OS Hoverfly

Apple design on a Linux desktop.

creator: x14km2d | build: 2021-10-03 | update: 2022-01-06


I don’t come from an Apple or Windows family. Overall, I come from a family where no one but me had a computer. This was first a 286 IBM machine with IBM PC DOS. I took my first steps on it, and later switched to a Windows computer during my first education. In 2005 I tried OpenSuse from a CD I got from a Linux print magazine, because of the more and more bad and user unfriendly Microsoft products. Since then I have stayed with Linux. I like the philosophy and that I have 100% control over the software I use.

In between I tried a MacOS version from time to time but could not warm up to this operating system. I don’t like the walled garden and that everything is embedded in a super organized environment. It disturbs my creativity when I have to stick to e.g. design limits that Apple (and its design department) set for me. Good design must allow creativity and chaos. Also as a programmer I can’t work with Apple. If you want to test how good an operating system is, there is a simple test. You install Python. On Windows it’s impossible, on Apple it’s exhausting and on Linux it’s one of hundreds of tasks I do without thinking about it.

Even though I use lots of Linux distributions, I am not a typical Arch and Vim user. Arch is super good if you tab through dwm like a console cowboy and find Surf to be a good browser to use. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them (even though I’ve tried it over the last year). I like a graphical interface, unfortunately this is where de crux lies buried. The macOS family has the most beautiful interface design for me. Steve Jobs had a pretty high standard for his design requirements and taught that to his employees1. Most Linux distributions have a … functional design? EndeavourOS is a small exception. elementary OS tries to copy Apple’s macOS, but fails in the implementation. To me it looks like a cheap Android copy cat that tries to be a good design with simple app icons. It looks too much like mobile first to me. Also the OS environment with its payment system and high design requirements disturbs my open source philosophy.

So I asked myself a few questions. Do I need proprietary Apple hardware? No, because I want to be able to fix and repair my computer. I also don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for additional equipment, even if it has good design and looks fancy. For all I care, an operating system can run on a ThinkPad, so I’ve been toying with the idea of trying Hackingtosh. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly legal, so I preferred to pass on that. I have no interest in getting in trouble for illegally installed propertiary software when I can legally take everything from an open source software pool. I also didn’t need the actual macOS operating system, because it’s based on Unix and the application is not dissimilar with the Linux distributions. Actually, all I care about is the design.

I then installed Linux Mint because that is well compatible with more modern and powerful hardware. I implemented the Mc-OS CTLina XFCE theme, the OS Catalina icons and Plank and had a pretty good macOS Hoverfly. Next a nice wallpaper and that’s it. With this I have everything I need. My hardware is not from Apple and I don’t need to work in a closed OS. Nevertheless, I have all the nice design and now feel much more comfortable in Linux Mint and can also work better. It is important to me that my workplace also looks good, but because of that I will not switch from Linux to Apple. Linux is no longer the ugly operating system duckling, which had its sad existence next to Windows and Apple. Those times are long gone. Linux is like a hoverfly2 that only imitates a wasp, but is not beaten by anyone because it does not act as aggressively as a wasp and constantly lands on people’s cake.

Linux is not perfect, no question, but because of its openness, any user can change anything that bothers him. If I get tired of the theme tomorrow, I can just install something else. I can only do that to a limited extent with Windows and Apple, and that’s what really bothers me. I want to be able to change something without having to justify to a big corporation why I’m doing it. That goes for software, hardware and the Cyberspace.


  1. 2011, Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Simon & Schuster, 1-4516-4853-7↩︎

  2. 2015, Fredrik Sjöberg, The Fly Trap, Pantheon, 9781101870150↩︎

Download the os_hoverfly.md source file or follow this page with RSS. Some readers will want to know what Equipment I use. Who wants can Support my work or leave a Comment. Please use my PGP-Key for your submission.

x14km2d.com | 2021-2022 | Made for the Web1.1 with a Terminal and Pandoc.