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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

how flexibile is it?


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fuscia
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i'm currently a linux user/former windows user and i will be getting a laptop next month (as a toy). i'm considering getting a powerbook and i'm wondering how much flexibility is there to OS X. can i use other desktop environments (KDE, gnome, etc.)? what about just a window manager (like fluxbox)? is there much free software? thanks.
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Well KDE and Gnome need X. And X is not very nice on a Mac. It's there, but it sux. Macs are not very happy when fiddled around the core. They're made for you to use the Aqua GUI, you can modify it, but you shouldn't play around too much.
If you are a person who like to tweak out every inch of the system to their liking, stick with Linux. Macs have a GUI that appeals to most normal people though, and in that respect doesn't need any dangerous tweaking.
A Mac can get messed up fast if you play around with it too much. IMHO.

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fuscia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi
that appeals to most normal people
uh-oh! that excludes me. thanks for your response.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi
Well KDE and Gnome need X. And X is not very nice on a Mac. It's there, but it sux. Macs are not very happy when fiddled around the core. They're made for you to use the Aqua GUI, you can modify it, but you shouldn't play around too much.
If you are a person who like to tweak out every inch of the system to their liking, stick with Linux. Macs have a GUI that appeals to most normal people though, and in that respect doesn't need any dangerous tweaking.
A Mac can get messed up fast if you play around with it too much. IMHO.
Why the hostility towards X11?
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lil
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X11 has always worked great for me, sure it's not pretty but then that's what Aqua is for, X11 gives us compatibility with the other *nixes.

I use it a lot and combined with the BSD roots of Mac OS X—it's a stormingly good operating system.

X11 on Mac OS X has to make compromises; after all—Finder/Aqua take over much of what X11 usually does.

Vicky
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Fuscia: You can always install Linux on a separate partition so you have OS X and Linux living happily on one computer (god I hate these smilies)

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fuscia
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yes, indeed, i could dual boot, but i'm more asking about the flexibility of OS X. i know nothing about it. i'm guessing it's not as flexible as linux, but i'm wondering if it's closer to linux, or closer to windows, regarding rigidity. is the desktop embedded, for example? and btw, how is gimp for mac?
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Gimp works well with Mac + X11 just make sure you install the X11 from your computer install CD/DVD rather than the one available for download.
Try OSX if you don't like it you can use one of many versions of Linux for Mac.
Friend has Ubuntu running on an old Mac note book, he's happy with it. Personally I prefer MacOSX tiger, it's a joy after so many years fighting windows. :-)
Sorry I can't help with the rest.
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Kokopelli
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You can run fluxbox, FVWM, and Gnome using darwinports but it is not something I would recommend. If you want to use X11 then boot to Linux. Aqua is not an X11 app. I would say it is closer to X11 than it is to Windows but it is a proprieatary app sitting on top of Darwin.

OS X = Distro (Redhat)
Darwin = kernel (Linux)
Finder = desktop (yes, the desktop in OS X is generated by finder)
Aqua = windows interface (X11+Windows Manager)

The look of Aqua can be customied by haxies but in general it's behavior can only be extended, not replaced. Apple is a company looking to sell a product. They want consistency of user experience not 33 flavors and then some. What you are asking for is almost anathema to the user interface guidelines. (EDIT: I actually think competition in the desktop and window manager environment is a good thing, but Apple is a company. It makes no sense for them to compete with themselves. )

There is quite a bit of free software out for the Mac. While not in the quantities available for Linux in general the Mac freeware is more usable. (Sweeping generalization I know.)

EDIT: Gimp works the same as in Linux, or at least as far as the basic stuff I do with graphics.
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Sorry I never intended it that way. What I meant is that Macs just happen to appeal to the Common John. And you're special, not a common john :-) .

The thing is, Mac OS X is a Unix system. It can thus do everything a Unix system can do, but it's harder because you start of with OS X installed instead of nearly nothing, which will make you change tons of stuff.

I agree with Kokopelli. Since this is a "commercial" Unix, Apple needs to keep the system as tight as possible, but they were smart enough to leave the options open to those who know a bit more.

So in answer to the original question: Mac OS X is totally flexible, but wasn't built with that in mind.

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Well since you were considering a "powerbook" anyway, that's now a Macbook Pro. Which means you can basically install any OS you want on there:

So grab the Macbook, see if you & OS X get on and if not, put your favorite linux distro on there.
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I would have to agree with Aptmunich.

It's all good.
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