Where Have All the MacBooks Gone at Linux Conferences?

Bryan Lunduke | Network World | May 2, 2016

The days of open source people using MacBooks and running Mac OS seem to be ending

Back in 2007, I went to O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON). That particular year Canonical had a mini-summit, which happened in the two days before OSCON, called Ubuntu Live. I honestly don't remember much about any of the sessions I attended all those years ago. But one memory stands out like a spotlight pointed straight at my face: almost every single laptop I saw in use at Ubuntu Live was a MacBook. Nearly every single one. Row after row of little glowing Apple logos filling every conference room. And this was at Ubuntu's first big conference—a conference filled to the brim with Linux (and Ubuntu) developers and power users.

Bryan Lunduke

We're not talking Apple hardware running Linux, either. I made a point of asking people what they were running (or just glancing at the screens as I walked by). Were a few running Linux? Yes. A few. But the majority were running Mac OS X. The vast majority. This phenomenon isn't unique to this one year of Ubuntu Live. Anyone who's been to a Linux or open source (or web developer) conference in the last decade has witnessed the army of open source people who are actually just running Mac OS.
But this year something is different.

I recently returned from LinuxFest Northwest. One of the most noteworthy things from that event? I saw only one Mac laptop in use by the attendees of the event. One. And, you know what? It wasn't running Mac OS. It was running Linux. Earlier this year, I attended Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE). Similar situation there. I saw a good handful of Apple logos glowing here and there, but only a handful. Most laptops seemed to be happily running Linux of one flavor or another...