As a newcomer to the Apple world, and an avid Linux user, I thought I would share my impressions after a few days. As a disclaimer, I have spent too much time in meetings this week to actually get to know MacOS X in details, but still…
- Apple has done a good job at capturing the best of Unix and free software. After installing xcode (provided by Apple for free), you have the GNU compiler and most things you need to do free software work.
- Fink is useful to get a few Unix tools you miss. Don’t bother with unstable packages. Don’t bother with any X application.
- Pretty much everything under MacOS X can be done remotely using a shell. Even when Apple only says “double-click on this or that to install”, you pretty much can get away with the shell. However, unlike traditionnal Unix systems, there are many scripts missing in MacOS. For example, you can’t quickly delete or add users by default. You need to create or borrow your own scripts if you want to do this. This is slightly annoying, but would be easily fixable if a bunch of people got together to write scripts and provide an nice installer.
To sum it up, I could see a world where both Linux and MacOS dominate and that would be a beautiful world.