macOS, OpenBSD and GNU/Linux are great operating systems. They are inspired by UNIX and are stable. These three operating systems have many things in common, including many of the GNU tools. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between these operating systems.
macOS is based on NetBSD Unix (Darwin). It is open-source. Apple adopted this in the early 2000s. However, some parts of macOS including the GUI and most applications shipped by Apple are proprietary. Apple does release a few of their development as open-source software.
Linux kernel development started in the 90s as a personal project and it was a clone of the Unix operating system. The GNU utilities and desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, etc make up the complete GNU/Linux operating system.
There was a UNIX operating system named 386BSD (Jolix). It was ported to give birth to NetBSD. The work of porting is said to be influenced by Richard Stallman.
Why We Usually Do Not Use BSD on Servers to Run Apache, PHP, Python?
They are kind of retro things. It is quite time-consuming to configure them and use them to host dynamic websites. Despite the difficulties, they are robust and secure. They still do not support all the latest hardware since community involvement is lesser than Linux. They are used in certain special projects.
This restricts our options too – MacOS and GNU/Linux. The difference between MacOS and BSD is the drivers, desktop environment and core applications developed by Apple. Any BSD is similar to MacOS, but they are retro. William Jolitz is the father of the open-source project:
Difference Between macOS and GNU/Linux
As you can understand, Apple simply has forked, developed and locked its version of Unix. This gives Apple total control over its computers. This has both positive and negative sides.
You can not install macOS on the hardware of your choice in a legitimate way. You have to purchase Apple computers to use MacOS. This reduces the number of users and developers of MacOS.
Most of the GNU/Linux distros come with package managers. We use them to install, remove, update, and manage applications on our server or PC.
In the case of macOS, the method to install uninstall applications is via drag and drop in the applications directory. Of course, people have found ways to use apt-get to homebrew on MacOS.
Most of the GNU/Linux distros use Bash as the shell for the terminal but Apple uses ZSH since it is highly customizable. Earlier, we used oh-may-zsh on MacOS.
You can change the desktop environment on GNU/Linux (such as KDE Plasma, GNOME etc) but in the case of MacOS, your choice is limited to just Apple’s desktop environment. MacOS is more customized to work flawlessly with its keyboard and buttons.
On macOS, you can install almost all the proprietary software from Adobe and Microsoft. The third-party applications are more focused on design and productivity.
Presently, all of these operating systems have freshly rewritten codes.
The use case of macOS, GNU/Linux, BSD and Windows are different. You should use the operating system and hardware which is cost-effective and nicely does your job.
If you are a professional web designer, Mac suits your need more than Linux or Windows. If you are a game developer, then probably Windows is the best choice. If you are a webmaster, you need all types of computing devices.
While the cost to purchase and maintain any Mac is extremely high, the RedHat License Subscription cost ($1300). That is more than the price tag of entry-level MacBook Air ($1000). We can not compare free Ubuntu with MacOS. We have to select the correct one depending on our use case. The problem with Apple is the tendency to sell another unit to an exiting customer. That is not what Dell or HP does.