Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shopping for a New Mac

Ok, considering my Macbook from 2007 is getting  a little long in the tooth and I need a new machine, I'm wondering what kind of machine I want to get. After seeing a Macbook Air, I'm enthralled but want it to run GNU/Linux flavor...this post is essentially instructions on how to get it done (read source post and conversation):

- Install rEFIt so you can boot into your linux partition, before doing anything: Make a new partition you want to install linux on with disk utility in os x- So far, I have not been able to get the 64-bit version to work, so I recommend using the 32-bit version (monitor just goes blank, without options to fix). The only issue with the 32-bit is that it will only recognize up to 3gb of ram, so if you can find a way to get the 64-bit version to work, let me know!- Upon booting your disc or flash drive, make sure to hit F6 before selecting the try or install options, and enable "nomodeset." If you don't do this, your monitor will go blank during the install has the linux CD will have no way to access your video card.- Format your new partition to ext2 or 3 format and install! Make sure you selected to install 3rd party drivers, or your wireless won't work upon first boot. This is important because you'll need to install the nvidia drivers over wireless upon first boot.- Upon first boot, you're going to need to enable "nomodeset" again, or you'll have the same issue with your monitor going blank. Hit e in grub, replace "quiet and splash" with "nomodeset" and hit ctrl+x to start up.- Immediately, install the nvidia drivers by going to System > Administration > Additional Drivers. Once installed, reboot into linux!- Now, in order to get multitouch, volume keys, sound, brightness keys, fans, etc. to all be working properly in Ubuntu, I recommend you check this page:
Once you follow the instructions there, you're macbook air will be a fantastic portable linux machine! So far, I have everything working 100%, get great battery life, and am enjoying all of the OS X niceties like multitouch, etc. Definitely happy, but it takes a bit of work to get it all setup correctly. I also recommend the mac-fuse + ext2-fuse tool: to have your linux partition accessible in OS X.
I'm looking at the 11-inch model. Anyone else using this model and happy with it? Is it an awesome presentation machine?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Mr. RCollins said...

I bought the original 11" MBA when it was first released and love it. It's fast and light, has a full size keyboard, and the best trackpad.

I don't run Linux on it, and with the 128GB SSD it's tight with just me running OS X. I do have an external 500GB USB drive that I use with VirtualBox in those instances when I need or want to play in Windows or Linux.

It's expensive, I paid $1,324 educational price for the maxed out 11". And now you can get a faster machine for a cheaper price! The price I feel is worth it, the machine will be with be for at least 5 years.

doug0077 said...

I can't speak to the 11" Aie, but I am now on my 2nd 13" Air and I love it. Very good presentation machine, but I just run Lion, nothing fancy. Light, fast and good battery life. Best computer I've ever owned.


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