Only a Ubuntu User is a Happy OSX User
I own my MacBook now for a year, having been convinced by a friend. He - like me - had become tired of fiddling around with kismet and iwconfig just to make networking work at this conference, or at that meeting.
The Pain Returns
While networking and also email worked out well for me, as soon as I started developing software I was confronted with the lack of package management. Or actually the many you had to run in parallel:
- The occasional .dmg file to download, followed by the braindead installation.
- The Apple-owned update, that with the enormous downloads and the loooooooong reboot times.
- Then the ambitious, but ultimately loosing MacPorts suite for most important binaries and libraries.
- Then the CPAN for the Perl packages.
You can install the Perl distribution with any of the four. And then you have to start to look out for very strange effects.
And some applications (such as Firefox) use their own update mechanism.
- After hours of downloading prerequisites and compiling most of these, you figure that the port infrastructure is not the latest.
- When you try to upgrade it will tell you that it needs the latest Xcode.
- You have to re-register at the Apple site.
- But - after a long download - it turns out that is it incompatible with the current OS X on my box.
Maybe I should have tried to find a compatible version, but I had enough at that point.
VirtualBox + Ubuntu = Happiness
I long played with the thought to replace Mac OSX with Debian, but the Wiki left me unconvinced whether this is without its problems. And having Debian would bring me back to iwconfig.
Enter VirtualBox with Ubuntu as guest: It installed like a charm (ok, I have here 2Mbytes/sec to the next .deb mirror), and all the usually gimmicks work:
- Access to the host file system.
- Bridged and NAT networking.
- USB automount.
- Fullscreen resolution.
- Hibernation works reliably.
What is really strange is that the music quality under Rhythmbox/Gnome/Ubuntu is so much better than that of VLC/OSX.
But where I was deeply impressed was that Seamless Mode works: Like for other virtualizers your Ubuntu windows become windows on Aqua (OSX windowing system):
In the screenshot (yes, real camera :-) the Chrome browser and the menu bar left run under Gnome. All the rest is the usual OSX styleware.
Now I have a decent console (sorry, but iTerm does not cut it for me) and emacs as editor for everything. I just hate to edit in 5 different modes.
But most importantly:
I have my apt back.
I, for myself, have a Happy Christmas! I hope you too.