Linux on a MBP?

DKatri

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 2, 2009
475
0
Birmingham, UK
So I've been thinking about maybe putting Linux on my MBP just so I can have a look at it and try it out.
I have a few questions before I jump in:

Any recommended distros? I've read good things about Mint and Debian any other suggestions?

Whats the nest way to put it on my machine? Virtualising or Boot Camp?

Any big issues I need to bare in mind with Mac compatibility? I read that there is some extra work to get the trackpad to work with linux, how easy is this to do?
 

promemorex

macrumors newbie
May 1, 2010
13
0
I would definitely visualize Linux, it's not worth doing bootcamp for. I would suggest ubuntu because it's the most popular distribution, and I'm pretty sure there are drivers in ubuntu that supports the MBP hardware.
 

kny3twalker

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2009
1,241
0
just curious but what does linux offer that mac os/x does not?

It just seems redundant to have two operating systems based off of unix. Both have the terminal and use the same file system.
 

brucem91

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2009
257
0
I can personally attest for Ubuntu running nicely on the MBP. The install does not take that long, either virtually or dedicated with bootcamp assisting the installation. If you are just trying out Linux for the first time, run it virtually with the Open-Source VirtualBox. If you are more of a power user or get used to it virtually and need more power, I would then recommend a full-blown install via a second partition using the BootCamp Assistant initially to start the process. A full install of Ubuntu 10.04 takes about 30 min - 1 hour to install, including a "few" driver issues. After using multiple releases over the years on my old MBu and my current MBP (see sig), Ubuntu has become more and more supportive of the MBu line.
 

DKatri

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 2, 2009
475
0
Birmingham, UK
just curious but what does linux offer that mac os/x does not?

It just seems redundant to have two operating systems based off of unix. Both have the terminal and use the same file system.
Well, I know a few people who really do swear by Linux. And also, variety is the spice of life, so I just want to try something new.

I can personally attest for Ubuntu running nicely on the MBP. The install does not take that long, either virtually or dedicated with bootcamp assisting the installation. If you are just trying out Linux for the first time, run it virtually with the Open-Source VirtualBox. If you are more of a power user or get used to it virtually and need more power, I would then recommend a full-blown install via a second partition using the BootCamp Assistant initially to start the process. A full install of Ubuntu 10.04 takes about 30 min - 1 hour to install, including a "few" driver issues. After using multiple releases over the years on my old MBu and my current MBP (see sig), Ubuntu has become more and more supportive of the MBu line.
Thanks for the really helpful info there. I've downloaded ubuntu and tomorrow i'll put it on a USB and try and and install.
 

bigjobby

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2010
1,040
0
London, UK
just curious but what does linux offer that mac os/x does not?
In trying to keep things simple, you can run all sorts of servers, services and stuff on it and sometimes its handy to run tests on a VM before releasing an implementation or systems configuration into a live environment. Many companies have Linux supporting their back-end doing all sorts like running fully fledged web/ftp, database, applications, email, proxy etc. servers all for the cost of zilch! IMO and from a technical standpoint, Linux is a much more flexible OS than OSX but then again I've never used OSX Server (which costs a small fortune).

Also, some Linux distros do have some sexy features like Beryl for users to manage their workspaces.
 

kny3twalker

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2009
1,241
0
In trying to keep things simple, you can run all sorts of servers, services and stuff on it and sometimes its handy to run tests on a VM before releasing an implementation or systems configuration into a live environment. Many companies have Linux supporting their back-end doing all sorts like running fully fledged web/ftp, database, applications, email, proxy etc. servers all for the cost of zilch! IMO and from a technical standpoint, Linux is a much more flexible OS than OSX but then again I've never used OSX Server (which costs a small fortune).

Also, some Linux distros do have some sexy features like Beryl for users to manage their workspaces.
Thanks for the information. From my student perspective, I was very happy to switch from using Ubuntu to Mac OS/X when I got my laptop last year. Mac OS/X could do everything UNIX related that I have been required.
 

pinsrw

macrumors regular
May 30, 2010
194
0
So I've been thinking about maybe putting Linux on my MBP just so I can have a look at it and try it out.
Heads up to anyone interested: Regarding the 2010 MBP 13", its Nvidia SATA controller is not yet officially supported in the Linux kernel. There is a patch available if you don't mind compiling your own kernel on another system.
 

DKatri

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 2, 2009
475
0
Birmingham, UK
I installed both Mint and Ubuntu through VirtualBox. I have to say I am really liking them both.
I'm just wondering now is there a way to install either OS properly through BootCamp?
 

ScoobyMcDoo

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2007
1,188
35
Austin, TX
I run Suse Linux under both Parallels and VirtualBox. Both work really well. When setting up the networking of the VM, make sure you read the manual to decide what type of network you need (Bridged vs Host only vs shared).
 

brucem91

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2009
257
0
I installed both Mint and Ubuntu through VirtualBox. I have to say I am really liking them both.
I'm just wondering now is there a way to install either OS properly through BootCamp?
Yes, err sorta. Run the bootcamp utility, and partition off some room for linux (i will say ubuntu from here on out). Stop when it asks you to insert a windows dvd. Pop in your ubuntu cd, and reboot, holding "C" to boot to a cd. In ubuntu, open gparted, and delete the "BOOTCAMP" partition. Now when you run the installer, choose "use biggest unallocated space". The one downside to this method is that the only way to delete ubuntu or resize it is to wipe your HDD, and reinstall Mac OS X.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,689
33,576
Boston
If you're just getting your feet wet with linux, then I suggest ubuntu. I've run ubuntu and fedora on my MBPs, the latter requiring more tweaks and configuration changes that many people would feel like doing.

I'm at a point where I'm running fedora, as a vmware guest. Makes it much easier to configure and get up and running. Plus the risk of borking your computer is nil. I've had my fill of grub boot errors.
 

DKatri

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 2, 2009
475
0
Birmingham, UK
If you're just getting your feet wet with linux, then I suggest ubuntu. I've run ubuntu and fedora on my MBPs, the latter requiring more tweaks and configuration changes that many people would feel like doing.

I'm at a point where I'm running fedora, as a vmware guest. Makes it much easier to configure and get up and running. Plus the risk of borking your computer is nil. I've had my fill of grub boot errors.
Is there any real disadvantage of Virtualising over properly installing?
 

Doju

macrumors 68000
Jun 16, 2008
1,510
0
Is there any real disadvantage of Virtualising over properly installing?
Yes, it's not nearly as fast or efficient. (You're running two OSes, so even if one is being just used idly in the background, a whole OS is still sitting there. Battery waste.)
 
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