When comparing GNU+Linux vs macOS, the Slant community recommends GNU+Linux for most people. In the question“What are the best Operating Systems for x86 PCs?” GNU+Linux is ranked 7th while macOS is ranked 18th. The most important reason people chose GNU+Linux is:
It is a Unix clone.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
It is a Unix clone.
Pro Many different desktops to choose
Just use whatever you want. Some are lightweight, others are full of extravagant features. There is a flavor for each taste.
Uses the same userland as other GNU variants.
You don't have to pay anything.
Pro Polished UI
The UI of Mac OS is rather unrivaled. The smooth, responsive, and cohesive UI makes the system quite joyous to use.
Pro Based on Unix
macOS being a UNIX certified system means that you can install a lot more stuff with a lot fewer headaches than if you were on Windows.
Pro Easy access to lots of great dev tools
There's a large selection of great development tools available for OSX. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing OSX and iOS software, for free.
Pro Powerful terminal
It's very similar to a Linux terminal.
Pro Best support for Objective-C
Pro More commercial software and gaming support compared to other Unix systems
Adobe CC, MS Office, Steam games.
Pro Has many special tools for developers
Has support for multiple IDEs.
Pro Lots of open-source software available
Because it's Unix under the fancy GUI, most open source ports easily to it.
Pro Ideal setup, out of the box
Next to no custom configuration is necessary.
Pro Great Git GUI tools
Tower, Kaleidoscope, SourceTree.
Pro Has software that only runs on Mac
For example, Sketch.
Pro Streamlined workflow between devices
Because this is an Apple product, there is a streamlined workflow between your computer and all mobile devices. For example, if you type an a Pages document, once you save, you can open the updated document just moments later on your iPad, and vice versa. The same goes for iMessage, (yes, you can text people with your phone number from your computer. Actually, you can text other people with apple devices with just your Apple ID, with or without a phone number, for free!) Numbers, Notes, Reminders, Contacts, and just about any other Apple workflow application.
Pro Great modifier key layout
Pro Using VMware you can also run Windows 10 on the Mac
This is useful for testing and some development tools that are Windows-only (XML Spy, MapForce).
Pro You need it to compile macOS or iOS apps
Con GNU Copyleft
The coplyleft in the GNU licenses make it unattractive to many developers. It s also impossible to port GPLed Linux improvements to other more open operating systems like BSD or Haiku.
Con Many distributions
There are just too many of them to know.
Con Often limited by decisions of the Kernel developers
Support for the latest features in Linux is often limited by their kernel developers, for example, Nvidia once had added patches to support Optimus on Linux, however, the kernel developers rejected those patches resulting in still no official Optimus support for Linux.
Con Frankenstein OS
The whole OS is mixed together with software from different sources.
Con No interface Guidelines
Since there are plenty of X11-Desktop environments and two big Widget Toolkits, every app works and feels differently.
Con Most Distributions are not LSB-conform
The most Distributions don't follow the Linux Standard Base which results in different package formates, package management tools, bootloaders, init-systems or even filesystem hierarchy standards.
Con Most 3D drivers are not as fast as their Windows counterparts
The only display driver that comes close to their Windows counterpart is the nvidia driver. Both AMD and Intel drivers miss a Control Panel on Linux to adjust more settings than just your resolution they also usually much slower than their Windows counterparts.
Con A big mess
10-15 years ago I had everything working on my linux system bluetooth, graphic driver desktop etc.
Nowadays it is just a big mess: Distributions force me to use systemd a system I don't like since it is terrible to debug, KDE and GNOME(and its siblings) have moved even further away from each other no unlike years ago when they used freedesktop to unify things. There are now dozens of different GUI toolkits o choose every one with they own themes and usability(not to mention all the different minor versions like gtk2, 3,4 whatever that look and work all differently). in 2005 i could use bluetooth audio with alsa and no issues on every DE or WM nowadays you need pulseaudio to get it working some applications even need it to play audio. All distributions use different packaging formates (but they do and work all the same). You have now traditional apps and flatpaks, snaps and appimages. There are desktops/distributions that come with wayland preinstalled and the majority still uses X.org.
It's only a clone and some things work differently.
Con Not secure
Linux is actually the least secure OS and it is a security nightmare. Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS are all far more secure.
Con No graphical user-interface
As the most unix systems this also comes without a graphical user interface by default.
OSX is tied Apple hardware and Apple hardware tends to be expensive for what it gives.
Con Limited hardware
Usually, the hardware that can run this can't be upgraded.
Con Most software is closed source
For people who like to use open source tools for their development work, this may be a problem. There's plenty of advantages to open source software, one of which is the ability to tinker with and customize the tools themselves that you are using. Although there's plenty of FOSS tools available for Mac, especially through Homebrew, the number of packages available is much lower than the number of packages available for any Linux distribution.
Con Closed source
Mac OS is closed source itself, which means that it is developed more slowly and has more problems.
Con No native package management
A comparison of package managers available for OSX can be found here.
Con Poor application support
Fewer apps run on Mac OS than on Windows or Linux.
Con Bash version is obsolete
macOS comes with an obsolete version of Bash, due to licensing issues.
You are now forced to use the Apple services.
Con Silly modifier keys layout
The Command key is strange, Alt is where Super should be.
Con Poor X11 integration
The most open source software does work but is very poorly integrated due apples ancient version of the X-server.