Skip Links

Apple is Professional Linux

Growing up with Linux; Using Mac in the Real World

By Stephen Spector on Wed, 01/12/11 - 10:26pm.

I am spending the week in San Antonio, TX at a training course filled with Linux system administrators with a wide range of professional experience supporting large and small enterprise environments. In speaking with many of these admins I am struck by one common theme:

“I used Linux to learn about computers growing up but now that I am a professional I run a Mac.”

In fact, almost 90% (I counted) of the admins were using a Mac as their primary work machine to monitor and manage their Linux servers and were given the option of running a pure Linux machine if they so desired. Naturally, I was curious about this unexpected trend and dug deeper to get a better understanding.

Here are some of the comments from the Linux administrators on why they use a Mac instead of a “pure” Linux desktop:

•    I don't have time to fix my random and weekly Linux issues on my laptop so I just use the Mac since it simply works
•    I grew up using a Linux desktop and now that I get paid to run Linux, I choose a Mac; a Mac allows me to focus on my job without all the overhead associated with a Linux distro
•    A Mac is just simple and easy to use
•    Linux is made for the server and I like to keep it there

One note on this, I realize that the Mac runs on a UNIX derivative but most people consider the Mac OS separate from a Linux distribution so I am following this thinking.

As you can see, the Linux desktop market is not successful in this group of computer users who would seem to be the natural candidate for a Linux desktop. As I have presented in earlier blog posts, I am seeing a clear trend for Linux in the mobility, embedded, and server marketplace but the desktop is not gaining ground; thus my thinking that Linux developers should spend less time on the desktop.

What are your thoughts? Do you know a Linux administrator who would agree with the administrators I met this week? Who is the target for a desktop Linux solution?

On The Web
Blog Roll
OpenStack blog
Weudel On