Installing Linux on Mac

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by bingefeller, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. bingefeller macrumors 6502

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    Northern Ireland
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm going to install Linux on a partition on my MBP (details are in signature).

    I am asking for some advice and guidance if you would please.

    Firstly, I have my HD encrypted so I understand that I will need to unencrypt it as I will have to install rEFit?

    Secondly, I am thinking of installing Linux Mint as I believe this is easy to install and will work with minimum fuss. Is this correct?

    I was looking at these instructions:

    http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1643

    It says to create three new partitions so that would mean I would have four separate partitions - one for OSX then one called Mint, one called home and one called swap?

    BTW - I won't be following the boot order instructions there. I will be installed rEFit instead.

    Thanks!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    Why not just use VMware Fusion? It runs Ubuntu and Elementary Freya on my Mac smoothly, with VMware Tools installed.
     
  3. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I'm not sure if it's comparable but I installed Ubuntu with Virtualbox and I got it working OK and everything but it's very slow. Would VMWare present this problem too?
     
  4. Negritude macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Parallels and VMWare tend to be more optimized and run better than VirtualBox. It's a tradeoff to decide whether the fact that VirtualBox is free makes it worth putting up with it being slower or less easy to use.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #5
    Oracle has definitely improved VM, it was a clunky mess now its a lot better. Oracle uses this to push VMs to push updates/upgrades down to enterprise customers and as such the VM has been tweaked to work well imo.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #6
    VMware is silky smooth and fast.
     
  7. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #7
    You can test a fully functional, time limited demo version of Fusion.
    http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/fusion-evaluation
     
  8. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #8
    k-ubuntu 14 LTS runs like a champ on vmware fusion 7... no issues at all. probably better than it would on the hardware itself.
     
  9. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #9
    quad core?

    Hi OP, is your MBP the quad core? If so I have the very same but I upgraded the hdd for a ssd and the ram to 16 GB. Both vmware and Parallel desktop runs very smoothly. But that's not my set up. I have a triple boot configuration ( OS X -Windows 7 and Ubuntu) that works flawlessly. Parallel desktop can use my bootcamp partition if need be. The configuration is a little bit more complicated but it works a lot faster than a virtual configuration. But depending on your needs, virtualization might be enough if you have a quad core, since a virtual pc will keep at least one core for itself. I have used both parallel and vmware and both are good.
     
  10. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Yes I have the quad core. :

    Model Identifier: MacBookPro9,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2.3 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 8 GB

    Which would you guys recommend - VMware or Parallels? I'm leaning towards VMware as it's a bit cheaper....
     
  11. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #11

    Great, a quad core will be a lot faster with a virtual pc. I am more familiar with Parallels than VMware but both are good according to reviews. Now, as I said earlier Parallel can use windows on a bootcamp partition, a feature that I am not sure VMware has. Do you plan on using windows too? If not, I would go with VMware since it is cheaper. But like others said, both have trial version so try before you buy, you'll be set then.:)
     
  12. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12

    Thanks.

    I don't plan on using Windows at the moment. I think I have a Windows disk somewhere but I'm not entirely sure. I would need to have a check. I wouldn't buy Windows just to use it on a VM.

    I've downloaded the VMware trial so I will have a play around with it. Just installing Ubuntu now but will install a few other *nix distros, just to experiment with them a bit.

    Cheers guys. I'll let you know what I think after the trial is over.
     
  13. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Cheers!
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #14
    VMware can boot off the BC partition as well.

    However, graphics support in Parallels is far better (it supports DX10). VMware only supports DX9.

    ----------

    Make sure you install VMware Tools from the VM options in the menu bar so that you have 3D acceleration support for a smooth experience.
     
  15. kschendel macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #15
    If you just want to play with linux, I'd suggest VirtualBox -- it's free and runs Linux (and Winders) just fine. Setup is extremely simple IMO.

    If you want to get serious and install it, I've had the best luck with repartitioning the disk. My experience is on a Mac Pro, not a macbook, so your mileage may vary; but what I did was to set up 4 partitions.

    - one for reFind (which I recommend over reFit since the latter has not been updated in quite some time);
    - one for Linux's EFI boot;
    - one for Yosemite, and Yosemite can do whatever volume management it likes within that partition;
    - one for Linux.

    The reFind and EFI-boot partitions can be minimal, even a hundred meg or so would do it. I did the partitioning in Disk Utility and installed Yosemite first, then Linux. I recall having to re-bless refind_x64.efi a couple times but all it all it went very easily. I also had to put in a scan timeout for reFind, but I think that was because I was working with a multi-drive setup, not a single drive.

    I don't think you *need* all 4 partitions, but it sure makes life easier and you don't have to play any games with either reFind or the linux EFI boot stub.
     
  16. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Well, I did play around with VMWare and Virtualbox.

    VMWare is definitely the best and it feels like you have booted into whatever OS is running on it. My experiences with Virtualbox are that it is a little slow and laggy. Maybe I don't have it configured correctly, although I have been generous with memory. I found it very easy to install OS's on both VM and Virtualbox.

    To be honest, I wouldn't purchase VMWare. I would rather have whatever OS installed on my HD.

    In the end I just installed Windows 7 on a BootCamp partition and it works perfectly. I didn't have any problems after following the instructions on Apple's site and I looked at a few blogs and Youtube videos too. Took about an hour all together. I did turn off FileVault just to make sure no problems occured. I noticed my startup and shut down times have improved since doing this.
     
  17. doynton, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015

    doynton macrumors 6502

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    #17
    If you still want to set up linux you definitely don't have to have all these partitons. You've got plenty of memory so you don't need a swap partition really and there is nothing wrong with having your home directory on same partition.

    It is a perfectly valid set up to just have one for Linux, one for OSX, one for the OSX recovery partition and your (already existing) EFI partition. This is what I have dual booting with Arch linux. You can always change it later if you want to split it out some more.

    For rEFInd you can (it is recommended and does it so by default with latest release) install it to the Mac EFI partition which already exists. You don't need to create another one. This change was made because of Yosemite - installing it as it used to into the OSX partition no longer worked.

    It will find and boot your Linux (or Windows or OSX) partition fine with (in my case) no need to update its conf script. There is also no need to install Grub or any other boot loader.
     
  18. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Hi guys,

    Here's where I'm at. I bought a copy of Windows 7 and installed it using Boot Camp and it works perfectly.

    However, I now want to install Ubuntu on my Mac.

    Before I try this I'm wondering if I need to remove my Windows partition. Here is what my hard drive looks like with regards to partitions:

    Code:
    /dev/disk0
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:             GUID_partition_scheme                 *500.1 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS apple                   375.2 GB   disk0s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
       4:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP                124.0 GB   
    disk0s4
    So, I'm guessing when I come to install Ubuntu it'll give me the option to choose my partition and I just choose disk0s4?
     
  19. doynton macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Assuming you want to nuke Windows just install there. The exact same layout works for me (except I'm using Arch not Ubuntu).
     
  20. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Yes I want to nuke the Windows install.

    I would like to try Arch myself, but it seems really quite complex to install. It looks great once it's up and running though.
     
  21. doynton macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Go ahead and do it.

    Arch is not difficult at all (assuming you read their wiki) but you need to either print out the beginners guide or have a second computer to read it as you go. They have the best documentation of any distro I've seen.

    If you don't have ethernet and only one PC you'll also have to make sure you download your WiFi drivers before you start or you'll get stuck. Again a second computer helps. I like it because I have to think about and choose everything. How to set up firewall, which desktop to use (I use Plasma ATM and it looks excellent on Retina), which browser, etc.

    You can if you want set it up in VBox or similar and then just copy it using dd to a real partition - that is what I did the first time.

    I had CentOS before but it was too boring. Good luck anyway :)
     
  22. bingefeller thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Thanks Doynton. I do have ethernet so it wont be a problem hopefully.

    I was looking at the Arch instructions and it seems quite complicated for me. I don't understand the Option 1 and Option 2 parts.

    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/MacBook#Option_1:_EFI

    I think I'd be better with a GUI installer for the time being :)
     
  23. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #23
    I use Arch daily, it's my DD and is installed on every computer I own. If you are not comfortable with Linux don't install it. The install isn't particularly difficult what is difficult is the trouble shooting when something breaks and something is going to break. Get comfortable with Linux for a year or two then try Arch.
     

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