A Comparative Analysis of Linux and macOS Operating Systems

By: Himanshu Tiwari, International Center for AI and Cyber Security Research and Innovations (CCRI), Asia University, Taiwan, nomails1337@gmail.com

This study compares Linux with macOS operating systems, examining architecture, user interface, security, software availability, and user experience. Linux and macOS are popular in diverse fields, thus recognizing their strengths and weaknesses helps users, developers, and businesses choose an operating system.


Linux and macOS are strong operating system competitors. The former is open-source and flexible, whereas the latter, created and sold by Apple Inc., is noted for its seamless interaction with Apple products and beautiful user interface. This article examines these operating systems’ architecture, user interface, security, software ecosystem, and user experience.


Figure 1: Operating System Architecture

Operating system architecture establishes its functionality and performance. Linux uses a monolithic kernel architecture to centralize all key functions. This method improves performance and flexibility. Linux is popular with developers and power users due to its device compatibility and customization capabilities[1].

Figure 2: User Interface

However, macOS uses a hybrid XNU kernel that combines microkernel and monolithic kernel designs. This hybrid method balances stability and functionality. MacOS is closed, so it only works on Apple devices, creating a simplified and regulated environment. This approach improves system stability but limits user customisation.

The user interface is a crucial factor in the overall user experience. Linux has many desktop environments for different needs. Users can customize their experience with GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and others’ interfaces. This versatility attracts a wide range of users, from minimalists who like lightweight interfaces to feature-rich environments[2].

Figure 3:User Experience

MacOS has a clean, user-friendly interface. Design emphasizes simplicity and aesthetics, creating a pleasing atmosphere. MacOS integrates hardware and software seamlessly, providing a consistent and fluid experience across Apple devices. The coherent design language creates a user-friendly experience for casual and professional users[3].


Operating system security is crucial due to the increasing digital threats. With its open-source nature, Linux has a big development community that finds and fixes flaws. Linux’s permission-based paradigm gives users fine-grained control over system access, ensuring security[3].

macOS’s multilayered security is well-known. Gatekeeper controls application installs, XProtect fights malware, and System Integrity Protection (SIP) protects essential system files. MacOS has a lower malware infection rate than open platforms since it limits software installations to the App Store unless configured otherwise.


Software availability significantly influences user OS selection. Linux’s package managers provide a massive repository of open-source software, creating a vibrant and collaborative ecosystem. Applications, tools, and utilities meet varied demands for users. Linux’s compatibility layers, like Wine, let users run Windows apps smoothly, expanding software alternatives[4].

macOS is sleek and safe with its App Store and selected third-party software. App Store applications are reviewed rigorously to ensure quality and security. MacOS’s closed ecosystem limits software diversity compared to Linux’s open ecosystem. While the basics are covered, Linux may be better for specialist applications.


User experience—satisfaction and ease of use—is subjective and impacted by individual choices. Linux is ideal for power users and developers that desire complete system control due to its extensive customisation. The variety of Linux distributions and customizations might affect user experience. Due to the many options, one user’s preferences may not suit another.

macOS, however, is consistent and user-friendly. Aesthetics and Apple hardware integration generate a broad appeal. An elegant interface and Continuity, which allows seamless transitions between Apple devices, create a coherent user experience. MacOS interaction with iPhones and iPads improves the user experience for Apple ecosystem consumers[5.


In conclusion, Linux or macOS depends on personal tastes and use scenarios. Developers and power users seeking control and flexibility choose Linux for its customization, open-source ethos, and device compatibility. Apple ecosystem consumers that value a consistent and user-friendly experience prefer macOS because to its elegant design, seamless integration, and effective security.

Making informed selections requires understanding both operating systems’ strengths and drawbacks. Linux and macOS have different benefits, such as the freedom to modify and tinker with your system or a polished and integrated experience. The best decision depends on your needs and interests.


  1. Hasnain SG, Rafi FA. Windows, Linux, Mac Operating System and Decision Making. International Journal of Computer Applications. 2019 Dec;975:8887.
  2. Steidler-Dennison T. The Comparison: Linux vs. Mac OS X. Mac for Linux Geeks. 2009:17-39.
  3. Anthony L. AntConc (Windows, Macintosh OS X, and Linux). Recuperado de: http://www. antlab. sci. waseda. ac. jp/software/README_AntConc3. 2011 May 1;2.
  4. Logan S. Cross-platform development in c++: building mac os x, linux, and windows applications. Pearson Education; 2007 Nov 27.
  5. Nie, X., Peng, J., Wu, Y., Gupta, B. B., & Abd El-Latif, A. A. (2022). Real-time traffic speed estimation for smart cities with spatial temporal data: A gated graph attention network approach. Big Data Research, 28, 100313.
  6. Gupta, B. B., Gaurav, A., Chui, K. T., & Hsu, C. H. (2022, January). Identity-based authentication technique for iot devices. In 2022 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  7. Gupta, B. B., & Sahoo, S. R. (2021). Online social networks security: principles, algorithm, applications, and perspectives. CRC Press.
  8. Gupta, B. B., & Quamara, M. (2020). Internet of Things Security: Principles, Applications, Attacks, and Countermeasures. CRC Press.
  9. Gupta, B. B., Gaurav, A., & Panigrahi, P. K. (2023). Analysis of the development of sustainable entrepreneurship practices through knowledge and smart innovative based education system. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 19(2), 923-940.

Cite As

Tiwari H. (2023) A Comparative Analysis of Linux and macOS Operating Systems, Insights2Techinfo, pp.1

57760cookie-checkA Comparative Analysis of Linux and macOS Operating Systems
Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.