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Re: [tlug] Linux-compatible Mac laptop?

On Tuesday 03 April 2007 17:22, Joseph Essertier wrote:
>Is there such a thing as a linux-compatible Mac laptop on the
> new-computer market today?  I want to order one in the next few
> weeks, if there is.  Any recommendations?

I bought a MacBook in January and dual boot OS X and Debian Etch. You 
don't need Boot Camp to dual boot; just reinstall OS X and create a 
smaller partition when you do (leaving space for the later Linux 
install). You can switch OSs at boot time either by holding the Option 
key, or by installing reFIT on OS X to provide a nice boot menu. A nice 
thing about the regular MacBook is that it has Intel graphics, which 
have good open source driver support.

I started with Ubuntu 6.10 but it didn't support the hardware very well. 
I tried Ubuntu 7.04 (both "Herd 3" and "Herd 4"). 7.04 supported the 
hardware wonderfully, but the Grub bootloader that it installed was a 
constant source of frustration. Every time there was a kernel update 
(and on the beta release, that seemed to be quite frequent), Linux 
wouldn't be able to boot and i'd have to boot off the install CD and go 
in and fix it. The last time that happened i wasn't able to get it 
working again so i backed up my files and went with Debian, with which 
i am much more familiar. There are documents (Google for "<your Linux 
distribution of choice> macbook") describing how to get Linux installed 
without hassle. The only trick i found was when installing Debian to 
install Lilo instead of Grub, and to install it to the root partition 
instead of the MBR. Now i have everything working to my liking except 
for wireless, which i haven't tried to fix yet. Perhaps this weekend.

By the way, i think this is my first post to this list. Despite not 
being anywhere near Tokyo, i subscribed a few months ago when 
researching Linux Japanese support. The last few months i've been 
learning Japanese and hope next year to visit the country once i 
understand enough of the language to carry on very basic conversation.

Dan Ramaley                            Dial Center 118, Drake University
Network Programmer/Analyst             2407 Carpenter Ave
+1 515 271-4540                        Des Moines IA 50311 USA

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