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Apple Businesses Software Linux

Terra Soft Ships Macs with Linux Preinstalled 332

dhovis writes "Do you think the Xserve is cool, but you wish it ran Linux? Well, MacCentral is reporting that Terra Soft Solutions, an Apple 'Value Added Reseller,' is now shipping Macs. They are offering several new Macs with Yellow Dog Linux preinstalled now, and are promising the Xserve will be available soon." They are currently shipping Power Mac G4s, iBooks, and iMacs, as well as AirPort cards. See the Terra Soft Store for more information.
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Terra Soft Ships Macs with Linux Preinstalled

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  • My two cents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @10:57AM (#4039356)
    Apple's have great hardware, (yes the motorola is MUCH better than the intel), so it seems natural to couple them with good software. At my work, the sysadmin just bought a bunch of iMAC's, stripped them of their OS and stuck Linux PPC on them. Works for me, now this just saves us some work. More power to them, options are ALWAYS good.
    Check this out for an artistic commentary on how this will effect the computer industry []
  • Re:Yellow Dog? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @10:57AM (#4039357) Journal
    Well, they are Yellow Dog.
  • by jkujawa ( 56195 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @10:59AM (#4039370) Homepage
    Three years ago, this would have made sense. Apple has always made good hardware, putting good software on it makes a winning combination.

    But now? OS X is a first-rate Unix, which I'm actually much happier using as a Unix than Linux.
  • by krog ( 25663 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @10:59AM (#4039372) Homepage
    Slam me into -1, Flamebait land if you want.

    But anyone who buys new Apple hardware and shuns Mac OS X in favor of Yellow Dog is throwing their money away. You can run Linux on PC hardware which is way cheaper than Apple hardware, and it will run better than Linux on PPC. Installing Linux or BSD on old Macs makes good sense sometimes, but when you have a top-quality Unix (OS X) which is more beautiful than any other Unix out there, why strive for second best?
  • Re:Price? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by guacamolefoo ( 577448 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:05AM (#4039414) Homepage Journal
    Likewise, I see no value proposition in putting GNU/linux on Apple hardware. One of the primary benefits of GNU/linux is that it runs well on generic (i.e. cheap) hardware. The benefits of OS X are primarily in what Apple brings to the table in terms of interface and software.

    This has some geek factor to it, but the benefits I see from apple and the benefits I see from GNU/linux are thrown out and turned exactly around. Expensive Apple hardware running a GNU/linux product with a less-polished interface.

    Admittedly, the main post addressed Apple's server product, for which the Apple interface issues are much less pronounced, but the expense of the hardware is still an issue. I just don't get it, I guess.

    This post made in compliance with the RMSDMCA.

  • by SuperCal ( 549671 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:05AM (#4039415) Homepage
    A friend of mine bought a base model iBook online and had it mail ordered home. By the time it reached his home he had already downloaded and burned a linux dist ISO at my house. We had that baby running (by we I mean he) linux in less then a hour. That resaler wants a almost a $200 premium for installing free software. I think spending a hour is worth saving $200.
  • Older machines? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:09AM (#4039444) Homepage
    I wonder if they'll expand their product line to older machines at some point. I love running OS X on my iMac, but Yellow Dog absolutely 0wnz my 7200/120.

    It just seems that exploiting the main strength of Linux/PPC, it's ability to maximize the potential of older hardware, would be a sound business move.

  • by rberton ( 456041 ) <> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:12AM (#4039462) Homepage
    Yes and no.

    Aqua is nice and all, but it is extremely heavy especially for all day use. I prefer something that is quick and lightweight and cannot get that behavior out of Aqua. Linux gives me more choices in that arena.
  • by Jobe_br ( 27348 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {hturdb}> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:13AM (#4039464)
    Incidentally, the original poster didn't say "good" .. the poster wrote "first-rate", which is exactly what it is. Whatever applications you have the source for on a Linux box will likely run, with much the same results, on an OS X box. Put it this way, if it runs in Linux and it runs in FreeBSD, chances are real good that it'll run in OS X.

    Why dismiss an OS that contains a portion of closed-source proprietary code? That seems to be overly pedantic.
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:40AM (#4039650) Homepage Journal
    There's multiple posts where people question running Linux when MacOS is already there, and in many ways, just plain better than Linux.

    This is pretty much equivalent to saying, even in the context of x86 hardware, "Why would anyone run Linux when they could run FreeBSD?" or even "Why would anyone run FreeBSD when they could run Linux?" Just because something is good doesn't mean alternatives are necessarily stupid.

    Linux does have features that Darwin doesn't have, BTW. Linux4Video, for example (not that I've ever got it to work on my hardware ;-). It's probably not important for 99% of the population, but no need to call the other 1% of the population stupid.

  • Re:My two cents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frunch ( 513023 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:44AM (#4039675) Homepage
    so it seems natural to couple them with good software

    You mean like OS X? Honestly, I don't see much point in paying for a switch from a Unix-based machine to a Linux-based machine. (And a Linux-based machine that won't run iTunes, iMovie, or iPhoto)
  • Perhaps having solid hardware is an issue... not to mention good looking hardware. You can't find better stuff than what Apple is making. I'd rather use Free Software, however. I like where they are going, but Apple just isn't where I would want them to be, software wise.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:08PM (#4039853)
    "Why would I want to replace a unix based OS with an excellent user interface, support for things like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and heck even Flash/Shockwave plugins. None of this is on Linux (unfortunately)"

    Im glad somebody else said this. The answer is "You don't switch to Linux just to gain a few popularity points on Slashdot". Microsoft isn't holding a gun to my head to use Windows 2000, I'm using it because I use Lightwave, Photoshop, After Effects, lotsa games, and the internet in general extensively.

    Too bad my Windows 2000 preference has earned me a reputation for being 'pro-MS' as opposed to being practical.

    The OS is nowhere near as important as the apps you use on it. I wish the Linux zealots out there would learn that before spouting 'Switch to Maya!' every time I breath a word of Lightwave. I'm happy to switch to *nix *if* it benefits me. Until them, I'm a Windows guy. I did not make a bad choice.
  • You can run Linux on PC hardware which is way cheaper than Apple hardware, and it will run better than Linux on PPC.

    While this is the conventional wisdom, and I have always been an anti-mac guy, I priced a dual gigy PowerMac with a 17in FP and found that perfomance-for-perfomance (as opposed to MHz for MHz) the price is about the same as an Intel box. I think you may actually do a bit better with the Apple when you consider (hardware) support. For me the sexyness factor of the Mac puts it over the top. I mean, the MB is mounted to the side panel. It has handles. It isn't beige (or black, which was cool 'till it was over-done).

  • by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:22PM (#4039960) Homepage Journal want to trade your decent BSD based OS with quality commercial support, a usable GUI, great built in software and ability to compile pretty much anything for Yellow Dog Linux?

    If so, you may be interested in knowing that I've got a BMW 330i which I've taken the seats out and replaced with phone books and installed an engine from a 1972 Super Beetle. It's a good, solid engine, very hackable. Price is only $3000 more than a new Bimmer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:43PM (#4040093)
    Sluggish performance compared to what? Linux? Maybe, a stripped down distro, but let's see you render the entire Linux GUI as a vector PDF texture layered in 3D OpenGL space...OS X does it pretty darn snappy.

    Non-standard GUI? Compared to what? What the hell is a standard GUI? If anything Apple is the only company that enforces a standard, uniform interface for all applications so the user has a consistent interface. Try to say that about Linux/Unix. *laugh* Don't even mention Win32 varients.

    Timely updates? Apple releases many updates a month, usually a few days after a vulnerability is found. If that isn't fast enough for you, roll your own and use them. Try that with Win32.

    So are you just ignorant or scared because you don't know any better?
  • by Mr_Icon ( 124425 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:49PM (#4040641) Homepage

    A lot of questions here as per "why would anyone run linux when there is OS X?". I personally run YDL on my Titanium, and I have my personal reasons to. Let me see if I can cover them.

    1. I do this primarily for ideological reasons. Aqua is closed-source, proprietary software and I do not like that. Understandably, you may have different ideals, so this might or might not apply to you.
    2. I am a computer professional and whenever I am in OS X, I feel extremely constrained by the interface. Sure, it's pretty. However, I miss my virtual desktops, I miss my hotkeys, I miss focus-follows-mouse, I miss many other things that I'm used to. I miss having a usable mail client (I don't like for several reasons that I won't go into). I know that I can "emulate" all those things, but in order to do that I would have to buy even more proprietary software that costs money -- as opposed to already having all of that available under X.
    3. I admit -- I am boggled by the prettyness: from full alpha transparency to the consistency of the interface. Then again, I recently looked at gnome-2, and I like what I see. Full power of X-window -- including network transparency, which is non-existent in OS X -- and nearly just as pretty. Full alpha-transparency support is, of course, not there yet in X-window (apart from cheap tricks like grabbing whatever is below), but I find it actually annoying on OS X most of the time. It doesn't do anything to me in terms of real usefulness. I mean, whooptie-doo, I can see what's below my terminal. Now that's useful.
    4. I don't like having to depend on one vendor for security updates. If I find that TerraSoft is taking too long to come up with a new version of a package, I apply the patches myself and install a patched RPM. In order to do that under OS X I would have to a) have access to the package source (which is not always available), b) guess and double-guess which patches Apple already applies to the packages to make them work, and c) install from source, possibly breaking the Apple's Automated Updater mechanism.
    5. Darwin sucks as a unix. :) You can't just take a product and compile it under Darwin and expect it to work like you would under Linux or most BSD's. I mean -- c'mon, it doesn't even have dlopen. You have to emulate it. Besides, we run Red Hat at the office, and I like to have all configuration files to have the same layout between home and work. It's saner to me that way.

    I do use OS X periodically. I have an MP3 player that can't be accessed from Linux at this time -- it only works from windows and mac classic; and I use Macromedia Fireworks with my Graphire Tablet from time to time. It has its uses. For real work I use YDL.

    From my point of view, OS X is an OS written and suitable entirely for middle-of-the-road users. It's a system that a grandma can use without getting hopelessly lost and confused. I am not a grandma -- I'm an enthusiast. To draw popular analogies to cars, I like to get my hands into the very innards of the system, including replacing the engine, overhauling the suspension, and putting oversized tires. I can only do that efficiently enough under YDL -- when I try to do something like that to OS X, I feel like I'm ricing a Civic.

    As there are companies who sell parts and tools to car enthusiasts, similarly TerraSoft sells a distribution to people who like to be adventurous with their computers. Branding that as "stupid" is not entirely correct, nor really called for.

    Now, why did I get an Apple notebook in the first place? a) I didn't pay for it, :) and b) I was intrigued by OS X. Would I get another Apple notebook? Probably, but not a Titanium. I might get a next-generation iBook, whenever they come out on G4's. Simply because I've already invested in some software on OS X that I would like to keep using (same MM Fireworks, for example). Titanium is like an all-leather interior: good for impressing your date, but no real use otherwise. :)

  • by WatertonMan ( 550706 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @02:44PM (#4041105)
    Wow - a person who picks Linux over OSX because you have to configue OSX/BSD more than Linux?

    I thought the whole sexiness issue for Linux geeks was that you *had* to spend so much time configuring it, downloading the latest versions, etc. If you hate configuration, why go with Linux at all?

  • by KshGoddess ( 454304 ) <> on Friday August 09, 2002 @04:41PM (#4042133) Homepage Journal
    Tried BSD. Was too used to default settings (BASH, basic fs structure, etc) from Linux, decided relearning or reconfiguring that was too much trouble for essentially the same software as a result.
    A lot of BSD (and Solaris) geeks react the same way to Linux. You were asking what the selling points of OS X were over Linux, and for a BSD fan, one of those selling points is "it's not Linux."

    What's a geek who refuses to learn something new? Dead. Especially with the job market as tight as it is. If you can afford the luxury of deciding not to learn a new skill, you probably can't afford to graduate from high school/college and move out of your parents' house.

    ichimunki is why I don't talk OS's with people. "I'm used to it my way! I'm obviously right! You don't know what you're talking about! I'm so leet!" Where's the expected geek curiosity? Where's the expected "Hey, this is new and shiny, I want to tear it apart to see the insides"?

    Maybe I'm just too old (at 26) to deal with the younger geeks without a chuckle at their naive view of operating systems. Now if only I had some official UNIX suspenders (I can't grow the beard).

    Golias is perfectly justified in the points given; of course, I'm a bit biased, as I'm saving my pennies for an ibook at the time... and not one running Yellow Dog Linux. ;)

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.