Should Linux be more like OS X?

In today's open source roundup: Should Linux distros look more like OS X? Plus: The Verge reviews Motorola's Moto E phone, and how to audit a Linux class for free


Apple's OS X operating system has been emulated by a number of Linux distros over the years. But does it really make sense for distro developers to take their cues from Apple? Apple is pretty much the antithesis of everything that open source software stands for, so why copy their product? examines this issue and finds that Linux should stand on its own.

According to

First and foremost, there is no debating that OS X is a fast-growing platform. It not only has deep roots in Linux architecture, it has been accepted by numerous types of users. There have been many attempts at “cloning” the OS X desktop on Linux. Some of those clones have succeeded, to varying levels.

But what is it about OS X that not only draws the users, but has Linux developers scrambling to clone? One fact that cannot be denied about OS X is the consistency found throughout. No design element has been overlooked and every window opened retains the overall look and feel better than any other desktop.

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Linux Distros That Look Like Apple's OS X
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I've never understood why some Linux distro developers seek to copy OS X. It's a fine operating system in its own right, but if somebody wants OS X then why not just buy a Mac? To me it makes far more sense for Linux distro developers to focus on implementing their own unique ideas.

I wrote a review of Pear OS - one of the OS X clones - a while back and I finished the review with a reference to the Lord of the Rings. Here's the relevant section of that with a link back to the full review so you can see just how much like OS X (and iOS 7) Pear OS really was back then. What I wrote still stands, and I hope Linux distro developers take it to heart:

According to Desktop Linux Reviews:

At the beginning of the review I mentioned the old saying that imitation is the most since form of flattery. But something else popped into my mind as I was using Pear OS 8. In the Lord of the Rings there is a description of Isengard – the fortress of the wizard Saruman – that seemed oddly appropriate to Pear OS 8.

In this case Linux is Isengard, and Saruman is the developer of Pear OS 8. Apple, of course, is Barad-dur, the Dark Tower in Mordor.

Here is the quote from the Lord of the Rings:

More at Desktop Linux Reviews
Pear OS 8 Copies Apple's OS X
“A strong place and wonderful was Isengard, and long it had been beautiful [...]. But Saruman had slowly shaped it to his shifting purposes, and made it better, as he thought, being deceived – for all those arts and subtle devices, for which he forsook his former wisdom, and which fondly he imagined were his own, came but from Mordor; so that what he made was naught, only a little copy, a child’s model or a slave’s flattery, of that vast fortress, armoury, prison, furnace of great power, Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower, which suffered no rival, and laughed at flattery, biding its time, secure in its pride and its immeasurable strength.”
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