Linux vs. MacOS

I will not be talking about the most popular desktop and mobility operating systems here now, for I was asked a question the other day…

“If Windows have lots of security breach attempts, then I would say, better use MacOS instead or Linux, for Linux’s popularity would make it the next operating systems hacker’s nest…” My reaction was….yes…No reaction.. But after a minute or so, I asked that person I was talking to a question..

“What are you thinking of? Better security? Stability? Number of applications that it can run?” The guy I was talking to was not able to answer, but later responded to me saying… “Uhhrm, for daily use only, nothing special, no applications, just browsing the Internet and some bit of e-mails.” I smiled, knowing that this guy is obviously one of the people who are more concerned on their physical image, on how they look like while surfing inside Starbucks, with an iced mocha on the other hand, a Mac book in front of him, and his IPhone 4 beside him.

Being a long time Linux user and sort of a fan, I’ll make no bones about where my preference lies–and that I think the success of the Mac is mostly a matter of marketing. Whatever your own personal beliefs, though, there’s no denying that there are certain things Linux clearly does better than Mac OSX. If you’re trying to decide on a platform for your business, these factors are worth keeping in mind.

1. Hardware

Hardware

Hand-in-hand with the question of flexibility is the fact that OS X–like Windows–is very restrictive in the hardware that it will work with, requiring pretty much the latest and greatest hardware to run well. Try it on anything less, and you’ll pay the price.

One of Linux’s most endearing virtues, on the other hand, is its capability to run on just about anything. In fact, there are even Linux distributions (or what we call distros. e.g. CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Suse) designed for really limited computing environments, such as Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux.

With OS X, Apple tells you what hardware you must have; with Linux, you tell it what you’ve got and go from there.

2. Cost

Of course, if MacOS is somewhat choosy with the hardware, then go out an buy yourself a Mac, which costs a premium and may even cost more than the usual Windows based machines.  Linux (well, depending on the distro that you choose) runs on all hardware and is FOC (free of charge). All you need to do is to get a stable and fast bandwidth, and you will do fine.

Sure, there are proprietary vendors who will try to convince you that Linux’s long-term total cost of ownership is higher. That, however, is just a myth. For one thing, as I’ve previously noted, such arguments typically don’t factor in the cost of being locked in with a particular vendor.

There are also numerous studies confirming Linux’s cost advantages. Then, of course, there’s all the anecdotal evidence in the form of governments and organizations around the globe turning to Linux in growing numbers every day.

3. Customizability

I understand that there are people who would want to live in a cage and is really content on doing things the way Apple dictates them to do things. For me, these restrictions are unacceptable.

With Linux everything can be customized and configured based on what you want them to be. There are different desktop solutions (like KDE or GNOME?) and others.

4. Security

The reason why the Mac OS enjoys better security is because it is installed on a smaller base than Linux, or even Windows, meaning, hackers do not really care about it, but Linux leaves it behind when it comes to security.

For one, Linux users are not automatically given administrator privileges on their computers, meaning viruses and malware do not have automatic access to everything within your computer. So when your computer is compromised, most it can do is to delete your local files and programs, not the entire system.

With Mac OS, as with Windows, the thing called social engineering is very easy. Just convince the user to click on something and BOOM! Where is everything?

Mac OS is also trying to protect users by keeping all the innards of its operating systems secret and out of view. It is more extreme than Windows, and the one who can see and watch for vulnerabilities are….the Apple engineers and developers.

With Linux, on the other hand, there is a world of users examining the code every day. No wonder, then, that Linux vulnerabilities can be found and fixed more quickly.

5. Ease of Use

I should have left out this last item, but personally, I find MacOS very hard to use. Kinda strange for a computer techie like me.

Again, to the person I was talking to the other day..Swallow this.

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