Running Linux on my Mac

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by nathanfrancy, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. nathanfrancy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    KCMO
    #1
    Hello all,

    Taking a couple programming classes this semester and figured it would be neat to program in the same operating system that we have in the lab: Fedora.

    Here's my issue: I have the new (well, kinda new) 15" Macbook Pro with retina display that doesn't have a disc drive. I've read that you can boot Linux on a Mac, but that it can't be done on a USB Drive... have to run it from a separate partitioned drive or from a CD. It looks like these are my only option as I don't want to have to partition my hard drive or any of that... just want to run it off a USB Drive.

    I'm not sure if anyone has found another solution for this topic, but if you have any insight for me that'd be great.
     
  2. saytheenay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    #2
    Try virtualbox.org. Download it and an iso file of Fedora--this will let you install and run Fedora in a virtual machine. Best of all , it's completely free!

    See detailed instructions here.
     
  3. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    You may want to check out adding whatever you need just to your OS X installation.

    OS X is a Unix system, there are a ton of resources online regarding ports and how to even compile binaries from source right on your Mac.
     
  4. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #4
    I have to say that OS X is built on the linux kernel, so most of the tools you'd find on fedora will also run on OS X.

    However, being a developer myself, I understand the desire to code on the same OS as your code runs on.

    I think virtual box is the best solution for your problem. You'll get experience installing and configure linux (always handy) and if you remember to take regular snapshots, then you can be willing to try all kinds of new things (because if you screw something up you can just go back to the snapshot). Also a lot of organizations are moving from physical machines to virtual machines, so it would be 1 more piece of technology you're exposed to.

    Good luck!!!
     
  5. nathanfrancy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    KCMO
    #5
    Thank you all.

    I'm looking into the Virtual Box. On slow internet at the moment so the .iso file will take a little bit to download. I'm thinking I'll give it a test run this semester and if I like working on it enough I'll go to @thefredelement's suggestion and go ahead and make a longer-term solution to keep it on my Mac. Otherwise I might dump it and try another version of Linux.

    @minifridge1138: You are right about saying that it's one more thing being exposed to. As a young programmer, I know I'll need to do a lot of different things in my career and it's not a bad thing to learn something new... being that you said a lot of organizations are moving to it.

    Thanks for the feedback. :)
     
  6. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    No, it is not! The OS X kernel is based on Mach and BSD. It has nothing to do with Linux whatsoever.

    VirtualBox is okay but VMware Fusion is much better. It's not terribly expensive and worth the price, IMO.
     
  7. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #7
    Very true; it isn't really linux based. It isn't even really Unix based, but I felt it was close enough for this discussion.

    As for VMWare Fusion being better and worth the price; that is relative. If you were wanting to try and play games or run anything graphics intensive, then yes; you're better off with VMWare. If you want unity mode, then you're better off with VMWare.

    If the user is going to be more focused on command prompt (which is likely given the OP wants to program on fedora) than GPU performance, then Virtual Machine will be more than enough. Since the OP is a college student and (I assumed) inexperienced with virtual machines, I suggested one that was free as a starting point. That way if he decided it wasn't for him, he wouldn't worry about wasting money.

    Good luck!!!
     
  8. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #8
    OS X is about as close to Linux as my iPhone is to my car.
     
  9. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #9
    Really? Only if your iPhone is the only one with an internal combustion engine.
    I don't know any Unix-head that can't get around on ANY Unix flavor. Linux (whatever distro), OS X, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc...
    You can grep on them all:)
    A couple insignificant syntax issues later and your off and running.
     
  10. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #10
    I've been a unix-head for 20 years now.

    In terms of architecture, OS X and Linux have ZERO in common.

    Different kernel, different userland, different desktop stack.

    OS X has more in common with FreeBSD (the user-space command line tools, some of the Unix layer of the OS), but even then there is a huge difference.
     
  11. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    OS X is build upon FreeBSD and OS X is 100% certified and compatible UNIX (in contrast to Linux).

    That said, many Linux utilities will compile on OS X. There are API differences, but if your program uses POSIX APIs, it should be ok. GNU binutils are available on OS X as is X server and most of the other important stuff.

    For running Linux on OS X, I too recommend a virtualisation software. You can run a lightweight Linux VM and SSH into it, thus completely staying in the OS X GUI. I also heard that you can boot Linux natively using rEFIt, but I never tried it so take this with a grain of salt. BTW, Linux should also work with Bootcamp if I am not mistaken.
     
  12. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #12
    I also recommend virtual box. You can set it up such that one of your desktops is running Linux, so you can just hop in and out.

    Alternatively, look into macports.org. You can essentially install a full linux system within OSX. However I think virtualbox is the more straightforward approach.
     
  13. CocoSS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #13
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #14
    I was really talking about usability not architecture. I am not disagreeing either. But I am willing to bet that you can easily find your way around all the OS's I listed without too much hassle, no?
    Move to DOS or something and there is a wider chasm to cross. I am always muttering using a Win prompt. Too obvious or too stupid? It's one of the 2 every time.
     

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