Any experience with migrating from openSUSE (linux) to OS X as a desktop user?

Hi,

I have been using Linux (several distros ranging from Slakware to Ubuntu, even used BSD variants as my primary OS time to time) as my OS almost two decades now. I have openSUSE 13.2 installed on my laptop and I am quite happy with it (stable system, up to date kernel, a perfect system management tool/Yast etc…).

Over the years, I have always enjoyed being a Linux user but I am not that young energetic guy who used to compile custom applications and kernels, edit config files. Having said that, I still like to do things via command line and, without any doubt, I can say vi/vim is still my favourite editor.

I am considering buying a new laptop and a MacBook Pro is sitting at the top of the list. Unfortunately, my Apple experience is limited only with an iPhone which I am not a fan of (I have an android phone)

I have some questions if you have ever used/are using OSX before;

  • I think I am familiar with *nix environment, so it will not be difficult for me to get tuned to OS X. Does OS X provides a good CLI experience to end user or is it like “do not touch anything, here it is, use it” kind if system?
  • Over the years, I am a bit frustrated with broken package databases, unresolved package dependencies or not-booting OS’es after major release upgrades. From that perspective, how stable is OS X?
  • I like to customize my system (look & fell etc…). Does OS X allow end user to do such changes?
  • Battery life is important to me. Unfortunately, Linux is not the winner in this area (shame on hardware vendors for not providing proper drivers). OS X is a system that is optimized to better utilize underlying hardware, does a MacBook have a good/satisfactory battery life?
  • Any general thought are welcome…

Please note, this is not a “which OS is better war”, just want to know your experience on the matter.

Thanks
Fehmi

PS : I am a mid level user not interested in image editing (photoshop etc…) or gaming, but using my laptop for day to day tasks (writing articles, reading documents, surfing etc…) and doing some minor programming.

On Sun, 03 May 2015 21:16:03 +0000, fnoyanisi wrote:

> I am considering buying a new laptop and a MacBook Pro is sitting at the
> top of the list. Unfortunately, my Apple experience is limited only with
> an iPhone which I am not a fan of (I have an android phone)

As it happens, I use a MacBook Pro for work, so i run the two systems
side by side.

> I have some questions if you have ever used/are using OSX before;
> * I think I am familiar with *nix environment, so it will not be
> difficult for me to get tuned to OS X. Does OS X provides a good CLI
> experience to end user or is it like “do not touch anything, here it is,
> use it” kind if system?

OS X’s CLI interface is adequate by default. There are add-ons to make
it more Linux-like (XCode is the native compile environment, but there’s
another one that uses the GNU utilities that provides more familiar
interfaces - that one is HomeBrew (or just “Brew” - as the command used
for installation/package management is ‘brew’).

> * Over the years, I am a bit frustrated with broken package databases,
> unresolved package dependencies or not-booting OS’es after major release
> upgrades. From that perspective, how stable is OS X?

OS X and Apple products are designed to be appliances. My experience -
about a year’s worth - is that it’s pretty stable. Just don’t spill a
drink in the keyboard (I did that about 3 weeks ago - it’s not covered by
the warranty, and the repair is about $1,200. :frowning: )

> * I like to customize my system (look & fell etc…). Does OS X allow end
> user to do such changes?

To some extent, yes.

> * Battery life is important to me. Unfortunately, Linux is not the
> winner in this area (shame on hardware vendors for not providing proper
> drivers). OS X is a system that is optimized to better utilize
> underlying hardware, does a MacBook have a good/satisfactory battery
> life?

My MacBook pro gets about 9 hours on a full charge. The drive is an SSD
(I have the 15" Retina). Battery life is exceptional, to say the least.

> * Any general thought are welcome…
>
> Please note, this is not a “which OS is better war”, just want to know
> your experience on the matter.
>
> Thanks Fehmi
>
> PS : I am a mid level user not interested in image editing (photoshop
> etc…) or gaming, but using my laptop for day to day tasks (writing
> articles, reading documents, surfing etc…) and doing some minor
> programming.

Where I work, Macs are the predominant desktop - we are a software
development company that writes most of our code in Java. Many of the
developers here come from a Linux background (so I understand), and they
seem to like the Mac platform for Java development (we develop products
that run on Windows and Linux - and aren’t officially supported on Macs,
though they do run there with the proper Java installation).

Some of the quirks that I run into are just minor differences in commands

  • for example, the GNU “find” command assumes “.” as the path, whereas
    the OS X version requires you specify it.

I also use Synergy Plus to share the keyboard/mouse between my systems,
and the keyboard mappings can be a little strange, especially on the rare
occasion that I have to use the Windows VM on my Macbook for a task. The
Windows key is the Option key, and the Alt key is the Command key, but in
the VM, the Windows key becomes the Alt key, and the Alt key becomes the
Windows key because of how the mappings work. That’s taken a little
getting used to (and a lot of users who switch back and forth do start
mixing up shortcuts - something I do as well, particularly doing copy/
paste operations - Alt+C = Command+C on OS X, but on Linux, CTRL+C is a
copy).

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Hello Fehmi, Personally I have never been a fan of Apple products, their popularity is mainly based on outstanding marketing, rather than the quality of the product. With that said, however, you could easily dual boot or run your favorite GNU/Linux OS in a virtual machine. Or better yet, you can take a great step towards making Apple better, and wipe the drive clean and install a fresh copy of your favorite GNU/Linux OS. :slight_smile: Keep in mind that Apple is well known for the design obsolescence with each OS update, their ecosystem, similar to Microsoft, is tightly integrated so the system will deprecate over time, of course it is usually when a newer model comes out.

Thanks for your replies.

@ChuangTzu
I have heard about BootCamp that allows dual boot of OS X and Windows, which is useful to have for running Windows-only software (or, a VM is always a good option if you got plenty of RAM, say 16GB).

I think this would reduce the battery life (which is important to me) and may cause some issues with Apple hw (proper drivers for linux?). That said, there are tweaks (powertop, some other tweaks that would reduce CPU frequency, or optimize disk access method etc…) to overcome battery-life issue, but as I mentioned, I just want to use my laptop rather than “googling for tweaks” or “system hacks”.

Another point is, Apple laptops are bit pricier than other brands, and I think it is wise to keep the system (hw + sw) as is to make good use of the product. Otherwise, one could get a good laptop for the price paid for a MacBook already.

I think I am good in keeping my electronics clean & tidy, so if nothing goes wrong (hendersj - like a cup of coffee on my keyboard), I will be able to use same laptop for some time.

@hendersj
I have read some performance benchmark results on the net, in which OS X (Yosemite) compared to some Linux distros (with recent kernels on them). The truth to be told, OS X was lagging behind Linux in terms of performance.
Do you have any such observations? It would be annoying to have 8-16 GB RAM accompanied with an SSD disk on your laptop and waiting for your browser to fire up!

I think some minor difference in end user experience is not a big issue (I have noticed such differences while using Linux and BSD variants, so a “man” is a 5 minute solution to this issue :slight_smile: )

Regards
Fehmi

On Mon, 04 May 2015 22:16:01 +0000, fnoyanisi wrote:

> @hendersj I have read some performance benchmark results on the net, in
> which OS X (Yosemite) compared to some Linux distros (with recent
> kernels on them).
> The truth to be told, OS X was lagging behind Linux in terms of
> performance.
> Do you have any such observations? It would be annoying to have 8-16 GB
> RAM accompanied with an SSD disk on your laptop and waiting for your
> browser to fire up!

I don’t feel that performance suffers on my Macbook at all. I do
different things on the systems, generally - I have a Windows VM that
runs on the Macbook for those apps that need it, but my heavy lifting for
VM stuff is on my 32 GB Linux box (typically 10 VMs running concurrently).

I use Chrome on both systems - I actually spend more time waiting for
Chrome on my Linux box than on my OSX box (I have a lot of plugins) -
usually the wait has to do with adblock or getting access to the saved
passwords.

I use Yosemite on my Macbook, and openSUSE 13.2 on my other systems.

> I think some minor difference in end user experience is not a big issue
> (I have noticed such differences while using Linux and BSD variants, so
> a “man” is a 5 minute solution to this issue :slight_smile: )

A lot depends on what you’re doing with it. For light use, you’ll
probably not notice much difference.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

@hendersj,
You referred to Brew/homebrew in your very first post. As far as I understand, (along with MacPorts project) this is something similar to BSD-Ports system, which was something good in old times when there was no mature Linux package managers but outdated nowadays. Question here is; do you have any difficulties with installing applications, and, more importantly, do these out-of-the-box solutions to open source software installation cause any sort of system instability (duplicated libraries etc…)?

In most Linux distros, installing software is as easy as apt-get/zypper install XXX… I dread to think OS X way of OSS package management would be a step back to old Slackware days, where I used to download individual libraries/packages and install them manually.

Lol. Without mty friends. Linux.
regards

On Tue, 05 May 2015 21:16:01 +0000, fnoyanisi wrote:

> @hendersj,
> You referred to Brew/homebrew in your very first post. As far as I
> understand, (along with MacPorts project) this is something similar to
> BSD-Ports system, which was something good in old times when there was
> no mature Linux package managers but outdated nowadays. Question here
> is; do you have any difficulties with installing applications, and, more
> importantly, do these out-of-the-box solutions to open source software
> installation cause any sort of system instability (duplicated libraries
> etc…)?

The only tool I’ve had difficulty with, oddly, is git - because XCode
includes a version, SourceTree includes a version, and the version I
actually need is different than the XCode version.

Other than that, no, application management in OSX is generally very good
in my experience.

> In most Linux distros, installing software is as easy as apt-get/zypper
> install XXX… I dread to think OS X way of OSS package management
> would be a step back to old Slackware days, where I used to download
> individual libraries/packages and install them manually.

Brew makes it a lot simpler, certainly, when dealing with OSS packages
specifically. I’ve got a few non-standard packages installed, but as I
use this machine for work, I tend not to be very adventurous with it.

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C