2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
10-19-2017, 03:40 PM,
Post: #1
2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Ya know, this thing is kinda snappy when booted from an SD card.
Install was simple enough, I guess.

- format 32gb SD card with FAT32
- create Ubuntu CD
- boot Ubuntu CD and install to SD Card
- boot OS X to recovery mode & disable SIP
- boot OS X and install refind
- reboot, select linux, suffer some laggy behavior and oddity until it finishes whatever its doing and actually lets you in after a few reboots.

So far everything is fine. But its only been long enough to log in here and post this blarg.

- Most of the custom FKeys work: brightness, keyboard backlighting, and volume.
- I have no idea which graphics card its using.
- It is not ignoring my palms on the trackpad, and that is super duper fucking annoying.
- Clicking with the trackpad is hard. The input isn't tuned like OS X and the cursor jumps at any roll of the finger. By the time I've depressed my finger and gotten a click it thinks that I've moved somewhere else.
- I have natural scrolling via the trackpad. Glad for that.
- Ctrl-e doesn't take me to the end of the line in a text area. How crude!
- I'm sure there's more.

Nuke
10-19-2017, 04:24 PM,
Post: #2
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Stupid me. I thought installing drivers for the video card would increase performance. Maybe it’s running so fast that the light can’t escape the screen. Like a black hole with a backlit Apple logo on it.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
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10-19-2017, 04:42 PM,
Post: #3
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
(10-19-2017, 03:40 PM)Gippy Wrote: - It is not ignoring my palms on the trackpad, and that is super duper fucking annoying.
- Clicking with the trackpad is hard. The input isn't tuned like OS X and the cursor jumps at any roll of the finger. By the time I've depressed my finger and gotten a click it thinks that I've moved somewhere else.
You know, considering they've been around for a quarter century, it continues to amaze me that no platform except macOS has ever gotten trackpads to function properly. This is the sole reason you see people in airports trying to use mouses on their legs.
10-19-2017, 08:55 PM,
Post: #4
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Yeah. I ordered the magic trackpad with my iMac, and I love it. I don't miss the mouse. It might be habituation, but Apple trackpads are swell.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
10-19-2017, 08:57 PM,
Post: #5
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Also, I can't imagine a scenario where I'd install Linux on a Mac. I run it in a VM, sure. But as the host? nuh uh.

But I'm glad to hear that you can boot from SD and it seems functional. That makes for convenient multi-booting.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
10-20-2017, 01:18 AM,
Post: #6
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
(10-19-2017, 03:40 PM)Gippy Wrote: - It is not ignoring my palms on the trackpad, and that is super duper fucking annoying.

Try having smaller hands ya fuckin' ape!
10-20-2017, 01:25 AM,
Post: #7
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
(10-20-2017, 01:18 AM)Jehannum Wrote:
(10-19-2017, 03:40 PM)Gippy Wrote: - It is not ignoring my palms on the trackpad, and that is super duper fucking annoying.

Try having smaller hands ya fuckin' ape!

I have a smaller nut-sack now. Maybe I should try that.
10-20-2017, 01:28 AM,
Post: #8
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
(10-19-2017, 08:57 PM)roo Wrote: Also, I can't imagine a scenario where I'd install Linux on a Mac.  I run it in a VM, sure.  But as the host? nuh uh.  

But I'm glad to hear that you can boot from SD and it seems functional.  That makes for convenient multi-booting.

Adobe announced no more stand-alone purchases of Lightroom. Just $120/yr subscriptions (where I'd given then about $200 over the last 4 years). So I started looking at options since that was the main reason I was sticking with the Mac at home.
10-20-2017, 09:13 AM,
Post: #9
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Ah. I haven't used Adobe since CS2. Not that I have a Lightroom alternative. But I'm good on all other creative fronts for much less than Adobe's subscription.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
10-22-2017, 07:14 AM,
Post: #10
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Getting up to Ubuntu 17.10 helped a bit. While unity looked nice it just wasn't as mature as Gnome and the devs just weren't gonna get it done.

That and some updated trackpad drivers make this workable. Still trying to get the Nvidia card recognized so that I get a bit more oomph behind the graphics. The intel graphics work well enough. But the battery in this is dead meat anyway so why shouldn't I be running the fancy card all the time (or at all, as the case may be).

Now to get Scala & SBT installed to make this a dev machine.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
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10-22-2017, 10:39 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-22-2017, 10:45 AM by Gippy.)
Post: #11
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Oh... Ubuntu is now Gnome on Wayland using Nouveau drivers. So the current nvidia drivers won't work unless they're updated to confirm to some new acronym-i-do-not-know specification.

But it appears that Nouveau has picked the nvidia chip to run. Not the integrated intel chip. Its telling me that it is running the NVA5 driver. The Nvida code name for an older chipset is NVA5, but Nouveau uses NVA5 for my newer chipset. So... I guess I should just be happy? I dunno.

More blog to come...
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
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10-22-2017, 10:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-22-2017, 10:46 AM by Jehannum.)
Post: #12
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
(10-22-2017, 10:39 AM)Gippy Wrote: Oh... Ubuntu is now Gnome on Wayland using Nouveau drivers. So the current nvidia drivers won't work unless they're updated to confirm to some new acronym-i-do-not-know specification.

But it appears that Nouveau has picked the nvidia chip to run. Not the integrated intel chip. So... I guess I should just be happy? I dunno.

More blog to come...

Nouveau are, as far as I know, the open source version of NVidia drivers.

If you don't give a fuck about tainting the kernel or GPL, just go download the current NVidia drivers from their site.  Should work just as well. They've supported wayland for the better part of a year.
10-22-2017, 04:25 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-22-2017, 04:30 PM by Gippy.)
Post: #13
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Ubuntu has sources for the official drivers.

They dark-hole the display on boot and it never recovers. I think they can properly find the card over the bus but Weyland is configured for auto-detection that doesn't play nice. Either way, I fucked with it, lost, and Nouveau works. I admitted defeat. I think I only really wanted it so that I could turn knobs and flip switches that I don't normally get in OS X.

Video is smooth. So I guess it doesn't matter. Full screen Youtube is better than my newer MBP with OS X. My main bottleneck right now is still running from an SD card. Only booting from an SSD upgrade or trying to boot from my Thunderbolt box could make it better. IntelliJ is bad enough from an SSD based Mac. I wonder how long it'll take before I'm dual-booting my newer machine that has a faster everything, an SSD, and double the ram.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
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10-22-2017, 06:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-22-2017, 06:11 PM by FuturDreamz.)
Post: #14
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
I'm curious about how long you will stand continually fiddling with all the different configuration possibilities of Linux.
My logic is infallible. Resistance is futile.
10-23-2017, 02:44 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-23-2017, 02:46 AM by Gippy.)
Post: #15
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
I’m mostly done.
I started writing code last night.

The only disappointing thing is that I still can’t plug in to an external display. That would be nice since this thing is Land-locked due to its dead battery.

But that is a definite concern. But I fiddle with OS X quite a bit too, so it’ll be interesting to see where the differences in fiddling lie. But I’m aware, too, that I’ll spend extra time getting acclimated to a different ecosystem.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
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10-23-2017, 05:07 AM,
Post: #16
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
well good luck anyways. I tried using Linux for a while, but I got sick of there always being this one thing that was such a complete hassle while being dead simple on a proper OS.
My logic is infallible. Resistance is futile.
11-17-2017, 10:06 AM,
Post: #17
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
The Ubuntu blog continues:

So, I decided to promote Ubuntu to full OS status and install it on the hard drive. Performance is a bit better. The SD card was doing surprisingly well. Haven't tried to plug it back in to the monitor again, though. Still not sure if that'll ever go well. But this is also an older machine and I don't think I care to invest too much in trying to get it to behave nicely. The drivers and Apple's integration will probably never quite be totally happy together.

I'm quite liking it, except for the trackpad... I still have to be much more deliberate on it.
And I miss my 1Password integration. I guess I could switch to LastPass since i think that is cross platform. 1Password said they were working on something that would work in the browser, via their hosted service, but that would :gasp: cost money.

If I can find a reasonable compact desktop rig for around $500 I just might invest in something like that instead of fighting the Mac hardware specialties. This Mac is circa 2011. Everything is better now. Might be nicer that way.

But so far the experiment is a success. I can be comfortable in Ubuntu. I don't feel like I'm missing much of OS X (aside from the nice trackpad input and a lot of muscle memory).
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
flickr | Stupid Blog | Twitter
11-17-2017, 12:13 PM,
Post: #18
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Dude. You're getting a Dell.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
11-17-2017, 12:14 PM,
Post: #19
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
Probably a NUC if I do it.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
flickr | Stupid Blog | Twitter
11-18-2017, 04:06 AM,
Post: #20
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
There should be a better trackpad driver/config in the repo somewhere.
My logic is infallible. Resistance is futile.
12-30-2017, 04:18 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-30-2017, 04:18 PM by Gippy.)
Post: #21
RE: 2011 MBP, SD Card, and Ubuntu
I'm now single-booting Ubuntu on that old laptop. No OS X partition. That was too much hassle.

I'm now convinced that every time I install Ubuntu I get a different configuration. The last time I had to jiggle the wires to get a usable trackpad configuration and it never accepted an external monitor.

This time the trackpad is good and it doesn't mind the external Dell 4K display (not at full resolution... it works, but you can't work on it that way).

So. I've laughed. I've cried. I've reinstalled. I spec'd out a $1500 set of parts on Amazon. But in the end I'll probably end up with an SSD in this thing and enjoy my upstairs computer.
The chaos army seems suspiciously well organized.
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