Transitioning from Windows 10 to Mac OS via Linux

While presenting a case discussion, my wife’s Windows 10 and Powerpoint 2016 had issues that interrupted the entire presentation thrice. Various consultants in the audience had commented and suggested that she should get a Macbook because “Macbooks does not have these problems”.

Naturally, my eyes rolled (internally) when she told me she wanted a Mac. I told her we dont have the money to buy a Mac right now… Maybe later… But then I realized this could be an opportunity to pitch Linux! I told her that to rectify the problem, we could switch her Lenovo Yoga laptop to Linux for now while waiting to get a Macbook, so that next time, Windows and MS Office will not interrupt her presentations.

I told her that Linux is actually a distant cousin of Mac OS in that both were ultimately descendend from Unix and that the proof of that is that the root file system/file hierarchy is the same (not that it matters to her). Then I suggested that to ease her into the Mac OS “paradigm”, she should transition first to Linux as a trial so that she wont waste money just in case she doesnt like Mac OS.

Now here is the part where I need help from you guys: I dont want to do a Hackintosh yet because I dont own a legal/legitimate copy of it yet. What is the best distro to emulate the “Mac OS experience”? Any particular apps i need to install (Docky)? Right now i am thinking of Elementary OS or Pop!_OS (GNOME) because she her laptop has touch functionality. She just uses the laptop (Lenovo Yoga) for web browsing and powerpoint presentation. The whole point of this exercise is to make her like Linux more than a Macbook. So, how do i make her like linux so much that she may want to stay in Linux land for good rather than move on to a Macbook.

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elementaryOS may be the best transitional desktop since it’s similar in its presentation and philosophy.

Alternatively, Ubuntu Budgie can easily be made to look like macOS and it’s gorgeous out of the box.

If you want a little bit of a challenge, Kubuntu + Latte Dock can be made to practically be a macOS clone.

So depending on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, in order from easy to hard to setup: elementaryOS, Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu.

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Latte Dock is just a dock that goes really well with KDE. And no, it uses KWin as its effects (compositor), but it does have wobbly windows!

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I came to linux from MacOS and have been able to make KDE and Xfce look very Mac-like with just a little configuration and Latte Dock.

But, if you want to capture and almost identical look and feel of MacOS, then it is elementryOS, like the others have suggested.

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The thing is you can transform any desktop to a Mac OS clone but some configuration has to happen and she will not know how you did it.

Number one on my list would be also Elementary OS. It is pretty out of the box and she cannot touch or break anything on Pantheon.

Number two would be Ubuntu Mate, pick a layout and that’s it. Of course it offers Mutiny and Cupertino. Both go in that direction. It is a great distribution although the layouts add a lot of complexity, should she try to play with it and that could mean crashes.

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I’ve been using macs for two decades and I’ll add a +1 for elementary. Budgie is what I use now but elementary replicates the nice out of the box, you can’t break it experience.