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Has Anyone put Linux (Manjaro) on a Mac laptop before?

#1

I’m a lurker and not a poster so here goes, I might get an apple mac soon second hand from a friend that is trying to get rid of one (I hate apple products but he loves them and since I’ve never had one I might aswell try one) and I was wondering if anyone here has any advice/tutorials on putting linux onto one of those machines. I’ve heard it’s quite difficult and want to know how feasible it is befor jumping into it, the reason I ask is that I do laptop-case mods and the legend john carmack has done this and I think it’d be pretty cool to take an apple mac and turn it into a real portable work machine.

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#2

depends on the model of macbook but more recent ones work fine out of the box or with a few common packages.

If you want a convenient way to run a rolling release I’d check out Antergos or Solus rather than manjaro, especially if it’s going to be a daily driver device

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#3

Thanks for the reply, tbh I’m not concerned about rolling releases, just using enviroments that i’m comfortable with. The only thing I’m worried about is that the native bootloader won’t boot into a live cd or allow me to run from a live USB. Honestly I’ve never been in contact with an apple mac for more than 5 mins at a time and just don’t want to sink money into something where the bootloader, UEFI and OS are going to be against me at every turn.

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#4

do you know what year model you plan on getting? as long as it’s a model with a 64 bit efi, you should be able to use bootable media from the support dialog.

there are a few small caveats like bless if you plan to delete osx entirely but past that it works just fine. Usually better support than average laptops ootb.

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#5

Alright cheers, you’re making me feal like it’s accomplishable. The one I believe he has I’m sure has a 64bit uefi (2014 macbook with haswell so not too old).
Also I would be completley removing the native OS so no worries there, I was just concerned that it would be difficult to actually get the machine to take Linux, I’ve heard horror stories of how horribly locked down apple macs are and all.

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#6

In that case I’d reccommend installing refind and blessing it before wiping

from there refind chan chainload anything without special configuration

in the old days their hybrid EFIs caused a lot of trouble but that’s mostly not an issue now.

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#7

Alright cheers, thanks for the pointers.

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#8

Going to be putting Linux on an A1811 (and freeing it from intel) here in a month or so. Just putting Linux on a macbook seems pretty easy from what I have read online.

I have seen a lot of people saying not to fully wipe osx for driver update reasons?? (idk if that’s a needed precaution, maybe @tkoham would know)

If you do a Linux Mac please make a thread about it @Hakaru!

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#9

the gist is, unless your macbook is eol, you can only install firmware via OSX

however if you do want to get rid of the mac partition all you need to do is bless a compatibility focused bootloader like refind before doing so

mac firmare is generally fine barring launch day stuff like the touchbar so it’s not normally a huge deal

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#10

check these posts on Manjaro Forum - macbook

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#11

Have you decided on a distro? I have an old A1811 sitting on a bookshelf. Maybe I’ll throw an SSD in and see what happens, when the drive died it got shelved years ago

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#12

not really, trying to get Parabola but I think there will be some issues with it as it’s big on being fully Free (I suspect I will have issues with the wifi). I may just give up and do like mint or something

My issue is that my airs had no hard drives in them, and the drives I got for them never had an operating system on them… sooooo it’s kinda being a chore to get it running. I’m sure I’m missing something… like installing refind or something lol.

its a big pain with one usb port lol

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