When comparing Ubuntu LTS vs macOS, the Slant community recommends macOS for most people. In the question“What are the best operating systems for old laptops?” macOS is ranked 7th while Ubuntu LTS is ranked 8th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Good PPA repositories available
PPA repositories allow you to install the latest version of your preferred software while keeping the rest of the operating system "stable".
Pro Great Long Term Support release schedule (2 years)
This allows for users to always have a new supported release available without long unkown wait times in between.
Pro Just works out of the box
Lots of support for hardware, lots of pre-installed software, and a smooth install process means less time downloading drivers, less time digging through configuration files, and less time deciding on software to use just to get up and running. It also means less time digging through forums looking for support.
Pro Lots of support
As the most popular Linux distribution, there's a wide range of sources for support online if you ever need help, including the Ubuntu Wiki, Ubuntu Forums and the Ask Ubuntu Stack Exchange site.
Pro Polished UI
Pro Powerful terminal
It's very similar to a Linux terminal.
Pro Based on Unix
Being based on Unix means you can install a lot more stuff with a lot fewer headaches then if you were on Windows.
Pro Best support for Objective-C
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 Lots of open-source software available
Because it's Unix under the fancy GUI, most open source ports easily to it.
Pro Has too many special tools for devolopers
Pro Ideal setup, out of the box
Next to no custom configuration is necessary.
Pro Great Git GUI tools
Tower, Kaleidoscope, SourceTree
Pro More commercial software and gaming support compared to other Unix systems
Adobe CC, MS Office, Steam games.
Pro Great Modifier key layout
Con Relatively high system requirements
The default Unity desktop environment is a resource hog which requires hardware accelerated graphics rendering in order to run smoothly, making out of the box Ubuntu unsuitable for low end systems and older hardware. Even mildly aged hardware, you'll get far better performance out of a lighter desktop environment like LXDE or XFCE.
OSX is tied Apple hardware and Apple hardware tends to be expensive.
Con No native package management
A comparison of package managers available for OSX can be found here.
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 Very few options for running hosted, on the cloud
Con Silly modifier keys layout
The Command key is strange, Alt is where Super should be.