Apparently I don’t have enough projects on my hands, so I decided to install fedora on a MacBook Air to see if I can get the best of both worlds. I am sure you are thinking “are you crazy? OS X is the best system ever and you want to ruin it?”. Well, I’ve seen people install window on macbooks, so much for crazy huh?
Jokes aside, I have tried using OS X. It is indeed an awesome system, but nothing beats Linux for programming for me. Especially since I have started contributing for gnome, I could not really consider abandoning Linux for good. So I have two laptops, one old sony vaio with linux where I do most of the work and a fairly new macbook, that works like a charm, is quiet and has a battery that lasts forever which I use for… presentations… videos? sometimes… hmm I tried programming, but installing the tools is annoying and the terminal is kind of slow. I wondered for some time (too much time!) whether I could join forces and have a decent running linux on the macbook. I even installed a virtual machine with debian to see how it goes. It worked well, but a virtual machine is not a machine, and it was eating the battery up. In the end, I was too afraid of going through the process of partitioning disks on some non-standard hardware and messing up a perfectly functioning computer for good. (Yeah, I know this would not happen, but I wouldn’t want to spend a week trying to fix stupid installation mistakes).
Anyway, I was in GUADEC and the amount of people running linux on their apple machines encouraged me. I decided to install fedora 20 with gnome 3 (dual boot, of course) and I’ve been happy so far. I only had problems because I decided to be funny and create an HFS+ shared partition for my files, but it was not so hard to fix that. Basically, the steps were:
- Install rEFIt
- Partition the disk using OS X’s Disk Utility: 50 GB for OSX, 150 GB for my files (HFS+, not journaled) and 50 GB for Fedora (free space)
- Download fedora’s Install DVD
- Create a bootable usb from the dvd image (again using Disk Utility)
- Reboot the computer with the usb connected.
- Install Fedora 🙂
I had to install TLP additionally because of overheating, but that was easy enough. I also had to force mounting the 150 GB partition with rw permissions, as it was read-only by default. In the beginning I was having some reading problems on this partition. Fedora randomly stopped reading some files and directories. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened since I upgraded to kernel 3.15. I have installed everything I need and I am programming on it since yesterday. Everything looks good and I am very happy with my new computer! Also, gnome 3 is awesome 🙂
Ah, you might have noticed from the picture that it has a German keyboard… nothing is perfect 😉