Think Different, Work Different: Adapting from Linux to MacOS


However, I must confess, I’ve never been inclined towards Apple products. After spending some time with this aesthetically pleasing device, I’ve come to realize that its allure doesn’t extend beyond its exterior. The MacOS seems to cater more to the average user rather than someone with my technical background, and I find myself missing the ease of use I experienced with a Linux laptop. The shortcuts and commands I’ve grown accustomed to are frustratingly difficult to replicate on a Mac.

For instance, the process of launching applications using shortcuts is a cumbersome task on this platform, requiring me to write scripts in Automator for something as simple as opening the terminal. The inconsistency between the CTRL and COMMAND keys is particularly irksome, not to mention the gymnastics my fingers must perform to execute basic commands like delete, home, end, page up, or page down. And to add to the confusion, the key labeled “DELETE” functions as a backspace. It seems Apple’s design philosophy for the MacBook Pro disregards established standards in favor of their own unique approach.

I broached the subject with my supervisor, suggesting that perhaps the MacBook could be better utilized by someone who appreciates its design, while I revert to using my personal ThinkPad.


Unfortunately, that’s not an option. We operate within a secure environment, and personal devices are not permitted on the work network. The only laptops available to us are MacBooks.


That’s rather disappoi… [Interrupted]


What model of ThinkPad would you prefer? It’s more practical for you to use a device you’re proficient with rather than investing time and resources for you to adapt to the Mac way of doing things, wouldn’t you agree?

This exchange has significantly improved my outlook on my new job compared to my previous employment.


It seems my comments have struck a nerve with some Apple enthusiasts for suggesting that a MacBook may not be the ideal tool for a data center Linux administrator who is unaccustomed to Mac, especially for managing a Unix-like environment.

My apologies if I’ve bruised any egos… I hope you can move past it.

Edit #2:

Some of you seem to be taking this far too seriously. This post was merely a reflection on the commendable qualities of my new boss, not an invitation to ignite an operating system debate.


As someone deeply entrenched in the world of Linux, the transition to MacOS can be a jarring experience. Apple products, with their sleek design and user-friendly interface, are undeniably appealing to a broad consumer base. However, for the technical professional accustomed to the flexibility and customization of Linux, MacOS can feel restrictive and counterintuitive.

The crux of the issue lies in the fundamental differences between MacOS and Linux. MacOS is designed with the average user in mind, prioritizing simplicity and ease of use over the granular control that Linux offers. This philosophy manifests in various ways, from the operating system’s approach to application management to its keyboard layout.

For instance, the process of launching applications via keyboard shortcuts—a staple in the Linux user’s workflow—is not as straightforward on a Mac. It often requires additional steps, such as writing scripts in Automator, to achieve functionality that comes standard on Linux systems. This added complexity can disrupt productivity and hinder the user experience for those accustomed to a more streamlined process.

Moreover, the inconsistency between the use of the CTRL and COMMAND keys on MacOS compared to the CTRL key on Linux can lead to frustration. This difference may seem trivial to casual users, but for power users, it represents a significant adjustment in muscle memory and workflow efficiency. Additionally, the MacBook’s keyboard layout, with its unconventional approach to keys like DELETE, which functions as a backspace, further complicates the transition for a Linux enthusiast.

These challenges were brought to light when I discussed my difficulties with my supervisor. The conversation highlighted the importance of using tools that enhance one’s efficiency rather than hinder it. In a secure work environment where personal devices are not permitted, the only available laptops were MacBooks. However, my supervisor’s willingness to accommodate my preferences by inquiring about the ThinkPad model I’d like to use was a testament to the value placed on employee comfort and productivity.

This gesture not only improved my outlook on my new job but also underscored the significance of having the right tools for the job. While MacOS has its merits, it’s clear that for certain technical roles, particularly those involving Linux administration, a more compatible operating system can be crucial for success.

The debate between MacOS and Linux is not about which is superior, but rather about finding the right fit for the user’s needs. For those deeply rooted in the Linux ecosystem, the transition to MacOS can be challenging. However, with understanding employers who recognize the importance of familiar tools, Linux users can navigate these challenges and continue to thrive in their professional endeavors.


The views expressed in this article are based on the experiences of a Linux user adapting to MacOS and do not intend to ignite an operating system debate. The aim is to highlight the importance of using the right tools for one’s professional needs and the positive impact of supportive workplace practices.

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