My first experiences using MacOS

This article was written after 24 hours with a Mac Mini, i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD. Mac OS Catalina. My own Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard.

What am I used to?

Been using Linux (Fedora, KDE) as my “daily desktop” for a longgg time now and 200% happy with it. It’s just perfect for me.

Windows. Have used everything Windows 95 up until Windows Vista as a “daily desktop”, then I switched to Linux. I’ve still used everything up to Windows 10, and I do have a Windows 10 laptop, but I only use as a games console.

Installing Mac OS — setup Apple ID;

Somewhat frustrating getting that setup (on another computer), so that I could install Mac OS. Of course I had to enter my credit card details, before the account would work! I also had to jump through various hoops afterwards to confirm my account via SMS message and that sort of thing. I suppose that’s to be expected now-a-days.

App Store;

  • Installed Magnet —(after paying £2 for it) it’s weird that as a modern OS the window management is so primitive. At least £2 is a small price to pay for functional window management, but it really should be built-in.

Apps from Internet;

I thought it was strange that the App Store did not have Spotify, Firefox, etc. If this was Linux I would just do a yum install … for most of them, but admittedly Spotify and BitWarden are self installs.

  • Installed SensibleSideButtons — again, so weird that as a modern OS I had to install an App to get my mouse side buttons (forward/back) to work!

  • Firefox

  • BitWarden — password manager

  • Spotify

Bash Shell, Git, .profile, etc;

Hah! a functional-ish terminal with tabs, bash shell, Git. That was straightforward and pleasant. No problems there.

Settings I had to change;

  • System settings, Keyboard, keyboard repeat rate.

  • System settings, Keyboard, switch Ctrl and Command buttons. No way am I re-learning 15 years of muscle memory for common shortcuts!

Remaining frustrations;

Mostly keyboard shortcuts, I think.

  • The home/end keys on my keyboard do not work as expected. I presume those need to be “configured” for some reason in the keyboard settings but I did not find it yet.

  • The @ and “ keys are incorrectly reversed, despite selecting a UK keyboard layout.

  • Many keyboard shortcuts that I just use from muscle memory do what I would consider “un-intuitive” things — Ctrl+Backspace deletes the whole sentence, rather than the last word. Alt+F4 doesn’t close the window.


Mac OS seems usable, even if I had to make a couple of tweaks — that’s to be expected. Here’s why I would not use it as a “daily desktop”;

  • Given that the Mac only has 1x monitor output, and I’m used to 4x monitors on my desktop, this isn’t going to work. No doubt I could buy an adaptor or two, but the hardware itself is underpowered for a daily desktop for me.

  • More points to add later :-)

  • Font sizes — Linux/KDE has awesome support for scaling the font sizes of most apps.