Running Linux on Mac?

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
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?
 

Hidendra

macrumors member
May 19, 2008
66
0
"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.
 

r3dm4lcz

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2012
59
0
LPL
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.
 

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
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.
 

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
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. :)
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
Depends on what you use it for. A Server for testing needs little GUI. Just run a VM.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
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.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
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.
 

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
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.
yeah i agree. I have decided not to get linux. I may get it when i becomes more popular.
 

macuser1232

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2012
666
3
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?
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.
 

AspiringSurgeon

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2012
21
0
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.
 

InlawBiker

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2007
250
1
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.
 

leenak

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2011
2,412
50
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:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
http://www.linuxliveusb.com/
http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
http://www.linux-usb.org/

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.
 

Exponent

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
163
276
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!
 

CountSessine

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2010
134
0
Hi all-
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 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.
 

CountSessine

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2010
134
0
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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