I've finally decided to take the plunge: I'm installing a Linux distro as a VM on my Mac.
I have resisted doing this for years and years and years. I've long thought that going Linux just meant that you're doomed to perennial tweaking and figuring out incompatible drivers. I don't give a rip about either of the "free as in's" when it comes to operating systems—I'm an unabashed Mac user, I pay for all of my software, and my programmatic life is completely Windows-based.
So why am I doing this? And why now?
I have been reading some really intriguing books on data analysis, social networking, and monitoring and all of the examples are in Python. I've always been tempted by Python the language and Python the community, and I've even made minor forays into that world. I know that Mac OS X is a great platform for Python but I have zero familiarity with Linux.
In the end, if I make anything significant, I'm going to want to host it on Linux so why not start now. With a virtual machine, I can duplicate my final environment without polluting my Mac or worrying about the differences between the two. I initially looked at Ubuntu but I think it's really more of a consumer-grade distro whereas I want raw server.
A colleague at work said that he uses CentOS; I figured that's as good as any and he certainly knows more than I do. So I downloaded CentOS 6.0 minimal and I'll see how it goes.