I recently made the switch from Mac to Linux after years of trying to fully switch with many failures along the way I have finally done it! Mac has almost always been my choice of OS, it offers the perfect mix of great looking and well functioning UI and flexibility to handle development tasks. I will not cover Windows in this other than to mention I am removing it from the ThinkPad but that’s it. Now don’t get me wrong here, I have a Windows computer and it does one thing, it plays World of Warcraft very well!

Testing the hardware.

After making the decision to switch from Mac I wanted to see if I could even get a development environment setup and working. I also wanted to test if I can make the switch with random personal tasks i use my computer for. So I looked for a refurbished ThinkPad T420 (runs about $200 to $240) then I knew I did not want a standard hard drive because that was just going to make this old computer feel old. Along with the computer I purchased an SSD 240 GB and one stick of DD3 ram 8 GB. Once all the parts arrived I put them together and threw my Ubuntu thumb drive in one of the USB slots and installed Ubuntu 15.04.

The install on a T420 went smooth! I was very impressed, total time took maybe 10 minutes. Now before I closed my Mac for the last time I made a list of everything I wanted and had to have on this Ubuntu box to make it worth the switch.

  • Atom
  • Some type of Database tool (MySQL Workbench) - I was using Navicat on Mac.
  • A Visual Git Tool
  • Email Client (Using Office365 at work)
  • HipChat

As a development environment I also need the following installs to go very smooth:

  • Ruby via RVM
  • MySQL
  • Nginx

After a few searches all of this information is available and all easily installed. (Shown Below) Now, it was a test of time, how long can I last on Linux only, without going back to my mac to get something? I told myself that if I can make it a Month, I would look for some better hardware and make the switch for good.

It’s been two months now and I am writing this article from a ThinkPad T460s with Ubuntu GNOME 15.04, but not without some major issues… To be continued.