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Linux Question


pg94
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So the hard drive on my 2008 macbook air died and I plan on getting a new one in the near future. I don't want to reinstall the original OS but instead a linux distro. I wanted to install Ubuntu on it but would that work? What bit would I use if so, 32 or 64? Thanks!

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Which CPU do you have PPC or Intel? Also, 2008 could be a 64 bit chip since Apple tends to be "cutting edge" with their stuff and my HP/Compaq NC4400 from 2008 has a Core2 Duo 2.0GHz 64 bit CPU. Only real way to know for sure is to download both 32 bit and 64 bit and see if the 64 bit will boot via Live USB or DVD. If it does then you've got a 64 bit CPU, if it doesn't then the 32 bit is what you'll want. Also, if you're running 4GB of RAM or less then you can run the 32 bit Distro on either a 32 bit or 64 bit CPU.

I'm running a 32 bit Manjaro/Xfce install on my NC4400 with 2GB of RAM and it runs fine. Ubuntu would be a good place to start but just speaking from expirence(I started with Ubuntu 12.04) the Unity Desktop will get old really fast. Plus Unity eats up a lot of RAM. If you have normal needs then give Point Linux 2.3 a try or if you want a larger package sellection then take a look at Manjaro, it's Arch based and you can not only use the Manjaro Repos but also the Arch User Repository(AUR) as well so there's a ton of stuff. Good luck and if you get a chance post up more info.

Also, just throwing this out there. You can Make up a Live USB and boot to it and run your system in order to get more info from it even with a bad hard drive.

P.S.

I also found this:

https://support.apple.com/kb/sp501

So it looks like you've got a Core2 Duo, 64 bit processor. So any good 64 bit Distro should work fine.

Edited by TN.Frank
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I have/do run (dualboot) Linux Mint on all my Macs and it works fine. Being Ubuntu based you should be fine.

I have had to jump some hoops for things like keyboard light and screen brightness on my Macbook Pro, but it all depends on your hardware etc. The touchpad needed a little tweaking to make a little less sensitive, but all in all you can install and boot up to a working system without having to do too much configuring.

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Also, I might add that some Distros work better with Apple products then others. You might do a Startpage search to see if any certain Distros are a bit better at working with your Mac then other ones.

Also, as for Ubuntu I'm speaking from experience here. I came over to Linux when my 2001 iMac died in early 2013 and started with Ubuntu but quickly found that even though it was comfortable to move to from my Mac it was limited as to what you could do on the desktop and you couldn't add anything to panel(not that I found anyway) so it wasn't very customizable. I then moved to Linux Mint MATE which was a lot better and I actually got use to and prefer having drop down menus for my apps. It makes it a lot easier to see what you have installed. From MATE I've moved to Xfce which is very customizable and is a bit lighter weight then MATE. There's quite a few Distros that use the Xfce DE and if you like you can get Xubuntu and have your Ubuntu with an Xfce DE too.

Just remember, once you start to get into Linux you'll end up using the Terminal quite a bit to install stuff and do things on your computer and IMHO pacman as used in Arch and it's off shoots is a more powerful package manager then Aptitude i.e. apt-get as used in Debian and it's off shoot Ubuntu and Mint. So choose wisely because it was harder for me to move from apt-get to pacman(really not all that hard but still it's better to learn the one you're going to use from the get go) then just starting with pacman in the first place.

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Update: Just got my computer back, its running Snow Leopard. I want to play around with several linux distros before I install one. Problem I've run into now is creating a Live USB on a Mac. I'm currently, at this moment, working with BootCamp to see if I can accomplish the task.

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Update: On second thought I won't give it a try. Ran the download through VirusTotal, it has a trojan.

Edited by pg94
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Any suggestion for what type of linux mint?

You found a Trojan in a download of Linux Mint? Wow, never heard of that before. Did you download from the home page of the Distro or from someplace like Source Forge? If you're not running Bluetooth and want something that's kind of "Mac'ish" then give the new Ubuntu 14.04 a try but be sure to install Synaptic to download your packages because the Ubuntu Software Center will totally drive you crazy. Also, if you don't mind learning a bit of pacman(as opposed to apt-get that Ubuntu, Mint and Debian would use) then by all means give Manjaro a try. You can get it with the Xfce desktop or GNOME or KDE if you really want to dig into your desktop settings.

The Manjaro Team are really awesome folks and found a bug that I reported that was messing up Bluetooth in just a couple hours. IIRC there's only 9 or 10 folks on the Team but they really have made up a great Arch based Distro. Anyway, keep us posted.

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Crappy anti-virus consider things like bootloaders virusses because they are made to do things normally reserved to the OS and attempted by virusses in an effort to pre-empt the OS.

99.999[just imagine a whole lot more 9's here]999% chance you just had a false positive.

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Not Linux Mint I was referring to the penguintosh.com link. But from what Cooper said I'll try it out! Thanks! Will update soon!

UPDATE: Sweet, I download Linux Mint, I believe Version 12. I used http://penguintosh.com/ which worked perfectly. Once it was all loaded (linux) I couldn't connect to the internet (using firefox). As being new to a lot of things I didn't know how to connect it. So I guess for the time being I will work on figuring out the internet connection issue and then go from there.

Edited by pg94
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12, wow that's really behind the times. Mint is at version 17 IIRC. Also if you stick with a Xfce or MATE desktop it'll be easier to connect to the interweb via wifi because of the way it's set up. I know I have a heck of a time trying to connect to my hidden wifi with KDE so it's not even an option for me because of it's complexity.

Have you been to Distro Watch yet?

http://distrowatch.com/

Probably one of the better places to find and download different Distros from. Check it out and you can do a bit of Distro Hopping until you find something that'll suite your needs.

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Also if you stick with a Xfce or MATE desktop it'll be easier to connect to the interweb via wifi because of the way it's set up.

My advice would be to learn the commands that are issued below the surface by those desktop tools. That knowledge is transferrable and also makes it easier to debug and/or investigate when something's awry.

To give you an example, I have a HP EliteBook 8740w notebook from/for work. This thing has the Centrino chipset thing which includes a wired and a wireless network adapter and of course I use both frequently, but due to limitations of the chipset I can only use one at a time. When I plug in a live ethernet wire the wireless part of the chipset becomes totally unresponsive and the same happens with the ethernet part when I unplug this. One of the side-effects of this is that when I issue 'dhcpcd -k enp0s25' (enp0s25 is my ethernet device... don't ask) AFTER I unplug the cable, the assigned IP address and associated routing rules DO NOT disappear because dhcpcd (the dhcp client daemon) can't return the lease to the server and so it just gives up. When I then hibernate the laptop, go home, resume and plug in on the wired network there and issue 'dhcpcd enp0s25' to get an ip on that network running 'ifconfig enp0s25' still shows the work network ip and netmask, which is completely different and utterly useless for use on my local LAN. But the device works and I get full access to my LAN. So what gives? I got the answer when instead of using 'ifconfig enp0s25' I issued the command 'ip addr show enp0s25' which showed that this single network adapter actually had 2 IP addresses assigned to it, with associated routing info and everything. And only with this tool was I able to remove the work one and get ifconfig to show me the proper results.

Now maybe some nifty little desktop tool could've done all that for me, but I consider myself a better admin of my own local system for (then) discovering and (now) knowing why I saw what I saw in the ifconfig output and what I can do to get the complete picture not to mention now knowing how I can correct the mistaken configuration. And I can reuse this knowledge on Gentoo, Redhat, the Wifi Pineapple... Everywhere!

Edited by Cooper
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