Linux and Mac both are popular and demanding operating systems for PCs. Linux is an open-source operating system that suits any device. On the other hand, Mac is an operating system that can only be used on Apple devices. Both of them are stable, strong, popular, and widespread. Linux vs Mac is one of the top collisions in the tech world.
This article will try to express a feature-based comparison of Linux vs Mac. Everything depends on your preference regarding what you want to do with your device. We will highlight some points of view when Linux is better than when Mac is perfect. Whether you are using a Mac or Linux, we recommend you investigate the reasons and decide which one suits you best.
Before we compare Linux vs Mac, let’s know about Linux and Mac.
The defining element of a Linux distribution is the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds first published this operating system kernel on September 17, 1991. Many Linux distributors use the term Linux in their name. The most popular Android OS for smartphones is based on Linux Kernel is very popular too. Linux uses the most versatile platforms compared to all other operating systems. It has been designed for personal desktop computers based on the first-time architecture of the Intel x86 processor.
In 1984, Apple invented an operating system that is now known as the classic Mac OS with the release of the original Macintosh system software. The current Mac operating system is just Mac OS. This operating system was initially known as Mac OS X until 2012; it was then renamed OS X and remained unchanged till 2016. It was developed between 1997 and 2001 after Apple purchased Nexus. The Mac OS X NeXTSTEP brings an entirely new architecture based on a Unix system, which has overcome many of the technical challenges faced by the classic Mac OS.
Here is a list of comparisons between these two systems:
1. The Core Differences
The heart of an operating system is the core, from where the PC comes alive when booted or powered. However, the definition of an operating system does not fully define Linux. An operating system combines hardware, software, and protocols for communication and operation. When we put Linux in the context of this definition, we only get one pre-packaged foundation core. This foundation core uses many existing Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and Arch Linux, which come with their own software, drivers, and desktop environments.
In terms of Linux vs Mac, we find some key differences. Linux expands its wings by actively involving the Linux worldwide community, where Apple core developed under one roof. Moreover, the Linux community is developing distros with different desktop environments involving the open source community. In contrast, Mac is doing this involving their own engineer. Open source Linux community develops and maintains all things for Linux; on the other hand, Apple engineers are solely responsible for creating and maintaining the Mac OS.
2. Operational Stability and Performance
The stability and performance of Linux depend on the distros involved. These distros bring a variety of desktop environments that depend on the functional purpose of the end-users. These distros work differently on different hardware; therefore, machine property matters. For instance, A lightweight distro would favor older and less-performing machine hardware. A high-end machine would prefer a resource-hungry distro, for example – Ubuntu or Fedora.
Compared to Linux vs Mac, both are stable performers when assigned regular tasks in terms of operational stability and performance. Mac OS backgrounds integrate with system update protocols that contribute to its good and stable performance and OS stability.
In this hands-on battle, both operating systems are the winners.
3. Hardware Support
The Linux software universe nowadays offers unlimited driver support. However, Linux had to fight for this position because it had previously struggled with driver-software compatibility. Opensource community is happy to package the OS with the necessary driver support to provide better hardware support.
Mac OS relies heavily on Apple-built hardware. Apple manufactured devices come with the best combination of its hardware and its optimized driver software. This is the secret reason for the super performance of Mac devices. In comparison to Linux vs Mac, both operating systems are doing excellent in their own world.
4. Target Audience or User Group
Linux welcomes both new and advanced users and wealthy and economic users into its world. However, it all depends on the first distro users start using. Therefore, it is essential to know the distros that benefit newcomers and advanced users in the Linux world. For example, Ubuntu and Linux Mint will be for newcomers. At the same time, Kali Linux and Arch Linux will be good choices for advanced users. Moreover, a terminal provides an optional interface and improved control over the Linux OS in addition to the desktop interface.
Go for it if you break your piggy bank and can afford a Mac PC. It is a gem that you will be proud. Mac OS offers a polished and robust desktop environment that works quickly as its attractive appearance. For instance, you like great graphics or want to do something with graphics design, top-notch sound, and video editing. In that case, Mac OS is great for any beginner or an advanced user looking for any one section of this career.
5. FOSS Versus Proprietary
When dealing with Linux, you are in a free and open source software (FOSS) zone when accessing software. Since Linux related software is usually free and open-source, you don’t have to worry about Linux software that tricks you. This software is free and highly editable; you can compare it to other paid applications. You won’t be surprised if you find applications that exceed the facilities of the paid versions.
Both software and hardware have a distinctive price tag when dealing with Mac OS. You will have to pay a standard price to access its high-resource software. Though Mac and its software costs, it will be worth every penny. Money needs to expend, whether it’s software or the service you’re looking to use.
In comparison between Linux vs Mac in terms of FOSS and proprietary, we find numerous contributions of free open source software from the Linux community. On the other hand, it’s full of proprietary software from Mac OS where you can get your money’s worth.
6. Privacy and Security
The core of the Linux system is privacy and security. It is not surprising that all IT professionals want to be associated with the reputation of this OS. The Linux system does not leave a trail of digital footprints regarding privacy. Therefore, a user can easily use the operating system, maintaining good privacy and security. Any malicious person or hacker can backtrack his activity and not bookmark the user’s activity history. In terms of security, it is almost impossible to create a backdoor and gain access to a secure Linux system. The likelihood of a breach in this system depends on the system configuration.
Under the Department of Privacy and Security, Mac OS hints at a colorful garden protected by four substantial castle walls. Since Apple’s creator, the company has tracked the movements of each user. The sole purpose is to enhance the customer experience by releasing new or improved future products. Since its software is not open-source, it is impossible to understand how it violates the OS or how it works with user data.
Privacy and security should be among the core objectives when developing an operating system. In the discussion of Linux vs Mac, both give industrial level privacy and security, but Linux is far ahead of Mac.
7. Dealing with Malware and Antivirus Threats
The robustness of the Linux system does not make it safe from effective attacks. The Linux community support is significantly larger than the Linux system support and Mac OS support. Therefore, it is easy to solve the problem encountered by the Linux system or community in a few munites through the active Linux forums.
Malware and antivirus do not easily find space in Mac OS. The team behind Apple is constantly looking for system violations. They, in turn, create the necessary security patches to fix them. Since they can track the user activity of all their Apple customers, their feedback contributes to installing the required security patches. These patches reassemble into the system in the form of updates.
Apple made every version of the Mac OS by default. It means that the software comes to a standstill. Therefore the end-user does not have the big opportunity to change the layout of the OS to suit their choices. You cannot calibrate the OS to manage your rules, but adhering to it will give you the desired performance.
Dealing with the Linux system in terms of customization makes it a jack of all trades. You can think of it as a genie that gives you infinite good luck with customization. The customization allowance that it gives you is an exciting experience. After a basic or advanced custom system change, you can customize the GUI and the terminal.
9. Root Access and Administrative Privileges
In most of the Linux distros, after installing a new Linux system, you may not get a predefined super administrative or root access set up on the system. Because of the distro you just installed may be pre-packaged by malware or viruses. However, an update on the system will detect the breach, fix it, and contribute to the Linux community.
On the other hand, Mac OS has a predefined system with an administrative and root access account. Since such a system is compact from its installation, and apple provides a regular system and security updates, it gives its users first-class security. Therefore, it is vulnerable to viruses and malware.
10. Gaming Area of Linux vs Mac
Mac OS surpasses Linux as a platform for developing and testing the latest high-end games. The reputation of Linux does not allow it to get the same gaming platform as Mac OS.
However, Linux works perfectly as a streaming platform, making it possible for its users to play online and offline games. Environments like Wine and PlainLinux contribute to this milestone.
11. The Available System Flavors
There are hundreds of existing Linux desktop environments and many more. The popularity type of environment depends on users’ needs and the complexity of system configuration. All of the popular Linux distros are continuously growing due to their open-source nature and growing Linux community support.
Mac has its own robust and user-friendly system flavor, and users get very little customization in comparison to Linux.
12. Installations, Updates, and Upgrades
A Linux system may require a person’s minimal level of technical knowledge to perform the installation, update, and upgrade. Since most efficient updates run through the Linux terminal, this skill is necessary. However, Linux World makes things easier for its users by introducing distros for which a person may not need to be technology-conscious to perform specific tasks.
Distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Fedora now have a graphical interface for installing software and running updates at the click of a button.
When it comes to the update features of an operating system, the Mac OS system update is easy to manage. Since it uses a system-integrated app store for its users, installing updates is as easy as clicking a button. Therefore, no technical knowledge is required to update the Mac OS system.
Have you ever think why Linux is the best OS to run on any server? Because it is more reliable to server admins. But why is that? How does Linux become more reliable than Mac OS? The answer is simple – more control over the system while providing better security.
Mac OS does not give you complete control of its platform, but it doesn’t mean it’s not reliable. It also makes things easier for you to enhance your user experience. With a Linux system, you can do whatever customization you want. This may worsen the user experience for some individuals, but it is more reliable.
14. Open Source
Along with many other aspects, the most important aspect of Linux being a higher choice to its users is its open-source nature. A significant number of the points in this article discussed are the direct benefits of open-source software. You can manually view/modify the source code if it is open-source software.
But, for the Mac, Apple preserves exclusive control. Even if you have the necessary technical knowledge, you cannot independently view or modify the source code of Mac OS.
15. Programming Platform for Developers
In comparing Linux vs Mac focusing on programming platforms for developers, if you want to be a programmer or already doing professional programming, then the best choice would be to adopt a Linux system. Thousands of code editors, text editors, IDEs, and programming languages are built solely on the Linux environment.
On the other hand, Mac OS is an excellent choice for developing sound, movie, graphics design, or web design elements. If you are happy to buy all required license software to do programming, then it will greatly work with you.
Linux vs Mac OS: Which One is the Best for One?
Linux is a trustworthy system as a solution compact than Mac. For this reason, Linux IT experts prefer to use Linux over any approach, from beginners to newcomers worldwide. Linux is the best choice and most effective platform for its users in the server and supercomputer sector.
Compared to Linux vs Mac, It will give you a free environment to build the system to your liking or need. You have all the software that comes for free. And also can effectively work both a personal and a business. So, If you are an open-source lover, then definitely go for Linux.
Mac OS is much more secure and reliable as its a compact solution. Hacking or attacking a Mac system is not impossible based on the Unix platform. It provides a safe sandbox environment where threats or malware cannot access the original files. So it can’t drive to extensive damage to systems.
Are you like to use that to get an elegant and strong look and feel and want some high-end sound, media, photo, graphics design working environment? I want to recommend that Mac OS. But obviously, remember that it will cost you a handsome amount at the beginning and throughout the life cycle. It will give you a system that you can use only without technical hassle and customization.
I hope you like this article about Linux vs Mac comparison. While this is not an ultimate comparison, more or less, it provides some information that may seem helpful. As you are reading this article, you may also be interested in Windows vs Linux also.
Remember, neither OS is ultimately “better” than the other, and it’s all about choice. It’s just about your preferences and your needs; which one can best meet them is the best OS for you.