs are dead now, yes including your paid-for games. Lol."

"OpenGL and Vulkan weren't invented here, we'll make the same thing, but not compatible, instead of supporting them."

Apple's file system is still shite. "file cannot be deleted because the disk is full" is a Kafka style nightmare message.

Mac users are also a significant horror when you go asking for help with any of this, they generally have gone full Stockholm syndrome and will blame the new victim rather than the captor.

"Apple won’t help you figure out how to do it, nor give you the information necessary to create device drivers for their hardware, but the possibility is there."

I don't buy Apple hardware, but this quote could be applied to just about every big manufacturer.

I don’t understand the MAGA reference, it seems off topic to me.

it's unnecessary and off-putting imo.

folks thoroughly flamed the 9front community for using holocaust imagery (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25778940) and this is sort of a parallel choice.

You're equating "Make America Great Again" with the Holocaust?

I think you might want to take a step back from politics for a bit and take a deep breath.

I choose my words carefully. Is it a necessary phrase to make when discussing operating systems? Can you not see how it would be off-putting of a statement to make?

I would advise you refrain from putting words in my mouth.

If you chose your words carefully, then you carefully attempted to draw a parallel between a populist campaign slogan and the Holocaust.

Good job?

No, they're saying both of these things are off-putting. Obviously not to the same degree. I don't want to see either, though.

And so you compare references to your political opponents to references to the holocaust?

A little introspection may be helpful.

It's a little thing called fun. Doesn't have to be referring to the same topic to make a joke reference. In fact, it works better if it's from an unrelated domain

It's not fun, it's scary and tacky. Those red hats represent a movement that really wants to hurt people like me and my friends.

I agree, there is nothing fun about MAGA. The reference is tone deaf, off point, and totally unnecessary. I suggest the author reflect on what it really means to a large portion of the population.

I'm not surprised to hear someone say such, only disappointed.


Its really not helpful to degrade conversation in this fashion. Maybe rephrase in a more helpful and less combative way?


Whether MAGA want to hurt millions of people, that is the result of conservative policies.

1 million+ unnecessary deaths during the pandemic. Targeting of LGBTQ people, blacks, teachers, librarians, politicians, election officials and even doctors (wtf?). Forced "detransitioning" of trans people. Banning all forms of abortion, even in the case of rape, minors and incest. Banning life-saving abortions, forcing women to carry unviable fetuses to term. And that is just today, they have more plans in store...

They probably (seriously) feel the same way about you. The solution is to stop demonizing and dehumanizing your political opposition and be okay with difference of opinion while communicating.

Also recognize it's a tired game of both ends of the political spectrum to convince people the other side is full of monsters who want to destroy them. Look at wartime propaganda. There's plenty of room to disagree with each other and be passionate about our convictions without involving that element.

If your response is, "no but really..", start reading from the top again.

This is all off-topic, but that's a ridiculous take. I'm a straight white guy. Literally no one is seriously proposing laws that would make my life more difficult in the slightest. No one is trying to make it illegal for me to be married to my wife, or to use the right bathroom, or to tell my kids it's OK for them to be straight. There's no legitimate "but both sides...!" here.

>This is all off-topic, but that's a ridiculous take. I'm a straight white guy. Literally no one is seriously proposing laws that would make my life more difficult in the slightest.

Except if you're working class, then all bets are off. People can laugh at you, dismiss you as white trash, kill your livelihood and tell you to "learn to code" when businesses still getting huge tax cuts "outsource", and your local jobs die, and so on.

One party is trying to give the working class free education and healthcare. The other has abandoned them. My point still holds.

Everyone has a toilet paper tube they can view the world through to save themselves from understanding alternate points of view. I'm sure that's all that "one party" is trying to do, right? Nothing else remotely objectionable. The fact that anyone would disagree must mean they're insane, stupid, or.. a monster!

"Me? I'm giving away free money! And where is the Batman? He's at home, washing his tights!"

> there's no legitimate "but both sides...!" here.

Again, start from the top.

Are you serious? LGBTQ+ are real people being dehumanized by MAGA's.

MAGA's are not good people, regardless of how scared they maybe of others.

Their fear makes them dangerous as they lack the emotional intelligence required to allow others to exist without their approval. Also, they are often well armed and have bene involved in many mass shootings.

> They probably (seriously) feel the same way about you.

If that's seriously true, then there's even less reason to consider this "a little thing called fun."

> Look at wartime propaganda.

Whether or not wartime propaganda is justified, war is not "a little thing called fun."

Sure, but it relates to an ongoing controversial and distracting topic. Basically, “too soon”.

> It's a little thing called fun.

Nobody thinks it's fun, except the people who wear the red hats.

Let’s try not to be offended by every little thing.

You'd be surprised.

People who aren't partisans one way or the other could not give less fucks.

But even bona fide leftists have used red hats ironically and in comic sketches ever since they appeared.

If anything, it's probably people who wear the red hats who would be "insulted" ("oh, you're making a mockery of our slogan!")

> People who aren't partisans one way or the other could not give less fucks.

The author appears to be Canadian, so maybe he's just oblivious.

> But even bona fide leftists have used red hats ironically and in comic sketches ever since they appeared.

Of course. But the article author doesn't appear to be mocking the MAGA movement, just using an ill-advised expression and photo to make an unrelated point.

An author has to know their audience. Whether or not you personally believe that MAGA revulsion is "justified", it's a mistake to put off a large portion of one's audience, even if that was unintentional.

>Of course. But the article author doesn't appear to be mocking the MAGA movement, just using an ill-advised expression and photo to make an unrelated point.

The author is just using it as a meme-template of "Make X great again", repurposing something considered tacky as a joke, as countless others have done. Obviously ironically, the same way people would use "Just say no" or other slogans ironically. In fact, it's pretty obvious they're anything but sympathetic to the original thing to use it jockingly like this.

It's time to stop being so negative to anything that's not sterile corporate speak, sanitized six ways from Sunday by HR and marketeers.

> the same way people would use "Just say no" or other slogans ironically.

Just Say No was a largely ineffective advertising campaign from over 30 years ago.

MAGA is the slogan of the previous and possibly next POTUS. This is serious business, and there's a lot at stake. Perhaps democracy itself? I make jokes all the time, but I wouldn't casually joke about this.

Yeah. Not everyone can afford not to be a partisan. Reeks of privilege in here.

And your conclusion is asinine. They love memeing the slogan.

Thanks for the somber take.

It's a little thing called fun.


"As a non-Ukrainian, Putin is the most entertaining thing to come out of east Europe in a long time" is what that sounds like.

How are Putin and Trump comparable? I would love to hear your answer but I know for a fact that your answer will conveniently ignore that Putin killed 10,000s of people and Trump is just a reality TV show character.

But you're probably not going to answer anyway due to lack of sanity. Also, are you Ukranian or just offended on their behalf?

This would be a very long comment and I'm not sure if it's worth writing on a day old thread, because I know very little about you, your frame of reference and how far you lean which way on the genuine curiosity to winning an argument scale (I have a an educated guess with you saying "lack of sanity")

If you're interested on what shapes my perspective here beyond either of us winning an argument, I'd recommend "Endnote 2: White Fascism" by Innuendo Studios, especially the conclusion.

MAGA is a buzzphrase for racists and an immediate red flag. Referencing it casually is like referencing Nazi or KKK slogans casually -- it's in poor taste and further marginalizes communities who've been marginalized enough.

It’s an economic message. Let’s not further marginalize poor rural people by making those comparisons.

It's a message straight out of Hitler's playbook: create a cult of personality by radicalizing rural people and the working class and using them to create a voting bloc powerful enough to dismantle the very democracy that gave them that power in the first place. Godwin's law doesn't apply; Godwin himself said that comparing people to Nazis was appropriate when those people are actually behaving like Nazis.

If you do not look at Trump and his memetic strategy and see the rise of fascism in the USA, you have not been paying attention.

>Godwin's law doesn't apply; Godwin himself said that comparing people to Nazis was appropriate when those people are actually behaving like Nazis.

Of course that's also what everybody making a bad comparison would say. "I'm my case it's justified".

In fact, if Hitler was re-incarnated in the 21st century, something he would have added "my opponent is literary Hitler" to his playbook - dehumanizing the other side.

But of course those who do that only do it becaue they're "justified" in doing it.

Make Apple Great Again

Here’s what i gleaned from this article: (1) Ken Thompson uses Linux in a Raspberry Pi. (2) Linus Torvalds uses Linux on a laptop he likes better than a Mac with a bad screen. (3) the author likes using linux on ARM chips. (4) Ashashi Linux runs on Apple’s ARM computers. The author uses it.

Here’s what the author might add: (1) What did Ken Thompson find off putting about Mac OS? (2) What was wrong with Linus’ screen that couldn’t be fixed and how did switching to Linux fix it? (3) What benefits of running Linux vs Mac Os inspired the author to write this article?

Those three points, or similar, might make this article more interesting and valuable.

> What was wrong with Linus’ screen that couldn’t be fixed and how did switching to Linux fix it?

I remember this incident so I can elaborate.

While Apple is known for "consumer premium" hardware, they have not necessarily been leading on anything. They source premium hardware from a few generations ago and mass produce it and market it at "consumer premium" prices.

When Linus was trying to find a replacement for his older Macbook, he was unimpressed by the screen resolution and quality went with a Dell XPS 15 Developer Edition instead. This was around 2015.

Where does it say he uses a raspberry pi?

Are you a machine?

I doubt it. I was wondering the exact same things because this article was actually pretty information-free. And I'm not a machine, at least.

I’m probably spending too much time with Bing Chat. As was foretold: https://youtu.be/5eWny2ZLCwU

Wouldn't a Transformer LM try to write in a more conversational style?

It's suspicious.

In my past four engineering positions I have been issued Macbooks. I'm almost exclusively a Linux user for personal machines, although I have an M2 Macbook Air that I like to work on and I love it.

My approach to making MacOS awesome for me, is using Nix on Darwin. I really enjoy codifying my MacOS setup and I have set things up in a way where my MacOS build is almost indistinguishable from my NixOS builds when it comes to the appearance, keyboard shortcuts and overall workflows.

I can't wait for the 15" macbook air. That thing will probably be my jumping off point into feeling out the Asahi Linux vibe on Macs.

When do you think it will come?

i would love to know what does these real pros cany actuallu handle in osx. i mean really, what are the features that are show stoppers?

I'm not sure what is your definition of a "real pro" but for me personally:

* Docker performance - even the top-of-the-line MBP I have cannot handle a few services in a docker-compose before starting to error about loosing CPU cycles or the TCP/IP communication between the services dying

* I cannot use a proper titling WM like i3/sway. There are some hacks but they fall apart and they're nowhere near as configurable as I would want

* I get attacked by ads telling me to upgrade to iCloud+

* Most importantly - it is very different than the environment where I run stuff (Linux node/server/etc.) so there's another layer of complexity and problems attached when developing on it to be deployed there compared to developing on Linux (even a different distro than the target)

* In general I feel like the OS is treating me like an idiot when using it - the feeling is displeasing

Asahi (Arch) is fantastic and I’m immensely grateful to the dev team. One small issue I wish they’d fix is monitor over Thunderbolt. Currently only HDMI works.

That font really makes it hard to read

If you're on Firefox you can go into Font Settings and uncheck Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of your selections above.

Indeed. On mobile you can just use Reader mode, too. Which seems to have become my default for everything.

where does that setting live? didn't see it, searches don't find it?

It is in the “advanced” menu for fonts (directly to the right of the font size selection drop-down box in the current UI).

aaahhh there it is (due to the wonder of flat ui design, I didn't see that the dialog box could and needed to scroll)

It looks like the blog uses "Overlock" font loaded via Google fonts. In case your browser won't load it, you get "cursive".

“I don’t have time to tinker with my computer so I will run Linux on it…”

I find the lack of self awareness astonishing.

I currently regularly use 4 desktop/laptop computers: a T480 running Kubuntu, an L420 running Xubuntu, a Dell work laptop running Kubuntu, and a custom gaming desktop running Windows 10.

I have spent dramatically more time delving into OS nonsense to solve issues on the Windows machine, from "ghost" controller inputs making WPF applications unusable to audio devices randomly disappearing to some weird HDCP interaction causing my display to turn off when Disney Plus is loaded in Firefox.

I do not have nearly the same amount of trouble with my Linux machines; nor does my boyfriend, who is not a technical professional and uses Xubuntu exclusively.

Yes, Linux on the desktop can require tinkering, but it's not always the case. With the right hardware choices and some thoughtful setup, it can be remarkably stable.

> With the right hardware choices and some thoughtful setup, it can be remarkably stable.

That is one of the issues Apple has been solving at least since 20 years ago when I started using mac books. You don't have to think anything, plug and work.

I am not an apple fan boy and I wish I had an alternative (which I tried during these 20 years) but mac books has been the only solution that has worked so far for me.

Except for all the stuff Apple leaves out or decides X is the correct way. No decent window snapping, no package manager, scroll wheel direction, no application level volume control, no HDMI/DP volume control, no decent font rendering on non-Retina displays, no MST support, ancient GNU tools (honestly I'd just prefer they'd leave out 10 year old versions, it just causes problems).

Honestly to me macOS is a bigger pain to deal with.

I definitely have to tinker with macos.

For example, the scanner in the mfp in my office stopped working after some system update (this one I never got working again, I just rdp into windows machine now and then copy over the scan). Another problem was with flickering display when connected over TB3 dock with M1 macs -- and no such problem with Intel macs in the same dock (it was "solved" by buying another dock). Software-wise, I had to edit /etc/ppp/ip-up & ip-down scripts to get correct routes for IPSec vpn. I had to manually add hunspell dictionaries, if I wanted working spellcheck. For a certain period, smb didn't work in Big Sur out of the box, because installer/updater was putting incorrect owner on a system file needed (/private/var/db/mds/messages/$(uid)/se_SecurityMessages) And so on, and so.

So yes, there is definitely tinkering, unless you have very narrow use cases, that happen to 100% align to Cupertino marketing scenarios.

Interesting. I can't recall the last time I had a hardware issue on Windows.

I, not too long ago, did end up having to reinstall Ubuntu when changing the screen resolution went wrong for some reason.

I haven't used windows in decades, but visited family over the summer where a new Lenovo desktop running win11 persistently lost its HP printer port association.

I'd help remove and reinstall the drivers, the printer would work for a few days... then a windows update would occur, and the printer stops working. My intervention recurred at least five times throughout summer, it was probably simply ignored as broken most of summer to not overly aggravate me.

The elderly owner of this new computer was ready to buy a new printer, entirely blaming the hardware. It was very clearly the operating system + driver at fault, but she's not the most computer literate person.

It's 2023 and MS still can't make a USB printer stay configured properly across updates.

And don't even get me started on the FOX News propaganda embedded in whatever gadget has replaced the start menu. What a raging dumpster full of tire fires MS Windows has become.

I don't doubt it. I'm sure my Windows issues have to do with some hardware choice I made, or some non-standard configuration I'm using. My only point is that you can have a stable experience with LotD or an unstable one with Windows.

> I can't recall the last time I had a hardware issue on Windows.

Me either.

I would have agreed with you a long time ago, but nowadays my Linux machine is the lowest setup cost and lowest maintenance cost I have.

I don't have a Mac, but Windows has become quite needy and bloated. While Linux has become easier to install, harder to mess up and less jarring with interface changes in the last decade.

Totally out of context quote:

Linus Torvalds when asked on a Real World Technologies forum whether he would buy an Apple Silicon laptop, he responded with:

I’d absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux. I have fairly fond memories of the 11” Macbook Air (I think 4,1) that I used about a decade ago (but moved away from because it took Apple too long to fix the screen - and by the time they did, I’d moved on to better laptops, and Apple had moved on to make Linux less convenient). Apple may run Linux in their cloud, but their laptops don’t. I’ve been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS. And I don’t have the time to tinker with it, or the inclination to fight companies that don’t want to help.

Linux creator wants to run Linux? What a useless quote.

Since reading comprehension seems to be a terrible struggle here (maybe the font is scrambling peoples' brains), the point is that Apple ARM laptops weren't well supported by Linux, which is why the Linux creator didn't want to use one despite liking the hardware.

The quote is there because the author felt the same way, and the situation has improved since Linus said that.

Not that the blog is very substantial, but the point of the quote isn't what you thought it was.

I maintain 4 Ubuntu laptops for my family. Never had much of an issue. Granted, I picked Thinkpads with an eye towards them being fairly compatible with Linux to start with so there is a planning element to ease future issues for us. When a new LTS version rolls around, I wait a bit and then upgrade them all and everything seems to work. It's been like that for 10 years almost now.

Unfortunately I am forced to use macos (and windows) and work from time to time and yeah I can agree with the author. GNU/Linux (openSUSE with KDE Plasma desktop) definitely requires a lot less tinkering to get it to work and respect your privacy and the likes. Especially if you do any software development and engineering or scientificy work. And windows/macos are just getting worse while GNU/Linux is just getting better so the advantage gap for GNU/Linux keeps growing as time goes on.

I find the lack of updated views on computers astonishing?

I work with a lot of different people with a lot of different operating systems.

Today, for most people and their needs, Linux is an EASIER operating system to deal with than Mac Os OR Windows.

As much as I would love to credit the amazingness of Linux, it's mostly because a lot of people can do everything they need in a browser + a few basic apps.

Heh, dunno. Once you get used to Linux moving to a new Linux box is easy. Some people use ansible, puppet, git, nix, docker, or even just a list of packages to install.

On apple there's no package management for the entire system, sure you can add brew (or others). Then a ugly patch work of plugins (many are mentioned on this thread) to get alt-tab, better window management, etc. Sadly seems like apple's opinionated view of the desktop battles with plugins, so often the options/decisions are different for each major apple release.

I find it easy to believe linux users spend more time fighting apple's decisions then if they could just have a universal package manager and control over the window manager and have fast/easy access to containers.

Hell I likely waste minutes a day fighting cut/paste on OSX. If you use apple native apps, iterm2, and xquartz seems like the state diagram for cut/paste is way too complex for me to remember.

At least for a linux user, Apple's cut/paste seems horribly broken and limited. I'm used to copying images and documents into thunderbird for attachments, into web UIs to upload, and general things act as I expect. On apple for whatever reason I end up saving it to a file, then finding it with the finder, then uploading it by naming the dir/file. I'm rather puzzled, since NextStep seemed to have gotten drag and drop to work perfectly, not sure what Apple did to break that.

This is a quote of Linus explaining why he doesn't have the time to move to a new computing platform on a new architecture.

This is not a question of "setup macos takes effort X vs setup linux (on M2 laptop) takes effort Y" this is a question of "doing nothing (keep existing system) is no effort while setting up a new system (new hardware, new architecture, etc) is major effort"

I find it takes much more time to disable all the junk Apple puts in your way and find fixes for all the stuff their designers don't find elegant than it does to install all the junk that doesn't work out of the box with any decent linux distro.

I took that as an, I don't have time to learn a new platform so I stick with what works for me, which is valid.

> “I don’t have time to tinker with my computer so I will run Linux on it…”

> I find the lack of self awareness astonishing.

You don't understand the context. That is a comment from Linus, and he is going to run Linux on his laptop. So the comment is referring to either using a laptop that is reasonably well supported by Linux with no changes, or using the Apple one which at the time was not well supported. So he would have to tinker to get it working.

Mind you, it's not really true that Linux = tinkering these days. I just got a new laptop with Windows on it. I thought I'll give it a try since I haven't used it for a few years.

Hyper-V was pretty clunky inflexible but it worked. The console / graphics driver for the VMs is horrible and clunky, no apparent way to change that, probably some obscure registry option or 3rd party thing I'd have to download.

After installing and setting up a few VMs, I was informed (for about the 15th time since booting) that Windows had something it needed to restart for. Upon return, all hyper-v images and snapshots were gone or corrupted. It wouldn't even start until I messed around with the filesystem. Until then the entire manager refused to start because some snapshots were corrupted or something. No option to ignore, delete, or try to recover them.

Okay that's a pain in the butt, I'll start out just using ssh to get to some systems elsewhere. Hallelujah, ssh client is finally provided out of the box. Turns out the shell is the biggest piece of garbage and makes it impossible to do much over ssh.

The internet browser is horribly slow and unresponsive. Guess I'll have to install something sane. I give up.

I pick it up a couple days later and decide to have another try. The thing chews battery when it's suspended, it almost ran flat after a couple of days. No doubt I'd have to go in and tinker with settings or get a 3rd party thing to do it for me to improve that.

Start trying to install another VM. The input system gets stuck thinking the down arrow key or pg down is being held. Then goes unresponsive.

Corruption, data loss, crashes, at least a dozen reboots after about 2 solid days of using it (and achieving less than nothing) and that was with Windows mostly-installed already. Not to mention a poor out of the box environment for doing anything.

I'm sure after installing a bunch of stuff on it and changing a bunch of settings it could be made to work okay. By contrast I ended up installing a Linux distro on it in about 30 minutes, one reboot, and that comes with editors and compilers and git and a reasonable web browser. Nothing had to be changed except screen brightness and track pad sensitivity.

For me, for the work I do on my laptop, Linux works great out of the box and Windows seems to require a lot of tinkering. So a lot of it comes down to what you're doing with it I think. Windows is great for running games and Microsoft software I'm sure.

Maybe something System76 can do, create an arm based system for Linux ( and of course BSDs)

Any suggestions for an ARM based Linux laptop? Bonus points for a great battery life.

Do we need to keep the "Make X Great Again" meme alive? Even tongue-in-cheek, even with recent use by dead-end white supremacists as a dog whistle, this is a literal Nazi-ism.

Can we just put it to bed already?

Equating everything you dislike to an actual tragedy has the opposite effect, you are making a mockery of that tragedy and using it to further your ideological belief.

It's a joke. Jokes are fine. Jokes about anything are fine, as along as they are jokes.

You didn't think this joke was funny, and that's fine. I thought it was funny, and that's fine.

Calling it a "Nazi-ism", is also fine, but if that means he shouldn't be allowed to say it, that is not fine.

See the following picture, it kinda captures the point:


> literal Nazi-ism

What do you mean? "Exactly what a countryside simpleton ("Ignaz", at the time and place) would adopt as a stance"?!

Somebody takes an innocent expression and tries to taint it, you do your part in deflating the tainted use, you renormalize - that's what you are supposed to do. The article author uses irony.

> Even tongue-in-cheek, even with recent use by dead-end white supremacists as a dog whistle

Are you referring to the roughly 50% of the country who voted for, and according to current polls slightly over that who plan on voting for former president Trump?

That's a mighty broad brush you're painting with there.

> Are you referring to the roughly 50% of the country who voted for

To be accurate, ~29% of eligible voters, from ~47% of the vote with ~63% turnout.

And of course millions of people in the country are ineligible to vote, the majority of whom are youths.

74 million is a large number nonetheless. Roughly 22% of the population.

Fascism being popular doesn't make it not fascism.

> Do we need to keep the "Make X Great Again" meme alive?


> this is a literal Nazi-ism

Uh…what? I’m struggling to recall the locations of the concentration camps in the USA.

We also shouldn’t keep the guy I don’t like is Hitler meme alive.

The concentration camps came later.

First, Hitler rose to power by appealing to workers (despite actually being pro business). He broke the law and was put on trial, but this only caused his support to increase.

On the basis of his celebrity he was able to raise money and win election to government. He went on to use the Reichstag fire as a pretext for taking over the government he was ostensibly there to serve.

So it’s intellectually fine to draw parallels between Nazi Germany and the extreme right in the US because those parallels really do exist.

It’s the diminution of these parallels that I find disturbing. Such as the use of a divisive political symbol in a technical article.

I can help you remember the locations with the help of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_America...

Are you suggesting that former president Trump was responsible for the internment of Japanese in WW2?

> I’m struggling to recall the locations of the concentration camps in the USA.

My reply was to the above statement.

Man all that ads on hn nowadays kinda xxxx :(

Exactly all that GAFAM/BigTech/OpenAI/ChatGPT corporate propaganda should be forbidden here. At least this post promotes some free/libre and opensource and privacy respecting software.

We are wildly off-topic here but I use a keyword filter to get rid of that stuff and the number of hits it gets is almost always in the 4-6 range, sometimes creeping up to 8. I still think that most of the noise is organic but the unrelenting consistency of it makes me wonder.

I really agree, the hardware is good, but macOS isnt attractive at all.

Its behind windows in every step, desktop experience, app support(no games!) And more, while not being as pure / techy friendly as Linux.

Didn't know that ashai got so far!, how is it on laptops? And can I use the custom kernel on anything else? Like fedora / Ubuntu?

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