Resolved Dualboot Mac/Linux

WhiteKnightMac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 21, 2017
28
3
United Kingdom
Heading out to the Falklands next January and want to set-up a Dualboot system with MacOS Sierra and Linux distro KDE neon.

The main OS will be KDE neon with the MacOS as a backup for incompatible software and AirPlay functionality.

All media i.e. Videos and Music will be stored on an external USB 2.0 HDD.

My question to the community is:

What allocation to the Linux Os should I give as the main operating system while still having a functioning MacOS running a clean install?

I don't intend on installing any additional software to the Mac side unless absolutely necessary.

The HDD is 128GB.

Any suggestions and reasoning welcome.
 

WhiteKnightMac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 21, 2017
28
3
United Kingdom
Why not install Linux in a VM instead of going the dual boot route and possibly running into problems?
I've got a fully functioning version of Parallels 12 that I have successfully tested and run Linux in, however I'd like to run the OS nativity as to take fully advantage of the hardware.

I'll keep the suggestion in mind though as it's a definite possibility and would save switching between the OS when software compatibility issues arise.

My only issue with running a VM is the RAM hogging that it always seams to take. My MBA only has 4GB and running both OS's simultaneously is a real burden.
 
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Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
644
277
I've got a fully functioning version of Parallels 12 that I have successfully tested and run Linux in, however I'd like to run the OS nativity as to take fully advantage of the hardware.

I'll keep the suggestion in mind though as it's a definite possibility and would save switching between the OS when software compatibility issues arise.

My only issue with running a VM is the RAM hogging that it always seams to take. My MBA only has 4GB and running both OS's simultaneously is a real burden.
Have you tried running the system on bare metal so that you’re sure your hardware works well while in your Linux distribution? Mac hardware doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to Linux compatibility.

Otherwise I’d say if you’re looking to run Linux, get a laptop with known good Linux support. Lenovo’s T series with Intel graphics usually work, and Dell has a couple of series specifically aimed at the Linux community; then run an iPad or iPhone for Airplay streaming.

Dual-booting has its uses, but I personally find it better to stick to the OS that fits my actual needs for that particular computer. Everything else requires compromises I’m not prepared to make.
 

WhiteKnightMac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 21, 2017
28
3
United Kingdom
My main reasoning for installing a Linux OS was to gain some speed back from this old machine. I've done many clean installs of Mac OS Sierra but every time it seams to be running out of RAM very quickly. Running a single window in safari or playing a video through VLC and Airplay seam to max out the 4GB RAM that I have installed.

I've looked at running either Ubuntu Gnome or KDE neon as both of these distros are well supported on the Mac hardware and the communities are very helpful.
 

Fancuku

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2015
1,009
2,540
PA, USA
If you are not going to store any media on an external drive then I would split the Air's SSD in half, 60 for Linux and 60 for Sierra.
 

Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
644
277
My main reasoning for installing a Linux OS was to gain some speed back from this old machine. I've done many clean installs of Mac OS Sierra but every time it seams to be running out of RAM very quickly. Running a single window in safari or playing a video through VLC and Airplay seam to max out the 4GB RAM that I have installed.

I've looked at running either Ubuntu Gnome or KDE neon as both of these distros are well supported on the Mac hardware and the communities are very helpful.
I suspect both of those systems may be slightly on the heavy side too, though - surely you will run modern versions of Chrome/Chromium, or Firefox on that machine too, so you won't save a lot on the browser side. So sure, go ahead and try a high-end Linux desktop, but be prepared to also try less bloated environments.