My Mac OS X Shit List |

My Mac OS X Shit List


I'm no Mac guru, it could be that I've missed something really obvious somewhere, but these are nevertheless some issues that I find hugely annoying and keep me from using my Mac OS X more than absolutely necessary.

This article was written in 2012, hopefully some things have been remedied when you read this in

Updates Are Done On a Per Application Basis

Every piece of software installed have their own update notifications when a newer version of that piece is available. This is first of all hugely annyoing and ineffecient.

Added to that, I've missed out on important software updates because I hadn't used that application in a while (Skype). When I one day needed it, I assumed that I had the latest version and was taken by a bad surprise when I needed it (Video conferencing with multiple users). Since the meeting had to start precise, I had to do without the video feature.

Symlinks are not exposed as full worthy directories

It's a HUGELY pain in the butt that symlinked directories don't show up in the various application's open file dialogues. I cannot believe this can be! It's amazingly stupid, in order to access files on symlinked location, I must, well, not use the symlink at all.

The Window Maximize Event is Faulty

Using a 3rd party program, I've managed to get a shortcut for maximizing the current window. However, the un-maximize event doesn't work on all windows (e.g. the Terminal and GNU Emacs), which is rather annoying.

From what I can understand, Mac OS X does not have the concept of maximizing a window, only a document. This leads to funny behaviour like this. As a user, I cannot understand how difficult it can be to introduce this concept if Mac doesn't already have it, but what do I know :-)

No fast way to switch between keyboard layouts

I have not found a way to fast switch between different keyboard layouts. I use three layouts every day: American for programming and Norwegian & German for writing colleagues, partners and customers. Hence, I constantly find myself switching back and forth. On Linux, it is a doodle to get this working, but on Mac, I have so far settled with:

Being able to have a self defined shortcut, that is easily hit without moving the hands off the main part of keyboard has a lot to say for my daily operation speed and I wish there is an easy way to do this on Mac, without writing my own program.

Impossible to Remove the Window Decoration

When I'm working in one application for a long time, I normally turn off the window decoration (including the window title) to get more space on the screen for the important thing, namely the window contents.

However, this doesn't seem to be easily done with Mac OS, but if you know of a solution, please give me a shout! What I want is one shortcut which allows me to toggle the window decoration of the current window.

Hard to re-map the keyboard into sanity

Re-mapping is probably possible, but it's not as straight forward as all other Unixes makes it.

Doesn't follow the file hierarchy standard

Another hugely annoying thing for someone used to other Unixes and Unix like operation systems.

It's equally annoying since Mac OS X claims to be a modern Unix, and is in some respects, a very old and silly incarnation of it.

It's close to impossible to change this as well. /home is on Mac, unlike any other Unix on the planet I've used, not the default home area for users, but a special area for users that log in using SSH.

I found it close to impossible to change this behaviour so that my user had its $HOME under /home.


When Mac got this "revolutionary" technology that Unix and Linux has had since the break of dawn, it looks very nice at first sight. However, one thing that came to annoy me, and is still a big problem, is that I have to choose between three pre-set keyboard shortcut combination to cycle between them.

All of these three combinations are useful for other applications and I therefore have to alter the behaviour of several of my favourite applications in order to use the shortcuts to change workspace. This is just one more thing making it impossible for me to work fast (as fast as I am used to on Linux) in Mac OS X.


Double/tripple clicking doesn't consider the terminal contents

After using urxvt for years, I've gotten rather spoiled with its grandour. One such detail, is the click intelligence. It always does what I want: double clicking on a URI in the terminal should select it. However. Terminal just highlight the entire line, even thoug there is no text on the entire line.

Hence, Terminal doesn't consider the actual contents of the window when applying click events to it.

Ports is Bad

Before getting a Mac, I constantly heard people saying that Mac had the belove feature we're used to from the Linux and BSD world: a command line tool wich allows for easy install, upgrade and removal of software and their dependencies.

However, after using ports for a bit I must say it's ... perhaps ok if you're used to REHL, but if you're used to something like Debian's apt-get and .deb architecture, it's just slow, stupid and utterly limiting.

And now I didn't mentioned all the loop holes you need to go through in order to install ports (because it's no way near standard software on the Mac).

Network Status Incosinstency

The nice GUI network utility can get quite confused, without trying too hard (I just wanted to set up VPN, which only worked for certain types of VPN), I ended up with this inconsistency:

Notice the IP of the primary network interface. It's different!

Notice the IP of the wireless network interface, eth1, it's different!

Final Words

If you have solution to any of the above issues, please give a shout, I'll love to get these things working.

gmail torstein.k.johansen @ gmail ~ twitter @torsteinkrause ~