So, on Monday I will give up MacOS
Maybe for good. I’ve bought a Dell XPS Developer Edition (Linux), and I plan to install elementaryOS, rather than use the stock Ubuntu LTS 16.04 with Unity that comes pre-installed. I have used a Macbook Air for about 4 years, and yes I’m one of these people who isn’t that excited by the latest Macbook Pro, and I don’t do undying brand loyalty.
ElementaryOS seems philosophically different from other Linux distros in ways that might make it compelling for newcomers and fed-up Windows and Mac users. From my research so far it seems eOS truly puts UI/UX consistency, aesthetics and ease-of-use ahead of all else — I want to be a part of that.
It isn’t that I require a beginner friendly Linux experience, I’m a software engineer, and I’ve done significant amounts of Linux server administration, bash scripting, compilation when I can’t get the packages I need etc. My Mac was always ‘the machine I can use both at work and at the weekend’. Linux, with its lack of Adobe software (come on, Adobe!!!), certain proprietary media players, codecs and update headaches has often been seen as a poor choice for a leisure machine, even if it was good on servers, and for development. This is changing, and I think maybe in a small way I can help.
I will be looking to contribute to eOS, find genuine alternatives for any unavailable software such as switching Adobe Lightroom for Darktable and Photoshop for GIMP most likely. I have nothing against commercial software, and closed source publishers can easily publish for Linux if desired (I mean seriously Adobe!!!).
My Other Linux Love
As an aside, I’ve been using SteamOS (a Linux distro for gaming) as a living room console since the beta launch, I now have two Steam Controllers and continue to enjoy it. While it doesn’t have all the games available on Windows, it has really helped to change the ecosystem, and I now own hundreds of games, including some great AAA titles. I think people are overly harsh, as it was always unlikely to take on in a mainstream way. However, there are now hundreds more great games on Linux, better graphics drivers, more developers with experience bringing games to Linux. That is a significant achievement.
I’m going somewhere with this. I think Linux is transitioning to a point where mainstream use is possible. I don’t pretend to know that it’ll happen, but it looks like there are way less barriers to entry than there used to be, and an OS that can on-board the most basic of users might be a tipping point. I’ll be writing about my experiences as things progress, but I’m optimistic, and I hope I’ll be able to contribute back to eOS and fix issues I encounter, rather than simply complain!
Wish me luck, and feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with me, I’d love to know if you’ve tried eOS, or moving from Mac/Windows to Linux on your personal machine!