The migration from macOS to Linux – The start of the journey!
President’s Log — Start Date: 06/01/2018
I lied to myself, to my family, and to my friends as my reasoning for joining the CodeWeavers team. I told them (and myself) that I joined CodeWeavers because of their mission, their people, the compensation, and the flexibility that comes with working for a technology company. But if I’m honest, I was most drawn to the 15” MacBook Pro that came with the position. My CEO was smart about it too. He brought the MacBook into the interviews. He showed it off to me. He even allowed me to test it out a bit. It made me want to be the Vice President of Sales at CodeWeavers.
It was 2007, and the ‘New’ MacBook Pro with the Intel processor was the absolute coolest computer you could want for work. It had a beautiful aluminum case, backlit display, incredible battery life, and ran the Leopard version of macOS (Leopard even sounded FAST). Sure, it had to be tweaked to connect to the office network (especially for printing). And the macOS compatible applications were HORRIBLE compared to the available Windows applications. And it didn’t have enough ports to connect to everything you needed to connect to your computer. And it got a little HOT because it didn’t have a fan to cool it down (and by a little, I mean you could fry an egg on the bottom of it within minutes of powering it on). And (worst of all for me) I learned quickly, it didn’t play many, if any, games. I kept telling myself that ‘It was shiny’ and ‘It sure looked cool’; but if I am being honest again, I was disappointed that the really fun games were all on PC. It was at that moment I realized that I made a HUGE MISTAKE in falling in love with a MacBook Pro. No one dreams of being the coolest Vice President of Sales running Excel on a shiny new Mac.
If you fast-forward to 2018, I am very happy to announce that the work for CodeWeavers has turned out to be incredibly rewarding. I work with some of the largest technology companies in the world. I am involved in virtualization, that is evolving into the cutting edge of software development. And I work with some of the smartest people in this area of technology. I am also still using a MacBook Pro (albeit a 2013 MacBook Pro) as my work computer. While it still doesn’t run all the games I currently enjoy, many software developers have made efforts to produce titles for Macs. I’m proud to state that my company, CodeWeavers, is also involved in porting games to the macOS platform making a number of games available to enthusiasts, like myself. So you would think all is good? Unfortunately, not all is good. Apple has made recent announcements about the future of macOS that has me switching operating systems (again).
This change has been a very long time coming. As many people know that in addition to developing CrossOver Mac, CodeWeavers also develops CrossOver Linux. From the very beginning, my CEO has encouraged me to ‘dip my toe’ in Linux. Try Linux. Run Linux. Get familiar with Linux. I have, for the most part, avoided any and all usage of Linux. I drank the Apple ‘Kool-aid’. I made the choice for better and for worse over 10 years and two MacBook Pros ago to live, work, and game in the macOS. But the recent announcements from Apple have left me questioning if macOS is still right for me. To be clear that if it were not for Apple dropping support for 32-bit applications, bypassing OpenGL for Metal, and possibly implementing ARM processors over Intel processors, I would likely remain on Mac. But to me, these changes feel like a deliberate attack to gaming on macOS. And while gaming on macOS has never been ‘on par’ to gaming on the PC, these changes feel like a further regression to my computer gaming happiness. So in the face of these known upcoming changes (and in concern of the unknown changes that are surely to follow) to macOS, I have made the decision to migrate to the final frontier – Linux.
Over the course of 2018, I am going to document my migration from macOS to Linux in a series of blog posts to share with the CodeWeavers’ community. In the coming weeks, I’ll discuss Linux hardware, software for Linux, unexpected challenges, pleasant surprises, and how Linux is impacting both in how I do my job and how I game. Being I travel extensively for work, I’ll even highlight how I survive hotel rooms, airplanes, and customer meetings using a completely foreign operating system. AND I’ll ask you the community and readers for your tips and tricks so as to compile and share at the end of each blog. AND *maybe* I can provide enough information and insight to make switching from PC or macOS to Linux easier for others that are looking to migrate to the final frontier (or is it last frontier). Be sure to look out for future blogs which will be coming out in more regular intervals from me in the months to come. Live long and prosper!
About James B. Ramey
James B. Ramey is President of CodeWeavers. His life long love of video gaming started at the tender age of six with an Atari 2600 and evolved over time to include Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Apple Mac IIc, Windows PC, and MacBook Pro. When not fiddling with technology, James enjoys cooking, travel, debating politics in the office, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and their three Shar Pei cross dogs. For the past 20 years, James has worked with clients around the world in best implementing technology to maximize a return on their investment. He is a graduate of Moorhead State University and earned his graduate degree (MBA) online from the University of Phoenix. You can find James on Twitter at @jbramey.