Switching from Mac OS X back to Linux, Part 1: The Motive

Josh Sherman
3 min read
Linux Apple

This post is half a decade in the making. On June 15th, 2012 I took the plunge and switched from Linux to Mac OS X. 1,585 days later, I am writing to let you know that I have seen the error in my ways and I am back home, running Linux.

The thing is, I have always felt as if a little piece of me had died when I wholly bought into the Apple Ecosystem prison. I had come from a time when we called Apple users really nasty things. And no, I’m not talking about calling them fanboys.

But it “just works”, right?

Sure, Apple stuff does just work. Maybe not 100% of the time, but for a filthy casual, it works well enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been a casual computer user nor am I filthy. Okay, maybe I’m a little bit filthy.

So my quest to switch back to Linux has actually been going on for a couple of years now. I knew going in that I’d most likely be back on Linux but over the last 2 years I’ve been very adamant that I would be switching back soon. Everything just working does make it hard.

Sadly, when asked why I would want to move back to Linux, I would vaguely respond that I was way more productive in Linux. When asked for specific examples, I really didn’t have any.

Time to get real, I had become very productive with OS X. I would argue that I was more productive in OS X because of some of the more advanced hackery I was up to like using Karabiner to create dedicated hotkeys for apps.

Incidentally, this reliance on third-party hackery is ultimately what drove me back. macOS Sierra brought Siri to the desktop and fucked up Karabiner with no resolve in sight. And this isn’t even the first time that Apple has made changes that impacted my productivity.

I’m sorry, I thought this was America.

Full disclosure, I’ve been watching a ton of videos of Richard M. Stallman and Bryan Lunduke as of late. These guys make it really hard for me to stifle my inner Saint IGNUcius.

Believe it or not, I do get it. Apple makes these changes because they are trying to save me from myself. Father knows best and all.

But wait, it’s not “the” system, it’s “my” system. I bought this system with money I earned and should be able to do what I want.

Warranty, schmoranty, over the last four years I have upgraded the RAM in my iMac, only to find out that the system supported twice the RAM that Apple said it could. They lied to me.

Apple also introduced System Integrity Protection (SIP) that made it harder for me to swap my hard disk for an SSD without some recovery mode magic. Said magic needed to be ran after each OS X upgrade. Not ideal.

At least half a dozen times I have upgraded to the lastest OS X only to find that some piece of third-party software that was critical to my productivity no longers worked because of something Apple changed.

These breaking changes usually took over a month to resolve and often times resulting in me buying the latest version of the software that worked on my version of OS X.

What really set me over the edge recently was Dash being pulled from the App Store. Now I don’t even use the app, but I hate the idea of Apple having so much power over their developers.

Even if the nonsense about fake reviews is true, who’s to say that Apple isn’t going to make it so all apps have to go through the App Store in the future? Next macOS, they could easily drop the setting to allow you to install apps that aren’t downloaded from the App Store.

That’s why I’ve switched back to Linux. I’ll take freedom to choose how I use my computer over it just works being saved from myself any day.

Next: Part 2: The Distro

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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