The absolutely best thing about Linux distributions is package management. Especially Debian and derivatives excel at this. Windows and Mac OS plain suck there. Here I will post links to software that I think might be useful for switchers from Linux.

Unixish Software

MacPorts is a must for all who know how to spell T e r m i n a l. You might also want to read Pimp my Terminal if you really care.

Security Related


SSHKeychain is ssh-agent the Mac way. It is very useful if you use ssh to log into other (or even your own) computer and have set it up with a passwordless public key login and have your keys protected with passphrases.

When using ssh you are likely to use sftp as well. Fugu is a client that plays well with SSHKeychain, Cyberduck doesn't (at the time of writing, there is an enhancement request, however, but it is from January 2006).

Mail Encryption

MacGPG is a GnuPG implementation for the Mac. Download the DMGs GnuPG...dmg, and GPGPreferences...dmg.

GPGMail is the plugin-hack Í use for Apple Mail to keep private emails private. It enables you to send and receive (and read :>) encrypted email..

IM Encryption

Adium supports OTR encryption out of the box but it seems to need a little luck to work, with some contacts it works for me, with others it doesn't. Even though they have exactly the same Adium version, which is a little disappointing.

Disk/File System Encryption

Finally, version 5 of TrueCrypt supports Mac OS. Windows and Linux were supported before so this is the first version that works with all the platforms that I use. Nice.

EncFS is a nice encrypted file system that runs transparently on top of another file system. It depends on MacFUSE. While you're at it, also download MacFusion. I'd recommend using the EncFS version provided by EncFSVault, another great project that uses EncFS to encrypt your home directory and integrates into the login system of Mac OS and thus replaces the built in FileVault. At you will find a MacFusion plugin for EncFS. And as I didn't really get it first, I'll give you an overview here:

The FUSE implementation for Mac OS, basic dependency for everything below. FUSE Homepage, MacFUSE Homepage, Download for Mac OS.
GUI for MacFUSE, takes plugins to provide GUIs for specific FUSE file systems, SSH and FTP are included. MacFusion Homepage (Version 1 can be found at MacFusion v1 Homepage, Download v1 for Mac OS).
An encrypted FUSE file system. EncFS Homepage, Download for Mac OS.
The MacFusion plugin for EncFS. Download for Mac OS.
A replacement for Apple's FileVault integrating into the login system and using EncFS to do the job. EncFSVault Homepage, Download for Mac OS.


While searching the web I also found two beta projects that sound promising: ABKey and GPGServices.


Firefox, Adium

Burning CDs and DVDs

LiquidCD seems to do a nice job. Up to now I have burned DVD+R and DVD+R DL. There is also Burn and SimplyBurns.

PatchBurn might be interesting for those who have an unsupported drive.


Audio Archival

I have to admit that I currently evaluate Exact Audio Copy (EAC) to archive my CD collection. There seems to be no Mac OS application that does the job as thoroughly.

There is Max but from what I heard it lacks the ability to make sure the CD drive doesn't return cached data (which it reads only once of course so subsequent reads to verify the data just return the cached data and the application thinks the data is fine). I also heard that people currently work on that, though.

There is also xACT but a first look at it didn't convince me and I forgot why. Other candiadates you might want to look at are rubyripper, dBpoweramp (for that other OS) and XLD.

There are a few (German) articles on AudioHQ that I found useful:


I got a digital SLR so I shoot raw pictures. I use Image Ingester Pro to copy the pictures to a custom folder structure. However, I cannot recommend it any longer as the author decided to no longer distribute a free version. Well, free speech is different from free beer. So one day I'll have to hack a script that does the job for me.

I currently save for a copy of Lightroom. Of course Photoshop would be nice, too, but it's simply too expensive. Gimp has to fill the gap here.


VLC, MPlayer, Flip4Mac.


Eclipse, CVS is included in the Developer Tools (always remember that CVS sucks, though), Git, QGit, GitNub, GitX. Git and QGit are also in MacPorts.


Refresh Finder

Carbon Copy Cloner, Superduper, Carbon Copy Cloner, Google Earth, Isolator, NeoOffice (soon to be replaced by the real, Parallels, Stuffit, VPNClient, VueScan, Winclone

SmartSleep lets you disable SafeSleep or whatever it's called (coming from Linux I call it suspend to disk). I usually have an eye on my battery and I simply prefer the lightning fast suspend to ram (called sleep on the Mac? I'm still a noob.)

Trimmit trims down applications. So do XSlimmer and Monolingual

NTFS-3G for OS X, finally, after not even Leopard can do it.