Ubuntu vs. MacOS: Which Is Better?

Ubuntu vs. MacOS

For many computer users, the main decision they face when purchasing a new device is deciding between the two major operating systems: Ubuntu and macOS. Each of these operating systems has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them ultimately comes down to personal preference.

First of all, Ubuntu is an open-source operating system based on Linux that is completely free to use. It is a great option for users seeking a stable, reliable, and customizable operating system. On the other hand, macOS is a proprietary operating system developed by Apple that is only available on Apple devices. It is famous for its sleek design, intuitive user interface, and seamless integration with other Apple products.

When it comes to performance, both Ubuntu and macOS are known for being extremely efficient and fast. However, Ubuntu tends to outperform macOS when it comes to resource-intensive tasks, such as running multiple applications simultaneously, while macOS excels in handling graphics-intensive tasks and providing seamless integration with other Apple products.

Ultimately, the choice between Ubuntu and macOS comes down to personal preference, as both operating systems are excellent choices for different reasons. Whether you prioritize customization, control, and compatibility, or design, ease of use, and seamless integration, one of these operating systems is sure to meet your needs.

System Interface

The system interface is one of the essential aspects that differentiate Ubuntu and macOS operating systems. While both operating systems serve the same purpose, their interface design and features differ significantly.


Ubuntu offers a simple and intuitive graphical user interface that makes it easy for users to find and launch their applications. It has a taskbar on the left-hand side of the screen that contains icons of frequently used applications and has a search box that enables users to launch applications quickly without navigating through the program menu. Additionally, Ubuntu has a feature known as workspaces that enables users to have multiple virtual desktops and switch between them effortlessly.


On the other hand, macOS has a more refined and polished interface design that offers a unique user experience. It has a dock at the bottom of the screen that contains frequently used applications, and users can customize it to include their desired apps. macOS also has a search bar known as Spotlight that enables users to search for files, applications, and information on their system. Additionally, macOS offers a feature known as mission control that provides a bird’s eye view of all the applications running on the system.

Overall, Ubuntu offers a more straightforward and efficient interface design suitable for users who prefer a simple user experience, while macOS provides a more polished and refined interface design suitable for users who enjoy a more sophisticated and unique user experience.

Ubuntu macOS
Taskbar on the left-hand side with frequently used applications Dock at the bottom of the screen with frequently used applications
Workspaces for multiple virtual desktops Mission control for a bird’s eye view of all applications
Simple and intuitive graphical user interface Polished and refined interface design

Hardware Compatibility

One of the biggest concerns when choosing between Ubuntu and macOS is hardware compatibility. Both operating systems are designed to work seamlessly with their respective hardware, but there are some notable differences to consider.

Ubuntu Hardware Compatibility

Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system and is known for its compatibility with a wide range of hardware. Most hardware manufacturers provide drivers for Ubuntu, and the operating system comes with a wide range of built-in drivers, making it easy to get up and running with a variety of hardware configurations.

However, Ubuntu may not be compatible with all hardware, particularly if you’re using less common or older hardware. In some cases, you may need to manually install drivers or tweak some settings to get things working properly. Additionally, some hardware may have reduced functionality on Ubuntu compared to their native operating system.

macOS Hardware Compatibility

macOS is designed to work exclusively with Apple hardware. This means that compatibility is essentially guaranteed, as Apple controls the entire ecosystem from hardware to software. If you’re using a Mac computer or other Apple hardware, you can expect everything to work seamlessly and with full functionality.

However, if you’re using non-Apple hardware, macOS may not be an option for you. Even if you can manage to install macOS on non-Apple hardware, you may encounter issues with drivers and reduced functionality.

Software Availability

A major concern for users when choosing an operating system is software availability. That is, the availability of third-party applications and software that can be installed on the system.

When comparing Ubuntu and macOS in terms of software availability, there is a clear winner. macOS has a significantly larger software library that includes a wide range of applications that are not available for Ubuntu. This is largely due to the popularity of macOS and the fact that many developers prioritize macOS over Ubuntu when developing software.

In addition to the larger library of software, macOS also has more polished and user-friendly software in general. This is because many developers see macOS as a more lucrative market and are willing to invest more time and resources in developing better software for it.

However, it’s worth noting that Ubuntu makes up for this lack of software in other areas. It has a vast library of open-source software that is not only free but also customizable. Moreover, Ubuntu’s Software Center makes it easy to install and manage software, with many commonly used applications already included in the default installation.

In terms of gaming, macOS also falls short compared to Ubuntu. Ubuntu has access to the Steam platform and many popular games developed for Linux. In contrast, macOS has a limited gaming library and doesn’t support many of the most popular games.

Although macOS has better software availability for developers and creative professionals, Ubuntu offers a more versatile and customizable system with free and open-source software.

macOS Ubuntu
Software Larger More open-source and customizable
User-friendliness Polished and user-friendly Easy to manage with Software Center
Gaming Limited Steam and popular games developed for Linux

Security Features

When it comes to operating systems, security is one of the most critical aspects. In this section, we will explore the security features of Ubuntu and macOS to help you determine which one is better.

Ubuntu Security Features

Ubuntu is known for its robust security features. First and foremost, Ubuntu has a unique feature called AppArmor, which is a security module that protects the operating system and applications from external threats. AppArmor helps in monitoring the file system and application behavior and alerts users when any unauthorized modifications occur.

Ubuntu also provides regular updates for its users, making it easier for them to stay protected from the latest malware threats. Moreover, Ubuntu has an inbuilt firewall that allows users to prevent unauthorized access to their systems.

macOS Security Features

macOS, on the other hand, is renowned for providing a secure computing experience. macOS benefits from Apple’s security policies and the company’s commitment to ensuring user data is safe. Therefore, it’s no surprise that macOS is known to be more secure than other operating systems.

One of the essential security features of macOS is Gatekeeper, a system-level security tool that helps in distinguishing between trusted and untrusted applications. Gatekeeper digitally signs applications to verify their integrity before installing them on your Mac, ensuring that no malicious or unauthorized applications are ever installed.

Furthermore, macOS has an inbuilt firewall that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic while keeping the system safe from external threats. Apple also issues regular security updates for macOS, ensuring that users stay protected from security vulnerabilities.


Both Ubuntu and macOS have robust security features, making them highly secure operating systems. However, macOS’s Gatekeeper technology provides assurance that no unauthorized or malicious applications can ever affect your Mac. Therefore, in terms of security features, macOS has an edge over Ubuntu.

In conclusion, when it comes to security features, macOS provides better security assurance to its users. However, this doesn’t mean Ubuntu is any less secure. It’s still essential to practice good security practices, such as regularly updating your operating system and applications, using firewalls, and monitoring your system’s behavior.

Performance and User Experience

When it comes to performance and user experience, both Ubuntu and macOS have their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a closer look.

Speed and Responsiveness

Ubuntu is designed to be lightweight and fast, making it a great choice for older hardware or computers with limited resources. It also runs well on newer hardware, offering blazing-fast speed and responsiveness. However, if you’re looking for top-of-the-line speed and performance, macOS might be a better option. Apple’s operating system is optimized for their hardware, which results in a highly polished and smooth experience.

Interface and Customization

When it comes to interface and customization, it really depends on personal preference. Ubuntu’s interface is sleek and modern, with a focus on productivity and ease of use. It’s also highly customizable, allowing users to tweak everything from the desktop environment to the terminal. macOS, on the other hand, has a more traditional desktop interface that’s been refined over the years. While it might not be as customizable as Ubuntu, it’s still highly intuitive and a pleasure to use.

Software Availability

One of the key benefits of Ubuntu is its vast library of open-source software. With just a few clicks, users can install a wide range of free and open-source applications, including office suites, multimedia tools, and development environments. While macOS also has a wide range of software available, it can sometimes be more expensive, as many applications require a paid license.

Security Features

Both Ubuntu and macOS are known for their excellent security features. Ubuntu’s open-source nature means that vulnerabilities can be quickly identified and fixed by the community, while macOS has built-in features like Gatekeeper and FileVault that help keep users safe from malware and other threats.

Final Verdict

In the end, the choice between Ubuntu and macOS comes down to personal preference and intended use. If you’re looking for a highly customizable, open-source operating system with a vast library of free software, Ubuntu might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a sleek, polished operating system optimized for productivity and multimedia, macOS might be a better option. Ultimately, both operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth trying out both to see which one works best for you.

Customization and Personalization

When it comes to customization and personalization, there are significant differences between using Ubuntu and macOS. Both provide users with some level of customization options, but there is no doubt that Ubuntu offers more flexibility and control in this area than macOS.

Users who prefer to customize their operating system can choose Ubuntu due to its open-source nature, which makes it more customizable. Ubuntu offers users various desktop environments that provide different looks and feel. Users can customize the appearance of Ubuntu’s desktop and even add or remove features as needed. There are also a plethora of themes, icons, and other customization elements available for download from third-party sources.

On the other hand, one of the hallmarks of macOS is its standardization. People who prefer the simplicity of a well-polished desktop may find macOS to be the way to go. macOS options are more limited compared to Ubuntu, but whatever customizations one can make are done so easily and with less hassle.

An exciting example of macOS’s smooth personalization is the “Dark Mode” option that enables users to use a dark screen with lighter text. In contrast, Ubuntu provides users with a superior range of customization options. However, some users may find Ubuntu customization difficult, requiring a bit of learning and experimentation before getting the perfect look and feel.

Here is a table that summarises the main points made regarding the customization and personalization capabilities of Ubuntu and macOS:

Criteria Ubuntu macOS
Level of customization High Low
Desktop Environments Multiple choices One standardized desktop
Customization Elements Numerous themes, icons, and third-party sources More limited options
Ease of Use Difficult to beginners, but comfortable with experienced users Simple and easy to use for everyone

Ecosystem and Integration

When it comes to ecosystem and integration, Ubuntu and macOS offer different approaches.

Ubuntu is an open-source operating system that integrates with a wide range of software and hardware from various vendors. This makes it highly customizable and adaptable, which is great for developers and tech-savvy users who want more control over their systems. Ubuntu also has a robust package management system that allows users to easily install, update, and remove software.

On the other hand, macOS is a closed-source operating system developed by Apple and is designed to work seamlessly with Apple’s ecosystem. It comes preinstalled with a suite of powerful applications that are tightly integrated with each other, making it easy for users to get things done without relying on third-party software. macOS also has excellent support for hardware integration, ensuring that Apple devices work together flawlessly.

Both Ubuntu and macOS offer cloud integration and synchronization, making it easy to access files and settings from any device with an internet connection. Ubuntu uses cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Nextcloud, while macOS has its own iCloud service that seamlessly synchronizes settings, documents, and photos across all Apple devices.

In terms of security, Ubuntu and macOS employ different strategies. Ubuntu has a reputation for being less vulnerable to viruses and malware due to its open-source nature, which means that security flaws can be identified and patched quickly by developers and the community. macOS, on the other hand, is known for its robust security features such as Gatekeeper, which prevents the installation of malicious software, and FileVault, which encrypts user data to prevent unauthorized access.

Ultimately, the choice between Ubuntu and macOS comes down to personal preference and specific needs. Ubuntu is a more customizable and adaptable system that can be tailored to suit the user’s requirements, while macOS offers a seamless and integrated ecosystem for Apple users.

Pricing and Affordability

When it comes to pricing and affordability, there are distinct differences between Ubuntu and macOS. Ubuntu, being an open-source operating system, is available for free to download and use on any compatible device. On the other hand, macOS is only available on Apple’s own hardware, which is known for its higher price tag.

While Ubuntu is free to use, it doesn’t mean that it’s a compromise on quality. Ubuntu offers a wide range of features that are comparable to those in macOS. Additionally, Ubuntu doesn’t require any expensive subscriptions or licensing fees, making it an affordable option for both personal and business use.

In contrast, macOS is not a cost-effective option for those on a budget. The prices for Apple devices tend to be higher than those of their Windows counterparts, with MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Pros all being quite expensive.

It’s worth noting that while the initial cost of purchasing a macOS device may be higher, Apple devices are known for their longevity and durability. Macs typically last longer than PCs, which can help to offset their higher upfront cost.

When it comes to software, Ubuntu offers a vast library of free, open-source software that can meet most users’ needs. In contrast, macOS offers a range of software, including a suite of in-house apps such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, which can only be used on macOS.

In conclusion, while Ubuntu is the more affordable option between the two operating systems, it doesn’t mean that it’s a compromise on quality. Ubuntu offers a stable, reliable, and feature-rich environment without any licensing fees or subscriptions. macOS, on the other hand, is known for its longevity and durability, but it comes with a higher price tag and restricts you to using Apple hardware. Ultimately, the choice between Ubuntu and macOS comes down to personal preferences and requirements.

User Preference and Priorities

When it comes to choosing between Ubuntu and macOS, user preference and priorities can play a significant role. Both operating systems have their strengths and weaknesses, and what works best for one user may not work for another. Here are a few factors to consider:

Ease of Use

In terms of ease of use, macOS is often considered to be the more user-friendly option. It features a sleek and intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, even for those who are not tech-savvy. Ubuntu, on the other hand, can take some time to get used to, especially for those who are used to Windows or macOS environments. However, once users get accustomed to Ubuntu, they may find it to be just as easy to use.


One area where Ubuntu shines is customization. Unlike macOS, which offers limited customization options, Ubuntu gives its users the freedom to tailor their OS experience to their liking. From themes and icons to window managers and desktop environments, Ubuntu makes it easy to customize the look and feel of the OS. On macOS, users are limited to changing the wallpaper and some minor interface settings.

App Availability

When it comes to app availability, macOS has the upper hand. Many popular apps, such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office, are designed specifically for the macOS platform and may not be available on Ubuntu. While Ubuntu has its own set of apps, users may find it challenging to find Ubuntu-compatible alternatives for some of their must-have programs.


Price can also be a crucial factor for many users. Ubuntu is a free, open-source operating system, making it an excellent option for those on a budget. In contrast, macOS is only available on Apple devices, which often come with a premium price tag.

In conclusion, whether Ubuntu or macOS is better depends on the user’s specific needs and preferences. While macOS is known for its ease of use and app availability, Ubuntu offers exceptional customization options and is an excellent option for those seeking a free and open-source operating system. Ultimately, the choice between Ubuntu and macOS comes down to the user’s particular usage cases.


In the end, choosing between Ubuntu and macOS depends on your personal preference and specific needs. Both operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses that cater to different types of users.

Here are some key takeaways to consider:

  • If you prioritize a sleek and user-friendly interface, macOS may be the better option for you. Its design is widely acclaimed for its simplicity and aesthetic appeal.
  • On the other hand, if you prefer a more customizable and versatile platform, Ubuntu’s open-source nature allows for greater flexibility and control.
  • If you are looking for an affordable option, Ubuntu’s free software and low hardware requirements make it an attractive choice.
  • However, if you have a larger budget and prioritize premium hardware and performance, a Mac may be the way to go.
  • Ubuntu is widely used for development and programming whereas macOS is preferred for creative work such as media editing and graphic design.

Ultimately, both Ubuntu and macOS have their advantages and limitations. By assessing your specific needs and budget, you can determine which operating system is best suited for you.

Marshall Anthony is a professional Linux DevOps writer with a passion for technology and innovation. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, he has become a go-to expert for anyone looking to learn more about Linux.

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