Ubuntu 11.04 vs Mac OS X

Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) is the latest stable release (released few months ago, and it is the successor of Ubuntu 10.10>10.04 .. and it has arrived with a lot of surprising features).it’s the most popular Linux distribution among the desktop users and the community as well as users has augmented exponentially in the past few years. Ubuntu has established a new reputation among the common desktop users, because of its ease of use and simplicity. Before Ubuntu, Linux based distro were used only by computer ‘geeks’ but now, the Ubuntu is so simple that any non technical human can easily use most of its features (but it may takes some time (it depends on the users I.Q)). Ubuntu (The term ‘ubuntu’ has been borrowed from Africa which means ‘humanity for others’) is an open source software, released under GPL (GNU public License); available free for all Human. The word free doesn’t only mean that – ‘you don’t have to pay for it’ but also in other sense such as ‘you free to use it as you want i.e free also stands for freedom, there is no restriction!’. That’s why Ubuntu is well suitable for those who want higher degree of customization (Go ahead dude!, the only limit is your imagination).
Mac OS X is a closed source operating system developed by Apple Inc. Mac OS X is a unix like operating system comes by default with Macintosh computer. Mac OS X has very nice and robust GUI (Graphical User Interface) better than all other operating systems on this planet. The latest version – 10.7 (Lion, the successor of 10.6(Snow Leopard) released on August 28, 2009) in Xth series was released on October 20, 2010.

Ubuntu vs Mac OS

#1 Cost : Ubuntu is 100% free while Mac OS is not!

#2 Customization/Control : Ubuntu is better because it is an open source software, so it can be customized to any extent on the other hand Mac OS is a closed source software so a lot of restrictions are there.

#3 Usability : Even though, Ubuntu has made GNU/Linux a lot easier to use it’s still more complex than Mac OS. So Mac OS is better (The user interface is simply great in ease of use as well as for productivity) in this sense.

#4 Learning : Ubuntu is better than Learning because Linux distributions are well suitable for trying new things which eventually leads to serve as a better learning platform than any other on this planet (or may be universe, I don’t know :)).

#5 Applications : Ubuntu has a lot of applications with One click installation feature and most of them are free, while Mac OS do have some cool applications such as TextMate (An excellent text editor available only for Mac OS, TextMate is very popular among web developers and programmers because of its features and productivity; if you are an Ubuntu user then you can customize gedit to look like TextMate), but you have to pay for that and the options are limited because most of the developers target only Windows and GNU/Linux (while developing applications).

#6 Security : Ubuntu is more secure (after all it is a Linux distro) than the Mac OS X or any other non Linux distributions.

#7 Speed : Ubuntu 11.04 is faster than Mac OS X because Mac OS is focused mainly on how it looks not on how it performs; while Ubuntu is modular, focused primarily on performance and speed, and it has a lot of good looking desktops such as KDE, Gnome, Natty etc (if you think about the look and feel).

#8 Fun : Ubuntu is always fun because it has a lot of new stuffs/things to try you will never get bored. Mac OS is also Fun! but ??
Now it’s you who is going to decide the best! So get your opinion counted in the poll (see below) and share your views as well as experience through comment(s) (it’s not optional :)).


  • Sean

    The Ubuntu OS, and applications put Microsoft, and Apple to shame, it’s a much more stable OS than either Windows, or Apple especially Windows, and the great part is, you don’t have to invest stupid amounts of money into hardware unlike Apple which is far overpriced for what you get from them!

    The only reason I have not switched entirely off from Apple yet, is because I have not yet been able to find any photo editing applications on Ubuntu comparable to Apeture, nor any audio editing applications comparable to Quicktime and Garage Band, or any business applications comparable to Iwork, or any recording application for the Linux version of Skype.

    Could somebody help me out with that, I would really appreciate any asssitance I could get from you longtime Linux users reading this. Are there: (Folks who are familiar with both Ubuntu, and Apple will know what I’m talking about)

    1. Any applications comparable to Apeture for photo editing? I have tried FSPOT, and am not impressed with it. (Anyone who has used Apeture will know what I’m talking about, it’s an awesome photo editing application)

    2. Any audio editing programs comparable to Quicktime, and Garageband?

    3. Any recording programs for the Linux Version of Skype?

    4. Any programs comparable to IWork (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers?)

    If I could work those things out, than I will completly switch off of overpriced Apple for good! What I really appreciate about Linux is the fact that it can be used with any hardware, which means you can download the OS on a Dell, Toshiba, or any other computer that you can find for $600.00 unlike Apple where you’re spending $3,000.00 or more FOR HARDWARE THAT IS NO BETTER THAN THE HARDWARE IN DELL, OR TOSHIBA!! How on the face of this damn planet does Apple get away with that, that’s one of those things that makes me question what is wrong wtih the public! The fact that the public tolerates Apple with their damn price gouging!

    • http://www.bens-lens.com Benjamin Jackson

      For photo editing in Linux (raw development and lossless editing) I use Bibble Pro. http://www.bibblelabs.com/ It is the closest I can find to Lightroom or Apeture. The interface is perhaps not as usable as either of the aforementioned programs, and you’ll need to play around with some plugins, but it is fast and I use it all the time.

    • Guest

      use gimp for image editing (very powerful)
      iwork-libre office (sort of)

    • Joel Holdbrooks

      Comparing an Apple machine to PC with the same hardware is not a fair assessment of price. Whether something is overpriced, cheap, or a “great deal” is a value judgement. In other words, it’s the consumers opinion. Many people, including myself, are willing to pay a bit more for a well engineered and well designed product even if the same hardware is present in another machine for a lower price.

      Sure, I can do all of my day to day tasks on a PC running Ubuntu. But when I purchased my MacBook, it was because wanted a great display, trackpad, keyboard, and something that was not made out of cheap plastic. Trust me, if you want the sames things on a PC laptop it’s not going to be cheap either.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000203590110 Sohrab Kakakhel

      Novocut is a program that is in developement and will be launched very soon. Best editing program for people with DSLR camera’s etc. Professional too.

  • Iqtedar

    I’ve been trying out Ubuntu under VirtualBox on my Mac and with version 11.04/11.10, I think the time is right to start migrating. Apple hardware is overpriced and there is no other option if you want to run the Mac OS, the system is very inflexible compared to Ubuntu, and so on. If only Apple priced their hardware reasonably, licensed its system to run on any hardware and adopted a more open approach generally instead of strengthening their ‘walled garden’, I wouldn’t need to bother and Apple would have been enjoying a larger market share as well. The future is clearly open source. However, the only obstacle is applications for Ubuntu and to some extent usability although this is improving.

    • Tyner

      u r such a douche. rarely has there been this much fail in less than 6 lines of text.

  • Daniel

    @Sean

    1. Not sure
    2. Ardour and Jokosher are pretty good
    3. I think Kdenlive can be used to record your screen
    4. Not sure how close you want to mimic iWork but OpenOffice/LibreOffice essentially do the same things

  • Vamsi Subhash

    Mac OS is slower than Ubuntu? What? Ubuntu is sometimes unstable but Mac provides the no 1 usability with a stable Unix architecture. And Mac OS is a Unix based hence is also secure. Only because of it’s gaining user share is the Mac OS X being prone to malware attacks. Ubuntu is good but only upto 10.04 and the new 11.04 is definitely not the one to be used as a replacement to either Windows or OS X. It’s pathetic in UX and battery life. Horrible!

    • Judgementalsuperpower

      OSX cannot thread or manage memory, or uh handle file cacheing very well.
      Oh wait it has Apps like iphone.

      • Segmentfault

        No offense but do you actually know what threading means? Mac respects the posix standards and therefore not only supports threading, but it supports it in a clean way! Guass what: even craposoft has support for threading (not respecting posix ofc).
        Memory management is done by the kernel, and let’s take a look at what kernels we have: Ubuntu = Linux kernel -> based on unix…
        And mac? = Darwin kernel -> based on unix.

        Think when you reply next time. ūüėČ

  • Noname

    “Mac OS X has very nice and robust GUI (Graphical User Interface) better than all other operating systems on this planet.” I find that statement very subjective.

  • http://nuralief.web.id Alif

    I’ve never tried mac os, so in this case can not give an opinion. or ad ayang want to donate me an apple computer? : lol:

  • http://nuralief.web.id Alif

    I’ve never tried mac os, so in this case can not give an opinion. or ad ayang want to donate me an apple computer? : lol:

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535907919 Rahul Patwari

    I use both Linux (at work, wiped XP off of the computer and I hope the IT dept doesn’t find out) and OS X (at home).

    My overall experience is that OS X is better. Being a closed system, things just work with minimal hassle. I’ve had to do some futzing around with Ubuntu to get things to work (like going into the terminal and type a bunch of stuff I don’t understand to get things done).

    I also find Unity is just not intuitive. Customization is obviously better in Ubuntu (such as replacing Unity with GNOME). Application-wise, while there are equivalents available in Linux, many of them are just not as good (movie editing, audio editing, etc) but still useable. The exceptions to that rule are Open/Libre Office (better than MS Office and iWork, in my opinion) and Inkscape (great).

    I find the speed equivalent. Security? Isn’t OS X based off of Unix as well? Learning I’d have to give to Mac. If you’re talking about a teaching tool, it’s got more stuff available. If you’re referring how easy it is to learn how to use the system, I’d say OS X is easier.

    Thanks for the great comparison.

    • Anonymous

      Welcome! Mr. Rahul Patwari,
      ¬†with a lot of thanks for your valuable comment, I appreciate that. Regarding this comparison, finally I can say ‘Try both (Mac and Ubuntu, Yeah! both are Fun! – Ubuntu 11.10 is coming with Gnome 3.0 while Mac OS X Lion has already arrived) and use the one which you love most!’ :)

      • Alinuxguynowonosx

        lion is so rich in media experience it wont run old applications.
        Lion requires lion to develop lion apps.  But we should 3.5.X for
        compiling snow leopard using snow leopard.  Its like Mac is the new Mac.
        Help I miss linux

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535907919 Rahul Patwari

    I use both Linux (at work, wiped XP off of the computer and I hope the IT dept doesn’t find out) and OS X (at home).

    My overall experience is that OS X is better. Being a closed system, things just work with minimal hassle. I’ve had to do some futzing around with Ubuntu to get things to work (like going into the terminal and type a bunch of stuff I don’t understand to get things done).

    I also find Unity is just not intuitive. Customization is obviously better in Ubuntu (such as replacing Unity with GNOME). Application-wise, while there are equivalents available in Linux, many of them are just not as good (movie editing, audio editing, etc) but still useable. The exceptions to that rule are Open/Libre Office (better than MS Office and iWork, in my opinion) and Inkscape (great).

    I find the speed equivalent. Security? Isn’t OS X based off of Unix as well? Learning I’d have to give to Mac. If you’re talking about a teaching tool, it’s got more stuff available. If you’re referring how easy it is to learn how to use the system, I’d say OS X is easier.

    Thanks for the great comparison.

  • iDove

    i’m using ubuntu for 2 years until now, it is a great OS for me. I use Ubuntu only for average things such as surfing Internet, writing blog and watching movies, and rarely have a problem. i’m not complaining too much on ubuntu because it is free. ubuntu also has a good user interface although Mac is better, but for the price(free), i give 5 stars for ubuntu. 11.04 is awesome as the Unity is likely to be a great part of ubuntu., and thanks for the compiz. i had tried Mac on my friends’ expensive macbook, to be clear Mac user interface is really friendly, i think even kids can use it well compared to ubuntu. at the end of the day, i prefer to use ubuntu because it is FREE.

  • A4a43959

    I prefer Ubuntu!!!!!
    I can customize it completely and fit it to my own needs and tastes, I can try new software, and it does everything I need. I also like all the available software for installation, use and trial. Besides, I can easily use the terminal; even though I am older and NOT a geek, I have come to like the ease of doing things with the terminal on occasion.

    OsX has some nice software, but I hate the lack of options and the inability to change the look and feel, almost NO customizing. i would have designed it differently, and I do NOT always find it easy to operate. Ubuntu beats OsX at ease of operation, it is just more straight-forward, better organized, etc……. ( I am working with classic Ubuntu right now, 11.04 and 11.10).

  • Ernesto

    Apple can licensed its system to run on any hardware because there were times where they did that, and Apple lost miliions and millions of dollars, they almost close the company, then steve jobs came back and fix many stuff like that one. Ubuntu is better, actually linux is better than anything, but the problem is that they are far from being the most used OS in the world, becasue there is almost no Computer with Linux running, also its harder to use than any other OS, There are many open source apps, but gimp for example is not gonna be as big and good as photoshop, im still waiting a decent ilife alternative for linux… Mac may be overpriced, because of the design, but that doesnt mean that if they give me the option to chose a mac over a PC for free i would chose the PC for being cheaper, ill get the mac. Every year they say is the year of linux, i dont think that will happen in a short period, maybe in 10 years, things change, but not now.

    • Anonymous

      ¬†Linux is everywhere. Maybe not on every ones home computer but its out there big time.¬† How many windows web servers do you think there are compared to Linux…. next to non.¬† Yes Windows has the market share in home/office desktop computers.¬† But in poorer countries, more and more people are starting to use Ubuntu.¬† The whole of the French National Police Force has made the move to Ubuntu, 85,000 desktops.¬† Believe it or not Google use Ubuntu. Times are changing and last year 2011, there was a 1% increase in Linux desktop usage globally.¬†

  • Jose Nunez

    Ubuntu More Secure than OSX? Come on? Do you have data to support that assertion?

    • Bartsimpson

      yes 

  • Joel Holdbrooks

    Both operating systems are fantastic. In my opinion it boils down to preference and what you you want out of your operating system. As a developer, I have used both for several years and have found, for myself, there is far more overlap between the two than difference and no one from either camp would agree Windows is better.

    The arguments over which os is superior are typically, as I stated, preference based. Some enjoy the ability to do whatever they want on Ubuntu while others prefer the “convention over configuration” attitude taken by Apple. Both have sound philosophical arguments behind them.

    It is akin to choosing a programming language. You choose a language for it’s strengths not for it’s weaknesses. Designers for seem¬†naturally¬†drawn to using Apple for obvious reasons – there’s a lot of emphasis on design. Programmers will generally like Ubuntu for clear reasons as well. Still that is not to say one cannot write great programs on OS X or design great websites on Ubuntu. Give me a terminal, vi, and a browser on either operating system and I can produce identical results.

  • Jon Hulka

    Based on the title and subject of this website, I expect the results of your poll are probably skewed ūüėõ

    • Anonymous

      :) ..You’re Right.

  • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.eddiehsu.mathgame Eddie Hsu

    I tried inkscape on Mac OSX and it needs to run through X11 without global menus. Inkscape on Ubuntu 11.04 with global menus win, more screen real estate!

  • https://market.android.com/details?id=com.eddiehsu.mathgame Eddie Hsu

    I tried inkscape on Mac OSX and it needs to run through X11 without global menus. Inkscape on Ubuntu 11.04 with global menus win, more screen real estate!

  • Boy

    I like ubuntu because it is “FREE” and nothing comes in life totally free so, grab up a copy of ubuntu and enjoy its awesome features………

  • Jeremy Craig Green

    I really like both of them, but prefer OS X because it has a bazillion apps while Ubuntu only has a handful in comparison.  

    • Anonymous

       Quality is by far better than Quantity :)

  • Anonymous

    Biggest bullshit comparison I’ve ever seen.