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Debian vs macOS: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Debian and macOS

Debian and macOS are two widely used operating systems that differ in various aspects. Here are the key differences between Debian and macOS:

  1. Operating System Family: Debian belongs to the Linux family of operating systems, while macOS is a Unix-based operating system. This distinction affects the software compatibility and underlying architecture of the two systems.

  2. Default Package Manager: Debian utilizes the Advanced Package Tool (APT) as its default package manager, whereas macOS uses the Homebrew package manager. APT allows for easy installation, upgrading, and removal of software packages, while Homebrew focuses primarily on package installation.

  3. Free and Open Source vs. Proprietary: Debian is a free and open-source operating system, meaning that its source code is publicly accessible and can be modified by users. On the other hand, macOS is a proprietary operating system developed and maintained by Apple, restricting users from modifying its source code.

  4. Hardware Compatibility: Debian is designed to run on a wide range of hardware platforms, including older machines and low-spec devices. In contrast, macOS is exclusively designed for Apple's own hardware, restricting its compatibility to Mac computers only.

  5. User Interface: Debian offers various desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, and Xfce, giving users the flexibility to choose their preferred graphical interface. In contrast, macOS provides a unified and visually appealing user interface known as the Aqua interface, specifically designed for Mac users.

  6. Software Ecosystem: Debian has access to a vast repository of open-source software, which allows users to install and use a wide range of applications. macOS, on the other hand, has a more limited software ecosystem, mainly comprising applications available through the App Store and a smaller selection of third-party developers.

In summary, Debian is a versatile and open-source operating system with wider hardware compatibility and a broader software ecosystem, while macOS is a proprietary operating system specifically designed for Apple hardware, offering a more streamlined and visually appealing user experience.

Decisions about Debian and macOS
Justin Dorfman
Open Source Program Manager at Reblaze · | 1 upvote · 81.3K views

If you have a file (demo.txt) that has 3 columns:

Column-1    Column-2    Column-3
Row-1a      Row-2a      Row-3a         
Row-1b      Row-2b      Row-3b
Row-1c      Row-2c      Row-3c
Row-1d      Row-2d      Row-3d
Row-1e      Row-2e      Row-3e

and you want to only view the first column of the file in your CLI, run the following:

awk {'print $1'} demo.txt

Column-1
Row-1a
Row-1b
Row-1c
Row-1d
Row-1e

If you want to print the second column of demo.txt, just replace $1 with $2

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Pros of Debian
Pros of macOS
  • 54
    Massively supported
  • 50
    Stable
  • 21
    Reliable
  • 9
    Aptitude
  • 8
    Customizable
  • 8
    It is free
  • 8
    Turnkey linux use it
  • 6
    Works on all architectures
  • 4
    Clean Interface
  • 1
    M1
  • 1
    No promoted content

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Cons of Debian
Cons of macOS
  • 10
    Old versions of software
  • 2
    Can be difficult to set up on vanilla Debian
  • 1
    Outdated window management

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What is Debian?

Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.

What is macOS?

Desktop, laptop and home computers, and by web usage, it is the second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows.

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What companies use Debian?
What companies use macOS?
See which teams inside your own company are using Debian or macOS.
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Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to Debian and macOS?
Ubuntu
Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.
Fedora
Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that provides users with access to the latest free and open source software, in a stable, secure and easy to manage form. Fedora is the largest of many free software creations of the Fedora Project. Because of its predominance, the word "Fedora" is often used interchangeably to mean both the Fedora Project and the Fedora operating system.
CentOS
The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
Linux Mint
The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
Arch Linux
A lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.
See all alternatives