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Thread: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

  1. #1
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    Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    I got recently MacBook Air.... and was wondering if I should install Ubuntu on it or hold on..

    Anyone else who also owns Macbook Air.. How is Ubuntu running on it? or what do you use?

    I plan to eventually install Linux on it, since I almost know nothing about Mac OS.
    Last edited by Kdar; June 16th, 2013 at 10:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    Honestly, I dont know.
    I had a MacBook running before, and I had some performance decrease compared to OSX.
    Not saying OSX is better in general, but for the laptop it gave me some more battery life.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    OS X *will* deliver better power management.

    The integration of the trackpad with OS X is not matched in Linux.

    Almost every piece of non-distro specific Linux code has been ported to OS X.

    Underneath the GUI, Linux runs the GNU tool set, OS X uses the BSD tools. They are 99% the same.

    Do your research before deciding. The differences between Macbook models, as far as Linux is concerned, are often more real than apparent. A how-to for a model that is "almost" like your machine might crash and burn.

  4. #4
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    Yes.. After using trackpad to the fullest today on OS X, I kind of like it.. and was wondering if I can get the same integration with Ubuntu.

    I guess I could always SSH to it or from it... and install any software such as Libre-Office (or others) that I use the most on my main Linux desktop. I bought it mainly for my family use.. and then occasionally if I need to go to conferences (light and 12 hours battery life).

  5. #5
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    Do you know about Homebrew (http://mxcl.github.io/homebrew/), MacPorts (http://www.macports.org/), and Fink (http://www.finkproject.org/) for open source ported to OS X?

  6. #6
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    OS X *will* deliver better power management.

    The integration of the trackpad with OS X is not matched in Linux.

    Almost every piece of non-distro specific Linux code has been ported to OS X.

    Underneath the GUI, Linux runs the GNU tool set, OS X uses the BSD tools. They are 99% the same.

    Do your research before deciding. The differences between Macbook models, as far as Linux is concerned, are often more real than apparent. A how-to for a model that is "almost" like your machine might crash and burn.
    but for a lot of opensource projects most of the development is done on linux, and so they work better on linux than mac os x.

    i'd recommend dual booting and comparing.

  7. #7
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssam View Post
    i'd recommend dual booting and comparing.
    +1
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  8. #8
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    Howdy,

    (Writing this on my Mac)

    The Mac OSX is OKish once you get to know it a little - kinda annoying in the beginning - but it is mostly BSD (which is an abbreviation for Bladdy Stoopid Dimwit or something like that).

    I'd suggest that you install Virtualbox on the Mac and then make a virtual machine of your favourite Linux distribution. I always seem to have Fedora running in a VM and is constantly switching between Linux and Mac applications. I configure the VMs to mount the Documents folder, so everything I do is accessible by all systems.

    Some things just don't work well on a Mac, though on the whole it is OK. For example, the file browser and photo apps are fracking terrible and some programs like the Eagle PCB designer is unusable with the Mac touchpad. I get around these little annoyances with a Bluetooth mouse and a Linux VM.

    So, do I like a Macbook Pro? It is a very, very nice machine, and I'll recommend it to others, but Linux and its large variety of applications is better than OSX. Even so, I will not re-install the Mac with Linux, since there is a very real possibility that I will then run into hardware device driver issues and I just don't want to have that head-ache.

  9. #9
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    I have managed to successfully install one version of Ubuntu on my Macbook Pro. And that required putting a hold on any kernel updates. It is, I'd say, a fragile environment for Linux.

    In OS X, the touchpad is quite smoothly integrated and a delight to use. It is the only touchpad I've used that didn't drive me immediately to a mouse.

    That integration vanishes in Linux, and you are left with whatever abilities your distribution manages to deliver. In essence, the pad becomes just another Linux trackpad. A few pieces of code are available to increase the ease of using the Macbook's touchpad on Linux. But, I found them to be quirky and problematic.

    If this machine is the only machine someone is going to use, I would second Herman and suggest running Linux in a virtual machine on OS X, avoiding the risk and hassle of attempting to install Linux on the machine.

    On the other hand, at least give OS X a bit of a try. It's a smooth and capable OS with a vibrant community of indy software vendors.

    Of course, it really comes down to what software you want to run. If that's entirely Linux, then frankly, an Air may or may not be the best platform.

    The BSD-ness of OS X -- considerably less than many think -- is rather well hidden and probably won't be noticeable unless someone is a down-in-the-weeds OS coder or writes shell scripts that need to be cognizant of the odd difference between the GNU and BSD tool sets.

  10. #10
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    Re: Install Ubuntu on MacBook Air or not...?

    I'd leave it as it is.

    I have a macbook pro which I tried ubuntu on, it really wasn't a better experience than osx.

    I have linux on my desktop and osx on the macbook pro - best of both worlds.

    Kind regards

    Dave Rich

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