Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Will Linux run well on a MacBook?

Serdar Yegulalp | July 7, 2016
Also in today's open source roundup: Pokemon GO released for Android, and will 2-in-1 Windows PCs destroy Android tablets?

Will Linux run well on a MacBook? 

When you think of Linux, you probably don't think of Apple or its products. But some Linux users actually prefer to run it on Apple's MacBook laptops. A MacBook owner recently asked if Linux would run well on his laptop, and he got some interesting responses in the Linux subreddit.

Comfortably-glum started the thread with some questions:

I currently own a 13" 2015 MacBook Pro w/ Retina display and force touch trackpad. I primarily went for it because I wanted a good screen and decent battery life (there were a few other reasons as well, but I'd rather not justify my purchase here and start a discussion on something else entirely).

Anyways, I'm finding it very difficult to get used to the weird modifier placement. There's an Alt/Option, a Command, and one Control, and coming from a PC, I can't get used to the new controls and placements on OSX. Perhaps they are more configurable on Linux?

Also, how is the Linux support on this particular MacBook? Those two factors can easily make me swap out OSX for Linux.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!

More at Reddit

His fellow redditors shared their thoughts about running Linux on Apple's MacBook laptops:

Suprjami: "I don't own a MacBook but I considered it with my laptop purchase earlier this year.

From what I saw, the MacBook say 2 models behind is likely to have better Linux support and most problems ironed out, when compared to the very latest model. The Arch wiki is pretty good at documenting issues, and do a Google search the model number and Linux, eg "macbook A1534 linux".

You almost certainly have to dual boot OSX so you can install firmware updates if required. I wanted just one OS and not to stuff around with another bootloader.

I couldn't find many good screen options. They seem to either be high res hi-dpi displays which are annoying on Linux, or too small like 1440x900. I wanted plain old 1080p or 1920x1200 and smaller than 14".

I don't really think Apple hardware is that expensive compared to other brands, at least to buy. The proprietary adaptors are where they get you. The power bricks are arguably designed to fail and be unserviceable. Their warranty support is notoriously bad.

Lastly, maybe this doesn't matter to you but it matters to me, Apple are not a good organization. I'll save the rant and just say I have ethical issues giving my money to this company.

In the end I decided it wasn't worth it for me. Hope that helps.

(I ended up getting an Asus UX305UA which is okay, not perfect but nicer than the aging netbook it replaced. I also looked at Carbon X1 Gen4 and Thinkpad T460s, both were very nice but also another $1000 over the Asus)"

 

1  2  3  4  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.