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Linux On The 2012 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro?

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  • Linux On The 2012 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro?

    Phoronix: Linux On The 2012 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro?

    Since yesterday's keynote at the beginning of Apple's WWDC event where they announced several new MacBook products, I've received a number of emails asking about the Linux support for these 2012 MacBook Air models and the next-generation MacBook Pro...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTExODU

  • #2
    Michael,

    Get the new Retina MBP. There's nothing like it. It's quite possibly the best laptop in the world.

    Just don't forget about Linux once you have it (you'll be tempted).

    F

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    • #3
      Since the announcement yesterday i am really curious to find out how the FOSS desktop environments perform in high resolution displays.

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      • #4
        I've been using the Dell U2711 monitor with 2560x1440 native resolution on Linux for quite a while now---and it's simply awesome. So much screen real estate. I've never regretted the purchase, not even for a moment.

        In my opinion the existing desktops work fine (though I tend to keep my mouse acceleration pretty quick). That said, I don't use a bottom-panel taskbar; I tend to alt-tab or use the Expose-style switching. Gnome 3 is decent.

        Having such a high resolution screen in a laptop is exciting. I'm sorely tempted to try it out
        Free Software Developer .:. Mesa and Xorg
        Opinions expressed in these forum posts are my own.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kayden View Post
          I've been using the Dell U2711 monitor with 2560x1440 native resolution on Linux for quite a while now---and it's simply awesome. So much screen real estate. I've never regretted the purchase, not even for a moment.

          In my opinion the existing desktops work fine (though I tend to keep my mouse acceleration pretty quick). That said, I don't use a bottom-panel taskbar; I tend to alt-tab or use the Expose-style switching. Gnome 3 is decent.

          Having such a high resolution screen in a laptop is exciting. I'm sorely tempted to try it out
          Yes but in the apple display you have approximately the same (higher to be exact) resolution in 15.4 inches instead of 27.

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          • #6
            Linux + Apple Hardware == Huge Waste of money.

            I wouldn't mind somebody trying it to see what happens, but really it's a terrible idea to purchase a Macbook with the expectation that you are going to run Linux on it.

            Dual boot, fine. But get a Mac to primarily run OS X.

            Apple doesn't actually manufacture these things. Including the display. It's all contracted out to other companies which produce laptops and components to many other companies. Just wait until somebody starts advertising a Linux compatible device with similar resolution and you will get pretty much the same thing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
              Yes but in the apple display you have approximately the same (higher to be exact) resolution in 15.4 inches instead of 27.
              The iMac retina displays are speculated to be:

              20" @ 2*1920x1080 = 3840x2160
              27" @ 2*2560x1440 = 5120x2880

              While I don't expect these displays will appear in the 2012 refresh (if there even is one), they are certainly welcome candidates for 2013. I'd pay an extra $1000 for a 27" retina display over a stock one. I doubt I'd pay more than $4000 for an iMac though, unless Apple bought me a lobster dinner and couple drinks first.

              F

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              • #8
                retina + slackware + wayland = ftw!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                  It will be interesting to see how the Mac OS X graphics driver compares to Linux and Windows!
                  Previous time you compare nVidia GPU, this time it will be nVidia Optimus. So in OS X you will get nVidia GPU acceleration, but in Linux - only Intel (Bumblebee probably not support this new hardware yet).
                  Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                  how well the power management works under Linux
                  I can predict results now - without disabling nVidia GPU it will be waste of battery.
                  Last edited by RussianNeuroMancer; 06-12-2012, 10:54 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I find it amazing nobody sees the elephant in the room: Linux desktops lack any sensible approach to resolution independence. The problem is not if graphics drivers will be able to cope with Macbook Pro's millions of pixels (of course they will), but if the framework will understand it's a 220 ppi display and behave accordingly, i.e., not display microscopic fonts and icons, but scale them correctly so they use all those extra pixels to show more detail.

                    I've been advocating for resolution independence in GTK+ for many years now, but the team is having too much fun toying around with their whimsical ideas of usability. Meanwhile, both Apple and Microsoft seem to have been addressing hi-ppi screens in recent years. We'll soon see the fruits of that effort on the proprietary side in upcoming versions of OS X and Windows. Free software will be behind, once again, and I'm afraid it will for many years, since nobody seems to be caring for this. That's almost ten years after the first bug reports about the issue. The lack of professionalism in desktop Linux keeps astonishing me.

                    Now go ahead and start a series of benchmarks to see how fast the MBP screen is filled on Linux. Like that matters at all.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
                      Now go ahead and start a series of benchmarks to see how fast the MBP screen is filled on Linux. Like that matters at all.
                      You are totally, unconditionally, and absolutely right about this.

                      I still think Mike should get the MBP though. It really is something special, and I think that having a good baseline for reference might change his disposition and perspective as a reviewer.

                      I had an opportunity to play with one for a bit, and it comes within 1GB of VRAM from matching my ideal laptop. Since the only CAD work I do is to build my fantasy dream house, and the only game I play is Eve, it would suit me well enough. Unfortunately, I only have an iMac budgeted right now, and I'm holding out for the Ivy Bridge refresh.

                      F

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
                        I find it amazing nobody sees the elephant in the room: Linux desktops lack any sensible approach to resolution independence. The problem is not if graphics drivers will be able to cope with Macbook Pro's millions of pixels (of course they will), but if the framework will understand it's a 220 ppi display and behave accordingly, i.e., not display microscopic fonts and icons, but scale them correctly so they use all those extra pixels to show more detail.
                        I was under the impression that the linux desktop environments are resolution independent.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
                          I was under the impression that the linux desktop environments are resolution independent.
                          Think it depends on the desktop, though I'd like to know for sure. KDE allows forcing/overriding the font DPI and has some higher resolution icon sets. Unity doesn't have much configurability (at least, nothing I found in the 15 minutes I looked), but does have an "accessibility" mode making lots of things big (at some fixed size).

                          This post may be of interest to those wondering about UEFI support: Matthew Garrett: Fedora 17 and Mac support.

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                          • #14
                            Gnome desktop is more 'dpi independant' then OS X or Microsoft Windows is.

                            All Apple does is just have two resolution modes that they use: 1x and 2x. So instead of tailoring the UI to one set of DPIs they just taylor it to 2 and then shoehorn in whatever looks better into their display.

                            If people thinks that OS X can scale seemlessly between all sorts of different DPI monitors easier then Linux desktop can, they are drinking too much Apple flavored kool-aide.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cyborg16 View Post
                              Think it depends on the desktop, though I'd like to know for sure. KDE allows forcing/overriding the font DPI and has some higher resolution icon sets. Unity doesn't have much configurability (at least, nothing I found in the 15 minutes I looked), but does have an "accessibility" mode making lots of things big (at some fixed size).
                              X Server keeps track of DPI. It tries to figure it out naturally based on information given to it by the monitor, which is usually incorrect since monitor-supplied information is universally shit. Nothing X or KDE or GTK or whatever can do about that. You can override the settings of it if you like. DPI font changing is a common feature for Gnome, too. '

                              This post may be of interest to those wondering about UEFI support: Matthew Garrett: Fedora 17 and Mac support.
                              Again, if you are buying Apple hardware with the intention of primarily running Linux on it you are making a big mistake. This link just goes to illustrate one part of why it's a terrible combination.

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