etopiei's blog

A blog about minimalism, programming, productivity and happiness.
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Installing Linux Mint on Macbook Pro (First Impressions)

Earlier on this week I decided to take the plunge and set up Linux on my Mac. Despite the efforts of one of my computer science buddies I refused to make it my sole OS and opted to keep macOS Sierra happily purring alongside my fresh Linux install. I cited the multitude of beautiful paid apps I have collected over the years which I enjoy using and the way I have things set up just right, as reasons to keep my mac partition.
In order to get started I first wrote a backup to a spare hard drive I had lying around and then wiped my Macbook's SSD. I then reinstalled Sierra because I was experiencing some problems and wanted to have everything fresh and working.
To my joy when I set about re-installing the OS, the dialog box said 'about 6 minutes remaining'. I was pleasantly surprised by this speedy install and was therefore less pleasantly surprised when this proceeded to take almost 5 hours!!! :O I accepted this cruel mistake as perhaps a typo of hours, and pressed on despite my friends' jokes about 'mac time' and how slow this process would be.
The next step was to partition the drive correctly, for this I followed an insanely helpful guide (kudos to 'daveoncode' - I set up my linux partition to be 25GB and my swap to be 6GB. which left roughly 200GB for my mac side.
Fortunately I had a usb with a live Linux Mint distro running so I was up and running soon after.
I was confused at first as after I booted the first time I held Option while booting up, expecting to be presented with the options of which OS to boot into, however this yielded only my mac OS. Confused I booted in anyway and checked out Disk Utility and saw that I definitely had a linux partition and the installation seemed to have worked correctly. I tried restarting again and realised that Linux Mint was now the default boot option. While this isn't what I originally intended this worked quite well and I'm now happily up and running.
I spent the rest of the night setting up Last Pass, my favourite browser, Vivaldi and other important apps, and soon enough it felt like home. I'll keep you posted with how I find it and how much I use it, but so far I am finding there is something quite nice about writing code and using a Linux environment. Somehow it feels closer to the true experience of computing, a command driven environment which is confusing at first but equally as powerful and has its own beauty.
I will predominantly use Linux for coding I think and continue my quest in learning C (More on that another time). I would one day, perhaps like to exclusively use Linux, however I don't feel I'm quite ready for that yet. (Call me a noob I don't care) This has been an interesting learning experience though and I look forward to future developments.

- etopiei (6/6/17)

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