MacBook & Linux + VM's

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marzotron, May 12, 2014.

  1. marzotron macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    #1
    Well firstly just signed up here because it seems to be a very active forum and has a lot of active users so thought id say hi on my first post.

    Basically I'm looking at purchasing a Macbook Pro as I want a reliable system as I will be going into my final year at uni. Other systems that were looked at were thinkpads & probooks but they seem to cost about the same when configured. As I've never tried OSX before i just thought it would be best to ask some knowledgeable people about some questions i have.

    Mainly will be used for a bit of programming but its main use would be use of VM's and would hopefully have a full Linux install dual booted. The retina screen would be great and allow multiple windows etc to be viewed at once which is one of the main selling points to me.

    So just really want to ask how well VM's work and what would be the best software so i can look into it a little.

    and has anyone got much experience running Linux distros and are their any driver problems and whatnot.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    I use Parallels to run Windows (7 and XP) but haven't used it with Linux. I mainly use it for Visual Studio and testing Windows code. No significant problems. I have run multiple VMs at one time and as long as you have the memory, it does fine.
     
  3. fcomstoc, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014

    fcomstoc macrumors member

    fcomstoc

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #3
    I currently run parallels on my MBP 13 with Linux (XUbuntu) as well as Windows 8. It runs really well and parallels has a lot of great features that makes running it seamless. As long as you have enough ram (8gb or more) there are really no issues. I would avoid dual-booting as it requires installing a 3rd party bootloader (Macs dont have bios), and strange setups and partitions. Last time I tried dual-booting I had to wipe my system to get rid of Linux.

    What are you programming in, as far as I know you can write and compile code in almost any language in OSX.
     
  4. marzotron thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    #4
    Well mainly c++, c# then a bit of python on the side so guess that will all work well.
     
  5. fcomstoc macrumors member

    fcomstoc

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #5
    I coded a lot in C++ on my MBP I used xcode (free) for that, I did all my C# in VS2010 so I dont really know about that and I have never used python but I believe their should be a mac compiler for that, did you check xcode or netbeans (mac) for that?
     
  6. ACiB708 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    #6
    Well, Lenovo is reliable as well, Apple isn't the only reliable computer brand around.

    Give that a second thought, while the retina screen does have a higher resolution than most laptop screens right now, that simply does not imply more screen real estate. While in OS X, the 2880x1800 resolution looks as a really sharp and crisp 1440x900. There are options for scaling and getting more screen real estate, though. Do note that support for HiDPI displays (read retina display) under Linux is pretty limited, there are some unstable versions of some window managers that do support this, but you'll have to install them yourself from some dev repositories.
    I've always preferred native installations as opposed to VMing, but Linux native on my rMBP just doesn't have enough hardware driver support right now. So, what I do is run whatever Linux distro on Parallels, turn off any kind of GUI the distro offers, and from OS X I ssh with the -X flag (so that any GUI runs on OS X) into the VM. I wrote a little script that does this, if you want it just pm me.
    About Windows, you can VM it or just dual boot, there's great support for both. I have a WinXP SP2, WinXP SP3, and Win7 VMs under Parallels and all run without any problems.

    You can program anything on a Mac, the thing is C# uses tons of .NET Framework libraries, which are only available to Windows. If you are going to do any serious C# programming, I would do it under Windows.
    For just about everything else, you can use Sublime Text for Mac, or if you want an IDE you can use IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, or NetBeans, they have support for just about everything. I personally use IntelliJ IDEA, I love it.

    Cheers!
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Personally, if you will be in other OS's other then OSX, I'd look t the Lenovo over the MBP (sacrilege I know :p) The lenovo is a great machine and you don't need to buy a copy of windows, as you would with the MBP.

    I like my MBP but if you're not going to be using the OS then another machine will be better imo.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #8
    I can confirm the above.
    I used the program refit to dualboot my mini with ubuntu and i wouldnt recommend it.
    Ive never ised parallels though.
     
  9. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #9
    I run half a dozen Linux VM with different servers on a regular basis, works great. What would your main reason for dual-booting Linux on a Macbook be? Don't forget that OS X is a certified unix system and much of the Linux stuff can be easily installed on it. For C#, you can use Mono, but as C# and .NET are predominantly Windows-only technology, you should think about getting a Windows-based machine for that.
     
  10. fcomstoc macrumors member

    fcomstoc

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #10
    One thing that I forgot to mention yesterday in regards to dual-booting with Linux is that you have to deal with driver support - particularly the wireless card. On my old MBP (early 2011) I could not get the wireless to work on Linux. This is a good reason to use the VMs (Parallels) instead of Dual-Booting.
     
  11. mobi-logic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    #11
    What will the people suggest to use between Parallels and VMware Fusion for running Linux OS on rMBP?

    I am going to buy rMBP 15' just after WWDC and will use it to run Linux VMs. I have heard all kind of comments for Parallels and VMware Fusion, seems like Parallels is more suitable for running Windows OS.
     
  12. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    I've used a MBP at university during my (still ongoing) Comp. Eng. studies and I've never had it cause any major issues. You get decent compilers for the most commonly used languages (C/C++, Java, Python, etc.) for free and there's a choice of IDE's if you don't like working in the terminal like I do. Basically both the OSX and the Linux people at the university use the same kind of tools in the same way. As OSX is a fully fledged Unix system there isn't that much that causing incompatibility with Linux. I've compiled slightly bigger programs from the same sources as the Linux versions.

    In one course I needed Atmel's AVR Studio (which isn't available on OSX), so I put up an XP VM in Virtualbox (which isn't as good as Parallels, but it's free) and ran it there with zero issues. Recently I needed to run some abandon-ware program that simulated scheduling of tasks in a real time operating system and was only available in Windows and Linux. So I set up an Ubuntu VM in Virtualbox, configured it (turns out Canonical has in their infinite wisdom decided not to have 32 bit libraries in their repositories anymore), compiled the program from source and ran it without issue.
     
  13. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #13
    Depending on what you want to do with Linux. I use VirtualBox exclusively, but then again, I don't need access to a desktop under Linux, all my Linux VMs are running as headless machines.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    I've read that Fusion is a bit more friendly with Linux with its supplied drivers but ultimately like anything else, its personal preference. I'm partial to Fusion because its always been very stable and has great customer support.

    I've had some issues early on with Parallels being unstable and causing kernel panics, so much so I've dropped them - their customer support back then was useless. Things may have changed and they're better in both instances but I'm content with Fusion. Try both and use the one you like
     
  15. ShiggyMiyamoto macrumors 6502a

    ShiggyMiyamoto

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Just outside Boston, MA.
    #15
    Regarding installing Linux natively there are guides on how to get it all working. On my PC here I have Funtoo Linux, which is a fork of Gentoo Linux, running quite well.

    Here's a guide on how to get Gentoo working (Funtoo is just a different stage 3 tarball) on an rMBP:

    http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Apple_Macbook_Pro_Retina

    When I get my rMBP this fall/winter I think I'll be doing this and I'll follow that guide.

    OP, if you attempt the guide above let me know how it goes.
     
  16. mobi-logic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    #16
    I am in IT and need to run Oracle databases running on Linux VM. Will not be using Linux in Desktop mode, but just need shell terminal to connect to it. So nothing graphical that I need out of Linux VM.
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    Then VirtualBox is probably the most convenient thing to use, especially as it allows you to run a headless VM from the command line. I have set up some launchd deamons to ensure that the VM is always up; access to shel is then via SSH.
     
  18. mobi-logic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    #18
    Thank you everyone for replying back. I realized I will also need occasional windows setup running on VM. So I will give both VMware and VirtualBox a try and see which suites me best.

    I am going to leave parallels out, since I have heard all over in the forum that you need to pay for it to upgrade to next version and moreover VMware is known for its enterprise level of products and hence I will feel more comfortable using it rather than parallels.
     
  19. snarfquest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    #19
    I have a Macbook Pro 2011 15inch with 16gb RAM and a 1TB SDD.

    I use VMWare Fusion and have the following VMs:
    Windows 7 64bit
    RHEL 6 64bit
    KALI Linux 64bit
    CentOS 64bit
    2x Ontap Simulators running Ontap 8.1.2 CMode
    OSX Mavericks beta

    All of them run great (not at the same time tho!)

    My base OS is OSX Mavericks and I don't do any bootcamp/dual boot. There was a time when I did bootcamp with Windows 7 but at this point there is just no longer any need for me to do so. My need for Windows has quickly dwindled in the last year and I'm actually considering deleting the Windows VM due to lack of use.
     
  20. CarbonCycles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #20
    I use VMWare and VirtualBox for several different Linux environments. I tried Parallels and didn't care for it.

    I forget which older version of Python comes preinstalled on your distro.

    You should be good to go.
     
  21. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #21

    I have a 15 inch Retina Macbook Pro, and regularly run both a Windows 7 VM and a Scientific Linux VM (think RHEL). It works rather swimmingly - make sure to max out your RAM.
     

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