Friday, December 5, 2008

Ubuntu Fanboys Love Apple.

There seems to be a growing trend of Linux users using Macs. Recently it occurred to me that everyone I know who runs Linux on a Mac use Ubuntu. I'm not sure exactly what this means, I just find it interesting. As I pondered about this I began to realize a few other common characteristics of Linux+Mac users (L+Mu) which I would like to share with you. Now please understand that this is just my observation, not an in depth study of any kind.

1. They all run Ubuntu. Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu is a great distro, I run it on my main PC at home, but I also run Slackware 12.1, Fedora 10, PCBSD and Crunchbang! (essentially Ubuntu). It just seems Ubuntu is by far the distro of choice for L+Mu.

2. Not only do they run Ubuntu, but they always dual boot MAC OSX. It doesn't just seem to be a love of Apple hardware for L+Mus, but they also seem to have a fondness for the operating system as well. They seem to boot into OSX and use it. Again, OSX is a good OS, it's just not my cup of tea.

3. L+Mu seem to be this rising new generation of Linux users that began in 2004-2005, around the time Ubuntu first came out. I don't see many "Old School" users turning to Mac. By "old school" I mean pre-2.4 kernel. I started using Linux in 2001 and consider myself a 2nd generation Linux user. The 1st generation of users being from 1991-1997/8, the 2nd generation from 1998-2003-ish and the 3rd generation from 2003/4 on. Each generation seems to have their own characteristics and personalities, which I won't get into this post. Before I get too far topic though, I 'll just say that it seems the trend of L+Mu are newer Linux users.

4. Finally, you don't find too many FOSS purists among L+mu. I guess this is obvious with the simple fact that they are using Apple hardware. Again don't get me wrong, I don't have a shrine to Richard Stallman at home, but I have a respect for GNU and his ideas. Now I believe this is one of the characteristics of this new rising 3rd Generation mentioned above, that they don't seem to see anything wrong with proprietary / close source software. They actually see it as a good thing.

Am I the only one noticing this pattern or am I completely off? Please give me your opinion to this trend of Linux+MAC users.


Craig Maloney said...

I use Ubuntu, and have used Linux since 1995. I like Macintosh machines, and always have. I think the correlation is that much of what makes up GNOME's interface is a nod to the Macintosh. It's not hard to get a GNOME machine to behave similarly to a Macintosh.

You could also make the correlation that Windows users prefer Mandriva or OpenSuse, and have a tendency to using KDE. Is that a bad thing? No, it's just a matter of preferred working environment. I personally don't care to use KDE, but I can appreciate folks who do like KDE, and if GNOME didn't exist, I'd likely be running KDE now.

Jared said...

Wow! 1995. That's awesome. Thanks for your comments.

Cal said...

My Introduction to Linux came in the form of Mandrake in approximately 1994. It was not pleasant so back to windows and a little OS/2, I ran. I returned to Linux with Red Hat 9 (around '03, I think) and followed Red Hat to Fedora, then to Ubuntu 4.10. Ubuntu is my distro of choice altho I do work with Fedora occasionally.

At the beginning of this year, I became a L+Mu. I do dual boot Ubuntu and OSX, but I only use OSX very occasionally and mainly to help manage my iphone. I'm not an Apple fanboy, but I do like the hardware and I do look forward to a better iphone (did I read linux is able to booted on it now?). I don't like being tied to Apple's closed mindness.

Jim Robert said...

I have a similar story to cal... tried red hat in 98 or 99 but couldn't get wifi working (I was 13 or 14 years old back then) so I gave up and went back to windows.

I came back to linux at the release of feisty fawn because windows kept bluescreening despite repeatedly reinstalling.

I think it's just a coincidence due to the sudden increase in popularity for apple computers which happened to coincide with ubuntu taking the linux world by storm.

I have a feeling that as long as canonical maintains a team of developers, focused on the linux desktop they will remain at the top of the heap.


PS - do you think you could give us a full text feed? I'd love to be able to read your blog in my rss aggrigator :)

Rich said...

I liked this observation about the different generation Linux users, very interesting. I do agree that the old-school philosophy of non-free and proprietary being frowned upon is dissipating rapidly as users just want everything to work out of the box. To be honest with regards to wireless and graphics drivers I tend to agree. Ubuntu still requires you to download the Broadcom b43 wireless driver, which is impossible if you are on a wireless laptop with no wired connection. At some point, common sense needs to take over.

I think everything has to evolve to accomodate the masses.

Jared said...

Thanks for your comments Rich. I hope to explore the topic of the different Linux generations sometime soon.

Anson MacKeracher said...

Getting Linux to work on a Mac is (or used to be) a real hassle. I ran Ubuntu for ages on my Macbook since there is a really helpful community on the Ubuntu forums to help me out.

Lately I've been running Arch, but that's after a lot of developments to support the (aged) Apple hardware.