Running Linux on Mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macuser1232, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. macuser1232 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Hi, i was wondering what the advantages of running linux on a mac were whether it was dualbooting or running though a virtual machine. Aren't unix and linux a little to similar to be running together? Does linux run better on a pc?
  2. Hidendra macrumors member

    May 19, 2008
    "pc" and "mac" are no different hardware-wise, it is just os x locks down onto their specific hardware. if you can get drivers for the hardware your specific mbp uses, you can run linux no problem.

    That said, if you're not trying to dual boot for a specific reason, then you're better off running it in a VM. There are no advantages to running linux "just because" (I use it daily) -- it is not a magic pill.
  3. r3dm4lcz macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2012
    The thought of buying a Mac and removing OS X to put on a hacked version of Linux seems insane... OS X is the reason I buy Macs. By all means, put it in a virtual machine but don't get rid of OS X.

    Also, PC / Macs can be used synonymously... it's a computer. Any computer can run Linux. Buy a RaspberryPi or something, don't spend £1000s on a Mac you're putting an experimental OS onto.

    Note: This view is entirely subjective.
  4. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Ok. and yeah i recently ran Ubuntu in virtual box on my macbook pro and i just couldn't find any uses for it because everything linux could install, my mac could also install. That's why I have come to the conclusion to either dual boot linux and windows on a cheap pc or to just run linux on a pc. So now i'm trying to find a cheap pc to do this with. I feel that by buying another computer i will have more hard drive space to download things and also more freedom to do linux things.
  5. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Question about running linux

    Ok here is my question. Should I dual boot osx and linux, run linux in a vm on my macbook pro, buy a cheap pc and run just linux, or buy a cheap pc and dualboot linux? Big question I know. :)
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Depends on what you use it for. A Server for testing needs little GUI. Just run a VM.
  7. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    I'm not planning on running a server.
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    If you want to run linux just to play around with it, I'd run in a VM.

    If you're doing something intensive then it might be better to dual boot. It really just depends on what you will be doing with it.
  9. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Any real reason to use linux? Or are you just doing it for the sake of it?

    Really with OSX you have most of what you need from linux anyway.
  10. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    yeah i agree. I have decided not to get linux. I may get it when i becomes more popular.
  11. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Pretty much any software available for Linux will either run on OS X with a re compile, or has a superior equivalent available.
  12. d00d macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    It's already popular in certain fields/environments/situations. Do you even have a compelling reason to get it should it meet your definition of popular?
  13. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Oh hey ya after i get back from vacation im going to run linux on an old desktop to see if i like it and mess around. So now I will have a desktop running windows 7, macbook pro(OS X), and a cheap desktop running just linux.
  14. AspiringSurgeon macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Install VM/Parallels if you want a taste of Linux without sacrificing OS X. Or, if you just want the nifty tools in Linux and yearn for some CLP goodies, install Fink.
  15. Icy1007, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012

    Icy1007 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    I have Ubuntu 12 installed through Parallels 7.
  16. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    Not sure I get it. Linux will run on any old hardware. If you want to run Linux go on Craigslist or eBay and buy a $150 Thinkpad, put Ubuntu on that sucka. It will rock.

    If you wanna try Linux install it in a VM. Don't waste your expensive Mac hardware on Linux. Keep OSX on your Mac hardware.
  17. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Actually, you could buy a G4 MPB on ebay for $150 or so too and run Linux on it :) Or just run it in a VM or you can get a mini Linux which boots off of USB, I'm guessing there is a way to boot off USB on Macs.

    Here is some info on running Linux off of usb:

    If there is a specific reason you want to run Linux, the command line for OSX might provide you the functionality you need. Again, it just depends on why you want to run it.
  18. Exponent macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley
    Comments from a professional triple-booter

    Hi all-

    Depending on your field, Linux may be a hard requirement.

    I'm an electrical engineer. There is a lot of electrical engineering software that is created for Linux that just isn't available - or isn't up-to-date - or isn't tested - on Mac OS X.

    Or, you could be required to create software that has to run on Linux - thus (obviously) requiring ready access to the platform.

    I have my MacBook Pro in a "triple-boot" configuration - using rEFIt - so that I can boot Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux. (I use Fedora, so my Linux-isms stay close to the commercial Red Hat). I also have the same partitions set up to be booted from VMWare Fusion, so I have access to the same exact configuration and data, whether full-booting or running as a virtual machine.

    The only thing that's a pain (other than the initial set-up, of course) is configuring Linux to run with a 3D hardware accelerated video driver when in full-boot mode, and running with non-accelerated driver when running in the VM.

    Oh, one other thing - in my experience (but there may be a way to work around this), since you can only have 3 bootable partitions, you need to delete the Lion Recovery Partition if you want to have a triple-boot machine using only one drive.

    I very much love the flexibility this setup gives me, and I look forward to creating the same solution on a RMBP... ...once mine actually shows up!
  19. CountSessine macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    I did this recently, and I seem to recall that this isn't really necessary. The horrible hybrid MBR doesn't seem to require having either the Lion recovery partition nor the OSX partition itself, which makes a lot of sense - the OSX boot process isn't using the MBR after all, its using the GPT.
  20. CountSessine macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'm another triple-booter. I can say that once you have it all set up with rEFInd and gpt fdisk, it's all pretty slick. Getting it set up, in my experience, is a bit of a hassle, though, and unless you have a really good reason to use it, day in an day out, I'd recommend running it in a VM. It's just a lot cleaner and you don't end up accidentally killing your GPT or something.

    For linux distros, I can recommend Linux Mint. The stuff under the hood is almost identical to Ubuntu so there's a large community of both package maintainers and end-users who can help you with problems. Better, though, is that Linux Mint seems to be put together by folks who have an eye for design - the default desktop is pretty clean and much, much less ugly than the rounded, bulbous, brown mess that is Ubuntu. Really, it's the first linux distro that isn't absolutely hideous.

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