is linux more windows friendly or more mac friendly?

i want to know this because ive got a mac and im going to run on linux soon :slight_smile:

In my humble opinion (IMHO), neither.

Linux is not windows. Linux is not mac. It is different from both, and so it’s quite hard to pin it on being friendly to switch from either interfaces… If you accept it’s different from the start, and don’t try to match each linux feature to a windows feature, you’ll find your transition feels a lot smoother :slight_smile:

I think maybe the use of the word “friendly” is inappropriate in this context … (?)

Mac OS up to V9 used to be something completely different to both Windows and Linux. Mac OSX however, as I understand it is based on FreeBSD, which is a variant of Unix … as is Linux. So Mac OSX and Linux are very similar under the hood, but the Mac has access to some commercially written applications and a user interface developed by Apple.

Major differences;

  • Linux has more hardware device support
  • Linux tends to get access to security updates more quickly
  • Apple has many lock-in applications to try to ‘make’ you use it’s OS (like iTunes!)
  • Linux was written for ‘the people’, whereas Mac OS X was written ‘to make money for Apple’
  • Linux runs on almost anything (!) , Mac OS X runs on hugely overpriced Apple hardware

If you’re not technically aware and have lots of money to burn, a mac is for you!
If you like shiney things, viruses, anti-virus software and paying through the nose for applications, take a peek at Windows …

If on the other hand you want to get used to what you’ll be using in 10 years time anyway, the decision shouldn’t be too difficult … :wink:

The question is a bit vague… do you mean,
a) in its ‘look and feel’,
b) its hardware compatibility,
c) its software compatibility,
d) Networkability
e) or the OS it would be easier to transition from.

a) Both/Neither… sorry about that but it’s true, some distros ‘look’ similar to Windows others ‘look’ similar to OSX, the thing is Linux is VERY customizable.
b) Both… Linux has ‘built in’ support for nearly ALL hardware.
c) Both/Neither… sorry again but Linux can run ‘some’ windows programs in WINE, but quite a few Mac apps have direct Linux versions… neithers ‘native’ apps will run directly in Linux, but both OSX and Windows can be run in virtualization for 100% native app support.
d) Both… Linux will connect and talk to either Macs or Windows based PCs.
e) Both/Neither again, The transition to Linux from either platform IMO is not that hard, but may seem a little daunting at first… a common misconception is that a lot of stuff HAS to be done from the CLI in Linux, most if not all tasks nowadays have GUI frontends, but everything CAN be done from the CLI… answers to problems in forums are likely to come as CLI commands as it’s usually easier that way, so leads some to think that it HAS to be done that way.

Mad Penguin
Mac OSX is based around the Mach microkernel, which both BSD and OPEN/NeXTSTEP and therefore OSX have in common, but it was not developed ‘by’ Berkeley but rather as a drop in replacement for the BSD kernel by the Carnegie Mellon University… so strictly speaking OSX is not based on BSD, but ‘as you say’, they are *nix variants, as is Linux.

Technically yes … however,

Mac OSX is the next generation of NeXTSTEP.
NeXTSTEP is a Mach kernel + BSD.
(in much the same way Linux is the Linux Kernel + GNU tools + other third party apps)

So pretty much everything the user “sees” will be BSD and the finer points of what the Mach kernel does .vs. what the BSD kernel would have done if it were there will be totally lost on 99.99% of all users. So effectively, as far as any user should be concerned, it will look like and behave like a BSD system. :slight_smile:

Ahh I see, so Windows and Linux are closely related as they both share the same I/O functions as the early IOCS operating systems such as FORTRAN, and everything else is just ‘stuff’ on top :wink:

So we’re all just a happy family of IOCS clones?

Arghhh… I wish I hadn’t gone there, please prove me wrong :o

I swear if nobody proves me wrong, and SOON… I’m gonna delete this post :slight_smile:

Erm, FORTRAN would be a programming language, most definitely not an Operating System (!) indeed the last time I used it was back in the 80’s on a DEC PDP-11 machine running RT-11. (RT-11 being the OS)

IOCS pre-dates modern operating systems - I’m pretty sure there’s no resemblance to anything running today …

The first machine I ever saw would have been back in the 60’s ~ 20 years after IOCS, it was programmed on a patch panel, had 6 ‘words’ of ram and around 4k of ‘drum’ storage … so I’m not sure the IOCS system API would have been that extensive (!)

Maybe I should have said ‘FORTRAN Monitor System’ (FMS) which ‘was’ an early (1950s) IOCS/Monitor Operating System (maybe where the programming language gets its name or the other way round?):

The point I was making is that surely the ‘base’ of an OS is its kernel, so a LOT of sites/people that are under the impression that OSX is ‘based’ on BSD are (as you said) technically incorrect.

Really, as I don’t like Apple or OSX I’m not bothered what it’s based on, but I once came across a Mac fan, who was being bullied by a few Windows fans, and the BSD thing was part of their argument (not much of an argument :slight_smile: )… so I helped him out, before battering them around the head with Linux and BSD. :wink:

Drum storage :slight_smile: I’ve gotta look that one up :slight_smile: and I bet they though 4k was massive :slight_smile:

heh… full circle… a quote from Wikipedia -

In modern-day BSD Unix and its descendants, /dev/drum is the name of the default swap device, deriving from the use of drum secondary-storage devices as backing store for pages in virtual memory.

FMS - same holds true.

The kernel (IMHO) is to a greater extent, irrelevant … as shown in discussions between Linus and Tannenbaum! ‘Technically’ the Linux kernel should not exist as there are many academically superior designs out there, yet it goes from strength to strength. Technically Ubuntu is not a “Linux System” or a “Linux Operating System”, it’s a GNU Operating System with a Linux Kernel, yet people still persist in calling “it” “Linux”.

The fast that “Linux” is doing well and so many people use it doesn’t mean the Linux kernel is “the best”, it just means that people persist in using an option that’s inferior to potentially what’s out there. It also doesn’t mean Ubuntu is a “Linux Operating System”, it just means that a lot of people have their terminology wrong.

If they did some work on the FreeBSD kernel with regards to device drivers, and then replaced the Linux kernel in Ubuntu/Mint with the BSD kernel, would you (a) notice or (b) care? (assuming it carried on working the same?)

My personal belief is that one day either;

a. The will drop Hurd/Mach into the Linux kernel slot and nobody will bat an eyelid
b. Linux will relinquish it’s monolithic status and morph into a mach microkernel lookalike

It’s just “evolution”, to become better, Linux will one day have to become something else (!)


It’s all really semantics… what does ‘based’ on mean?

I still contend that ‘most’ people would ‘consider’ rightly or wrongly the ‘base’ of an OS to be the kernel, but agree that this is contentious, and would even go as far as to say that most modern OSs development trees are so intermingled that the argument is irrelevant.

Still doesn’t make “OSX is based on BSD” a statement of fact.

I ‘think’ we both agree that it’s either irrelevant or semantics, and that along with Linux they are ‘related’ (seems a better word)?

BTW, I love the Ubuntu/Mint thing :wink:

Mmm, a better way, or certainly a more accurate way to present it would be to say that OSX is FreeBSD with a Mach kernel. (FreeBSD being 95%+ of the system and the bit the user interacts with)

But then of course we’re into users’s actually seeing “X”, but I’m not going there … :wink:

Windows is still an extension to MS-DOS, a primitive, single-user and non-multitasking OS of the 1970/80s. Windows still suffers from those origins, even they are now selling what the call server software with Winserver 2003. I discuss this briefly on my webpage on the example of the filesystems:

Mac uses the FreeBSD Kernel, which is a legitimate child of UNICS of 1969, the first UNIX version. Sometimes I call therefore Mac as “UNIX in fancy dress”.

Linux is independent from the original UNIX-tree and is therefore not a UNIX-OS, but a Unix-like OS (following e.g. the Posix-Std.).

Mac does NOT use the FreeBSD kernel

XNU the Apple OSX kernel, is rather a hybrid of the mach microkernel with some added FreeBSD code, including the POSIX API

See post #4 (above)

Nice page BTW :slight_smile:

OK - I was obviously wrong with the information I have.

BTW: Really a nice page.

I meant YOUR page:
nice :slight_smile:

Thanks - I tried to keep it simple.

Ok, here we go;

Mac does NOT use the FreeBSD kerne

I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate … if we’ve any Mac XNU kernel guru’s knocking around, correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand it the concept of a microkernel is much like that of a virtualization hypervisor. Essentially the microkernel does all the basic system resource allocation, but the actual useful stuff all happens inside a virtual environment provided by the microkernel. In much the same way as with a hypervisor, if the ‘actual’ OS crashes inside it’s VM, the microkernel lives on and indeed has the option of restarted the failed OS without restarting ‘everything’. (very useful in the context of a hypervisor running a number of VM’s / operating systems)

Obviously Mac’s don’t run lots of Operating Systems, just the one, but again, as I understand it the microkernel starts up a number of “VM’s” (for lack of better terminology) and allocates them to different tasks, so for example device drivers run in a virtual environment and if a device driver crashes (something that would be likely to crash a Linux box) the microkernel can simply reload/restart it.

But I think what I’m coming to, is that on a Mac, one of these microkernel VM’s actually runs a modified version of BSD, which is what does all the ‘real’ work (i.e. what you see) … so … whereas it’s fair to say that a Mac does not run on FreeBSD (because it runs the XNU microkernel) , I also think it’s fair to say that it does use the FreeBSD kernel, albeit a modified version.

Effectively I think you could say that Mac OS/X is a microkernel’d version of FreeBSD, maybe we could say FreeBSD NG (?!)

how do you know all this stuff ??? :-?

… I’ve “lived” it for 30 years … :o