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Thread: Powerbook Pro and Linux questions

  1. #1
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    Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    I am thinking about buying a new laptop. The only ones that really appeal to me are the Macbook Pro's. My main system is linux and I'd rather die than not use linux. Here's are my musts:

    Linux
    Compiz Fusion
    Virtualbox with Windows XP guest.

    Will all this work on a Macbook Pro? Will it be buggy? Can I expect the above to run just as good on the Macbook Pro as it would on a PC laptop?
    Last edited by dman777; March 2nd, 2009 at 12:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dman777 View Post
    I am thinking about buying a new laptop. The only ones that really appeal to me are the Macbook Pro's. My main system is linux and I'd rather die than not use linux. Here's are my musts:

    Linux
    Compiz Fusion
    Virtualbox with Windows XP guest.

    Will all this work on a Macbook Pro? Will it be buggy? Can I expect the above to run just as good on the Macbook Pro as it would on a PC laptop?
    If you don't want to use OS X, then don't get a Mac. It much easier to buy a machine designed to be Linux-Compatible.

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    Re: Powerbook Pro and Linux questions

    Since the Powerbooks uses intel hardware nowadays, "I think" that it is going to work pretty good. ASUS PC:s would probably work much better with any Linux distribution, though.

    I think that Yellow Dog Linux might be a very attractive Linux flavour in this regard. Have you ever heard about it?

    I have never tried the distribution myself, but I have read about it several times on the net, and it seems pretty cool. My own favourite will always be Debian, though.
    Debian 8.0 "Jessie"
    HP laptop (15-ab064no-Nordic)
    Linux user since 1999.

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    Re: Powerbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by khelben1979 View Post
    I think that Yellow Dog Linux might be a very attractive Linux flavour in this regard. Have you ever heard about it?
    YDL is only for PowerPC hardware.

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    Re: Powerbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberdork33 View Post
    YDL is only for PowerPC hardware.
    I see. In that case it probably works good with older mac hardware using PPC then.
    Debian 8.0 "Jessie"
    HP laptop (15-ab064no-Nordic)
    Linux user since 1999.

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    Re: Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberdork33 View Post
    If you don't want to use OS X, then don't get a Mac. It much easier to buy a machine designed to be Linux-Compatible.
    Isn't the hardware the same as a PC now(Motherboard and CPU)? is this only because of the EFI or other issues also?

    The Macbook Pro's have everything I like in a laptop hardware wise, rather the PC laptops all have something I don't like(various).

  7. #7
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    Re: Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    Dman,
    i perfectly agree with you, and Macbook Pro was my choice. i never used macosx and i didn't spend more than ten minutes with it in the first two months with this laptop. i believe it's a great os, but my choice is simply for open source software.
    Cyberdork is correct in saying that there are many other machines with much better support (thinkpads first of all) in gnu\linux, but i consider this last creature from cupertino being worth the (relatively small) efforts to setup a usable linux system on it :~)
    the main problem is power management: short battery life and high temperature. have a look at the documantation page MacBookPro5-1Intrepid
    to get an idea and judge yourself based on your expectations and needs. Lo.
    Lo runs Kubuntu 9.10-amd64 on a MacBookPro 5.1, and feels Karmic :~)

  8. #8
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    Re: Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by buntuLo View Post
    Dman,
    i perfectly agree with you, and Macbook Pro was my choice. i never used macosx and i didn't spend more than ten minutes with it in the first two months with this laptop. i believe it's a great os, but my choice is simply for open source software.
    Cyberdork is correct in saying that there are many other machines with much better support (thinkpads first of all) in gnu\linux, but i consider this last creature from cupertino being worth the (relatively small) efforts to setup a usable linux system on it :~)
    the main problem is power management: short battery life and high temperature. have a look at the documantation page MacBookPro5-1Intrepid
    to get an idea and judge yourself based on your expectations and needs. Lo.
    Wow, thank you. This gives me more insight.

    I prefer a raw Linux/GNU system:
    Gentoo
    Compiz Fusion
    No desktop managers/Guis(I use strictly command line with urxvt windows).

    I want to stick with this if I got a Macpower book. Where would I get the modules/packages to enable MAC hardware outside of the Ubuntu/Debian repositories?

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    Re: Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dman777 View Post
    Isn't the hardware the same as a PC now(Motherboard and CPU)? is this only because of the EFI or other issues also? .
    There is the EFI thing, though it is not too bad for single-booting.

    It is things like the use of non-Linux-Friendly hardware choices that make it difficult. WiFi card is proprietary (Broadcom), Video Card is Proprietary, etc. A system designed for Linux just has much more compatible hardware choices included.

  10. #10
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    Re: Macbook Pro and Linux questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dman777 View Post
    Wow, thank you. This gives me more insight.
    I prefer a raw Linux/GNU system:
    Gentoo
    Compiz Fusion
    No desktop managers/Guis(I use strictly command line with urxvt windows).
    I want to stick with this if I got a Macpower book. Where would I get the modules/packages to enable MAC hardware outside of the Ubuntu/Debian repositories?
    if gentoo is your choice, you'd better read - and ask :~) - here:
    http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Apple_Macbook_Pro
    as written around half of the page, you can give the mactel kernel-patches (for vanilla-source) a try:
    https://mactel-linux.svn.sourceforge.../trunk/kernel/
    also have a look at the links at the bottom of the page.
    anyway, try using google with the keywords: "macbook pro" 5.1 aluminium unibody. ciao, Lo.
    Lo runs Kubuntu 9.10-amd64 on a MacBookPro 5.1, and feels Karmic :~)

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