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Does gentoo work well with Macbook air 2013 model?
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dinodude
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:40 pm    Post subject: Does gentoo work well with Macbook air 2013 model? Reply with quote

I'm looking for a laptop in the 500-600$ range and I found the Macbook air 2013 to be the best for me. I initially plan on installing a beginner distro like Ubuntu/Linux mint or maybe a little bit harder like Fedora, but eventually I would like to try installing Gentoo on the macbook air 2013 model, does anyone here have any such luck with installing it?
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Keruskerfuerst
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Detailed hardware info?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Documentation, Tips & Tricks to Kernel & Hardware.
Its a hardware topic.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:14 am    Post subject: Re: Does gentoo work well with Macbook air 2013 model? Reply with quote

dinodude wrote:
I'm looking for a laptop in the 500-600$ range and I found the Macbook air 2013 to be the best for me. I initially plan on installing a beginner distro like Ubuntu/Linux mint or maybe a little bit harder like Fedora, but eventually I would like to try installing Gentoo on the macbook air 2013 model, does anyone here have any such luck with installing it?
Looking for a Linux box in a mac store? Ouch! That hurts the pocket book.

Lenovo (for example) has much better hardware with much, much better support for far cheaper than you are going to find for a Macbook. My point: pick your battle carefully. If you have the hardware that is one thing. If you have to buy it there is much more bang for your buck in other brands.

You can pick up a new laptop that is more powerful than an old Mac in the same price range, probably with a reliable SSD. I got a Lenovo G780 for about that if I remember correctly. I picked it up on clearance as they discontinued the model and it has way too many nice features such as a full sized keyboard and a large screen, i7 and lots of ram (8 or 16 GiB, I forget). I bet I'll still be using it for years.
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dinodude
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: Does gentoo work well with Macbook air 2013 model? Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
dinodude wrote:
I'm looking for a laptop in the 500-600$ range and I found the Macbook air 2013 to be the best for me. I initially plan on installing a beginner distro like Ubuntu/Linux mint or maybe a little bit harder like Fedora, but eventually I would like to try installing Gentoo on the macbook air 2013 model, does anyone here have any such luck with installing it?
Looking for a Linux box in a mac store? Ouch! That hurts the pocket book.

Lenovo (for example) has much better hardware with much, much better support for far cheaper than you are going to find for a Macbook. My point: pick your battle carefully. If you have the hardware that is one thing. If you have to buy it there is much more bang for your buck in other brands.

You can pick up a new laptop that is more powerful than an old Mac in the same price range, probably with a reliable SSD. I got a Lenovo G780 for about that if I remember correctly. I picked it up on clearance as they discontinued the model and it has way too many nice features such as a full sized keyboard and a large screen, i7 and lots of ram (8 or 16 GiB, I forget). I bet I'll still be using it for years.


I myself am not a huge fan of apple, but I need something that has excellent battery life and is extremely portable and(to simply put it) is a good all rounder, I haven't really found anything that beats apple in this regard (please do prove me wrong). The only thing I don't like about the Macbook air is the keyboard but I could live with it (I have a bluetooth keyboard).
I am a newbie in Linux but not in purchasing computers.
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dinodude
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Moved from Documentation, Tips & Tricks to Kernel & Hardware.
Its a hardware topic.

Sorry about that, I didn't know where my thread belonged.
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dinodude
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keruskerfuerst wrote:
Detailed hardware info?

It is all intel which I know open sources their drivers, but I read that they use a broadcom wifi chip which doesn't play nice with Linux.
And MacBook Air uses UEFI instead of BIOS so I am not so sure if Gentoo and UEFI mix together.
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ian.au
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had occasion to run Linux on Apple hardware, because I've never had old Apples lying around to tempt me, I guess.

You'll be able to do what you want. It may not be completely straightforward.

Re your specific questions:

Broadcom
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Wifi#Firmware

Efi
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Bootloader#Alternative:_Using_efibootmgr

Good luck :)
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dinodude
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ian.au wrote:
I've never had occasion to run Linux on Apple hardware, because I've never had old Apples lying around to tempt me, I guess.

You'll be able to do what you want. It may not be completely straightforward.

Re your specific questions:

Broadcom
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Wifi#Firmware

Efi
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Bootloader#Alternative:_Using_efibootmgr

Good luck :)


It looks like the support for the wifi chip in the MBA is really weak.
I will look for something else then.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The long apple battery life is largely an illusion given by software, not better hardware. Their software is much better than just about anyone else's at staying off the cpu and letting it rest. This is one of the biggest energy drains. They also have rather dim screens so you can replicate that by turning down the brightness settings.

Trust me, their battery life doesn't hold up under real use. I have an ipad mini with a stated battery life of 10-12 hours. Nope. It will do about 4 if I am actually using the thing. Granted, what I use it for is to run ForeFlight which is a very heavy application that doesn't sleep so I'm basically taking their software out of the equation. (In case anyone is wondering, that app only runs on Apple products and is basically the only one that does what it does.)

In my experience, Linux will generally outlast the Windows number on the battery with a small WM and nothing too fancy running. I wouldn't bank on it beating Apple though. That is kind of their thing.
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dinodude
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
The long apple battery life is largely an illusion given by software, not better hardware. Their software is much better than just about anyone else's at staying off the cpu and letting it rest. This is one of the biggest energy drains. They also have rather dim screens so you can replicate that by turning down the brightness settings.

Trust me, their battery life doesn't hold up under real use. I have an ipad mini with a stated battery life of 10-12 hours. Nope. It will do about 4 if I am actually using the thing. Granted, what I use it for is to run ForeFlight which is a very heavy application that doesn't sleep so I'm basically taking their software out of the equation. (In case anyone is wondering, that app only runs on Apple products and is basically the only one that does what it does.)

In my experience, Linux will generally outlast the Windows number on the battery with a small WM and nothing too fancy running. I wouldn't bank on it beating Apple though. That is kind of their thing.


Thanks, I think I will go with the Lenovo X220 then.
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