Sunday, August 4, 2013

GNU/Linux on Apple Macbook Air 4.2 (Late 2011) part 1

 Disclaimer: I dont take any responsibility for the damage of your equipment. If you point your ire at me, I will have the last laugh. USE THE INFO AT YOUR OWN RISK.

This post is my continuation of my earlier post where I drooled over the hardware implementation of Macbook air. After that post I have seen all the notebook manufacturers try to make a clone and majority have failed except for the samsung versions which have better connectivity options compared to the Air. But Macbook air is still the king in lightweight laptops. Why do I drool over the Airs being a hardcore freedom software evangelist? Hardware, exquisitely crafted hardware.

Let us get down to freeing the Macbook air from propreitory software it is running. I have chosen Arch GNU/Linux as my GNU OS of choice having read reports of it running beatifully on Mac hardware and not interested in running the Microsoft of the windows world, Ubuntu GNU/Linux.
Coming from Debian GNU/Linux, I saw that the ncurses interface for installing the basic OS is very similar. There was a shocker waiting for me. After downloading the latest x86_64 build, I connected the external DVD drive borrowed from my friend and booted it. What happens, The installer starts and dumps me into a root prompt. Thats it. I have installed slackware GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/Linux with neat installers though still ncurses based.

Time to search the public network. Now I see that the ncurses installer has been done away with. You have to install everything manually. Ofcourse there are lot of tools provided by the Arch GNU/Linux project to make the process simple and straight forward. At this juncture I would like to mention about the Arch WIKI. This is one of the most detailed wiki documentation I have gone through seconded or equalled only by the Gentoo GNU/Linux wiki.The wiki is written beautifully and is very easy to comprehend by anybody with a basic GNU/Linux background. In the process, I chrooted to another GNU/Linux installation for the first time and the raw power of the UNIX philosophy hit me on my face. KUDOS to all the "freeedom" developers.

Here are the links/resources/works/efforts I made use of in liberating my Macbook Air.

The next post will be having all the gory details of installing Arch GNU/Linux on the Macbook air.

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.