Is my move to linux going to be painless?

greetings all,

got question regarding linux & its implementation to making programs compared to say, mac & windows. im currently a mac user [& have been for about 12 years], but am making a switch, because for reasons such as the cost, the companies lack of staying course, plus i feel a change.

but whilst talking with a co-worker about different methods to get pieces running, such as museum installations etc. he asked me whether we could do the same job, but without macs. to keep costs down etc.
my answer was purely ‘yes’. we have the source code here which can go into other machines, so we can take it into linux/windows, change a few things to fit the platform were working on & we should be good.
on this another colleague bought up that macs are ‘just better for graphics & installations’. im not sold on this, as it doesnt actually answer anything, not really. it just sounds like something to say to keep things the way they are. fair enough.
but for myself, im making a big change, one of which is a computer. ive chosen linux, mainly because i like the platform [ubuntu] from just a few minutes on it & ive been a windows guy before. so this change is just because i want to step into the void & learn. plus as well, linux is that platform for the major coder, i believe & have seen. not saying that people need to have linux to code right, but just that its suited to the coder.

but really, is there any massive difference from going from mac to linux. aside from the fact that you wont have xcode/appcode?
can i take all of the examples, or better still, the addons both given & the ones on the ofxaddons site, and have fun with no troubles?
what are the worst pitfalls of changing to linux from a platform that [from what i see] seems to be overrun by mac users?
as im changing a workload to suit what i want, these are things that arent worrying me, but just making me think. im moving to more coded paths & also artistic ones, but apples restriction on what you can do of late is crippling.

but im near my target of a new machine [self-given high five] & these were just a few things that have been stretching my noggin to ask. more than likely i will still do it & make the change, i need a new computer. plus the system76 ones look fantastic & for so much less.

so… yeah. those are my questions.
if someone here has used mac & has switched to linux [or even if your just a guy/gal who uses linux], i would love to know how you feel whether its better, the same, or a bit crappy. all in all its good to know.

all the best

I’d say go for it. I switched from Windows to Linux about 7 years ago and I seldomly looked back (still have a dualboot setup, though).
The way we make OF, code should ideally run on any platform we support with very little or no changes. I think the majority of pain points w.r.t to OF are in the initial/setup phase, but all platforms have them (changing XCode versions, changing VS versions, strange issues with the linux install scripts), but once it’s running it should be smooth, ideally. of course, OS-specific addons won’t run on other platforms, and there’s probably gonna be less support from addon devs since they’ll mostly be mac people. otoh, some things in the OF build process are just so much easier on linux (e.g. for adding an addon to your project, you just add its name to addons.make)

‘just better for graphics & installations’: I think he’s half right, in a way.
Sure, much of this is surely from earlier times when Apple had such a dominant position in the creative sector (graphics, video, sound), but I think this part is more reminiscence than anything. nowadays, most professional packages are available for Windows, too.
On linux, the selection is smaller. Gimp is an awesome pixel-based editor (read: photoshop), and Inkscape is a great vector-based program (read: illustrator), but if you are used to the Adobe suit, and have the shortcuts and workflow in your bones, the transition is going to be more difficult than for a fresh user. And the software landscape is getting better - recently, a professional video editing package (read: premiere) called Lightworks presented their Linux version (this is software used to cut oscar-awarded motion pictures).

On the other hand, Apples walled-garden approach makes some things much easier. The number of different iphone and ipad resolutions is what? 3? The mac minis are an awesome small computer for installations (because they’re all nearly the same and/or internationally available, so you can just tell a gallery to buy an mac mini suchandsuch, and just send them your code to run)

on the other hand, with a linux computer you don’t have to pay the price premium, no license cost for OSes (installation with 15 raspberry pi’s? no sweat, just pay for the hardware), no arbitrary restrictions like on the app store, and you can really adjust the setup to your needs as needed. hardware/drivers problem have gone down significantly in the last 5-10 years (honestly, I have had more problems on my windows machine wih driver updates etc).

I think coming from mac, the transition is not gonna be so steep since you are already used to things like a console and the unix system. If you use Ubuntu, is a gold mine for any questions which will invariably turn up. Most noticable will probably be that the experience is not so “smooth”/tightly integrated anymore, there’s more alternatives for everything you wanna do.

“Linux is better for coders”: I think the more precise formulation would be “linux is for people who like to tinker”.

whether its better, the same, or a bit crappy.
I think, all of the above :smiley:

disclaimer: I’m a linux person and haven’t yet used a Mac productively for an extended period of time (as I don’t like it). I’ll let others pitch in now. :slight_smile:

i appreciate your opinion, as it is just that. its a nice insight to what i was wanting to read to be honest. one of the things i was going to say was that ‘back in the day’, sure, apple was on top with being the go-to for designers, but about 10 years [maybe less or more]. but more recently, apple are taking away that usability from people. snow leopard was the last great mac OS. and think the whole app store is a joke, because its taking away what people really feel they should have in. it feels more like a gimmick.
but now with major advances in computing & more so cost, it seems silly to just stick to mac.
by the way, i do have a padi, but never paid for it, got it through a great trade of an old drum kit, plus also walked away with a roland v-drum set as well, boosh. it has been useful, but not to warrant actually paying for one.

i do agree that macs are good for installations, as we are working on about 8 right now. and it does make it easier to get things up & running, thats what i can give to apple. but thats all now. actually not so much now.
i was on snow leopard before & loved that it had EVERYTHING. but since apple are trying to bind [poorly] the OS & iOS, it has taken away a lot of that ‘get up & go’ feeling. this is just talking from my experience.
but i just think sometimes people are drawn too much too an image of what they have now-a-days, or they have been spoon-fed the hype. i blame the phonei & podi for this.
how many people have phonei? too goddamn many :wink:

i agree that if you work on mac, then it will make things easier, but the thing is, its code. its not biased of what platform your on. its only the gripe of changing ide.
i do like the idea of having less selection of software with linux, if im really honest. as long as they are good, or getting better, then it doesnt matter. it is an utter pain if there is hundreds of different programs for the same thing, so stepping into a world which has what it has is nice to me, it feels good.
there was a previous post i made, with replies coming back for the video editing & i know about bitwig.

there are some addons i have seen that are just for mac, but what would stop linux people from converting them over? i assume for now, that would not be too much of a problem as it would have been years ago. i guess that could be a personal project for myself when i get my new machine. im aiming for about a month [maybe 2] to get it. though wondering whether to stick to ubuntu, or go for some other one?

just one last question. do you have any linux laptops [or none linux which can be put to linux] that you think would be good to look at?
currently eyeing the system76 ones, but bit wary if they bring out a new version right as soon as i buy one. this happened when i bought my macbook pro about 6 years ago.

but again, thank you for your response. and if anyone else wants to chime in, then do, would love to know what others think.

its only the gripe of changing ide.
which can be eliminated if you switch to a cross-platform IDE. codeblocks definitely works on linux and windows, and should work on mac, too (anyone: right?). ditto for Eclipse, where the only thing I’m not sure about is if the new makefile system already works on windows.

less selection of software
what I meant was less selection of “professional-grade” production software like the adobe suite, finalcut, etc.
“hundreds of different programs for the same thing” this is (un)fortunately something you will find on linux, too, simply because of the freedom and wildly varying tastes (case in point: text editors). Personally, I think that’s mainly a good thing, because normally the defaults/preinstalled packages are fine, and if you later on discover things you don’t like you have the experience to better judge alternatives as to their merits. Where the prevalence of solutions breaks down is if too many different packages dilute developer resources to the point where we have 15 bad (e.g.) music players instead of 2 really well-maintained ones. case in point I guess is libav vs. ffmpeg (they forked and split the community because of serious disagreements).

what would stop linux people from converting them over?
wel for one, OS-specific technologies, for example Syphon.

I think ubuntu will be fine. It’s very popular currently, and with sites like it’s easy to get answers to arising questions.

as to hardware: I don’t think it matters that much. I have had/have I think 4 ubuntu machines through the years, which all were not specially certified for linux and what not, and I never had serious problems. my current OF machine is a HP elitebook laptop, and the only thing that did not work ootb was the fingerprint reader (and I think the latest linux kernel even brought in support for that, but I haven’t tried yet)
but yeah, with the system76 you at least have some kind of “guarantee” that someone installed linux before and checked that everything works out.
check out though, where you can find user experiences with linux and specific laptop models.

aye, i have looked code blocks for mac, mainly as i was looking for cross-platform. also looked at eclipse, but it feels maybe too much. but then again, im willing to change up if it means its cross-platform.

the hardware, i feel comfortable with system76. ive asked questions, such as if there was a new machine coming soon, as i dont want to then be superseded right away :wink: thats what happened when i bought my mac.
i was looking at other non-linux machines. but the thought of having full support etc, is just something that i cant pass on. its a bit like the whole hackintosh thing [which im tempted to also do], you wont get apple support. so a vendor who does linux is my path.

brill, all the info i need.
if anyone else has any views, please chime in

Linux is cool, especially if you enjoy programming. It’s all there and you can mess with whatever you want as much as you want. Unix as a platform is a beautiful environment for developers. imo get jiggy with the command line, it is the ide for unix.

There’s a learning curve for sure, and expect things to be rough around the edges, but it seems like things have gotten a lot better over time. If you have a bunch of projects on the go, I would suggest moving bits over in pieces, as you’ll lose time just getting familiar with how stuff works.

The two things I would check are obscure hardware, especially audio interfaces that may or may not have drivers, and wacky file formats clients send stuff.

I dont use linux now, but ages ago I was a unix developer. Now I just use osx which is unix under the hood anyway, but have nice toys like abelton.

I don’t know system76 but ubuntu does have a big community and they are pretty welcoming to new people which can be a big help when you are getting started and weird stuff happens.

I think apple is reasonably priced for what you get.

aye the command line is something i think everyone think is what linux just runs under. you dont see applications, just code. i know thats wrong & had to tell many people as well. but linux has gotten so much better from the first time i played on it, some 15 odd years ago.
the command line is fine though. i play with terminal from time to time, plus since recently signing to github, it makes you, which is good if you need updated versions etc.

yeah the few things i have been looking at is the usability of hardware. luckily, the only other hardware i do have is an edirol audio device. and from tests on an old dell with ubuntu, it worked.
but thankfully more of my work has been using arduino & raspberry pi & a hell more code. so linux is great.
shame that ableton is not on, but bitwig will come. but there is ardour. as long as there is some applications for my cause, then its all cool. from what ive seen available, everything will be good.

personally, i feel apple is not worth it. before i felt good because things were aimed at the developers, musicians & designer. but now not so much. everything feels like its been taken away to enjoy an OS, to expand on things, too many restrictions for my liking & i like mountain lion, but not as much as snow leopard. the fact that things are ‘hidden’ from the user is silly. plus that its hardware is less & less hackable.
i believe that people should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want with the hardware they buy [& void warranty if they want], & i get apples decision to make it harder to do so, but just feel theyre taking more steps backwards, which is already losing users.
excuse if this feels like bitching, but it is just experience & what i have been watching over the past few years. im not griping much, as i have my alternative ;D
though did come to some conclusion with a friend, that apple will be going under in the next 5 or so years. not gone like mr. jobs, not have its hardware go cheaper, but just that people will start to go for cheaper & even better computers/tablets/phones. that is already starting to happen.

anyhow, it doesnt matter much now. im still going to keep my mac, as i like using logic pro. plus will be good to do tests in both mac/linux platforms.

I agree with this sentiment but its a personal thing and for me, not having to stuff around with hardware is a definite plus. Mostly cause I always seem to end up breaking things. It’s true that its not really possible to change your ram or whatever now, but on the flipslide my mac laptop is simultaneously the fastest machine i have ever had, yet also the quietist, smallest and lightest. I think its a pretty impressive piece of engineering, sure I can’t change my ram but I am ok with that.


just giving a small thanks & also a ‘how im doing’ message.
well, i partitioned a drive to have both my mac & linux on the same machine. i figured that if i want to get into it. its best to do it now while i really want to.

so i put ubuntu 12.whatever on my machine and am very happy. i decided on using code::blocks for the time being. though i count eclipse as the UBER geek IDE [which is really nice], i figured just for the time being ill use code::blocks. also as well the projectGenerator works well with it.
but so far so good. running linux on my mac, with oF working great.
im still going to get a new machine, i desperately need one. but i thought id still like it, why not, its free :wink:
though will be buying a really nice t-shirt as well.

funny thing is that i made a linux user laugh about my views. he was genuinely impressed about my stance against apple. ha.
the only thing i need to get working right is code::blocks for mac, then im all set. i will give files, or setup files for the oF downloads. i figured many are in the same boat [wanting to use different IDEs in mac] so will give my finding for the mac version when they pop up

again, thanks for the words & many more to come

Just thought I’d bump this old conversation, as I’m currently questioning my future with os x, as lewisedwards was over two years ago.

First, if your still doing stuff with oF on linux, how are you finding it lewisedwards?

I’m only just getting started with c++, and I’m getting used to it through OSX, on Xcode. However, like you, I see OS X as a stagnating product, and Apple doesn’t seem to be as interested in catering to the more ‘creative’ users as they are to selling gold iPhones to rich people. On top of that, I find El Capitan to be hellish, and is slowing down pretty much everything.

So I’m tempted to wipe it off, and get started with oF through ubuntu and code::blocks. But I’m wondering how easy it is to develop oF on code::blocks vs. Xcode. What is the experience on using oF on Xcode vs. code::blocks? Or am I asking you guys to compare apples to oranges (sorry for the bad pun). I appreciate any input you guys have.

we don’t use codeblocks anymore since the last release. the default IDE in linux is now qtcreator which is pretty good. it’s also supported in osx so you can give it a try without having to install linux. you can also install linux on a virtual machine software like virtual box or similar to test things before wiping out the whole os

Cool thanks for the speedy reply arturo. Also I saw a demo video of (you?) using qtCreator on vimeo. Looks like it’s working pretty good.

On that note, is there a particular distro you recommend? Seems like a lot of people use Ubuntu on this forum. Is there a preferred distro or am I asking another open-ended question?