Linux on current 11" Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by The Admiral, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. The Admiral macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Mar 2, 2009

    After ruling out the Asus UX21 for its disastrous engineering defects (I'm wiping the SSD of my second replacement unit to go back to Amazon right now) I am ready to reconsider the 11" Air as a portable Linux machine and I have a few questions about hardware compatibility.

    I don't need any information about OS X; please refrain from drifting off topic. I have my preferred OS all ready to go and I am only looking for hardware to replace my Eee 1015PE.

    - Is the touchpad fully supported by the Linux touchpad drivers? I need one-, two-, and three- finger clicks for left, right, and middle mouse buttons. I would like two-finger scrolling but could live without that if needed.

    - Is the wireless adapter fully supported? I need to connect to open networks and networks secured with WPA2 Personal and WPA2 Enterprise, both visible and hidden.

    - Is the Bluetooth adapter fully supported? I don't want to waste a USB port on an external mouse; I will require the Bluetooth to work for my mouse at home.

    - What is video performance like? Will I be able to play back HD video using the normal Xorg Intel drivers?

    - Does the SSD present as a single large block device, or as a number of smaller ones that I'll have to LVM together? (I expect the former).

    - Do the function keys (F1-F10) require me to press Fn to send the actual function key scancode as in OS X, or can I merely press the key? This is not a deal-breaker; I just want to know how complex my xmodmap configuration is going to be.

  2. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    the ssd is not a single piece. But actually several chips.
  3. The Admiral thread starter macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Mar 2, 2009
    Right, I understand that, but some other manufacturers' SSDs present to the kernel as numerous block devices, while most just present as a single device with the individual chips managed by the SSD controller. If I could see the output of 'sudo fdisk -l' on any recent Linux distribution I can get the information I need from that.
  4. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Drifting drifting drifting drifting drifting...
  5. icymountain macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2006
    I currently have my own 11" mba on order, and am interested in this info as well. In the recent past, I have been running linux on my macs using virtual machines (as my experience with rev B mbas was desastrous, and I never got decent hardware support on those), but may be tempted with a native install this time.
  6. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    I know ubuntu doesn't work properly with the current 11" air, I was going to set it up as a part of a triple boot option but found it didn't work properly on someones blog (i googled it). Can't comment on other distro's though.
  7. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    What defects?

    Asus used to be a huge Apple hardware supplier and is currently ranked over every other computer maker in quality.
  8. castillo4141 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    This forum may be helpful, but the easiest way to solve this is approaching your favorite Linux Distro forum. Asking only for "Linux" you may refer to the kernel only and how it supports the MBA hardware, but even being that the case, is easier if you check that out going to a Linux forum.

    Anyway I will try to make your search easy, I love Ubuntu, but newer hardware (especially months old hardware) always give Linux Distros a hard time. Thunderbolt AFAIK is still not fully supported.

    Take a look over this posts:

    The second one help me a lot, since is more detailed and you can read about other people experiences.

    Hope it help. :)
  9. The Admiral thread starter macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Mar 2, 2009
    Thanks. Unfortunately I have had to rule out this model because it lacks a sufficient number of modifier keys to the right of the spacebar.

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