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Displays Apple Linux Hardware

Linux Is a Lemon On the Retina MacBook Pro 780

An anonymous reader writes "It turns out that Linux doesn't work too well on the Apple Retina MacBook Pro. Among the problems are needing special boot parameters to simply boot the Linux kernel, graphics drivers not working, no hybrid graphics support, WiFi requiring special firmware, Thunderbolt troubles, GNOME/Unity/KDE not being optimized for retina displays, and other snafus, including 20% greater power consumption with Linux over OS X. According to Michael Larabel, it will likely not be until early next year when most of the problems are ironed out for a clean 'out of the box' Linux experience on the Retina MacBook Pro."
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Linux Is a Lemon On the Retina MacBook Pro

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  • by oldmac31310 ( 1845668 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:24PM (#41014217) Homepage
    This proves it for once and for all. Apple is evil!!! What?
  • Linux on Mac?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m1ndcrash ( 2158084 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:26PM (#41014257)
    Why in the world would you even try to do it? What is the goal of this endeavour?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:27PM (#41014269)

      Look, sometimes you just want to stick a Chevy four-banger in your Ferrari. It's not rational, it's just linux.

      • by tgd ( 2822 )

        Oh damn it. What's the odds I posted nearly the identical example?

        At least I was man enought to take the Karma hit!

    • Re:Linux on Mac?! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:33PM (#41014351)
      Actually I installed a dual boot of OSX and Ubuntu on my later model iMac. Not only does Ubuntu run flawlessly it's really fast. I was surprised to see that everything worked right out of the box, including the webcam, sound and wifi. Sometimes I have to test my software on a native Linux distribution so it helps to have the dual boot option. Sure I could run it in a VM but this is a bit more of a pure solution.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cod3r_ ( 2031620 )
      1 person trying it.. 1 person working on it.. 1 person reporting it. Many people reading about it and scratching their heads.
    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      Why in the world would you even try to do it? What is the goal of this endeavour?

      It's a game .. seeing how many pieces of hardware we can run Linux on. There's always the question, is it the suitability of the OS or the hardware which is the chief difficulty. I'd say with problems prying into how the Mac is made and what tricks you have to overcome, it's not a particularly good choice (particularly as there may be small deviations during the production, which you won't know about, until you trip on them.)

    • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:46PM (#41014573)

      Just think how much more smug you are when you're running free software on over-priced hardware. It's a smug upgrade!

      • Re:Linux on Mac?! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:07PM (#41014887)

        Just think how much more smug you are when you're running free software on over-priced hardware

        I would be very interested to know where I can get a laptop with a 2880x1800 display panel for cheaper than Apple is charging. I am not aware of any others. It's a judgment call whether this is worth the money, as it is definitely a premium-priced product, but you are paying for actual hardware specs, not just snob appeal.

        • A 15 inch screen simply doesn't need a resolution like that. My laptop has a larger screen than any MBP and it doesn't look any more jagged or rough than it did before the new Apple laptops came out. I mean, who prioritizes the number of pixels on their display over everything else, including the actual size of the display? Which jobs require a huge number of pixels for you to work efficiently, and is every MBP buyer who points out the resolution employed in one of those fields? No, they're not. They d

    • Re:Linux on Mac?! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hobarrera ( 2008506 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:51PM (#41014665) Homepage

      Why not? It's the only notebook with a display capable of 2,880×1,800, so if you want a notebook with a resolution higher than 1080p, its your only choice.

      The hardware specs of a Macbook Pro "Retina" are quite unique, so there's plenty of other reasons you'd want this particular model just for hardware.

      Where I live, a Macbook Air is the only choice for something similar to an "ultrabook". Everything else weighs twice as much, and includes crap I don't want, like huge HDDs or optical drives. So even if I dislike Apple's software, their hardware is really the only choice for me.

      • It's not your only choice, it's just your only choice that's currently available.

        Plenty of 1920x1200 options if you go back to Core 2, a few at Nehalem, and a couple at Sandy Bridge. (Some of those in the Core 2 and Nehalem days are even 15".)

        Also, if you go back to Core 2, and don't mind some frankensteining, you can get an IDTech IAQX10, IAQX10N, or IAQX10S panel, a ThinkPad T60 or T60p, and a T61p 14.1" 4:3 motherboard, heatsink, Socket P CPU, and PCMCIA slot assembly, and put them all together. Need to

    • Because the bastards won't let me upgrade my hardware to OS 10.8 ("too old" they claim). Well maybe Apple is into planned obsolescene of good hardware, but Microsoft and Linux aren't. I have not done it yet but could install either of these OSes since Apple no longer thinks I'm worthy of support. (And yes this is another reason Apple is a "luxury" brand like Lexus or Acura.... high initial cost, plus short OS lifespan == high cost of ownership).

    • by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:07PM (#41014893)

      See his blog post - []

      As for "why try to do it?" - well, probably because liking Apple hardware and high-res displays does not automatically create a liking for XNU/Darwin. Some people prefer Open Source.

    • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:07PM (#41014909)

      Why in the world would you even try to do it? What is the goal of this endeavour?

      When I first got into Mac, it was still a rare thing. And so that made me better than everyone else. I got to look down on PC users and call everyone who came after me poseurs. Then, as Mac's became more and more popular, I started noticing that EVERYONE was carrying them. I even saw people using them in Starbuck's, for Christ's sake (as I passed by the window on my way to an indie coffee shop that you've probably never heard of).

      This forced me to do something to set myself once more off from the pack, so that I might reaffirm my moral and intellectual superiority. Obviously, I couldn't go to Windows. So naturally I turned to Linux, and an obscure distro than only a few of us know about (if you have to ask which one, don't bother).

      It was perfect. Now when people saw I was using a Mac and asked me about it, I could tell them "Yeah, it's a Mac, but not the kind YOU'RE using" and blow off any subsequent questions with "I could tell you more, but you wouldn't get it." Once more, I was whole!

      I would talk more about it, but I've got to get to a Semertian Poetry reading. Not that I expect you to know what Semertian Poetry is.

    • Why in the world would you even try to do it? What is the goal of this endeavour?

      If you came here asking a question like that, you MUST be new here...

      If we didn't approach most endeavors in the *NIX world with a "why not, let's see what happens" attitude, there probably wouldn't be a single *NIX box running a GUI yet.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Well, it does sound more productive than making Linux run on your toaster...

  • Hardly newsworthy (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:26PM (#41014259) Homepage

    Linux doesn't exactly have a reputation for working well on brand-new hardware. The new MacBooks only came out a couple months ago, give Linux some time!

    • Re:Hardly newsworthy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:37PM (#41014425) Homepage

      On PC hardware, it has been running a LOT better than before. That said, it's still essentially true -- nothing works out of the box unless it is like 3+ years old.

      With all that said, Apple goes out of its was to "think different" so that its hardware is more exclusive and more likely to be running Mac OS X... but only Mac OS X version 10."latest" because they are dropping support for hardware older than X years. (Where X is a number between 2 and 5) So anyone with ideas of installing anything other than pure Apple Mac OS X on it will be faced with some challenges.

    • Re:Hardly newsworthy (Score:5, Informative)

      by jrminter ( 1123885 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:40PM (#41014467)
      It is one thing to have an older MacBook and think about moving to a Linux distro when the current OS no longer supports your hardware, but unless you are a hobbyist who get pleasure from tinkering and wants to see "if I can...", it seems like a waste of time and money. Note that I am writing this on a 2009 MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion but I also use Linux for many aspects of my work. If I wanted a Linux laptop to just "get my work done," I would look carefully at one of these: [] The key is to let your supplier work out the hardware details. That is part of why one buys from a given supplier. We are all free to tinker to our hearts content, but if our objective is to use the system to do something useful, it is typically more productive to get something that works on the OS of choice. This is hardly a new concept...
  • NEWS Flash!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWW ( 79176 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:27PM (#41014267)

    Linux doesn't work completely on brand new hardware!!

    This is totally shocking to me. This has only been a problem since the 90's.

  • And next (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:28PM (#41014285)
    Let's trash linux a little more by complaining how this Ubuntu DVD fails to load on this sundial. There you have it, linux can't even run on one of the most primitive time-keeping devices. It must suck.
  • Tell me why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ak_hepcat ( 468765 ) <leif@[ ] ['den' in gap]> on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:29PM (#41014305) Homepage Journal

    It is so shocking to think that an operating system doesn't work well on hardware for which no drivers have yet been written?

    And yes, folks have been working on this. It's all up on the G+.

    But seriously, until somebody is paid to write the drivers prior to hardware release, why expect it to work?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:32PM (#41014343)

    You spent $3000 on a laptop to run linux. You are a strange person.

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nexion ( 1064 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:41PM (#41014489)

    Don't buy a Mac.

    Don't get me wrong fan boys... Apple does make good gear, and it isn't Apple's fault it doesn't run Linux all that well on this particular device. However despite having a good operating system for a workstation I'm just not a big fan of OSX at home. I use Linux primarily at work and I am quite happy with it. Given the choice between Windows and OSX at work it will be OSX every time. However, I DO have a better choice in workstation OS that more closely mirrors our production servers on which to develop software.

    I also don't care much for Apple as a company. I find Microsoft more trustworthy, and that really does say quite a bit.

    It would be nice if Apple contributed to Linux. I know that is asking a lot of them as they throughly enjoy tieing two products together by virtue of license and copyright law. It is something they are unfortunately unlikely to change and as a result I try to avoid purchasing their hardware. Much like I will try to avoid any "secure boot" BIOS gear in the future.

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:41PM (#41014495)
    That's too bad, 'cause, like most people, I was looking forward to buying overpriced hardware bundled with an expensive operating system and then just running free open source software on it instead.
  • by MadCow42 ( 243108 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:42PM (#41014507) Homepage

    I have the new Retina MBP... and it's a fantastic machine. But WHY would you buy it just to install Linux on it anyway? It's a very expensive computer for that - you can get other laptops with similar specs (other than the display, yes) for a lot less. In almost all cases I'd suspect that people want to use both OSX and Linux - and in that case, I'd highly suggest running Linux in a virtual machine anyway (Parallels/VMWare).

    Sure it'd be nice to have a pure dual boot for Linux, but until drivers are written and fine tuned for that specific platform it will do just fine.

    I use Parallels for that, and for running WinXP (believe it or not) for one old app I need. The new MBP is so fast that I can cold-boot WinXP in 3 seconds! - making it a breeze to get to the one app I need when I need it.


  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @02:43PM (#41014523)
    Package contained a retina MacBook pro. Would not buy again.
  • Still (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:08PM (#41014913)
    What a captivatingly sharp image of a walled garden topped with razor wire! Look at it glisten in the sunlight coming through the walls of our crystal cathedral!
  • by alienzed ( 732782 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:43PM (#41015467) Homepage
    Mac OS X is Unix, and then there's virtualization, why even bother getting Linux native to a Mac anymore?
  • by SilverJets ( 131916 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @07:46PM (#41018405) Homepage

    Other than proving it can be done, why would you drop that amount of money on a retina display macbook pro and then install linux on it? OS X is already *nix and has a much, much cleaner and better looking gui than anything available for linux.

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