2016 MacBook Pro can't run Linux

Also in today’s open source roundup: Black Lab Linux 8.0 released and a video review of the Google Pixel Android phone

2016 MacBook Pro can't run Linux
Credit: Apple

The 2016 MacBook Pro and Linux

There is a subset of the Linux community that likes running Linux on Apple hardware. Strange as it may sound, these users enjoy the virtues of Linux and the elegance of Apple’s computers. Unfortunately, it looks like the 2016 MacBook Pro is not currently compatible with Linux.

Adarsh Verma reports for Fossbytes:

New Apple MacBooks always cause some troubles when an enthusiast tries to install some Linux distro. Apparently, the same has happened with a Reddit user who tried installing Ubuntu Linux on his new MacBook Pro. While it might seem surprising to some, the open source community needs to reverse engineer some drivers after every new MacBook release.

…a Reddit user hot2 has warned the potential Apple MacBook Pro buyers. He has shared a post titled “Warning: 2016 MacBook Pro is not compatible with Linux”.

In the post, the user reports that the built-in mouse and keyboard aren’t working. This is because the input devices in MacBook Pro 2016 are on SPI, not USB. Similar problems have been reported in the past in case of MacBook’s older models (Bug 108331,Bug 99891).

Also, for Linux to boot, intremap=nosid is needed. Another big issue reported by the user is the wrong PCI class ID of the NVMe SSD that doesn’t allow it to work as a boot drive.

More at Fossbytes

The information above came from a thread on the Ubuntu subreddit, and the folks there shared their thoughts after finding out that Linux can not currently be run on the 2016 MacBook Pro:

Dtoebe: “Since no one else seemed to say it. Thank you for posting this and bringing some of the specific issues to light. Now many of the devs can have a glimpse of what will need to be done to support the new MBP”

PigSlam: “Without this reddit post, the devs might never have learned of these issues.”

Heebiejeebies_ferret: “You spent $2800 on a brand-new laptop (a brand known to have various issues with Linux) in order to run Linux on it, without investigating compatibility first? O_o

"You are a much braver (and richer) person than I am!”

TheNet: “They can just return it if it doesn’t work.”

EL337: “A lot of my programmer friends run MBPs with Ubuntu, they like the hardware and portability of MBPs/MBAs but prefer Ubuntu over OSX for obvious reasons.”

Vertana: “I’m not trying to be combative or anything, but what are those 'obvious reasons'? I’m genuinely curious. The only thing that strikes me as obvious is the principle of OSS. I say this as a person who uses and likes both operating systems.”

PJonestown: “Besides OSS I’d say a robust package manager is linux’s main advantage over windows/mac.

"I know mac has homebrew, and I hear it’s getting better, but I don’t imagine it compares much to something like apt.”

Patleeman: “As a developer that recently switched from Ubuntu to a Mac:

"What I loved about linux:

  • Built-in package manager. Brew is great but it's just not the same.
  • The OS IS the terminal with a desktop environment on top. Macs feel like its the desktop environment with the command line as a relic.
  • Working w/ Linux based servers, its similar to production environments.
  • Development just seems less burdensome, not sure how else to put it. It's an OS built by and maintained by people who think like me and it comes through in the design of the OS.

Why I switched to a Mac:

  • My company offers them.
  • Lots of applications work with Macs that don't work with linux. Mainly business applications like Outlook (I've used davmail + thunderbird, but for business email running on Exchange servers, Outlook just can't be beat.), MS Office suite, Jabber, integration with our phone systems, etc.
  • More focus on UI.
  • Hardware support. No random crashes, or fonts disappearing when you resume from sleep.

"There are definitely pros and cons of both systems. I use both Ubuntu and Windows at home and a Mac at work.”

Evilfurryone: “I did a similar switch few weeks ago and I have noticed that my vagrant boxes boot up/provision faster and the environments I run in them are snappier than they were on my ubuntu.

"Performance wise the laptops were quite similar i7, ssd etc. As a developer Mac currently just feels better.”

Ferfie: “I’ve always regarded OSX’s biggest strength as being 'Unix that can run Microsoft,' followed by its seamless integration into well-designed and robust hardware. You lose both of those if you install Linux.

"That said: if your work is paying for it, and you prefer Linux, you might as well have a nice MBP shell.”

More at Reddit

Black Lab Linux 8.0 released

Black Lab Linux is a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu, and now version 8.0 has been announced on the Black Lab Linux site. Right now you’ll need to pay $19.99 to get it, a free version will be available on Dec. 15.

Roberto J. Dohnert has more details from the official Black Lab Linux 8.0 release announcement:

Today our development team is pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 8.0, the consumer version of PC/OpenSystems LLC’s flagship distro and a culmination of over a year’s worth of work.

This Black Lab release moves from the previous 14.04 LTS base to the newer 16.04 LTS base. A major difference in this version is in the inclusion of available desktop environments. Currently, we are the only major Linux distributor outside of Ubuntu that ships Unity as an option. In addition: the KDE Plasma 5 desktop, LXDE for older/legacy hardware, GNOME 3.18. XFCE is included on the GNOME ISO and GNOME Flashback session is available within Unity.

Currently there are no public downloads for Black Lab Linux 8.0. To ensure that we can continue to develop the best Linux distribution on the planet, Black Lab Linux 8.0 can be purchased from our online store. For $19.99 USD + shipping you get 30 days installation support; for $45.00 USD you get 12 months of e-mail support. A free public download of our flagship product will be available December 15, 2016. And keep in mind that the the holidays will be right around the corner - systems with Black Lab Linux 8.0 preinstalled are also ready to be shipped, wrapped and put under the tree.

More at Black Lab Linux

A video review of the Google Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel phone has caught the attention of Android users, with many wondering if they should upgrade to the new phone. Marques Brownlee has a full review of the Google Pixel phone on YouTube, and it should be useful to anyone who is trying to make up his or her mind about buying one.

Did you miss a roundup? Check the Eye On Open home page to get caught up with the latest news about open source and Linux.

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