Antonin Carette

A journey into a wild pointer

Why I can't back to a GNU/Linux distribution again

Posted at — Sep 10, 2016

I’m a programmer. I use in daily life four main programming languages: Python, Rust, Golang and Ocaml, and I’m very happy to use my Macbook to develop softwares everyday. As text editor, I use NeoVim everyday, and I hate programming languages with dedicated GUIs (like Pharo for example). As daily softwares, I use a lot Docker, Opera, Keybase, AirMail, Dropbox and Flux.

I use The Evil (little tribute to trolls…) everyday: a beautiful early-2013 Macbook Air, 8Gbytes of RAM, 128Gbytes SSD and a dual core to code almost and surf the web 11 hours a day. And, you know what? I. LOVE. IT.

Sometimes, people (mostly trolls) are screwing on me to use macOS instead of a GNU/Linux distribution, or just want to troll with this kind of thinking:

C’mon on dude, you’re a fucking programmer, you use bearded programs everyday… Why you’re not on a GNU/Linux computer, eh!? Shame on you, loser…

In fact, I used many GNU/Linux computers before. A lot of times, in many computers (laptops and PC). But, now, I can’t back to a GNU/Linux distribution. Before using the awesome machine, I was using for 10 years the following GNU/Linux distributions:

  1. Kubuntu (1 year - my first distribution),
  2. Debian (3 years),
  3. ArchLinux (5 years),
  4. ElementaryOS (1 year).

I think the evolution of those distributions shows that I was really fed-up using the console everyday to do simple stuff on ArchLinux, and I think that ElementaryOS is the best choice to use a GNU/Linux distribution with the friendliness of macOS.

Based on those 5 GNU/Linux distributions, I can formulate 5 reasons that I can’t switch back to GNU/Linux.

A GNU/Linux distribution is not as simple to use as macOS (even ElementaryOS)

I know that Apple have dedicated teams to work on ergonomics things and the majority of desktop environment (and desktop applications) not, but I think it is really important to focus now on ergonomics and usability of the desktop environment and its applications. Now, GNU/Linux distributions have dedicated app stores (like the Ubuntu Store or the dedicated one for ElementaryOS since the 0.4 version) and some desktop environments like Gnome or KDE have improve themselves on usability, but there is a lot of work to do, especially on how to custom the desktop without console commands… To finish, it is boring to found the software of your dream wrote specifically for a devoted distribution like Ubuntu. Purely magical, this can mean that the software may not work on an other distribution because, for example, you can’t compile this one due to your older GCC’s version. For this example, if you don’t practice for example C or C++ to port the software on your distribution or your personal distribution configuration, you just screwed.

Updates can kill easily your distribution

Trust me, it may complicated sometimes to get your original desktop and configuration after a simple sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade… Using macOS, no problem (since OSX 10.9 for me)!

The hardware support on Linux can be poor according to the distribution

Sometime, you have to wait weeks or months to run perfectly your last GPU and networks cards, unless install the last Ubuntu version and try to do something with that unnecessarily complicated distribution.

GNU/Linux communities are not as great as the macOS community

Ok, those can be great, according to the distribution. In fact, I found as much trolls as friends in GNU/Linux communities…

The common use to work with macOS softwares, and the material

I laugh hard when a GNU/Linux user trolls me because I bought an expensive computer with a dedicated operating system, especially when I know that his one cost 2 times more and has been visited by the after-sales service at least 3 times in one year. BITCH PLEASE! Ok, Apple computers are pretty expensive, and some people does not understand why the price is just high for a devoted-OS-computer. First, you can install whatever operating system you want in the mac: Windows or GNU/Linux distribution. Second, I have no problems using some usefull softwares, and the OS is great for my usage (I didn’t reboot my machine since maybe 2 weeks now…). Thirdly, I don’t want to buy some expensive ultrabooks by Lenovo (like the Carbon X1) or Asus just to use 80% of the hardware correctly.

I love GNU/Linux distributions, I really love them. But, now, my heart is already taken by the Big Apple… I choose to use macOS in daily life and program on it; it’s not a big deal, and I’m very happy with it. :-) Also, please to remember that the man in front of the machine matters more than the machine itself.