Ubuntu 18.04.4 on older Apple hardware

Ken Cunningham ken.cunningham.webuse at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 08:21:40 UTC 2020

Although many here, including me, are focused on bringing current software to older Apple hardware within the constraints of the software capabilities last available on that OS version, there is another alternative; to install a current version of linux, such as Ubuntu, on those systems. I spent some time doing that on an older MacBook 2,1 today, and I was pleasantly surprised at the success, in the end.

A fairly current Ubuntu 18.04.4 will install, in a 64 bit version even on Macs with 32 bit EFI (with minor shenanigans) so long as the processor is 64 bit. Most of the the familiar MacPorts ports are there, without the issues with old libc versions or lack of thread_local or lack of other modern features. Most of the hardware has drivers with a bit of looking, like the integrated camera. Seeing a Macbook 2,1 run the current versions of Spotify, Google Chrome, and Zoom was kind of surprising, to be honest.

I float this for information only, in case people get too frustrated with their hardware not running some current software offerring they really desire...


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