Bootcamp for Linux

Roxy.music

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2019
128
13
uk
Why doesn't Apple do a Bootcamp for Linux? After all, Apple has more in common with Linux than it does with Windows.
Something I have been trying to put on an external drive on my Mac. Has anyone put Linux on an external drive or put it on a second drive in the mac?
I have been using Parallels Desktop 14 where I have been trying Ubuntu and Linux Mint and Pops they all seem good systems.

 

Toutou

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2015
676
944
Prague, Czech Republic
You don't need Bootcamp to boot Linux from an external drive.
To install Ubuntu on an external drive, run the installer (from a flash drive or a CD), plug in your external drive and choose that as the target. After the installation finishes, unplug the device with the installer, restart the Mac and boot form the external drive by holding Option (alt).
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,142
1,804
Between the coasts
Why no Boot Camp for Linux? What would the business justification be? Windows market share in 2005-2006 when Apple switched to Intel processors was well over 90%. That's a big, fat target. Linux on desktops/laptops has always been a significantly lower percentage than Mac - currently somewhere around 1.7%.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,426
3,440
Just because something is “good”, which is always subjective anyway, does not mean it should be embraced. Market share aside, Linux is not that friendly to normal people even today, though it highly depends on the distro and not Linux as a whole. A simple thing: if Linux is so good, why there are very few people using it as desktop system?
Ok, I will stop here for now.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
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Just because something is “good”, which is always subjective anyway, does not mean it should be embraced. Market share aside, Linux is not that friendly to normal people even today, though it highly depends on the distro and not Linux as a whole. A simple thing: if Linux is so good, why there are very few people using it as desktop system?
Ok, I will stop here for now.
A couple of points here on the status of Linux. Yes, some distro's of Linux are not friendly to normal people. Distro's based on Arch and Gentoo clearly fit that bill. However, other branches of Linux like Debian can be very user friendly, like Ubuntu, Mint and Pop!_OS. Also Red Hat based distro's like Fedora can also be quite easy to use. All of these are typically no more difficult to install and use out-of-the-box like macOS and Windows.

Linux is very good, but it's not widely used in the at-home desktop environment because the early days of the OS were very much difficult and CLI-based. The early days being the mid-1990s. Compare that to macOS and Windows which got their start in the 1970s to 1980's and marketed themselves to the at-home and business users. Additionally, the OEM vendor's like Dell, Gateway, Lenovo et al. have license deals with Microsoft to sell their boxes with Windows on them. You can get Ubunutu on a Dell computer by ordering them that way, but it's a niche market for them and not really advertised. Same thing with Apple, they sell their boxes with macOS on them (obviously since they make both pieces).

Also, Apple and Microsoft are proprietary monolith's with centralized distributions for their OS, and their OS only. Linux and *BSD are all community driven and decentralized. IBM's recent acquisition of Red Hat and Canonical's ownership of Ubuntu are a discussion for a different day. But, with Apple and Microsoft, who knows what can happen next month or in 100 years from now with these companies. They could be gone at some point and their intellectual property (i.e. macOS, Windows) could disappear. With Linux, the software is open source and freely available to anyone and decentralized - the chances of it disappearing are slim to none.

Linux isn't out there to be marketed and isn't out there to gain market share from Apple and Microsoft, nor is it on the stock market to please and make money for shareholders.

Linux is a lot about philosophy and that's where the 'free and open source software' or FOSS come from. Many people mistake the 'free' to mean 'no cost' but that's not it. It's the philosophy of 'free = freedom', freedom from being proprietary. It's about anyone with the desire and knowledge to take something someone else has created and build on it or re-create it their own way and then redistribute it themselves freely.

That's why Linux isn't up there in market share for the daily, average at-home or small business user like Microsoft and Apple are. It's just that its not the stated goal of Linux.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
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The Finger Lakes Region
I see Linux Server making inroads into corporate places as Microsoft Server becoming becoming so expensive these last few years. Businesses run on cheap costs a Linux fits that bill!

Where I really see Linux being used almost extensively in Smart NAS operation systems!
 

Imixmuan

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2010
386
101
Why is Linux not more popular on the desktop? Truth be told, most people are idiots. Really. Most people want an OS to be installed on their machine when they buy it, and then they want someone (Microsoft or Apple) to both hold their hands AND wipe their butt whilst they use it.

Linux does not hold your hand or wipe your butt. You HAVE to be somewhat intelligent, and....somewhat computer savvy to use it, although these days that is not always the case. I've set up several Linux computers for non techy Mac heads or Windows 10 refugees and they have had minimal to no issues. Particularly with Linux Mint, and especially when you theme it to look like their former OS's. One woman said after six months she had completely forgotten she was not using a Mac. All she really needs is an updated Chrome browser. And Libre Office. She clicks the little info icon in the menu bar and updates it when it tells her too. She had a little issue learning to restart Docky after she installed an update, but other than that, nothing. I got her a 30 dollar Dell Optiplex core2duo tower from a University recycle center to replace her dead 2007 Macbook. Money was tight for her so she was super grateful. Only an opensource OS like Linux can do that.

I am typing this from a Chromebook (bought cause now it can run Linux apps, although I have to say not that well, yet), and ChromeOS and Android will be how most everyday users come to a Linux desktop. Until Google's Fuchsia OS replaces those...maybe.
 

Roxy.music

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2019
128
13
uk
Just because something is “good”, which is always subjective anyway, does not mean it should be embraced. Market share aside, Linux is not that friendly to normal people even today, though it highly depends on the distro and not Linux as a whole. A simple thing: if Linux is so good, why there are very few people using it as desktop system?
Ok, I will stop here for now.
Look at Betamax vs VHS, Betamax was the better system but VHS won out.
Yes, you are right there about the distro,s you choose. Like everything else, it,s to do with marketing.
Besides Linux is free.:)
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Between the coasts
Why is Linux not more popular on the desktop? Truth be told, most people are idiots. Really. Most people want an OS to be installed on their machine when they buy it, and then they want someone (Microsoft or Apple) to both hold their hands AND wipe their butt whilst they use it.

Linux does not hold your hand or wipe your butt. You HAVE to be somewhat intelligent, and....somewhat computer savvy to use it, although these days that is not always the case. I've set up several Linux computers for non techy Mac heads or Windows 10 refugees and they have had minimal to no issues. Particularly with Linux Mint, and especially when you theme it to look like their former OS's. One woman said after six months she had completely forgotten she was not using a Mac. All she really needs is an updated Chrome browser. And Libre Office. She clicks the little info icon in the menu bar and updates it when it tells her too. She had a little issue learning to restart Docky after she installed an update, but other than that, nothing. I got her a 30 dollar Dell Optiplex core2duo tower from a University recycle center to replace her dead 2007 Macbook. Money was tight for her so she was super grateful. Only an opensource OS like Linux can do that.

I am typing this from a Chromebook (bought cause now it can run Linux apps, although I have to say not that well, yet), and ChromeOS and Android will be how most everyday users come to a Linux desktop. Until Google's Fuchsia OS replaces those...maybe.
I don't think "idiots" is at all fair. "Sheep" is another derogatory term that comes to mind. Not sheep, either, afaik. In many ways, users don't use Linux on the desktop for the same reason the vast majority of desktop users don't use Mac - Windows is the dominant "language." If you're going to speak just one language, you're going to choose the dominant language in your culture. That's a practical choice to make, even if that language is not the "best" from a purely linguistic standpoint. While being multi-lingual is beneficial for those who can manage it, most people would rather invest that time and effort in other ways.

You could say Linux is the Esperanto of desktop operating systems. Esperanto may make plenty of logical sense, but you need more than logic to get people to learn a new language, especially when the chances of finding another Esperanto-speaker are few and far between.

So yeah, you can convert some of your friends to Linux, but most people will think, "What if my friend isn't around when I have a problem or question?" "What if my boss requires me to use an app that isn't available for Linux?" Finally, most people don't want to climb a new learning curve.

And as to, "ChromeOS and Android will be how most everyday users come to a Linux desktop..." it's little different than saying macOS and iOS are Unix. The vast majority of users do not open the command line interface (assuming one is available). What matters to them is the GUI, not the underlying kernel. They're almost always going to choose the GUI they already know.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
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Detroit
Why is Linux not more popular on the desktop? Truth be told, most people are idiots. Really. Most people want an OS to be installed on their machine when they buy it, and then they want someone (Microsoft or Apple) to both hold their hands AND wipe their butt whilst they use it.
Possibly. However when you put it like this, it doesn't do anything to help people who may be on the fence and willing to experiment with Linux and see if they can make it work for them.
 

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
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North Country (way upstate NY)
Possibly. However when you put it like this, it doesn't do anything to help people who may be on the fence and willing to experiment with Linux and see if they can make it work for them.
The problem is those people are going to turn to forums for support and depending on the distro the support won’t be “nice”

Much of the Linux world wants to know what you’ve done to solve the problem your having, exactly what you’ve done so it better be in your text editor.

While RTFM / what’s the man page say is kind of a joke now it really isn’t on that side of the house it can get pretty bare knuckle.

Personally I’d rather users be a little scared because it’ll make sure they cover their bases before they wonder into the woods.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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The problem is those people are going to turn to forums for support and depending on the distro the support won’t be “nice”

Much of the Linux world wants to know what you’ve done to solve the problem your having, exactly what you’ve done so it better be in your text editor.

While RTFM / what’s the man page say is kind of a joke now it really isn’t on that side of the house it can get pretty bare knuckle.

Personally I’d rather users be a little scared because it’ll make sure they cover their bases before they wonder into the woods.
This approach seems fine, presuming the community is supporting Linux in server environments and among computing professionals in general. It's computer geekdom at its traditional best/worst.

However, that approach/attitude is poison to non-technical users, which is the vast majority of the world's computer users. Why would someone choose an end-user product (like a desktop OS) that opens them to abuse if they need help? A "Go away kid, don't bother me" attitude does not encourage widespread adoption, rather, it ensures that the user community will remain an exclusive club.

Basically, the free software movement has to provide its free tech support with the same charitable attitude as volunteer firefighters, volunteer disaster relief workers, etc. If they want to see their approach triumph over commercial products they can't chase potential users into the arms of those who build the cost of tech support into the price tag.
 
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lowendlinux

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Sep 24, 2014
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This approach seems fine, presuming the community is supporting Linux in server environments and among computing professionals in general. It's computer geekdom at its traditional best/worst.

However, that approach/attitude is poison to non-technical users, which is the vast majority of the world's computer users. Why would someone choose an end-user product (like a desktop OS) that opens them to abuse if they need help? A "Go away kid, don't bother me" attitude does not encourage widespread adoption, rather, it ensures that the user community will remain an exclusive club.

Basically, the free software movement has to provide its free tech support with the same charitable attitude as volunteer firefighters, volunteer disaster relief workers, etc. If they want to see their approach triumph over commercial products they can't chase potential users into the arms of those who build the cost of tech support into the price tag.
What makes you think the community at large wants large scale adoption on the desktop?
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
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The problem is those people are going to turn to forums for support and depending on the distro the support won’t be “nice”

Much of the Linux world wants to know what you’ve done to solve the problem your having, exactly what you’ve done so it better be in your text editor.

While RTFM / what’s the man page say is kind of a joke now it really isn’t on that side of the house it can get pretty bare knuckle.

Personally I’d rather users be a little scared because it’ll make sure they cover their bases before they wonder into the woods.
Be that as it may, I believe that those who may be savvy enough to pick up Linux and learn it with little trouble would be disinclined to do so if the Linux community were all acting like jerks, regardless of whether the newbie was asking questions or not.

The Ubuntu community, for the most part is welcoming to newbies asking questions without checking the man pages. I get it. Ubuntu is the Microsoft of Linux. Surely, however, Arch and Gentoo communities won't be of much help if you don't read the man and wiki pages first since nearly everything one might encounter is already documented and documented well.

A person can be told to read the man/wiki pages without having to be made to feel like "idiots" and that us experienced users have to "hold their hands and wipe their butts." Folks should be nice for the sake of being nice, I think.
What makes you think the community at large wants large scale adoption on the desktop?
I do agree with you about not wanting Linux to be as mainstream as Windows or macOS. It's 2% market share still makes it a niche segment for the non-enterprise user. I don't ever want to see Linux become commercialized, watered down and closed off like the proprietary OS's are.

We could debate the fate of Red Hat with IBM now and perhaps Ubuntu with Canonical, but that's a conversation for another day.