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dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
I recently decided to switch to Linux (Ubuntu 12.04) from Windows. Do others here run Linux systems, Windows, or Macs OS?

I don't use dual boot. I totally removed Windows. Start times have improved exponential and the amount of free space just from removing Windows is amazing.

Which architecture either Mac or Windows based operating system has Linux running smooter, faster, and better?

I ask because I will either get a Mac next time I buy a computer or stay with a PC to put Linux on.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
I use a Macbook Pro and I love it. It overheats sometimes but for basic use it's so smooth and doesn't have any of the issues with viruses, crashing and lag that I remember from using Windows. They are quite expensive though - overpriced really for the parts but the general day to day use is great. Linux is supposedly very smooth as well but you won't be able to use lots of software without dual booting.

What do you want? Desktop or laptop? Price range? What specs are you looking for hardware wise?
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
I use a Macbook Pro and I love it. It overheats sometimes but for basic use it's so smooth and doesn't have any of the issues with viruses, crashing and lag that I remember from using Windows. They are quite expensive though - overpriced really for the parts but the general day to day use is great. Linux is supposedly very smooth as well but you won't be able to use lots of software without dual booting.

What do you want? Desktop or laptop? Price range? What specs are you looking for hardware wise?
I am not buying anytime soon. But I have heard that Macs run even better with Linux since there OS is based on Linux. I can use all the software I need on Linux: Python, Mathematica, Matlab, and TexMaker.
 

Bacterius

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 26, 2012
644
[JUSTIFY]I don't understand the question. Running OS-X is not running Linux, even though they are based on the same underlying architecture they are completely different in many ways. Did you mean hardware?

If so, you will want an SSD, even a small 80-120GB one to put the operating system on, and put your home directory on another hard drive (I used a standard issue 500GB disk for that). This is what I did - I run Linux Mint - and the boot times are ridiculous, I can literally be BIOS to fully loaded desktop in less than three seconds, and opening programs is as smooth as ever. They are a bit expensive but they are night and day compared to traditional hard drives.

Linux isn't as memory-hungry as Windows (don't know about Mac) so you can actually still get by with 2GB, but I'd recommend 4GB just for comfort, more is really not needed unless you are actually going to use them (many virtual machines, heavy multitasking, etc..)

CPU isn't that relevant, if you are buying Intel I'd say an i3 would be good, i5 if you have some extra bucks to spare. Don't go crazy over cores - a dual core will serve you well, unless you need the extra cores for something (scientific applications, multitasking)

I would not worry too much about the graphics card unless you are going to try gaming on Linux, or using GPGPU tools for computation. The open-source drivers don't actually have hardware acceleration (you need the AMD/NVIDIA Linux drivers for that) so any \$50-\$100 card should do fine. If you want to play games, I'd recommend just dual-booting Windows and getting a decent card, Linux won't really use it but that's OK, the open-source drivers are very stable and efficient.

Though if you are on a laptop with an NVIDIA graphics card you'll probably want the proprietary drivers either way, just to benefit from the battery load improvements (which are irrelevant for desktops).

If you are going to build a desktop yourself, do NOT cheap out on the PSU (power supply unit), because if you buy a crap one it is liable to blow up in your face and take all of your components with it. Reputable brands are stuff like Corsair, just google around..

And finally, read reviews, read reviews, read reviews, cross-check information, and make an informed decision before buying. That is the most important thing in my opinion.[/JUSTIFY]
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
[JUSTIFY]I don't understand the question. Running OS-X is not running Linux, even though they are based on the same underlying architecture they are completely different in many ways. Did you mean hardware?

If so, you will want an SSD, even a small 80-120GB one to put the operating system on, and put your home directory on another hard drive (I used a standard issue 500GB disk for that). This is what I did - I run Linux Mint - and the boot times are ridiculous, I can literally be BIOS to fully loaded desktop in less than three seconds, and opening programs is as smooth as ever. They are a bit expensive but they are night and day compared to traditional hard drives.

Linux isn't as memory-hungry as Windows (don't know about Mac) so you can actually still get by with 2GB, but I'd recommend 4GB just for comfort, more is really not needed unless you are actually going to use them (many virtual machines, heavy multitasking, etc..)

CPU isn't that relevant, if you are buying Intel I'd say an i3 would be good, i5 if you have some extra bucks to spare. Don't go crazy over cores - a dual core will serve you well, unless you need the extra cores for something (scientific applications, multitasking)

I would not worry too much about the graphics card unless you are going to try gaming on Linux, or using GPGPU tools for computation. The open-source drivers don't actually have hardware acceleration (you need the AMD/NVIDIA Linux drivers for that) so any \$50-\$100 card should do fine. If you want to play games, I'd recommend just dual-booting Windows and getting a decent card, Linux won't really use it but that's OK, the open-source drivers are very stable and efficient.

Though if you are on a laptop with an NVIDIA graphics card you'll probably want the proprietary drivers either way, just to benefit from the battery load improvements (which are irrelevant for desktops).

If you are going to build a desktop yourself, do NOT cheap out on the PSU (power supply unit), because if you buy a crap one it is liable to blow up in your face and take all of your components with it. Reputable brands are stuff like Corsair, just google around..

And finally, read reviews, read reviews, read reviews, cross-check information, and make an informed decision before buying. That is the most important thing in my opinion.[/JUSTIFY]
I will remove my current hard drive and ram from my laptop now when I do upgrade. I have a corsair SSD and corsair 16bit of RAM now. And I was talking about the hardware architecture of Apple.
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,197
If you're interested in Ubuntu systems, try getting a hardware setup that's designed for Linux: System76. They're shipped with Ubuntu Linux. You're guaranteed to have the hardware working straight out of the box, and you can get a decent amount of hardware at a good cost.
 

Moriarty

New member
Jan 23, 2013
3
I use a Macbook Pro and I love it.
If it's the 13" version do you find it too small? I was thinking of getting it, but I'm concerned the screen might be too small.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
If it's the 13" version do you find it too small? I was thinking of getting it, but I'm concerned the screen might be too small.
I have the 15'' and it's perfect. I think for most men the 13'' will seem a bit small but who knows? I'd suggest just playing around with one if you have a friend with a Mac or a store nearby. The trackpad is one of the best features and I think once anyone gets the hang of using it, he or she will never go back.
 

ZaidAlyafey

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 17, 2013
1,667
I worked with Linux (ubuntu ) for nearly a year then switched back to windows recently

advantages​
disadvantages​
windows
  • Most famous programs have a windows version
  • A GUI-friendly platform
  • Very heavy in terms of memory
  • NO full excess to system files
  • Pretty slow , needs maintenance regularly
  • Not virus-free platform
Linux
  • Very fast in boot and shut-down
  • Full control of system files
  • Graphics runs smoothly
  • Very high security
  • Lots of bugs and unexpected errors
  • A command-based platform through terminal more than GUI.
  • No Linux version for famous programs
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
I worked with Linux (ubuntu ) for nearly a year then switched back to windows recently

advantages​
disadvantages​
windows
  • Most famous programs have a windows version
  • A GUI-friendly platform

  • Very heavy in terms of memory
  • NO full excess to system files
  • Pretty slow , needs maintenance regularly
  • Not virus-free platform
Linux
  • Very fast in boot and shut-down
  • Full control of system files
  • Graphics runs smoothly
  • Very high security

  • Lots of bugs and unexpected errors
  • A command-based platform through terminal more than GUI.
  • No Linux version for famous programs
The bugs and unexpected errors from downloading backport updates are great in my eyes. You never will learn more than when you computer boots up to a black screen and you haven't backed up your files recently. You will google your life out until you figure out how to enter the terminal and undo that update.

For me, those issues are learning experiences.
 

mathbalarka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 22, 2013
573
I think in comparison between Windows and Linux, Linux is better. It can support dozens of different kind of processors whereas windows can support only AMD or Intel. Linux can support a large number of file systems but windows can support FAT, FAT32, NTFS and perhaps exFAt or something like that. Security is an issue for windows. Threat detection of Linux is fast but Windows can take months to launch a repair patch.

The main problem of Linux is that you cannot have a number of softwares in your PC, otherwise you did right deciding Linux as your OS.

Balarka
.
 

Bacterius

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 26, 2012
644
It can support dozens of different kind of processors whereas windows can support only AMD or Intel.
[JUSTIFY]This is only relevant if you work with special hardware, though. Almost all consumer-oriented processors are based on x86 or x86_64. Given Windows is designed as a consumer-oriented OS, it's not really a flaw. For instance, would you say that the fact a bicycle cannot fly is a disadvantage? Apple/orange comparison here, in my opinion.

Worth noting Windows 8 necessarily supports ARM, these are the processors inside smartphones and stuff.[/JUSTIFY]
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
dwsmith, did you switch to Linux only because you want to optimize your computer's processing speed? I wonder how calculation time for Mathematica compares between Windows and Linux with the same hardware specs...

I don't see why it isn't a good thing to have Windows 7/8 installed on the machine as well. I keep forgetting to buy Parallels so I can run Windows on my Macbook. If security is an issue I'm sure you can run Windows in a sandbox environment so nothing crosses over to Linux.

Macs are way overpriced so if you don't want to use Mac OS X then it would be crazy to buy an Apple computer. Even if they are better for Linux spec for spec, you can build a much faster custom PC or laptop for the same price.
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
dwsmith, did you switch to Linux only because you want to optimize your computer's processing speed? I wonder how calculation time for Mathematica compares between Windows and Linux with the same hardware specs...

I don't see why it isn't a good thing to have Windows 7/8 installed on the machine as well. I keep forgetting to buy Parallels so I can run Windows on my Macbook. If security is an issue I'm sure you can run Windows in a sandbox environment so nothing crosses over to Linux.

Macs are way overpriced so if you don't want to use Mac OS X then it would be crazy to buy an Apple computer. Even if they are better for Linux spec for spec, you can build a much faster custom PC or laptop for the same price.
Here is Mathematica benched marked on my machine. I only have a 2nd gen i5 2.5GHZ 4 cores, 16GB RAM, and 240GB SSD drive.