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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: Linux and Apple: Which Is the Lemon, Which Is the Lemonade?

Re: Linux and Apple: Which Is the Lemon, Which Is the Lemonade?
Posted by: Katherine Noyes 2012-08-23 09:50:32
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When life gives you lemons, everyone knows you should make lemonade, as the old saying goes. But what if life gives you Linux on a Retina MacBook Pro? That, too, has been shockingly referred to as a "lemon" in recent days, but the solution there isn't so clear. "If you are planning to buy one of the new Apple MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display for use under Linux, hold off on your purchase," warned Phoronix's Michael Larabel in a review last week. "Running the Retina MacBook Pro with Linux isn't a trouble-free experience."

Re: Linux and Apple: Which Is the Lemon, Which Is the Lemonade?
Posted by: frigaut 2012-08-25 07:55:50 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
It doesn't take "years" to make linux work on new hardware. I am writing this comment on a retina MPB working perfectly for what I need it to do (intel graphics, suspend/resume, backlight, keyboard backlight, low power -right now 13 W as I type). The linux devs do not necessarily have access to all new hardware beforehand. But I can tell you that they are incredibly reactive when they do (most of the ones I was in contact with solved the issues in the area they were familiar within days after receiving their machines) and this laptop was going perfectly within a couple of weeks after I got it. Almost all the pieces are in place now, but the patches will take some time to get into the kernel and even more to get into the distributions. So I don't totally disagree with Larabel's article: right now, linux -the current distros- won't work properly on these beast, unless you work quite a bit on it. But it's not totally linux's fault; Apple is handling a lot of thing in a non-standard manner, and yes, of course, it doesn't work with the current kernels.

Side note: regarding nvidia: Linus may have his reason to trash them, and their driver might be close, but it was the only one that was working on this machine from the start and allowed me to go ahead with my work, so thanks nvidia (note that this is their hardware, so it's understandable their driver work, but still).

As far as Marabel's comment about running linux within a VM, I find that rather surprising. I've been running linux on apple hardware for 5 years now, and on most of them I had a battery life similar in linux than in osx. Even though battery life is important to me, I don't call 20% difference "outrageous" at the point I would run linux within a virtual machine. I curently have about 5 (to 6) hours battery life in linux and that's either close or longer than what I would get in osx on the same machine.

Lastly, yes, the pixel density *is* somewhat of an issue on modern linux desktop environments. But it's not unworkable even for my weakening eyes. Text can be made of "normal" size, only icons are a bit small (yes, it will probably take years before linux DEs get to a workable solution).

A very happy rMPC linux user (last uptime was 8 days and I rebooted only to shrink my osx partition to 100GB and enlarge the linux one to 390GB).
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