So whilst I was away in Miami, I took the plunge and started installing Linux on my MacBook Pro. Being me, I decided against the sensible option of something easy like Ubuntu. I went with ArchLinux, not Manjaro (again simpler), which meant I had more learning to do and more problems, but eventually and a trip to Rio later I now have a working ArchLinux laptop.
Excluding the very manual setup required as part of Arch, the main problem was negotiating UEFI on the Apple hardware. One I got aroun that, Linux worked great.
I have had a few issues; wifi needed some work (and is still not 100% how I want it). Recently, for some reason suspend/hibernate stopped working properly. So closing the lid does not put the machine to sleep, I'm sure I will get to it.
I love Arch, mainly as I hate software getting out of date. It's a rolling release distro, which stops that annoying having to do a major upgrade on a irregular basis like Ubuntu. I have been burned that way in the past.
I have used Arch on desktop office machines for a while, and I find that if you keep it up to date the small incremental updates causes less problems than further spaced out big updates.
It's also fast as hell!
With Arch you only install what you need, so for example I use XMonad so I don't have the big window manager daemons running. Of course I have a SSD which makes it faster yet.
I intended of keeping my OSX boot, but in the end I "manned up" and wiped all the disks and started fresh. So my SSD has my OS and user stuff on it (fast). My 1TB drive (slower) has all my data and works well for storing my larger files (video, old podcasts, etc).
It is really nice to have switched my personal machine to Linux, dev work is so much better in the Linux world. It's a bit similar actually to the Apple eco-system; Perl (my main language) and most of the dev tools of the universe are Linux based, so having a Linux laptop makes it so much better.
And Arch is very very cool in that it has AUR, which adds onto the standard repositories pretty much any software you will ever need!
I love Arch and my bizarre xmonad setup. People freak (especially galling for most people is I as a mac user am hooked on "natural scrolling" so everyone hates using my machines as scrolling is upside down.). They hate my xmonad as after login, all tehy get is a black screen, just that. 🙂
The laptop has some tweaking to go but it's getting there fast.
I will eventually right up something more on how I got around my problems, but to be frank it's rather redundant… the ArchLinux wiki is stupendous! More than once I've found myself and others using Arch to solve problems on other operating systems.
So there you have it, gone is my life using a evil proprietary operating system on my shiny macbook pro. I have an open source operating system; a secure machine (I even encrypted my drives) and lots of great free and open software… tool of the month is BitMessage the secure messaging software that might be the peer to peer replacement for email; give it a go.
Drop me an email (or comment) if you have any questions or suggestions.