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Install Ubuntu on MacBook

  1. Jul 25, 2008 #1

    I recently moved to the Mac family. I have so far been very happy, adapted pretty well to the fancy colors and the environment is not so strange anymore, but it's true that I miss Linux. So, would you think it makes sense to install a dual boot with Ubuntu ? Did anybody here do that already ?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts ! :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2008 #2


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    MacOS X is an extremely good implementation of UNIX -- the best the world has ever seen. Why would you want to move to a lesser implementation like Ubuntu?

    - Warren
  4. Jul 25, 2008 #3
    I have no real good reason.

    I am more familiar to Linux and know better how to secure my system. I tend to think Ubuntu will be faster but I may be wrong (especially the use I have of X11 in remote connections). The "real" reason is that I keep using Linux at work, and wonder whether I should even try to install all I want to install on Leopard (which I am not familiar with), and then maybe later face incompatibilities. On the other hand, it's true that if I have Ubuntu, I may not learn as much of Mac as I would have otherwise.

    Just trying to gather opinions from more competent people than myself. :smile:

    For instance, I am not even sure that my compilers are the same. It's another bad reason : it may force me to improve my code :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  5. Jul 25, 2008 #4
    It won't. Ubuntu runs like a dog on Apple hardware compared to OS X.

    OS X already gives you access to X11, although you may need to install it from the developer CD that came with your MacBook.

    Leopard uses a current version of gcc, just like Ubuntu. Unless your code is particularly bizarre, you won't run into problems.
  6. Jul 25, 2008 #5
    I do use it everyday already, it was "native".
    My code is bizarre :rolleyes:
    Seriously, I have gcc version 4.1.2 (Red Hat 4.1.2-33) at work and gcc version 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5465) at home. All right, I guess I should not bother. It was mainly sentimenal.
  7. Jul 26, 2008 #6


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    If you want to run ubuntu, why would you spend all that money on a mac ? Better buy an intel box then, no ? Half the price. I bought myself an Acer Aspire for not even 400 Euro and it runs under ubuntu (dual boot, I kept the Vista in a corner in case I might need it, and hell, I paid for it :-)
    I would think that the only reason to buy a mac is that you want a mac, no ?
  8. Jul 26, 2008 #7
    Ubuntu has a lot more GNU applications available than the Mac OS, but pretty much all the most common ones are available in some form for OS-X. Once you install X onto the Mac, it should be able to do remote X forwarding (at least, I saw a CS professor I had do so). I think that there have been some attempts to implement the Debian package manager system into OS-X, although there probably are not as many packages available as there are for Ubuntu. I think it is also possible to use KDE or Gnome instead of Aqua or whatever the Mac desktop manager is called.

    If you want to install Ubuntu, just do a google search for it. I am certain it has been done many times before.
  9. Jul 26, 2008 #8
    You can install Ubuntu - you might want to grab an older version. I'm not sure the best description for Ubuntu's development for Mac. It's somewhere between forked, and deprecated, it feels to me, from my installation of it on an old G4 I had lying around.

    I wouldn't bother with Linux on a Mac, though, if I were you. Just accept that you've got real BSD there somewhere and get to grips with Darwin, Fink, and other things like that.

    For instance, using Darwinports I compiled a program that was intended for an Ubuntu linux distro, complete with gtk-2 gubbins.

    I agree it can be frustrating coming in from a Linux background, but this is mainly because OS X doesn't play well with its BSD underpinnings. I mean, why doesn't typing 'safari' at the CLI launch safari? What idiot decides to nadger compatability with the proper /bin structure!

    I tend to consider that I have two laptops in one, now. A nice graphical interface to some proprietary things, and a proper BSD (or Linux) box too. Whenever they overlap it's a bonus (e.g. LaTeX runs as well from the command line as it does through the GUI).
  10. Jul 26, 2008 #9
    Because who wants to launch safari from a terminal when you can just Cmd-Space "Safari"?

    There is no such thing as a "proper" bin structure. None. All there is is the particular structure to which you are used or perhaps which you prefer. But as far as an accepted standard, it doesn't exist. It's far more important from a usability standpoint to have a consistent use of the filesystem that makes it easy to add and remove applications than it is to conform to some standards Nazi's ideas of what's "correct".
  11. Jul 26, 2008 #10
    Hmm, typing cmd-space safari on my macbook doesn't launch safari.... wow, I'm so surprised.

    There are plenty of times when using the CLI that I want to launch programs, not just Safari.

    Apple has long touted its rock solid BSD underpinnings, but it doesn't adhere to what many would expect from a *nix upbringing. This makes it annoying for those of us used to writing scripts and expecting certain things of a system if that system makes some claim. It can be gotten round, and there are some useful things to be done with the 'open' command, I suppose.
  12. Jul 26, 2008 #11
    I did not. That's the main point.
    I have. I can do it, just wonder if there is a real point.
  13. Jul 26, 2008 #12


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    He meant that you can type Safari in the Spotlight search bar and it will immediately be available to run.
  14. Apr 30, 2010 #13
    do you have 2 hard drives?
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