Linux and Apple

The introduction of Tiger by Apple at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco this past week offers some telling facts that the open source community is making an impact commercially.

I was briefed by Apple on the client and server versions of the new release of OS X, slated for early 2005, and several features have been driven largely by their open source participation. As most know, the entire Apple kernel for OS X is available via open source as Darwin, and even has an Intel PC port.

Most significant may be the release of Rendezvous for Java, Linux/Unix and Windows. This is a zero-configuration tool for networking that includes network protocols, identification and configuration of devices and services such as printers and local/remote servers, and was based off of open source technology.

Those running mixed environments and programmers using Java will be able to build this same feature set into their tools. As web applications grow more compex and integrated into customer’s local as well as Internet and extranet networks, Rendezvous may be a powerful feature where multiple server discovery or workstation configuration is part of the web apps setup and use.

Tiger also includes improved releases of Apple’s directory services (LDAP), secure authentication (Kerberos), mail server (Postfix), web server (Apache) and many more features, nearly all based on existing open source software.

However, on a separate but related note, something struck me even more when I spoke with Michael Chute, lab manager with the Naval Medical Research Center. Mr. Chute is leading a team that is responsible for developing agents capable of identifying bio weapons in the environment, and additionally cultivating vaccines.

He commented to me that in a review of Linux and Apple cluster solutions for their research (partially web-based), they chose Apple only because of the ease of use and ability to manage in a limited IT environment.

This is often the challenge faced by web designers. We are users who often need powerful hardware and software combinations, again as the web applications we build grow more sophisticated, while not always having advanced system administration capabilities.

Here Linux vendors could take a page from Apple in interface design, especially since Apple’s engineers did build on a Unix kernel.

What is important here is Chute and his team 1) looked exclusively at Apple and Linux, both important players in open source, and 2) completely ignored Microsoft in the equation (not a shock in the scientific sector due to licensing issues) and 3) did not find any flaw in Linux itself, just that the interface for management was not quite there.

This to me is a second ringing endorsement for open source and shows that the largest obstacle will be simpifying the client and server interface to the powerful underlying Linux engine.

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  • saltwater

    In my opinion, Apple’s Mac OS X has the best of both worlds. It allows you the ability to run traditional and widely used desktop applications, such as Microsoft Office, while at the same time giving you the power and strength of BSD Unix to run GNU tools under (or on top of) OS X.
    BSD is for people who love UNIX. Linux is for those who hate Microsoft.

  • Anonymous

    Apple uses the same software and hardware components as everyone else, they just know how to make them simple for non-programmers like me. Linux will continue to lag behind in the simplicity of user experience as long as all it can think of to do is throw more volunteer engineers at the problem. User experience isn’t what engineers are good at…where are the legions of volunteer user experience specialists? Find those people, sign them up to pitch in on Linux, make the engineers go along, and maybe you will have a competitor to Apple.

  • Mark Pratt

    I used Linux between 93 and 99 and was really happy to have a UNIX based system running on my PC. I now use a Mac because I need to use MS Office and Photoshop and can run them in addition to all the really important UNIX apps I have come to love. But where the Mac is lightyears ahead of Linux isn’t just in UI (this is what Linux lovers don’t seem to get) but in the entire administrative experience. Apple has a (not very well marketed) vision for ease of use that extends throughout their product line. Products like Apple Remote Desktop and Mac OS Server make administrating and updating MacOS based machines a breeze.

  • Nikobass

    D

  • penguin

    In my opinion, apple moves in the right direction, however they must continue to think different ;) more so they must embrace free software entirely, that is if they want to achieve independance from monopolists. Jobs @ wwdc basically kow-towed to Silly Billy and that can end if Apple sees the light and makes the great leap forward to truly free thinking.

  • http://lucaschan.com/ Lucas Chan

    A great user interface bundled with heaps of useful software, all nicely integrated with an open source BSD system.

    What more could a geek ask for?

    A system to port open source unix software to Mac OS using Debian style packages? I’m glad you asked.

  • Oscar Taracena

    As an IT admin, and computer science teacher I used the mac and mac osx for all my purposes..it easy of use, in production and in the classroom makes it the choice for any education enviroment.

  • Charles

    Linux-centric programmers are missing the point completely. Apple offers a unified OS experience. Programmers on MacOS X can now focus on their apps instead of the OS. Why is everybody wasting their time trying to bring Linux up to MacOS X standards of quality and usability when they could be writing good MacOS X applications instead?

  • Robert

    Don’t forget you can run all your favorite GNU utilites–every single one of them–under Windows XP, too! Talk about the best of both worlds!

  • Chai

    Yeah, Apache and other open source projects really needed Apple’s endorsement. Thanks Apple for contributing to these great open source projects by bundling them in your operating system. I great appreciate Apple’s move and I hope other companies like IBM, Sun will follow Apple’s lead here. Users will start to learn open source apps and this in turn will create more momentum towards open source. Apple is innovating again in this area, and it is embracing open source before any other company. Hopefully Microsoft will learn something from Apple and start to bundle Apache and other open source apps in their operating system, this way we will have a great boost for the open source apps. Watch out Apache now, thanks to Apple’s great contribution, Apache will conquer all desktops in the world and we are going to have Apache everywhere. This is so cool, thanks Apple again.

  • T.A

    For my own economy i would like to see Linux running all the commercial software i use (Photoshop, Flash, InDesign and more…) + improved config tools.

    In the real world (exept for the price) that would sound like a Mac

  • Anonymous

    os x rocks- except for the filesystem. it’s slow and occasionally freezes under heavy disc activity.

  • Mike

    “did not find any flaw in Linux itself, just that the interface for management was not quite there.”

    There’s the culture clash – ‘just the interface’ is a phrase you wouldn’t hear from Apple, the UI is everything. Conversely with Linux, the back-end is everything.

  • Anonymous

    With Apple, the everything is everything.

  • Anonymous

    “Apple offers a unified OS experience. Programmers on MacOS X can now focus on their apps instead of the OS. Why is everybody wasting their time trying to bring Linux up to MacOS X standards of quality and usability when they could be writing good MacOS X applications instead?”

    Perhaps because the “unity” is percieved as nonportable?

  • http://www.redcow.ca/ Ray Oliver

    …which is what makes the two such a great combination.

  • Bob

    I would like to say that those of you on Macs don’t understand computers. You don’t care about what is under the hood or how it works, or even maintaining your system. You just want it to work and look preety. Linux is better than Mac because it is open. The desktop and the kernel are open and the community is involved. There are distributions like Debian and Fedora which are totally community supported rather than at the mercy of a commercial vendor. Not only does Linux run on multiple platforms, but the system doesn’t crash when applications go down and you can run it on older hardware.

  • http://www.altstudio.com.au ccburns

    I just started with an organisation that uses mac and after seeing how easy it is to administer I wonder why more hosting companies don’t offer MacOSX as a dedicated hosting option? I might be willing to jump on board if I could choose MacOSX, as MS is too expensive (+ security concerns for the inexperienced user [i.e. me]) and I am way out of my depth with Linux…
    If suggestions why this might be the case?

  • Anonymous

    I think that the only thing you need to concider is the language your OS speaks. Some people like to /bin/bash at it, and some preffere to click. You’ll get the same thing either way.

  • Ted Wood

    Apple sweats over the details. Nothing gets through without intense scrutiny. I have many Windows and Linux advocates, and both have their arguments, but there are some definite common threads. The Windows folks just don’t seem to “get it”. They think Windows is really the only true way (generally) and would be very hesitant to leave the platform completely. Then, the Linux folk are just geeks who love the command line, but brag about the various GUIs you can get “that look just as good as OS X”. Yah right! Meanwhile, I’m using OS X and live the dream of Jobs.

  • Luigy

    They are two different worlds, I wouldn’t use Linux to write a letter, and I don’t either use a Mac OS X for routing, bandwidth management, etc. I love them all, but even my children are not all the same. I don’t see what’s the point trying to compare two ‘so’ different things, and what’s worst, try to make it look like a better or worse product. They are just that, “Different Things”.

  • pippo

    I’d curios to see the hierarchy (man hier) of a macosx,
    do you know where I can find it (or the manual pages online) ?

  • dumbMacUser

    OK – I put the results of man hier on Panther here:

    http://62.49.99.226/hier.html

  • http://www.unibuc.ro/en/cd_sorpaliga_en Sorin Paliga

    Yes, no wonder you are right, Apple’sMAC OS X Aqua interface will probably be the Linux interface too, as I have heard.

  • Kendall Willets

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the iBook we bought a month or so ago. I’ve been working in gcc and fastcgi on Linux, and was able to port to OS X in a few days, with only some well-anticipated Endianness issues. FastCGI installed fairly well, once I used the right method, and a number of other libraries built without much problem.

    The XCode environment works really well in combination with hardcore POSIX, etc. programming.

    The only parts I don’t get are the glitches in the supposedly realtime kernel, such as halts in music playback during swap activity. This could be a buffer issue as I haven’t maximized the buffer size.

  • Ari Ukkonen

    I have to say that I applaud Apple for embracing and truly extending open source, not in the sense MS does to open standards, but rather giving back changes to the community.Must say though I don’t want all my software to be open open source.

    As a developer of in house software, I understand that not every programmer can depend on a regular pay cheque from in house development and must try to sell their software on the open market. Many open source advocates forget that. I hope that there can be room for both open source and smaller companies in a post MS monopoly world. Open standards are good but an open source monopoly is just as bad as an MS one for smaller software companies.

  • R R Fox

    Bob,

    I and many of my friends who own Macs do understand computers. I have 20+ years experience in hardware and software. We do care what is going on. But we are not consumed by a need to tweek the system on an hourly basis. We have work to do. And looking at something “preety” is a plus.

    Real world is results oriented. What is “better” is what works. I work at a company which uses mainly Windows systems. A number of main servers are Linux and FreeBSD which I installed and maintain. I use a Mac. I am happy. My “customers” are happy. And that is what counts.

  • Anonymous

    Most people don’t get it. Mac OS X doesn’t just look pretty. It provides what no open source desktop can: a consistent user interface. Different types of icons share similar characteristics depending on the function of the application. For example, office-type applications like TextEdit and Preview appear in perspective as if you were actually looking at a file on your desk, whereas utilities like the terminal appear head-on as if they were a tool on a shelf. Contextual menus and hotkeys are the same in similar applications. With an open source desktop, no cohesive guidelines for the interface can be instituted. Which is why even Windows has a more consistent desktop than Linux.

  • Michel Galle

    Apache was supported by IBM for years now, in AIX
    IBM is a contributor to the apache foundation
    Apple is just joining the movement but it is good !

    I use linux AND osx
    and never think bad about *BSD.

    why linux ?
    linux is truly free(dom) and it helps a LOT to be independant of ONE company, professionnaly and also for hobby (pc is a lot of cruder but cheaper), it helps to adapt the system to a _specific_ need (and there are many differents needs)

    Linux has many professionnal tools, many networks, grid, programming, scientific available from _start_ with simply a distribution.
    there also many scientific proprietary applications for linux, not osx.

    Linux/*bsd interface for the future ? I think it need to be _GNOME_ (not kde, or others), unix developpers should create application for the GNOME platform , nothing else. (no more Xlib, motif, qt or whatever)

    Gnome is making improvments month after month , gnome is little by little adopted by novell, sun, ibm .
    gnome is free(dom) and really simple. unix developpers should develop to gnome , whatever the underlying *bsd or linux.

    why mac os x ?

    os x has a truly beautiful and well conceived interface (not simply because it’s blue and pretty)
    os X has many successful applications (photoshop, illustrator, final cut …) not available on linux
    os X is a true unix, with many standard opensource parts and apple contributes to them (khtml, gcc, and others)
    Os X is wonderful thanks to the macintosh hardware. beautifully engineered, more expensive but a lot pleasant than others hardware available
    Many apple technologies are interesting and well thought (cocoa, core-audio, rendezvous, .. )
    Os x interface is very easy , really plugnplay, , gnome is still not good like Aqua.

    so what ?
    linux or os X ? both ! it depends of who you are
    is freedom important ? YES. and thanks them to bring you os X, because without them apple couldn’t bring a complete operating system

    why gnome if Aqua is so good ? for the same reason linux or freebsd was opensource , because WE (industry and even people indirectly) NEED choice, freedom to read sourcecode to share knowledge, to _force_ competition , to promote commodization of technology and so push enterprise to always improves and build upon it.

    one day, maybe as apache or gcc, a opensource desktop will be so good and so cheaper and so common, others enterprise will build the Next Generation of killer application on it and the entire stack will move.

    think about XCode, the developper tool of Apple. Xcode easily allow to distribute compilation on any macintosh in the network, but to do that it uses GCC and DISTCC, two GPL tools.

    commodization doesn’t mean end of commerce or cheap products , it means “now, we and everyone can build better things on it!”

    Apple completely understand that. an opensource/free technology allow to create a Killer Application to sell ? OK apple do it
    There are not a sufficient better opensource technology available for their need ? ok apple create _their_ technology, if it’s smart for their business, apple will open it but else no.

    there are nothing illogical to believe all common software will be one day opensource. it’s logical maturity of the technology
    when, operating systems, web servers, email, common internet functions, even compilers, are no more “rocket science”, commercial enterprises are moving to more complex and more advanced need to satisfy (and sell)

    Professionnal, hackers, computers litterate, students; enterprises, will like linux or freebsd, and there are really pratical good reasons to promote open/free(dom) softwares . AND more and more, linux is becoming _easier_ and _simple_ for all people

    people wanting a _Good_ and Simple but still Powerful ,but So Simple computer will like Os X and the mac
    and still, hackers and developpers can make wonders with os X and it’s also a playground for free software .
    Designers, graphist, musicians, thanks to os X, have good applications and ease of use.
    AND more and more os x is becoming more powerful, more mature, more complete for all people

    I like linux and osx

  • Hack

    > Why is everybody wasting their time trying to bring Linux up to MacOS X standards of quality and usability when they could be writing good MacOS X applications instead?

    Many reasons, but most importantly the fact the OS X (sorry, FeeBSD), doesn’t run on anything but Apple hardware (at least not good). You aren’t suggesting we should all just buy Apple, are you?

    But consider this: Apple couldn’t come up with the goods, so they decided to rip off the BSD community by taking their work and shamelessly selling it as their own. And Linux people are supposed to just drop everything and join the party? I don’t think so.

  • Hack

    > But we are not consumed by a need to tweek the system on an hourly basis.

    Neither are we. We see the importance of our software being free (as in freedom).

    A question for you: why is it that Linux distributors in the U.S. aren’t allowed to ship MP3/DVD/QuickTime and other software for Linux, although it exists and works OK? When you find an answer to this question, you’ll know why we don’t want to have anything to do with Apple.

  • Hack

    > With an open source desktop, no cohesive guidelines for the interface can be instituted.

    If you don’t know something, it’s best not to speak about it:

    http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/

  • Greg Hemphill

    I’ve seen alot of articles and comments about the web involving Linux/Unix users embracing the Mac since the move to OS X. But when I chat, read email lists and etc I see alot of Mac people learning comand line and open source applications, and have run across several Mac people who also admin Linux/Unix servers as a product of OS X being unix based. Which makes me wonder if Linux/Unix will start benefiting from the fact that people with strong UI backgrounds are using there products, and likely contributing to open source.

    I imagine this process (actually getting Mac people to program for Linux) may take a while but the wheel is in motion and we might start seeing better usability as a result.

    On the other side of the coin, I wonder if Darwin on Intel PC hardware will become a viable solution. As more Linux/Unix people get Macs wouldn’t it be easier for them to compile programs for Darwin and run them both places… or is my ignorance of compiling showing here?

  • Erik

    I just love your irony – “Yeah, Apache and other open source projects really needed Apple’s endorsement.” – that was one of the best comments on this page. Very nice indeed.
    I ‘m still laughing.

  • Rob

    As a user of Macs, Windows, Linux and some other Unix sytle OS’s I a pretty broad prospective of all of them. The thing that haunts most apple people is that they dont understand the reason OSX works so nice. They are all trapped in expensive apple hardware. The advantage that Windows and most Unix’s (including Linux) is that is is vastly more portable than OSX. Apple is a new comer to the Open Source community and has wisely extended the work of thousands of developers that preceeded it in devolping open source tools and applications that help make OSX what it is today. I terms of the OSX GUI, it looks nice but as a user of X in Unix and Linux for years before the Intro of OSX I see alot of personality in OSX that was in the various DE’s in Unix for years. Should the Linux and Unix world that currently out there drop every thing and rush to OSX… Probably just as soon as Apple ports there OS to all the existing Intel, Aplha, Sparc, PowerPC, MIPS, processors and hardware that are out there running vital applications.

  • slogan

    An earlier post asked “where are the legions of volunteer user experience specialists?”

    I was an engineer/manager at Netscape between 1999 and 2002, the time during which Mozilla and the NS 6/7 product lines were developed. I had the unique opportunity to see how Netscape engineers and open source engineers interacted and operated.

    Like any company truly interested in delivering a usable product, Netscape employed a number of usability engineers. Each team, including the ones I was involved with, had an assigned UE engineer. The UE team had conference rooms at times covered with post it notes and UI mock ups. There were weekly (if not more) meetings where product marketing, UE engineers, and the team would get together and brainstorm ideas and view mock ups. These meetings went for hours sometimes. We organized events where we would put volunteers (who were paid a small sum) in front of the product and filmed their interaction with it, the feeback from these events was used to improve the quality of the product.

    Netscape obviously was responsible for Mozilla’s classic theme. We also did most, if not all of the other major theme, Modern. Sure, there were some contributions from Mozilla, but by and large, it was paid talent inside of Bldg 21 in Mountain View that did the bulk of the usability work and user interface design behind Composer, Mail, and the browser in general.

    What was notable to me was the frustration these professional designers often felt in working with open source participants. After all the meetings, late nights designing UI, and the execution of usability studies, often some teenage “expert”, someone who maybe took a computer graphics course at a local college and had no real experience, would completely trash all of the effort that was put out by his or her Netscape counterpart. And because this person was a “volunteer”, his or her opinion often was felt to be “better” than that of the professional UE engineer.

    I think therein lies one reason you may never see quality usability people step in and provide the effort needed to make linux desktop on par, in terms of consistency and uability, with the licks of OS X’s Aqua. Open source methods are simply not rigourous or comprehensive enough to attract the true usability professional, and the lack of a single overriding authority and direction (having multiple desktops and toolkits, e.g., GNOME vs KDE, and Gtk+ vs. Qt) is a distinct disadvantage to users, and also negatively impacts the overall goal of obtaining large-scale usability for the platform).

    There is a good reason Apple left the core OS (which has no UI) to the open source community, and has kept the user interface design inside the walls of the buildings lining Infinite Loop in Cupertino. Simply put, usability is hard, and it takes trained people working towards a single vision to pull it off.

  • G-Fer

    “But consider this: Apple couldn’t come up with the goods, so they decided to rip off the BSD community by taking their work and shamelessly selling it as their own. And Linux people are supposed to just drop everything and join the party? I don’t think so.”

    Rip Off? Do you know that the BSD licence allow Apple to do it? Do you know Apple hired Jordan Hubbard from the FreeBSD team, now a manager of Apple’s Darwin project?

  • Krevnik

    “But consider this: Apple couldn’t come up with the goods, so they decided to rip off the BSD community by taking their work and shamelessly selling it as their own. And Linux people are supposed to just drop everything and join the party? I don’t think so”

    Rip off? They took the Mach Kernel, released their version (xnu) openly, just not under the GPL. They took FreeBSD tools and libs and released their version (Darwin) openly, just not under the GPL, but FreeBSD wasn’t GPL either. Now, if you want the stuff they ‘ripped off’ from the community, go ahead and download it yourself and use it. No charge. Couldn’t the same be said about Linux distributions who packaged a bunch of binaries and sold it for 50+$? So far, Apple has made every change they have made to open source projects public. Many are even given back to the appropriate project (gcc, khtml, others). What Apple is really attempting to ‘shamelessly sell’ is their GUI, their APIs, and all the other things that allow the system to “just work” with the Apple way. It has been shown that people are willing to pay for something that “just works” even with a version sitting there which is free but requires more effort.

    While I don’t suggest that you are wrong for saying Linux shouldn’t just drop what they are doing and join the party, but there is some need for standards within an operating system to provide a consistent and usable interface for regular users. A CLI is not acceptable for a regular user, especially the concept as we know it. It doesn’t provide a natural, fast way for a user to get work done. While a technically inclined person can get work done and it may ‘feel’ natural to them, it doesn’t to the regular user who sees a computer as a tool to accomplish tasks with no worries in what they are doing. If I am having to check documentation to make sure a video encoding app has got all the options I should give it, after using it for a month, it isn’t a natural interface. I haven’t used a Linux GUI in quite a while, but the options mayhem present in Gnome/KDE the last time I used them was far too much for the regular user.

    Maybe Linux shouldn’t join the party, but maybe see why the party is popular among regular (non-technically inclined) users.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, I think that Apple has done a superb job bringing a Unix Desktop OS to the masses. But, conversely, it is overly ambitious to state that OS X is up to the hosting standards that Linux currently (rightfully) enjoys. Any Unix Admin worth his salt would balk at having to control things through a GUI – they just slow one down when trying to get work done.

    Can OS X be detached from the overhead of the GUI? If not, it will be (and should be) limited to a desktop. Real servers don’t require a GUI for management.

  • Erik

    The reason apple didn’t leave the GUI to open source, is that they want money. They sell expensive computers to a loyal group of customers based on a GUI “feeling”. They *must* have something that are theirs, and theirs only, to sell. Noone would buy a mac if OS X ran on pcs, and noone would buy a mac if the OS X GUI was just another clone that you could get for free. They need a nice macish GUI. Not that OS X is that nice from a usability perspective; having worked with MS OSes, OS/2, Unixes, windows, MacOS <10 and OS X for long (well, since the dawn of the mac and the pc), I am for sure far more effective in windows. But OS X looks better and makes you feel more exclusive than anyting else. But, heck, it's not more usable. It was, but it isn't anymore and haven't been for almost a decade. The ting is, however, that the nice goodlooking GUI is enough. They get to sell hardware, where they are making their money. Before OS X they had a problem, their OS lagged windows in just about every way. Then they did a really nice move from a pure business perspective, they took a bunch of free programs and OS parts and bundled them with a nice good looking GUI as an OS. The effort was not as high as building a new os from scratch and many of the parts were there for free. They could focuse on just a smaller number of problems - mainly the GUI. If they had tried to make everything, they probably had failed. We all know it. Not that Apple can't make an OS, they just need to focus their resources to be competetive.
    So, Apple is *more or less* selling a GUI addon to an already existing OS with a lot of existing programs like samba, apache, BIND etc. And they do it for just one reason – to sell their hardware. It is brilliant business strategy.

    Maybe soner or later Microsoft will have to go down that road as well. Either you do it all your self with the associated cost, or you try to use any free parts that you can get. The core of the NT OSes aren’t better than the free OSes, so in the long run MS need to ask themselfes if it’s worth having all of an OS just to sell a GUI.
    Apple came to the solutions it wasn’t worth it – it wasn’t of consern for the users they choose BSD etc, it was a pure business strategy. There was a nice os that they could use and it was free, as in BSD license free, so why bother with anything but the GUI.

    And, by the way, I know Apple *have* done other things besides the GUI and I know they have made contributions to many of the open source projects they have used (sometimes because they must, in other cases because they just wanted to), but talking about that is like crying about water in the kitchen while the boat is sinking.

  • Erik

    “So far, Apple has made every change they have made to open source projects public. Many are even given back to the appropriate project (gcc, khtml, others).”

    Well, they HAVE to when i comes to gcc and khtml. So, this is not “nice of apple” or the way apple contributes back to the open source projects. It’s about apple doing what the license tells them to do.
    It’s not like, lets say, apple open sourcing safari.

  • Jean-Fran

    “They are all trapped in expensive Apple hardware.”

    I won’t debate the fact that a Mac is costs more than the average PC. But I do buy Macs keep them for 4 years and then buy another one. So even if it would cost $1000 more, that is still only $200/year for getting something that “just works out of the box”. Well worth it for me !

    I do love the technical aspect of any operating systems but the fact is that what I like most about OS X is the fact that I can explore the geekie part of it but that I don’t need to master it to get the work done.

  • Hack

    > Rip Off?

    I admit I wrote that part to tease Apple a bit. Sorry, cruel joke ;-)

  • ChrisP

    By and large, you don’t have to use the GUI to admin the F/OSS suites bundled with OS X.

    Just look in /etc for the conf-file du jour, and edit with jed/joe/vim/vi/emacs or anything you wish. Then send a SIGHUP and you’re sorted. Do it via SSH if you like!

    Webmin works great on OS X, too.

    As for routing, dns, filtering & firewalling.. it’s all the same as Linux (kinda — you’ve got BSD’s ipfw rather than ipchains/netfilter).

  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    Just a clarification to the concern over servers having a GUI – OS X servers allow admins to handle all of the same command line tasks as traditional Unix – it just happens to have a phenomenal GUI – which positions it to serve as a friendly server to the smaller and medium markets.

    Thus it could easily be running in data centers next to Linux and Unix.

  • Chris Van Cleve

    QUOTE: I would like to say that those of you on Macs don’t understand computers. You don’t care about what is under the hood or how it works, or even maintaining your system. You just want it to work and look preety. /QUOTE

    That entire statement is purely specualtion and equally asinine. I spend an equal amount of time crawling through the whys and whats in Mac OS X as I have ever done in Linux, DOS, etc. The difference is it does all just work, then you get to tweak it. I am an IT professional and have worked in the industry for almost 20 years. I’m one of many, many Mac OS X users that I am certain know more about and carre more about computers than you do.

    Being “Open” doesn’t make an OS better, it just makes it different. In the future, try adding value to the conversation instead of unwarranted and incorrect insults.

  • Erik

    “Being “Open” doesn’t make an OS better, it just makes it different.”

    Well, being “open” DOES make an OS better. Take any os and suppose it came in 2 different flawors, one open and one closed. The open flavor would be better just because it’s open. This due to the simple fact that the user, if talented enough, could extend the os and tweak the os. Thats constitutes a some kind of value. The user would get something he didn’t get with the closed variant of the os. So, being “open” surely makes an os better.

    Saying that “open doesn’t make an os better” is like saying that an os that allows you to run any program isn’t any better than an os that don’t allow you to run any programs. The oses per se may not differ, but in one case you get something more.

  • saltwater

    Sound like the Good (Mac OS X), the bad (Windows) and the ugly (Linux).

    As an Os X user, I’d rather use linux over Windows,
    That’s why I am trying to make my XP laptop to dual boot linux.
    But I am a confessed mac addict.
    Linux is needed, it provides portability. the LAMP project for example.

  • saltwater

    Sorry I meant LAMPPIX

  • http://www.workingidea.com/ tmcw

    You all seem to complain that Apple isn’t selling a command-line only, archaic, but incredibly fast operating system. What Apple does is take the best technology and combine it with an extremely good user interface. It’s obvious that open-source programmers and the people who are using open-source software have no interest in usability, so UI designers need to get paid.

    I don’t see the problem which is causing the split between *nixes and OSX. One person stated that we should support Linux and BSD because one day a company will produce a killer application and it’ll all change.

    Well, that happened. The OSX desktop is that application. That’s where it’s going in my opinion – the core workings of every OS will be *nix (well, MS excluded) and the battlefield will be between GNOME, KDE, and Apple.

    I can picture the OSX desktop being an extra install on top of Linux, FreeBSD, or any of those guys.

    And why hasn’t Apple integrated something like Fink into their OS?

  • Erik

    Apple will probably not for many years consider OS X on *BSD or Linux. They use OS X to sell their hardware. They probably should consider it though – if Apple had considered porting Mac OS once upon a time, windows, and MS, would probably not have been where they are today.

  • Daniel

    [QUOTE] Well, being “open” DOES make an OS better. Take any os and suppose it came in 2 different flawors, one open and one closed. The open flavor would be better just because it’s open. This due to the simple fact that the user, if talented enough, could extend the os and tweak the os. [/QUOTE]

    That IS the problem. The MAJORITY of computer users are, bluntly put, STUPID.

    I’m 18 and the generation I am in grew up around computers. Most of the people in my last year of school, 60% would only be JUST literate in operating Windows and MS Office. The other 40% are plain dumb and were ‘computer irrliterate’…And the linux community wants to go dumb a CLI onto their laps? are you mad?

    Linux will be ready in 2 ways. either the masses become CLI literate or the GUI gets goood the masses that can use a GUI.

    I veiw linux as a car – assembled in korea and half the screws are loose, missing or broken. But the cool thing is you can install a Turbo, intercooler and a bottle of NOS.

    I also view Windows as a Ford Falcon. Not half bad, but the bonnet is welded shut.

    Then theres Mac OS X. I view that as a pretty Ferrari. Where it just works and works well. Oh, and the manual and tools are in the boot.

    PS – The only way I will ever come to understand unix is through a mac.

    dlc3650@yahoo.com

  • Doug

    From reading the above responses I think there are a lot of Mac and Linux users who are very insecure in their own computing world.

    As a system administrator, developer and musician I’ve found that each platform has it’s own place. For a gamer, Win32 is the only platform to touch. For servers and embedded developers Linux or some other form of Unix is the best choice. For everyone else Apple has things sorted. They offer the most robust and pleasent to use OS currently available. Personally however, I find Apple’s configuration system a little messy and slow and the OS puts looks before performance so even a brand new iBook is a little clumsy to use compared to a current Windows XP machine.

    It is about time people stopped trying to compete with each other over their platform of choice – they all have a place. And it is about time people without a technical background stopped trying to run Linux. Developer’s don’t use Linux because it is free, they use it because it is often quicker to modify open source software than to start from scratch.

  • Anthony

    Hey Blane

    Have you tried Mozilla Camino – it is similar to Safari in look and feel with the Gecko (same as Firefox) rendering engine.

    http://www.mozilla.org/products/camino/

    Ant

  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    I have not yet found a browser that takes the cake like Safari….I keep trying them and watching – but nothing comes quite close enough..

  • wierd-wired

    Hey – open source is the way to go.

    It’s about time Apple Entertainment Inc. opens up the whole OS X package to the open source community. I wan’t to run a customized Aqua GUI, powered by OS uniX, running on hardware powered by whatever processor is the beast of the time.

    Then I PROMISE to buy all my music, rent all my films, and wrap all my food in sexy boxes from the iIntertainment store.