Linux experts say the best Linux interfaces "pale besides the glory that is the Mac OS X user interface".

Linux Magazine includes details of the five variants of the open-source Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) operating systems, including Apple's BSD-based Mac OS X.

The report states: "Mac OS X is the leading Unix desktop operating system of all time. It may not look like a Unix variant to you, but underneath its glossy exterior lays an operating system based on the 4.4BSD-Lite2 Open Source distribution and the Open Software Foundation Mach 3."

Linux Magazine goes on to explain why, despite the benefits of BSD, Linux has always enjoyed popularity with developers. "As time's gone by, the Linux advantage has snowballed. Because it has far more developers Linux beats out the BSDs when it comes to native device and independent software vendor support.

"In short, you know that Linux will almost certainly run on your machine, and that you have a wide assortment of programs to choose from. With BSD, you must be much more aware of hardware compatibility, and have far fewer programs to choose from. This is especially true of desktop applications."

The report adds: "On the server side you have all of the typical office and ISP programs at your beck and call. Like Linux itself, except for Mac OS X, the BSDs work best as servers rather than desktops.

"But there can be no question that BSD has some distinct advantages. When it comes to security, the open source BSDs, especially OpenBSD, are the best in the business. When it comes to the desktop, Mac OS X is the crème de la crème."