I have configured my Mac to dual-boot with Linux. When I turn my computer on I can choose to enter the Linux operating system or Mac OS X.
Coming at you live from Debian pic.twitter.com/0FdpnSwjoG
— Eric (@ericandrewlewis) April 13, 2016
Having gone through this process, I would now suggest against it.
Most folks who run linux on a desktop only run the one operating system on the computer and don’t dual-boot. If you configure a Mac for dual-boot, you are the exceptional use-case in the Linux community.
If you want to learn to ride a bike, would you buy a pennyfarthing? I’d guess not. Most likely you would get the common bike design of today, the safety bicycle. If you ride a pennyfarthing in 2016, you are an exceptional use-case. Your friends don’t ride pennyfarthings so you can’t share riding tips with them and benefit from theirs. Bike shops don’t have the know-how to repair it. Drivers may not understand how to drive safely around your contraption of antiquity.
When you are the exceptional use-case, you don’t benefit from network effect. When you are the common use-case, answers to your problems are quick to find.
Here is what sucks:
- You will have a hard dependency on software maintained by one person.
- Apple changes low-level bootloader configuration when they update OS X. Upgrading OS X will not be easy.
- You will break things, and only by the grace of Stack Overflow users will you fix them.
- You will press ` but you will see <. There is a solution, but this is an excellent taste of what to expect.
I just bought a ThinkPad X200, which is a $150 laptop that can run 100% free software. I’ll install GNU-linux on it. The X200 with Libreboot pre-installed is one of three laptops that are certified by the Free Software Foundation (basically Richard Stallman). More soon!
Update (August 4th 2016): Turns out installing Libreboot is very hard. I’ll stick with an un-free BIOS until I’ve met someone else who’s installed it.