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Macbooks were never good choices to run Linux on, and it's naive to think it would've gotten any easier. Apple's version of EFI is slightly different than the standard. The laptops are filled with custom hardware that you won't find anywhere else.

It took Dell months of effort by a dedicated team [1] to get all the features of a subset of Dell XPS13 laptops working under Linux. I'm actually considering buying one as a Linux machine, and I already own a Macbook.

To think that an Apple laptop would in any way make a good or even workable Linux machine is laughably naive.

[1] https://sputnik.github.io/




That depends. MacBook Air 2012 11 inch is one of the best machines I have ever seen for Linux. In fact Linus himself used one for some time, which he praised. It's a very standard Ivy Bridge machine, also extremely silent.

Everything just works with a stock kernel. Only minor caveat is that the wireless card has bad range. But also in Mac OS, so not sure this is a driver fault. Easy to fix, I use an external Atheros from Alfa which has incredible range and is great for pen-testing.

Apart from that, the only annoyance is that the battery does not emit ACPI discharge events. But very few laptops do this, apart from some ThinkPads. (I would love to know which do! These are really useful to set up udev sleep rules instead of polling the battery on a tiling window manager & no-desktop-environment setup, but it is a feature rarely documented.)


I've been running Linux on my MacBook Pro for quite a while (years?), and while there are a couple of hicups due to Apple weirdness, they are minor.

I would definitely call my MacBook Pro a good (and workable) Linux machine.


Yes, I ran Linux on a MBP for several years, starting about 10 years ago. It works fine after a little bit of configuration (new hardware may take a little while to get driver support, per usual; that's not unique to Apple hardware).

I've also used Windows on a MBP for several months. It's not perfect either, there are minor quirks with that too. MBPs really only work perfectly under OS X for obvious reasons, but it's not usually not implausible to use other OSes on a MacBook if you want to do that.


Mind elaborating on the hiccups and generation?


I've been making some notes going along as I have figured out different things over different generations of MBP:

- https://plus.google.com/+MagnusHoff/posts/Bnor8DQkKZ4

- https://plus.google.com/+MagnusHoff/posts/b23xMvSk3Hg

- https://plus.google.com/+MagnusHoff/posts/1fUQWHPujX3

- https://plus.google.com/+MagnusHoff/posts/eLtER7D8feX

- https://plus.google.com/+MagnusHoff/posts/7JHdmgZHwy8

- https://plus.google.com/+MagnusHoff/posts/2wJnwgZt2md

Additionally, the SD card slot won't work with ultra high speed SD cards, so I have had to cap the sdhci driver to high speed.

So; Yes, there are some hiccups, but I am a happy camper :)


Several Linux kernel committers use a MacBook as their primary device. I've run Linux on a MacBook for years at a time and it worked fine. There may be some extra complication involved in getting Linux working well on a MacBook (and typically this is only true for the first several months until drivers are updated and integrated upstream), but it's certainly not a "laughably naive" endeavor. It works fine after some configuration.


Presently one can use MacBook 2015-2016 on Linux only with an external keyboard/mouse. The progress with driver has been made, but it is far from there.


Doesn't the 2015 mac comes with a USB mode for the keyboard for the UEFI interface?


Apple has shipped their UEFI with a number of drivers for 'weird' things integrated, such as wireless card support for network booting.

It wouldn't be too much to assume that they support this keyboard controller as well.


Seconding your input. There is nothing laughable about Linux on a Macbook and I hope folks don't have an impression otherwise. I completely formatted the HD on mine and using only Linux and tools within the repos, wangled a very usable system on a new gpt partition. I was a bit naive to expect it would be fun and easy, but it worked after some effort.


I did buy one od these XPS developer edition. It comes with ubuntu.

If we want to signal to the market that we want laptop with linux we need to support this kind of initiative. The fact that linux just work without any changes is great.


I did the same with Asus, when they sold Eee PC 1215B with GNU/Linux here in Germany.

It is the only computer I own that runs GNU/Linux on the metal instead of a VM.

I no longer care for long weekends trying to get something to work.


>Macbooks were never good choices to run Linux on, and it's naive to think it would've gotten any easier.

Linus Torvalds, for one, used a Macbook Air with Linux up until a couple of years ago, which he praised as the right way to do laptops (he now uses a Chromebook IIRC).

(He also used a Mac Pro G5 in the mid-00s, again with Linux, and he wrote his autobiography around 2003-4 on an iBook with OS X).




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