I have had an on-off relationship with Linux over the years, dipping my toe in to various distros and then back to my Mac and macOS. In 2018 I even gave Linux a good run for six weeks (leaving my Mac aside), but eventually I caved and went back to macOS.
My distro of choice is LinuxMint, a superb sleak, cleaning looking version of Linux that is gorgeous to look at and easy to use - as well as being superb stable.
I have used a Mac for over 20 years and once a hardcore Apple fan, but over the past few years I have become a user rather than a fan and even ditched iOS a few years back.
With the announcement of BigSur - the forthcoming new release of macOS - and the fact that my beloved MacBook Air wont be receiving it, it has started to put the nail in my Macs coffin. While it will be good for a while just yet, it does make me wonder what my next computer will be.
It certainly won’t be a Windows machine as I detest Windows. A ChromeBook doesn’t fit my needs and I cannot justify spending a fortune on another Mac. So I have two choices, I stick with my current 8 year old Mac or I start seriously looking in to my interest in Linux.
I installed LinuxMint 20 ‘Cinnamon’ in a VM on my Mac this evening and instantly I felt at home. I remembered why I loved LinuxMint so much. It feels like a Mac/Windows hybrid in terms of look. Start menu and task bars being reminiscent of Windows, but with the window handling of macOS.
The thing that has stopped me moving away from my Mac to Linux is software. While software has come a long way and I do use a lot of free, open source, cross platform packages which are easily found on Linux, there are some mainstream packages which I have struggled to find good alternative for.
Being a Mac user you fall in to the habit of adopting Apple ways and I have used iTunes for music management - such as MP3 converting, album organising and ID3 tag editing. This is something I would have to switch from.
Other than that it is pure habit that has kept with macOS. After so long, I know it inside out and what to do if - on the rare occasion - it goes wrong. While I am fairly up to speed with Linux it is still a little daunting delving in to the nix world and if a problem was to arise I would be out of my comfort zone - and I don’t like that.
But with my MacBook Airs life running out, this could be the push I need to further develop my Linux skills and perhaps start a new chapter in my computing life.
Written by Simon Royal. Follow me at twitter.com/simonroyal