Switching to Linux

As I mentioned in my last posting, 2016 New Year’s Resolution, I installed last summer Ubuntu Linux on my new Web Server and laptop. Over the holidays I got thinking; what is keeping me from using Linux on all my systems? The end result was my new years resolution to do just that, moving my day-to-day work from main desktop running OS X El Capitan to Ubuntu 14.04.

I will do this in steps, since I have a second identical Mac Mini, that was used previously for my Web Server, ensuring that I will be able to address any issues without losing a working system. My plan is to post articles about the steps that may be helpful to others that want to escape from all the proprietary, controlled environments, services, tools and software that we all become depended on over decades of computing.

This is not the first time I have switch to Linux. My first go was in 1993, switching from a PC running Minix 1.0 and retiring my AT&T Unix PC (3B1). I used a number of Linux distribution (called distro for short) until I got myself a Titanium PowerBook G4 in 2001. The reason for switching was that Linux back then was complicated to setup because of the lack of delegated hardware. Apple changed that with OS X, a UNIX based system running on hardware designed for it.

In the beginning OS X was open and fun, but with the arrival of the iPhone and later iPad resulting in a closer coupling with iOS. There is no question OS X is a solid operating system for those who enjoy Apple’s vision of the ideal desktop. It offers access to pro-level applications that many companies rely on. However, after 15 years, for me it is no longer the most practical operating system for my workflows, standards development and photography. There is also the issue of planned obsolescence by Apple, something I no longer can ignore. My Mac hardware is getting old for OS X, but is very fast for Linux. The good news is that there are enough Linux applications that meet my workflow needs without having to spend every 9-12 months money for upgrades.