OS decisions: Apple, Linux, or Windows? (Cake and eat it as well)

I tried at least 3 times to completely switch to linux because I really disliked Win and Mac for several well known reasons. The last attempt was maybe one year ago and it feels like it was successfull this time. I think the main reason for the success was that I found an open source alternative for every software I needed which I could install through the packagemanager. If you have to tinker around a lot before you can start working it will get annoying very quickly if you come from mac or windows. So I use Linux Mint with Darktable, LibreOffice, Scribus, Krita, Gimp, RapidPhotoDownloader,… and that’s basically all I need. If I need something special I use a VM or wine but at this point tinkering don’t bother me so much anymore because I know I can get my work done even if I fail getting the software running on linux.

Wanna say: if you really need WP and Garageband make sure you find an alternative which is easy to install in linux or check if you can find a workaround to install it before you switch.

Then you’ll enjoy linux very much : )


Thanks for this full answer. I still have not decided what I will do, but getting closer. What is difficult is understanding the jargon. A local bricks-and-mortar shop I asked for advice showed me a bunch of Lenovos on his sales screen. New to me was the M.2 concept–apparently one new step beyond the SSD hard drive.

The Web site has a comparison feature, but it’s useless; most of the examples have not had their data filled in. For example, what does THIS say??

[Lenovo | ThinkPad L15 G2 i5-1135G7 (2.40GHz 8MB), 15.6" FHD Non-Touch, 8GB 256GB M.2 2280, PCIe NVMe, OPAL2.0, TLC RTL8852AE AX,BT 5.0 W10 Pro 1YR 20X30071US] ($1360 CDN)


[Lenovo | Thinkpad E14 14" FHD i7-1165G7 8GB 512GB M.2 65W USB-C W10 Pro 1YR Depot | 20TA0025US]
(https://shop.trinititech.ca/lenovo-thinkpad-e14-14-fhd-i7-1165g7-8gb-512gb-m2.html--if you want to look)

To just sample two of the LeNovo blurbs …

What’s the E14 mean–14" but what’s the E? FHD is a provider of RAM, as Intel Core is? What’s the W10 Pro about?

The shop offers HP, Microsoft, Asus, Dell, and Lenovo, but it seemed the staffer was showing me only Lenovo. He suggested when at home I click on “in stock,” which tells me he’s not helping me get the best … he’s selling what the store has.

Opinions on reliability of those brands? Six of one, half a dozen …? Way back just after the dinosaurs died, I bought my first computer: a Gateway honking desktop. Dells were the ones I ignored then, and succeeded where Gateways perished, and all gov’t offices have them. I always foolishly perhaps veer from the big brands. Sony? No, I’ll get … etc.

I don’t want to bet on the wrong horse again. I really don’t like that these computers are all, at purchase, Windows machines. These fat companies all sneak and spy and I resent them all–Google, Apple, Microsoft. Linux appeals, therefore (and, lamentably, (real)Blackberry, on the phone scene–not that I ever had one).

I type this on an older HP ProBook and though it’s completely unable to keep up, I’m sure it was a good machine when current. I like it. And I have a LeNovo thinkpad X121e, a free find on a local listerv (do we still say ‘listserv’?), which had been a German keyboard confusion, but a local NGO that refurbs gov’t toss-aways helped me switch it. Both are nice machines. I suppose such homilies do nothing–those were then, their new offerings are now.

Again, I want loads of storage space for my RAW photos, and for the scanned content of family slides and negatives. I think there must be good Linux alternatives to GarageBand… WordPerfect is not essential, although it sure beat Word … a guy at the NGO mentioned a better alternative to LibreOffice. But with one of these laptops I could dual-boot Linux/Windows using Bootcamp … if I doubt my competence to actually negotiate it.

What I want most are reliability, speed, and great big storage! And the ability to change components, to add RAM etc., if needed.

Yes, I want vast headspace (not waiting up to a minute for a click to close FaceBook, or waiting interminably to open Settings to discover what my RAM is or my remaining space on this HP ProBook … it never did get to that page to inform me …) I often get up to 50 tabs open in Firefox, and I need it to be unfazed.


I can’t imagine spending much time editing raw photos on a laptop…unless maybe I had a big monitor connected to it and a keyboard so I could shove it off to the side…but then it would have a slower CPU and GPU than I could get on a desktop… you don’t have much choice if you want or need to be mobile or can only have one PC. The M1 mac’s do seem to be good performers from what gets reported… Not many laptops have massive storage, you usually need to resort to external, NAS or cloud storage.

I hate working on a laptop… don’t want to end up being kyphotic :slight_smile: Good luck with your search…

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I don’t have the real estate for a desktop, although I have one on top of my 3-drawer file cabinet, and never use it. I’ve been content using this 16" HP ProBook and, before it died, the 15" MacBook Pro (late-2011). It’s just fine, though I wouldn’t want to use the smaller LeNovo, which I did out of need for a time. But I do have two Dell monitors should I need them (19"). I want to be able to get the computer out of the way at times to use my typewriters or to work on fixing them. And other things. Desktops are in the way. If I need a frequently attached external hard drive, that’s fine too.

For sure you have your reasons and I think lots of others do use laptops as well but as I sit looking at my 32" monitor I couldn’t imagine trying to do it and enjoying it at all… I’m lucky I can make the space…old desk down in my workshop/furnace room… :slight_smile:

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(And, as I say, Macs are too invasive … and you cannot, say, add storage without them doing it, and charging you both for the new space and the stuff you have them take out.) Otherwise I’d love an M1 MacBook … but then too I don’t think they yet support darktable fully.)

I have DT running on my Win11 PC both in WSLg…no opencl there and on a second drive using PopOS…I chose that as they had a version with NVIdia drivers and it just seems to work without much fuss. I don’t dual boot I don’t like all that hassle…If I want Linux I just boot and use the bios to pick the boot drive… Currently in a large part because of work I stick with WIndows… I run Win11 Pro and DT seems to run nicely. I have gone through a couple of renditions of removing telemetry and other things…I am sure lots still goes on in the background but heck I use a cell phone and the internet so I am not hiding from anyone…luckily nor do I need to … good luck finding something. The thing I find with laptops is they can also be hit or miss. If you get a good one it lasts for years but there are a lot of flakey ones out there. The tougher better built hardware are often slower business models or game machines

I bought one of these 6 months ago or so for one of our postdoc’s…he seems quite happy with it…I was actually amazed that it wasnt’ nearly as large as I thought it would be…

Thanks for that link. Will check it.

Just because you have nothing to hide–which my 87-year-old mom keeps repeating–does NOT mean the corporations, third parties, and governments have any right to read your unpublished content. I don’t like that, even with Location Services off, and if you never use Find My Phone, you’re always on. Other iPhone owners’ devices will point not only how far you are away, but in which precise direction.

But it is true that unless you buy one of those tin bags that stop all signals, and join some encrypted service, or go entirely analogue forever, we are not given much reasonable choice.

I have no idea what WSLg, OpenCL, or PopOS are … gotta look 'em up.

WSLg lets you in stall and run GUI linux apps from within windows…sort of built in virtual machine… It does not support OpenCL which is used by gpu’s to markedly speed up DT. In my experience from 10 to 15 x over what you get with it disabled…you should have it enabled on your hardware for DT if it supports it… and PopOS is just a flavour of Linux…I think you mentioned a System 76 laptop so I thought you might have heard of it…

I am on PopOS from System76 - laptop @priort (with a monitor and keyboard, and a mouse) :grinning: so - you can call it a small computer with a battery. Works very well by the way.

For Linux on Apple M1 - you may want to check https://asahilinux.org/ but it is still in alpha if I am not mistaken.


My new password is apparently incorrect, and too tired to mess around again …
Thanks for the explanations. Not sure if answering from e-mail works but …

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They are only now starting to get the GPU to output things, it might still take a long while, specially for opencl…

E is the series / category marker (What ThinkPad laptops model numbers & series mean? (including list of suffixes & explanation for the T, X, L, W, P, E, Edge & Yoga series) - Tech Fairy).

FHD stands for Full HD, a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It has nothing to do with providing RAM.
Intel Core isn’t a ‘provider of RAM’, either, but a CPU product line.

That’s amazing. I do think that whatever I get, I’ll still wonder if I should have got the M1 MacBook Pro. They are beautiful. They are streamlined. And they are really fast. But they’re a company that spies, which admittedly is the new norm.

As for the Asahi project, I’m predisposed to like it, what with my two Asahi Pentax K1000 cameras. And I know I am of no present use to help this thing along, though I wish I were versed in just how to do this.

Not sure if this is for Asahi or System76 but I am with NVIDIA Corporation TU106M [GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile / Max-Q Refresh] and Darktable does use it.

Just got an M1 Mac mini. And while it is very snappy, macOS itself just keeps getting worse and worse.


Thanks. That’s helpful. The author doesn’t explain what an ‘ultrabay’ is, but I can guess or Google.

So this ( Lenovo | ThinkPad L15 G2 i7-1165G7 (2.80GHz, 12MB), 15.6" FHD Multitouch 16GB 256GB SSD M.2 AX BTW10 Pro 1YR Depot 20X3006YUS) is a Low-cost LeNovo setup. Yet it’s got M.2, FHD resolution, decent RAM and storage. What’s BTW10 Pro about?

Sounds like I want the P designation …

Easy to guess and find: ThinkPad UltraBay - Wikipedia.

It was for Asahi.