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    Colleague of mine tried to install Linux on the Macbook we got him for work (2019 model, touchbar macbook pro 15”).

    I can say that it was a lesson in futility, patience and over-all unpleasantness.

    Aside from the obvious (no touchbar support, no esc key) there were issues such as fan control and the keyboard. Can you imagine having a laptop where you can’t use the keyboard? This is apparently fixed in kernel 5.3.

    One of the major things was trying to bypass the system integrity protection.

    I wouldn’t recommend buying an Apple Laptop if you intend to install another OS on it; it’s just too much work and there is equivalent quality hardware out there.

    There is a good (active) document of people trying to do this though: https://gist.github.com/roadrunner2/1289542a748d9a104e7baec6a92f9cd7

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      thanks for this, it has been in my todo list for a long time, but I never really got to try because afraid of this exact kind of issues.

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        What laptop do you recommend then?

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          ThinkPads are high quality machines and are well supported on Linux (and at least some other free operating systems).

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            For the most part all the BSDs have good thinkpad support, especially as Intel/Radeon graphics drivers are under a BSD license. Haiku and illumos often have good support as well, usually porting the code from the BSDs.

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              Thanks: I thought support was pretty good on the BSDs, but I wasn’t sure about the uniformity, and suspected, but didn’t know, that things like Haiku and illumos would too.

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            As with all things it depends;

            If you want a thin&light and don’t care about ports there’s the new Dell XPS 13” (with a 16:10 display!).

            If you need something with a bit more ports and a rugged chassis, great keyboard I’d go with the Dell Latitude.

            More power and it’s the XPS 15.

            Most power and it’s the Asus ROG Zephryus G14 (AMD cpu).

            There are countless others and alternatives here, but all of the above are practically on par with the MacBook line.

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              I have a Matebook X Pro (2018 model) and it works great with Linux. Dell’s XPS and Precision lines are also well supported. But the gold standard is ThinkPads. At least that’s what Google would give its employees if they wanted a Linux laptop.

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              Yeah it just seems like a nightmare.

              I think my model (2015) was pretty much the last in the lineup before T2 got introduced and there seems to be a myriad of problems with stuff like getting sound working and the keyboard stuff you’ve mentioned.

              It’s a real shame because they’re great hardware

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                One of the major things was trying to bypass the system integrity protection.

                Could you elaborate on this? Where exactly did he try to bypass SIP?

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                    Yes, this is how it’s turned off on macOS, but since your post was about running Linux on macOS hardware, I was confused, since there is no System Integrity Protection on Linux.

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                Nice to see more people switching to Linux!

                You might like Flameshot for taking screenshots and for the ability to edit them (add blur, add arrows, draw etc) immediately after taking them.

                I haven’t experienced problems you’re mentioning on Firefox. I believe default Firefox on Fedora is Wayland so if you try SwayWM, it should run Firefox Wayland perfectly which now includes native hardware video acceleration. See this recent development.

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                  This is awesome, thanks for sharing!

                  I’ll give sway another shot. Maybe TreeStyleTabs was the problem rather than Firefox itself, maybe I was a little hasty there.

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                  I installed Ubuntu 18 (now dist-upgrade’d to 20) on my old 12” Macbook for testing/developing Linux desktop apps. Worked a charm out of the box except suspend/resume blank screen. I’m extremely impressed with how far Ubuntu has come along, especially 20 (ignoring the whole Snap debacle), it definitely runs quicker than MacOS ever did on the machine!

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                    I find it interesting that the draw to Linux continues to be the custom window managers (I myself originally switched for this reason, though at this point I use a vanilla XFCE setup). Even though Linux sucks for desktop, especially laptops (buggy wifi/graphics drivers, buggy suspend/resume, messy upgrades, manually having to customize screen brightness scripts, etc, etc), there really aren’t better options if you want a moderate amount of control over what the system does.

                    I really wish there were a distro that specifically targeted laptop hardware (even if it was only specific models), and focused on optimizing the experience to be close to a Mac in terms of maintenance and configuration. I’ve been using elementary OS on my laptop, but I’d prefer something more lightweight. I’d even pay money for it. And at this point, I think money is the only way to maintain a distro that provides users with a pleasant user experience by squashing the annoying edge-case bugs. And it’s totally understandable why some of those bugs aren’t tackled – they’re fiddly, not fun to fix, and don’t get a lot of recognition if they are fixed.

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                      Would love to see a laptop optimised distro too, although I’d imagine if you wanted to maintain it for a model line you’d need some funding to keep up :)

                      I find it interesting that the draw to Linux continues to be the custom window managers

                      I think this was the main thing for me, OSX is mostly unixy with BSD so there wasn’t really a compelling reason for me to switch, but i3 changed all that.

                      I’ve played with the OSX tiling window manager solutions (yabai, amethyst etc) and while I applaud their efforts it just isn’t the same and feels like a bolt on.

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                        The only distro that I think comes close to what you want is probably Solus, which is targeted at personal use (“The Personal OS for Personal Computers”), which these days mostly translates to laptops.

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                        It’s nice to have all this information in one place. I have spent a lot of time looking around to get these results (most of them really). Most of the stuff brought up weren’t so much a Linux on Mac issue, but an i3 thing (if you are using GNOME, most of the mentioned features are already there out of the box). I would have loved to have this post a month ago when I was switching to i3.

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                          Since he mentions gaming I find that Linux is quite sufficient for my gaming needs. I think on par with OS X although the games supported on each platform do not necessarily overlap. Also there will always be some AAA game that will not work right away or maybe not even work after years because of copy-protection (looking at you PlanetSide 2).

                          Either through native support, Steam+Proton or Lutris there’s a a lot of games available on Linux. Compared to Macs you generally also have a choice of good 3D graphics cards (although this is improving for Macs I think, I haven’t kept up).

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                            I very much recommend switching to Wayland, using sway instead of i3. It’s pretty much a drop-in replacement. Firefox on Wayland is quicker too, and it has working accelerated webgl and video!

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                              I am a Mac user, and a fan of the Mac, but I would never buy Apple hardware to run other operating systems “on the metal”. Sure, I might install Windows via Boot Camp to play games or something, but BSD or Linux? No, you’re spending a lot of money on integration work for MacOS that you’re not going to be able to recoup if you’re not running Apple’s OS.

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                                Unfortunately on Linux it’s just been dogshit, absolute dogshit. Slow, takes ages to start, websites render in really slowly, switching between tabs feels so lethargic it’s like the fire in the fox has gone out.

                                That’s surprising to me, because I switched to Firefox from Chrome on Linux for the opposite reason. Opening Chrome causes it to thrash my disk for a few minutes before things like autocomplete or recently visited sites show up. Firefox runs fine.

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                                  I’m kinda surprised that firefox is that slow for you. I wish it had hardware decoding for videos (would prevent the loud fans), but otherwise works flawless for me. Though I may have a beefier machine and less plugins ?

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                                    I am not sure if it is enabled by default, but Firefox 76 added Wayland VA-API acceleration for all video codecs:


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                                      That is nice to hear. More reasons to replace my KUbuntu Bionic Beaver with Focal Fossa ;) Though I’m not sure AFAIK they went with X11 on LTS for obvious stability reasons on 18.04. Will have to look up if 20.04 LTS does the same again.

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                                      I’ve received a lot of feedback from people reporting similar, I suspect I might have been a little too hasty to ditch FF - the issue might have been due to TreeStyleTabs (the slow tab switching) - I’ll give it another shot without that plugin!

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                                        It’s no problem, I’m just surprised as I’m using it daily. (And I could totally understand if you’re also annoyed by how warm and loud FF gets playing videos. Then again, chrome does the same on most hardware under linux..) And I started to ask myself whether I’m having the wrong impression and am just used to it.

                                        Edit: plugins running currently are umatrix + ublock origin, VideoDownloadHelper(though you should blacklist youtube). At least umatrix can create some overhead.

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                                      I attempted to get Linux on my 2018 15” Macbook Pro several months ago for an Operating Systems course I was enrolled in, and it was quite frankly a nightmare due to the Apple’s security measures and the T2 security chip. A friend actually wound up messing up his Macbook Pro when he was attempting to install Ubuntu, so I opted to install it on an external SSD and then boot from it after disabling the T2 security chip by entering Recovery Mode and opening the Startup Security Utility from the Utilities Menu and then disabling Secure Boot and allowing External Boot. It wasn’t smooth, to say the least, but it worked (albeit with much trouble/issues).