I have been toying with the idea of switching to Linux as my primary operating system for some time now. Mac OS X has many of the features of a Unix-like system that I want, but there are still a number of things where it greatly differs from Unix, FreeBSD, or Linux.
In the past few weeks I have found myself booting into Linux on my PowerBook more and more lately. While I prefer FreeBSD from a principal standpoint, I have to admit that its PowerPC port is nowhere near close enough. It’s also impossible to ignore the momentum behind Linux. My distribution of choice is Debian, primarily because its PowerPC port and several open source leaders I look up to also use it.
I know that some folks reading this are thinking something like “why bother with all of that; why not just use Mac OS X or even Windows?” Well, I suppose I can say it’s like asking a skydiver “why jump out of a perfectly good plane?”, or asking a rock climber “why not walk up around the side of the rock face?” There are some things people do because they have a passion for them, and expediency or simplicity play a less-important role in their evaluation. There is a reward that comes from the struggle that cannot always be easily explained. The gain is power and flexibility that Linux and/or an open source system offers to me is worth far more to me than it would be for a number of people.