Migration from OSX to Ubuntu part one

02 Jan 2020

After having worked solely on a mac since 2011, I’ve moved back to linux as my main workstation. This series covers the issues I found along the way and how I solved them. As to why I moved back, the biggest point was building a cheapish pc with great specs.

Ubuntu 19.10, gdm and nvidia issue

Installing ubuntu was pretty straight forward. I did however encounter an issue where I could not login from the lock screen. It turned out to be the display manager (gdm I think) wasn’t playing nice with the nvidia drivers, so I switched to lightdm and that fixed the issue.

Alfred alternative

The best alternative to Alfred.app I found on linux is https://ulauncher.io/. Works pretty well out of the box.

Email and calendar

I was using Spark on the mac, and since they don’t support linux I’ve switched over to Mailspring. It’s pretty nice so far, and I’m looking forward to their calender integration shipping this year. All other calendar apps I’ve tried on linux either doesn’t work or looks really terrible.


I’ve replaced TablePlus (database GUI) with DataGrip from jetbrains. It’s also non-free, but so far it seems to hold up pretty well.

Open command

On mac I used open in many scripts to open a link or file. An linux equivalent for this is xdg-open. Link it like this for a seamless experience:

sudo ln -nfs /usr/bin/xdg-open /usr/bin/open

Other apps

I was pleasantly surprised that all the other apps I use the most work fine on Ubuntu. That includes: Slack, Spotify, Todoist.

The end

I will be posting more parts as I go down the *nix rabbithole.