1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mac OSX competitors?

Discussion in 'Linux & Open Source' started by dougie, 16 Jan 2006.

  1. dougie

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Nov 2002

    Posts: 121

    Having spent quite alot of time with a Mac enthusiast, I wanted to get one back at him by installing a cool looking, quite easy to use Linux distribution... but I cant seem to find anything that comes close to both the ease of use, coolness factor and stability of Mac OS's.... Is there anything?

    Many thanks,

    Dougie
     
  2. Badabing

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2005

    Posts: 113

    Location: Salford, UK.

    It's not as easy as that, to be honest....

    Mac OS X vs Linux is a bit like comparing a formula 1 car to a rolls royce (cack analogy i know!)

    For me, Linux is a blazingly quick and stable operating system - but sacrifices the nicer things like a fancy, bouncey desktop and the very sparkly GUI, you can't get close to the performance of Linux, though - run even a Live CD of Ubuntu on a G4 Powerbook for example and compare it to Mac OS X - Ubuntu is more spartan but much quicker (probably due in part to the lack of such a fancy-dan GUI). You CAN butcher the gnome or KDE window managers within linux and add nice window borders and such, but i don't think it'll look as nice as Tiger for example....

    So in short Linux is a way off the glitz of Mac OS X but the former thumps the latter in terms of speed and efficieny... If you want a nice looking Linux distro, choose any you fancy* as they all use KDE or Gnome and then look at kdelook.org (or the analgous sites for gnome) and see what effects and sundries you can add...


    *Ubuntu is my favourite for ease of use and peformance in general...
     
    Last edited: 16 Jan 2006
  3. v0n

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,085

    Location: The Great Lines Of Defence

    Agree with Badabing, I do linux/unix administration for living and I'm constantly amazed how everyone tries to convince the world that linux is great multimedia platform by shoving it in every possible device and trying to make it do things it was never designed for. Yes, I enjoy MythTV and linux on my satellite box, love playing around with transparency on my desktop at work but I have to say - it's all like making trailer parked by council estate look like Taj Mahal. Linux can pretend to be a lot of things, but it's not competitor to OSX not ever should be. Given a choice of linux with or without gui I will always go for no gui at all, not because I don't like eye candy, but because without it linux is just much faster and resource efficient. USE="-xorg -X -kde -gtk -gnome". There is no reason to pretend serving platform has to be gamers dream like XP.
     
  4. cb_linus

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,906

    Location: /home

    Currently emerging kde 3.5 so I can mess about with transparency and see what I'm missing. While it's not the OSX gui you could try installing e17 (see here) which, once installed, has some very easy to configure eye candy modules (the screenshots section doesn't do it justice).

    KDE 4 seems promising with respect to the future of the cool looking Linux desktop though there are yet to be screenshots released :)
     
  5. Badabing

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2005

    Posts: 113

    Location: Salford, UK.

    My main gripe with KDE is that while it looks nice, it's no way near as stable or fast as Gnome - mainly because Gnome is so modest in terms of visual toys and eye candy... :(
     
  6. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,199

    That's a great reason for installing Linux. However, they are all crap desktop OSes compared to OSX and Windows. You get what you pay for.
     
  7. cb_linus

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,906

    Location: /home

    My preference at the moment is a Gnome / e17 combination (Nautilus fits in very snuggly on my desktop). I think the Linux desktop gui is advancing pretty nicely though (screenshot of e17 with nautilus). I think e17 offers a very nice experience in terms of look and feel (and very stable for pre-beta) for Linux and does compare (& contrast) to the look and feel of OSX. I certainly wouldn't dismiss what Linux is capable of in the desktop area.
     
  8. Badabing

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2005

    Posts: 113

    Location: Salford, UK.

    A rather hot headed statement if i may say so...

    For me Windows is utter poo, reason?

    I need to use SSH to contact a remote server, i need to ask the server to do various calculations then output the results in graphic form...

    Step 1. So, i buy Windoze, install it on my PC, because we all buy our software, don't we? price - about £70.
    OK, step 2 - i need to connect via SSH, done.
    Step 3 - the data analysis software on the server wants to output my results via X! (hey, i didn't invent the software!). What do i do?
    Step 4 - Install Hummingbird Exceed - oh joy, more software, more processor overheads, more cost (again, because piracy is a crime, no?)
    Step 5 - do the experiments i set out to do, after installing an extra piece of software - cost - excess of £200.


    Alternative - d/load Linux, cost - none.

    Advantages of linux in this environment? almost free, faster and more efficient than XP.

    Note: Mac OS X is not free, it does not run on any PC AND getting it to do what i want ala Linux has proved fruitless...


    SO it's horses for causes, XP in 99% of situations for me is dung and expensive dung at that. Mac OS X is nice, girly, flamboyant but it struggles to do what i ask it to do in this case..... That's not to say i don't use Tiger for messing about on the net etc. just that linux for science applications is the only choice as far as i am concerned.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2006
  9. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,199

    Yeah dude you're totally right, I will go and reconsider using Linux on every computer I use. After all, science programs are totally standard, everyday uses of a desktop operating system. Isn't that what 95% of computer users do after all - browsing the web, checking email, sending photos to grandma, and theoretical physics?

    Edit: You did note the use of the word desktop I'm assuming? Science stuff counts more as workstation. When I say desktop I'm referring to the type of usage 95% of computer users use their machines for.

    And I stand by my "you get what you pay for" argument. MacOS and Windows are paid-for, closed-source operating systems. Both are better polished than any desktop Linux distro I've ever used (Ubuntu 5.10, Fedora Core 4.0, whatever the latest Suse is).
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2006
  10. Badabing

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2005

    Posts: 113

    Location: Salford, UK.

    What a rather unfortunate attitude you have...

    Number one, don't call me dude - init?

    Number two, i gave a valid arguement for why I use Linux, you can try Linux, Risc OS, Solaris or even getting out and meeting people, if you want*... i really don't care.... and if we are being pugnacious, i use Linux as a desktop OS, because, the server does the calculations - my computer merely acts as an intermediate, hence the computer on my desk could hardly be described as a workstation.


    *Though with your rather scholastic way of engaging people in discussion you'd be better suited to a singular existence...
     
  11. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    my os is better than your os and i will try and quantify this clearly subjective point over the course of this thread
     
  12. FirebarUK

    Soldato

    Joined: 9 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,638

    Location: Dorset

    He does have a point though. He specified "Desktop". Linux on the whole is miles away from Windows XP and MacOS X as a desktop OS. Admittedly the gap is being bridged, but very slowly. I'm sure Linux will always be behind Windows/Mac, even in 10 years unless some guru's pull their fingers out and really tackle this issue head on.
     
  13. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,199

    Thank you, somebody who understands rather than "hurr how do you make friends lol". I doubt my choice of OS or views about it matter to most people I meet, and I certainly don't feel the need to tell them about it at every oppertunity.

    My point about getting what you pay for is also valid - MacOS and Windows are developed by a team with a common goal, and the same guidance. The Linux community is just that, a community. Everyone has differing opinions on what should be happening, not to mention the number of window managers in existence, all with a different idea of what user friendlyness is. If you combined the abilities of all these window managers, you'd probably end up with the best user interface in existence, with the added bonus of it being the fastest and most responsive. However, this is realistically never ever going to happen, at least without the entire Slashdot community exploding in a fireball of nerd rage.

    Edit: To answer the original question, you aren't going to find a Linux window manager which comes close to the MacOS in terms of looking slick and being as logically designed. Stability is there, hence the widespread webserver usage, but the whole GUI idea is years behind.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2006
  14. Psyk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,444

    Location: Leamington Spa

    Technically it can be run on a PC but legally it can't. But since legality (and therefore cost) is an issue here the point still stands because you can't legitmately run it on anything other than a mac.

    I think the only way linux could compete with windows and OSX for regular desktop users, is for a highly standardised distro to be released. It would have to be specifically catered for the home user and the hardest part of it would be getting people to use it. It would only be a success if there were many people to use it and it basically became the standard version of linux.
     
  15. Berserker

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 4 Nov 2002

    Posts: 15,454

    Location: West Berkshire

    Your example is contrived to say the least. Why on earth would anyone of sound mind use Windows just to run X applications? The Windows + Exceed solution is there for people who need to run both Windows and X applications on the same desktop at the same time. You can of course do similar with applications such as VMWare, VNC, etc, but they are even more demanding on CPU cycles than Exceed.

    As to the OP's question, it's unlikely that any Linux distro will get even close to the eye candy factor of OSX or Windows. That's just a factor of the amount of money and time you're prepared to throw at the eye candy. For both OSX and Windows, that's a major selling point, so they understandably throw resources at it, but for Linux in general it just isn't I'm afraid.
     
  16. Badabing

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2005

    Posts: 113

    Location: Salford, UK.

    This is getting silly...

    Someone made a sweeping generalisation: Linux is cack compared to X, Y.

    I said, "no, hang on, you can't say one OS is better than another - period."

    That is like saying, "A rugby player is better than a football player" - you can't draw parallels between the two - they do different jobs for different teams/people.

    I'm not interested in your technical diatribe, i use Linux for a simple task - data calculations and presentation, sometimes i put a Live CD in a computer cluster machine and work that way. (I started to use Linux, went off it, then found out i could use it for the purpose i needed AND also use things like GNUPlot, Office etc. so it worked out well.)
    IT WORKS FOR ME. What you do is an irrelevance, i merely stated a point that in my world, for my application, Linux is better than XP. If you don't like that, or don't agree, fine, but don't get clever and all pugnacious about it.

    I stand by my statement - hell, we've got people using RISC OS on old acorn machine, why? because it does the job, nothing more, nothing less...

    I've made my point pretty well.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2006
  17. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    Futile and senseless though this discussion is, it's unfair to say that you can't have eye candy on Linux. I'd say without a doubt that it was prettier than Windows, but neither are in OS X's league really - although I guess the beauty of Linux is constant releasing, so there's always incentive to drop new features in without thinking that you could be charging a full upgrade for them.
     
  18. thefullcollapse

    Hitman

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 625

    OSX pwns all, and beeing made by the same people that make the hardware increases it's reliability loads. I have used macs for years and have had 1 or 2 problems, buy a pc and in a month i need to reformat the drive. osx looks way better too
     
  19. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,199

    I hardly believe that. Unless you visit lots of shady websites.
     
  20. Jonny69

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 3 May 2004

    Posts: 17,669

    Location: Kapitalist Republik of Surrey

    I have to admit I'm with Caged here on most of these points. I've been dabbling with Linux off and on for a few years now, I don't know it particularly well but it does still feel a bit stoneage compared to XP and OS-X. Microsoft and Apple must have spent billions getting their OS's to look as slick as they do and Linux is simply playing catchup on that side of things.

    Mac users are Mac users, there's nothing you can do about it. You won't be able to convert them, hell they even spit when Intel is mentioned even though that is going to transform the Mac into a mega powerhouse like never before.