The Missing Bit

Leaving macOS, part 3: OS Candidates
March 12, 2017

This is the third part of my entry about leaving macOS.

This serie of articles is a combinaison of telling my life, rants and other pointless stories. You have been warned!

There are mostly three candidates here.

I really love BSD OSes, OpenBSD is the nicest router OS I ever had, and FreeBSD is my system of choice for servers (zfs anyone), but I know both sux at desktop, so just put them aside.

This leaves us with Windows and Linux.

Looking at the requirements step by step:

Basic office work

I guess either Windows or Linux would work here. I’d need an alternative to DEVONThink, I looked a bit, and I found which looks acceptable. It’s browser based, but should do the work. A browser based thingy would make the OS irrelevant.

Winner: Draw

Graphic & Design

Again, I tried a lot of alternatives within the past years, and I am not going to replace Photoshop and Illustrator. So if I go Linux, I’d need to “Wine” those. I am not super happy about using Wine for something as important.

Winner: Windows


I know Windows has million of media players, but so does Linux. And you can capture system audio on both system. With a bit of effort on both side.

Winner: Draw

Internet and communication

Let’s face it, same browsers on both OS…

Winner: Draw


No linux version, using it under Wine makes browser extension unavailable, clear win for Windows.

Winner: Windows

Apple dev tools

VM, it takes a bit of effort as it is unsupported, but draw for the host OS.

Winner: Draw

Code editor

Again, vim is portable, so are most code editors anyway.

Winner: Draw


I found no compelling git client on either platform. There is but I haven’t tried it yet, and looks like an Electron app. I’m a JS dev now, so I am not going to hate those as much as they deserve, but I want something snappy, staging 10 000 files should not crash the app.

Winner: Draw

Compiler and tools

I would go straight to linux, but let’s face it, Microsoft is doing a great job in this area with the Windows Subsystem for Linux. I know, it’s cheating, as it’s putting linux in Windows, but if it works.

I tried WSL extensively, and sadly it is not far enough yet. But there is hope.

Winner: Linux

Mostly draws. I am amazed by the evolution Linux did on the Desktop, really. But Windows winning for 1Password and Adobe softwares are enough to make me choose Windows.

One thing though, Linux winning for “Compiler and tools” is not something I can just accept. I just NEED Linux’s powers. And WSL is not there yet.

Ok, I have been cheating this entire time. Because I have a working setup with both. It took me some time to get it just right (shared clipboard anyone?), but in the end it was worth it. I’ll explain it all in my next part, but let’s me give you one (obvious) hint: X11.

UPDATE: Part 4 is available.