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Linux vs Mac: 7 Reasons Why Linux is a Better Choice than Mac

Recently, we highlighted a few points about why Linux is better than Windows. Unquestionably, Linux is a superior platform. But, like other operating systems, it has its drawbacks as well.

For a very particular set of tasks (such as Gaming), Windows OS might prove to be better. And, likewise, for another set of tasks (such as video editing), a Mac-powered system might come in handy.

It all trickles down to your preference and what you would like to do with your system. So, in this article, we will highlight a number of reasons why Linux is better than Mac.

If you’re already using a Mac or planning to get one, we recommend you to thoroughly analyze the reasons and decide whether you want to switch/keep using Linux or continue using Mac.

7 Reasons Why Linux is Better Than Mac

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

Both Linux and macOS are Unix-like OS and give access to Unix commands, BASH and other shells. Both of them have fewer applications and games than Windows. But the similarity ends here.

Graphic designers and video editors swear by macOS whereas Linux is a favorite of developers, sysadmins and devops.

So the question is should you use Linux over Mac? If yes, why? Let me give you some practical and some ideological reasons why Linux is better than Mac.

1. Price

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

Let’s suppose, you use the system only to browse stuff, watch movies, download photos, write a document, create a spreadsheet, and other similar stuff. And, in addition to those activities, you want to have a secure operating system.

In that case, you could choose to spend a couple of hundred bucks for a system to get things done. Or do you think spending more for a MacBook is a good idea? Well, you are the judge.

So, it really depends on what you prefer. Whether you want to spend on a Mac-powered system or get a budget laptop/PC and install any Linux distro for free. Personally, I’ll be happy with a Linux system except for editing videos and music production. In that case, Final Cut Pro (for video editing) and Logic Pro X (for music production) will be my preference.

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2. Hardware Choices

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

Linux is free. You can install it on computers with any configuration. No matter how powerful/old your system is, Linux will work. Even if you have an 8-year old PC laying around, you can have Linux installed and expect it to run smoothly by selecting the right distro.

But, Mac is as an Apple-exclusive. If you want to assemble a PC or get a budget laptop (with DOS) and expect to install Mac OS, it’s almost impossible. Mac comes baked in with the system Apple manufactures.

There are ways to install macOS on non Apple devices. However, the kind of expertise and troubles it requires, it makes you question whether it’s worth the effort.

You will have a wide range of hardware choices when you go with Linux but a minimal set of configurations when it comes to Mac OS.

3. Security

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

A lot of people are all praises for iOS and Mac for being a secure platform. Well, yes, it is secure in a way (maybe more secure than Windows OS), but probably not as secure as Linux.

I am not bluffing. There are malware and adware targeting macOS and the number is growing every day. I have seen not-so-techie users struggling with their slow mac. A quick investigation revealed that a browser hijacking malware was the culprit.

There are no 100% secure operating systems and Linux is not an exception. There are vulnerabilities in the Linux world as well but they are duly patched by the timely updates provided by Linux distributions.

Thankfully, we don’t have auto-running viruses or browser hijacking malwares in Linux world so far. And that’s one more reason why you should use Linux instead of a Mac.

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4. Customization & Flexibility

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

You don’t like something? Customize it or remove it. End of the story.

For example, if you do not like the Gnome desktop environment on Ubuntu 18.04.1, you might as well change it to KDE Plasma. You can also try some of the Gnome extensions to enhance your desktop experience. You won’t find this level of freedom and customization on Mac OS.

Besides, you can even modify the source code of your OS to add/remove something (which requires necessary technical knowledge) and create your own custom OS. Can you do that on Mac OS?

Moreover, you get an array of Linux distributions to choose from as per your needs. For instance, if you need to mimic the workflow on Mac OS, Elementary OS would help. Do you want to have a lightweight Linux distribution installed on your old PC? We’ve got you covered in our list of lightweight Linux distros. Mac OS lacks this kind of flexibility.

5. Using Linux helps your professional career [For IT/Tech students]

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

This is kind of controversial and applicable to students and job seekers in the IT field. Using Linux doesn’t make you a super-intelligent being and could possibly get you any IT related job.

However, as you start using Linux and exploring it, you gain experience. As a techie, sooner or later you dive into the terminal, learning your way to move around the file system, installing applications via command line. You won’t even realize that you have learned the skills that newcomers in IT companies get trained on.

In addition to that, Linux has enormous scope in the job market. There are so many Linux related technologies (Cloud, Kubernetes, Sysadmin etc.) you can learn, earn certifications and get a nice paying job. And to learn these, you have to use Linux.

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6. Reliability

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

Ever wondered why Linux is the best OS to run on any server? Because it is more reliable!

But, why is that? Why is Linux more reliable than Mac OS?

The answer is simple – more control to the user while providing better security. Mac OS does not provide you with the full control of its platform. It does that to make things easier for you simultaneously enhancing your user experience. With Linux, you can do whatever you want – which may result in poor user experience (for some) – but it does make it more reliable.

7. Open Source

Linux vs Mac: Why Linux is a Better Choice

Open Source is something not everyone cares about. But to me, the most important aspect of Linux being a superior choice is its Open Source nature. And, most of the points discussed below are the direct advantages of an Open Source software.

To briefly explain, you get to see/modify the source code yourself if it is an open source software. But, for Mac, Apple gets an exclusive control. Even if you have the required technical knowledge, you will not be able to independently take a look at the source code of Mac OS.

In other words, a Mac-powered system enables you to get a car for yourself but the downside is you cannot open up the hood to see what’s inside. That’s bad!

If you want to dive in deeper to know about the benefits of an open source software, you should go through Ben Balter’s article on OpenSource.com.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve known why Linux is better than Mac OS. What do you think about it? Are these reasons enough for you to choose Linux over Mac OS? If not, then what do you prefer and why?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Note: The artwork here is based on Club Penguins.

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  • I have both. My result: if it comes to best personal productivity and media production like video editing and use of professional DAW software, there is no way around a Mac especially if you would like to use 99% of your time for video editing and music production and 1% with configuring software and adjusting hardware. If you are into programming and if you are willing to use 70% of your time budget for configuring linux DAW software, struggling with bad usability, adjusting Jack, struggling with hardware and only use 30% of your time with producing music and editing videos then linux is right for you. If time and productivity matters I choose to work with my Mac. If I like to be busy with programming and configuring a linux system I take linux, but I don’t expect productive results from a linux system, like editing the video clips of yoga sessions I give. With linux producing professional videos and music is way too painful and time consuming.