View Full Version : Help me make the final choice between OSX and Ubuntu (have tried both)

March 14th, 2009, 04:58 PM
If you want to answer, please do not only use the poll but give a full answer along with the poll if you want

Hello people. I want to make the final choice between Ubuntu and OSX, now that i have tried both.

To the moderators, sorry for placing this in the wrong section, but i did it on purpose because the topics in the Other OS section have not been answered in three weeks. If this is really the wrong section, please move it to the right one.

After i got tired of all the annoyances Ubuntu was giving me to fix (video card issues, segmentation faults, boot failures, they were mostly due to broken hardware) i decided to buy a mac mini in 2008 (Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 80GB harddisk). That was about a year ago. I have now used a mac for about a year. I want to check back on Linux now, to see if it has improved since the last i really used (Gutsy Gibbon). I have also seen that there's a scarce amount of good freeware on Mac OS X, and that gaming on Mac OS X is worse than on Linux. Nearly everything on OS X costs money. That includes upgrading to a new iLife or iWork. Or the new version of the operating system. And if a few new versions get released, you need to buy a new Mac to get good performance. Why do i think gaming sucks on OS X? On Linux, i had fun playing a lot of freeware games. Not only that, WINE worked well the last time i used it. On OS X, half of the freeware games are available and not all of them work well, and Crossover Games (the equivalent to WINE on OS X) is a mess. Firefox 3 is in my opinion better than Safari, but Firefox 3 on the Mac is slow and clunky while on Ubuntu it's fast and light.

However, OS X has been easy to use, and iTunes does work well with my iPod (which i bought after i bought the mac). I am beginning to dislike iTunes though. All the apple-applications are of high quality, while third party quality varies. I like Pidgin more than Adium. I liked Amarok more than iTunes. I liked the taskbar more than the Dock. I like Synaptic more than .DMG's. My Downloads folder is getting stashed with stuff i never delete all the time. This did not happen as frequently on Ubuntu, because i had Synaptic. Ubuntu, for me, wins in usability.

So i want to make a final decision between these two. Ubuntu, or OSX. Ubuntu is the open-source and thus free way. No need to ever pay money for any required computing things. Much software, some bad quality, some good quality. Many freeware games.
OS X is the expensive but high-quality (only in Apple's applications and a few third-party applications) way.

Should i go Ubuntu again, i need to make sure every piece of hardware i have works well. I have a JamVOX that is both Windows and Linux compatible, it is used to record guitar and to get guitar sounds. If not compatible, i will need to keep OS X as dual-boot. I have a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet that i don't quite frequently use anymore, however i would like it supported. I know everything IN the Mac Mini is fully supported. However the last time i tried the Ubuntu live CD on the mac mini, my apple keyboard layout was mangled.
And even if it then does all work, how do i get Ubuntu onto my Mac Mini? The guides i found on the wiki and community help wiki are either outdated or are incomplete.

The things i mostly use my computer for are:
- Browsing
- IM'ing
- Music
- Watching video's
- Guitar (JamVOX, Guitar PRO 5 (i found a freeware alternative, i use it on the mac too, called TuxGuitar)
- Editing music
- Schoolwork (they use Microsoft Word)
- Usenet/Newsgroups


EDIT: Next post, in which i ask how to dual-boot: here (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1096005#7)

Penguin Guy
March 14th, 2009, 05:07 PM
I'm pretty new to Ubuntu and haven't used a Mac much, but in my opinion Ubuntu clearly beats everything. :P

March 14th, 2009, 05:13 PM
For fear of being a traitor to the cause I think you should dual boot. I think that you should use Ubuntu for most things but still have OS/X just in case you really need it. I have a similar situation where I use Ubuntu for almost everything but I need 3D Design software for which I use Windoze in a virtual machine.

March 14th, 2009, 05:14 PM
Why do you feel like you need any help in making up your mind? You already have a mac! Life is not black or white, use your mac and enjoy it. You can also dual boot os x and ubuntu (an option you left out in your poll).

March 14th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Why not triple or even quad boot?

March 14th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Remember that it is YOUR opinion that matters!

March 14th, 2009, 05:23 PM
I think a dual-boot would indeed be a good option. I would have everything i need from Mac OS X and everything from Ubuntu. Thanks. Now how do i go about getting an OSX/Ubuntu dual-boot on my Mac Mini? As i wrote in my post, all guides i found were either outdated or incomplete.

March 14th, 2009, 05:25 PM
I don't know anything about installing Ubuntu on a Mac but i do know that you have to be VERY careful. The Mac BIOS does strange things. I have a friend who installed it on a Powerbook G4 and went horribly wrong but this was probably because he used an i386 image on a ppc computer.

March 14th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Lets say that windows is out of the question... I think you should try dual booting, see if you like Linux better now, And if you don't, Stay with Mac.

Try dual booting with ubuntu because ubuntu is free, so it won't cost you any money. I wouldn't recommend windows, cos i hate that M$ %" (used vista and xp quite a lot my self)

But seriously try ubuntu, If you like it stick with it.

March 14th, 2009, 05:36 PM
The things i mostly use my computer for are:
- Browsing
- IM'ing
- Music
- Watching video's
- Guitar (JamVOX, Guitar PRO 5 (i found a freeware alternative, i use it on the mac too, called TuxGuitar)
- Editing music
- Schoolwork (they use Microsoft Word)
- Usenet/Newsgroups

Here are some tips:
-Yes...with Ubuntu, Firefox comes default

-IM'ing...not sure what that means

-In Linux you have a lot of choices. If you want something really similar to iTunes, try Songbird. If you want something that works awesome and is a bit different, try either Banshee or Amarok.

-If you watch a lot of videos, I would recommend VLC.
sudo apt-get install vlc

-You can find a lot of games here: www.playdeb.net (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1096005#7) and [url]www.getdeb.net

-Editing music...I am not sure if I did catch that, but you could try Audacity:
sudo apt-get install audacity

-OpenOffice comes with Ubuntu by default. Just remember to save your work in .doc (Microsoft 2003, Xp format (works with the newest version of MS Words). If you don't do that MS Word can't read the file.

- You can get some screenlets that gives you RSS feeds right on the desktop

March 14th, 2009, 05:37 PM
I didn't vote in the poll because there was no multi-boot option:lolflag:

March 14th, 2009, 05:38 PM
I didn't vote in the poll because there was no multi-boot option:lolflag:
Oops.. :-\"
For those reading only the second page, please read the first one too, it contains the full post.

March 14th, 2009, 05:44 PM
For Im'ing (Instant Messaging) you have Pidgin by default but also aMSN which I think is available fro the Mac. My suggestion for Video would be Xine because it uses the same engine as Amarok so is less hassle for codecs.

March 14th, 2009, 05:48 PM
for Usenet newsgroups you can try Pan.

sudo apt-get install pan

March 15th, 2009, 01:05 AM
If you already have a Mac, and therefore wouldn't be paying any extra to get OS X, I'd suggest a dual-boot setup. Both Linux and OS X will live fairly comfortably on an 8GB partition if you have a shared partition for your data. Then your decision isn't which to have, but which to use at any given time.

If you don't already have a Mac, then IMO the decision is easy. I think Ubuntu is at least as good as either Mac OS X or Windows (and is greatly preferable to Vista), it's open-source, free, and has an abundance of good and free software available for it. I personally don't think any possible advantages Windows or Mac OS X have over Ubuntu are worth their high price. I dual-boot with Vista so I can use Visual Studio if I need to program in Visual Basic or ASP.net, but I also got my copy of Vista through an academic license and didn't have to pay for it myself.

March 15th, 2009, 02:31 AM
@ arelis

Like few others I will dual boot if I˝m i your position.That way you will have two great OS and option to choose between them.For installing Ubuntu on Mac look in Apple users (http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=328) subforum.You can ask that question there because I believe that way you will get faster answer.

March 15th, 2009, 02:34 AM
I love using ubuntu. Sometimes though my classes in school require me to use Windoze. For that i just use windows vista in virtual box. This way i never even have to leave ubuntu to work with microsoft.

March 15th, 2009, 03:04 AM
Yes, I'm one of the 2 that said try windows. On 2 conditions

1. You already have a copy or you can get one for free.

2. Windows suports all the hardware and you don't need to change from a basic setup, if your going to have to fiddle with stuff use linux it has the flexibility

This will end in one of two ways. You will decide that windows dispite its problems workes for what you need and you don't need to be a Mac/Linux fanboy. Or you will find that Winodws sucks and you will want to clown punch the 2 poeple who even made that sugjestion. Windows will allow you to do all those things since some of those things you mentioned are native for windows and you had to find replacment apps for them.

If this sounds like a hastle, and may quite possibly be a nightmare although it may workout for you, then I would dual boot OS X/Linux. Mac has a great OS and if you find you need something a little extra for compatibility sake dual boot with Linux if thats your can of beans. But if your dual booting for compatibility then Windows XP might be a the right choice.

Although I have ditched windows altogether now and I run only Ubuntu and on one machine Mint, same thing realy as Ubuntu, I do recognize that windows is a, yes, great OS I just don't need it for anything but games and I'm too busy to play latley so for me Linux is king. Hope this helps in some way.

March 15th, 2009, 03:18 AM
The freedom of choice you get in Linux can't be approached by Mac, everything has to be purchased and that too at a considerable cost. You simply can't try out or use programs like you do in Linux. Windows actually fares better than Mac in that regard. There are plenty of open source good programs out there for Windows. So if you wish to enjoy your PC experience, then make it Ubuntu.


This is an interesting take on Mac security, read it and come to conclusion for yourself. Initially I would advice you to dual boot between Mac and Ubuntu and when you are finally used to it, use Ubuntu alone.

March 15th, 2009, 11:10 AM
It doesn't matter what we think, it's your computer, you decide what you like best and use it.

March 15th, 2009, 12:16 PM
Sounds like you like OSX more, stick with it. Use what works for you.

This an Ubuntu forum, do you really think you are going to get unbiased opinions here from most of the people?
Who actually gives a toss what other people think in this scenario?

March 15th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Just start dual booting.

It's easy and gives you the best of both worlds.

After a while you can then decide to remove an OS or keep them both.

March 15th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Well, i decided to install Ubuntu beside Mac OS X as a dual-boot setup. So far it works well. However my files are not accesible, because almost all folders in my home directory in Mac OS X are protected from view. How do i fix this?

March 15th, 2009, 04:42 PM
maybe this helps http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1004920

March 15th, 2009, 08:09 PM
I disagree with you on many of your perceived shortcomings about OS X. But Ubuntu is free, so download it, see how you like it, and then make your decision :D

March 15th, 2009, 08:53 PM
You paid a fortune for that OS (and it's pretty good) so stick with it.

Also, 80GB Hard Drive?? For how much?? My music collection is bigger than that. lol

Cheers, Marco.

March 15th, 2009, 08:57 PM
My opinion: Ubuntu beats OSX, no contest.

March 15th, 2009, 10:31 PM
Be aware that installing ubuntu on a Mac mini may be not without hassle. Ubuntu - or any other linux-distro - does not function well on an Imac Alu, believe me I know. Sound is horrible and keyboard functions only partially. I do not now about the Mac mini though. The aluminium keyboard does not work fully,so don't use that keyboard.

My general advice? if you want Ubuntu: don't put it on a Mac if you want a smooth install...

March 15th, 2009, 11:01 PM
I selected try windows, because both OSX and Ubuntu just don't offer you the microsoft windows vista genuine advantage which you will miss out on. but it's up to you which one you would rather use, I tried OSX but I just couldn't get on with it and ended up installing linux again. Also if you like gaming try playonlinux (http://www.playonlinux.com/en/), it lets you install multiple versions of wine so you can get the best version for the game you want play.