I'm both a (newbie) developer, student and a gamer. Right now I have Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7 installed on my box. I usually run Ubuntu for my everyday chores, but when I want to play games or type a damn report, I have to switch over to Windows (Sorry, I'm still trying to get accustomed to OpenOffice :)) Since I am going to reinstall my OSes, I want to look at all my options. Seeing that some games I play - StarCraft II, LOL, Diablo III - already supports Mac OS, so I am thinking of giving it a try as well.

I'd like to know if developing the same technologies using Mac OS is anything different from using Ubuntu. The technologies I currently have my hands dirty with and are especially concerned about are: GNU C/C++, Boost, Cassandra (Thrift, LibEvent, Flex, Bison), MySQL, Java, Android, Python (Django) and PHP. (Especially Cassandra, because I need to compile it from source for a project.)

  • Are you sure LoL is available for OS X? (support.leagueoflegends.com/entries/21204983-playing-on-a-mac) Apr 8, 2012 at 0:38
  • Just so you know, StarCraft II's performance is much worse in OSX than in Windows, you'll need to use Bootcamp for it.
    – user4141
    Apr 8, 2012 at 3:59
  • 2
    You're saying "Since I am going to reinstall my OSes", so you seem to imply you want to install OS X on the hardware you have now, which is presumably not a Mac. Just thought I'd let you know that Mac OS X officially can only be used on a Mac. Solutions like Hackintosh exist, but are generally a pain and just not worth it, apart from the "fun" factor.
    – houbysoft
    Apr 8, 2012 at 4:51
  • 1
    I would stay away from the Hackintosh stuff, @houbysoft is right, its more trouble then it is worth. If your goal is to be a developer with a gaming rig then the last thing you want to worry about is your OS tripping up on hardware or vise-versa.
    – DogEatDog
    Oct 17, 2012 at 3:57
  • What do you run in Ubuntu - given your other uses can't you run these in Windows, or perhaps have a Ubuntu VM running in Windows. either way means that you do not have to reboot - and the usual use case is you spend more time in Word than anything else or at least need to jot notes in it all the time :) The only complex one is C/C++ but Visual Studio I find better to use
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:05

3 Answers 3


OS X will be able to run most of what you want for what you have listed. If you want to run ubuntu, running it in VMWare Fusion is the best option since you won't have to reboot each time. Anything that cant be run on OS X you can just stand up a simple Windows VM on VMWare Fusion todo that dirty work for you.

For Development, you'll be able to run mostly everything that doesn't require .NET or Visual Studio. There is also the mono project for running .NET cross-platform.

Windows is still the dominate platform for games, although their are OS X versions of most of the games you listed, windows is still more likely to be the platform for new games. You could run a copy of windows in VMware Fusion, but I wouldn't count on it doing a ton of heavy graphics processing. Fortunately, it seems like more and more games that are made for iOS are coming to iOS and vise versa.

You may want to ditch OpenOffice and switch to the non-Oracle fork of OpenOffice LibreOffice.


Most or all of the software that you've mentioned is available for OS X (except LoL, which you can run through Bootcamp under your Win7). OS X is a nice operating system with a lot of very well designed software, but the best way to see how it works is to actually use it for a while. I have used Linux and I believe that OS X is much more polished but some people might not care about this and would love to have the ability to tweak every single aspect of their OSs.

All Blizzard games run perfectly on a Mac. I do Android (and iOS through Xcode) development using Eclipse and I have no problem using OS X for all my needs.


I believe the simplest answer to your main question is 'No.'

Even though OS X can be used for gaming and developing, the former is never the user's goal.

You're better off sticking to your current environment of Windows and Ubuntu, unless you're considering developing iOS or OS X applications using Xcode, which can (mostly) only be done in Mac OS X.

If you're looking for a change, why not upgrade to Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 (or 13.10)? Windows 8 offers better performance on the same hardware as Windows 7. You can get rid of the useless Windows Start Screen by installing Classic Shell. A more recent version of Ubuntu will give you updated tools for development and newer Unity 3D WM.

I use an iMac, but I also have a notebook with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10.

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