Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Red Hat, Linux and Intel iMacs 313

segphault writes "Ars Technica examines the implications of Red Hat's recently announced plan to get Linux running on Intel Macs. 'Red Hat representative Gillian Farquhar announced last week that the company plans to add support for Apple's new Intel Macs to its popular distribution. Fedora and several other commonly used Linux distributions support the PowerPC architecture used by Apple in the past, and Red Hat wants to ensure that its software will continue to run on new Apple hardware in the future.'" The real question is will Windows or Linux be first?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Red Hat, Linux and Intel iMacs

Comments Filter:
  • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:23AM (#14558475) Homepage Journal
    ... aside from the whole dual booting fad, why would someone go pay good money for a mac, only to install RadHat?
    • The question I want to know, is why would someone go pay good money for a Mac, only to install Windows.
      • To play GrandPrixLegends, IL2, rFactor maybe -hardcore sims that are not available on consoles. That's if you ask me. As for (legacy) apps, I would much rather have Windows in MacOSX VMWare (or similar quality virtual PC).
      • The question I want to know, is why would someone go pay good money for a Mac, only to install Windows.
        Windows has about 95% market share, and Apple has about 3%. Given that, it's simply crazy to question whether people want/need to run Windows. That fact speaks for itself, it's up to you to understand why it is so.
    • >why would someone go pay good money for a mac, only to install RadHat?

      I can imagine someone who needs to use linux or Windows still liking the idea of a buying an iMac for its small footprint and quiet operation compared to a typical "beige box". you'd probably lose a lot of the features though - the remote, front row, isight - so might as well get a cheap old version and use the PPC version in the case of linux.
    • The questions "Why Windows on a Mac?" and "Why Linux on a Mac?" have been flying around ever since the new machines came out. There is not one answer to this, obviously, because whether you want to do it depends entirely on what your needs and wants are. Some might want to use Linux because they're able to work faster with it. Others might want it simply because they like to experiment with their computers. It could also be due to the requirement to run a certain (set of) programs that aren't natively suppo
    • by cswingle ( 24562 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:37AM (#14558673) Homepage
      > .. aside from the whole dual booting fad, why would someone go pay good money for a mac, only to install RadHat?

      For my part, it's because Apple produces excellent hardware, but their operating system isn't configurable enough. Most obvious example of this: focus behavior. Second most obvious example: vi /etc/passwd. OS X is better than Windows, in my opinion, and it's nice to have a Unix back end and a terminal window that's actually functional, but NetInfo and Aqua aren't innovative, they're restrictive.
    • by ChibiOne ( 716763 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:37AM (#14558674)
      I work as an Oracle technology consultant. The servers I deal with are all Linux distros.

      My notebook is an Apple iBook. Most of the time, the apps are more than enough to get my work done. Not to mention the stability I get from OS X Tiger.

      However, sometimes I wish I could install RedHat on my iBook, so I can test Oracle server products. As most of my work is done from afar, ssh'ing to the servers, it would be nice to be able to have a test environment before commiting any changes to current production servers' configuration.

      Why not use a typical Intel book for that? Because I just love the Tiger experience: great GUI, a cool Unix terminal at my disposal, and a set of multimedia tools that do what I want to do with my "digital life stuff" (iLife, Final Cut).

      It's cool that a lot of people work with open source software exclusively, and get to use their Linux distro of choice. But for those of us who need to use a particular distro AND also don't want to give up Tiger, the new Apple Intel machines are something to look forward to.

      • sometimes I wish I could install RedHat on my iBook, so I can test Oracle server products

        That's a really really good point. I do a lot of Oracle work and Linux gives me the closest to a portable server env that I can get. The idea of an Intel Mac revived my interest in Macs, particularly since the Crossover team is working on porting WINE to it, but I didn't stop to consider the other big closed source vendor I need to have, Oracle. I wonder if the Oracle X86 Linux binaries can be made to run on the Inte
      • Why can't you install RedHat on your iBook? The synopsis states that RedHats focus on getting on the Intel Mac machines is because they already support PowerPC.
    • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:57AM (#14558936)
      why would someone go pay good money for a mac, only to install RadHat?

      You're new here, aren't you?

      It's Because. We're. Geeks.

      Seriously, you've managed to find your way to Slashdot, you must at least have some understanding of the mindset that drives this kind of thing?

    • why would someone go pay good money for a mac, only to install RadHat?

      Because:

      • having one menu bar at the top of the screen is inappropriate for displays with ~1000 pixels in both directions
      • they hate DRM
      • they otherwise dislike/are frustrated by the whole "Mac Experience"
      • they'd like a whole bunch of software like LaTeX and other Free Software greats bundled
      • they like hacking on an operating system
      • they develop software for Linux
      • they know how a computer works

      and, Heaven forbid:

      • they actually like Linu
    • Dual-booting between MacOS X and Linux already exists for PPC Macs.
      So dual-booting isn't really all that exciting. What will be exciting
      is being able to have MacOS X, Linux and Windows running under Xen
      at the same time.

      So the real race is whether Xen/x86 will be supported on Intel Macs
      before Xen/PPC is supported on PPC Macs.
  • Ars being an arse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:23AM (#14558478) Journal
    It seems Ryan falls into the 'why run Linux on a Mac' camp - witness the pretty pie chart of "users that plan to install Linux on their new Macbooks"... It has two slices ... (a) Linux users who think Macs are pretty, and (b) Mac users who think a Linux partition makes them "L337"...

    Comments like "User demand for Linux on Apple's Intel-based hardware does exist within the dual-boot crowd, but I doubt that anybody wants to run Linux exclusively on their shiny new Macbook", and "pretty cases aside..." don't help either. There *are* people who only run Linux on their laptops (hell, I used to be one), but the vast majority of people I've ever asked dual-boot a laptop. Any x86 laptop, that is.

    I think it does a disservice to both Linux users and Mac users to dismiss the porting effort like this - people will buy Macs (when Windows eventually runs) to have the most-compatible machine (laptop or desktop). I think that's an advantage for the Mac (run corporate email and Final-Cut-Pro for example), and I think Linux has appeal too, at least, it does for me. I guess I don't really see the downside of the port...

    Simon.
    • That's not my reason at all. If I buy an intel Mac notebook, it's because of the ergonomics, the weight, the battery life, and Apple hardware support. If I can run Windows or Linux on it, that's a bonus. 75% of my notebook usage is on business trips where I just need something to run an office suite to create/edit documents and to do an occasional presentation. When it's not doing that, it's acting like an expensive DVD player while I'm stuck on long plane flights.

      I like the way they look and behave
    • Re:Ars being an arse (Score:5, Informative)

      by fak3r ( 917687 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:33AM (#14558624) Homepage
      Simon I agree, I'm tired of reading this crap, the whole "Who would run Linux on a Mac? OS X is Unix after all" type of comments do not help. The idea that anyone who does this hasn't seen what OS X has to offer, and after they will they'll dump Linux on the desktop. Other comments like "You can run all the apps you can run in Linux on OS X" also don't take into account that some people *prefer* to work in a Linux/BSD desktop environment. I'm sick of reading about how OS X is the best UI and such, while it's very nice, it's not for everyone. My main gripe is that it's not as configurable as desktops or window managers in Linux. I'm used to being able to change every thing I can so it's how I just like it, in OS X you're pretty much stuck with the options they allow you to tweak. But that's not just it, what is it is the *feel* of the OS. Yep, you can drop to a term and bang around, but wait, /User /Library...what the hell is this? Does it work for their intended audience? Sure, but people that talk down to ppl that suggest that Linux is a great fit on ppc/laptops are annoying; just because they don't get it doesn't mean it's not for anyone. Disclaimers: I run Ubuntu Linux / OS X (for iTunes to sync my iPod only) on my iBook (800mhz dual-usb) and it's a great fit with all hardware (perhaps save for the modem, I'm not sure) is supported. I can run iTunes from within Linux via Mac-on-linux, which gives me access to iTunes w/o having to leave Linux. Also, at work I *have* to run XP (yeah, I'm looking for another job right now) but I run bb4win - a blackbox desktop for Windows, which keeps me pretty happy.
      • The question should be who wants to hack Linux on a Mac?

        Because you're not hacking OS X.
      • Re:Ars being an arse (Score:5, Interesting)

        by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:14PM (#14559172)
        My main gripe is that it's not as configurable as desktops or window managers in Linux. I'm used to being able to change every thing I can so it's how I just like it, in OS X you're pretty much stuck with the options they allow you to tweak.

        Two things: one, I completely agree with your original point, re: installing Linux on OS X. Two, OS X is actually incredibly customizable; Apple doesn't provide options but I assure you it is very tweakable (for instance, all UI elements are stored as PDF snippits, easily replaced). You just gotta dig for it and do some research. Or use something like ThemeChanger and the million other Mac freeware UI-tweaker apps.

      • Re:Ars being an arse (Score:3, Interesting)

        by laffer1 ( 701823 )
        And in reality, many open source apps DO NOT run on OSX. Sometimes its assembly code which the intel macs will help with, but other times the develop wrote code specifically for linux. Heck try to get a recent kde or gnome install in OSX on their build of X11. You may ask why anyone would want to do that, well there are a lot of nice OSS apps out there.

        On a personal note, I love my mac for surfing, web design and iTunes but I also love a CLI once in awhile. terminal.app is not the same as a full screen
      • Simon I agree, I'm tired of reading this crap, the whole "Who would run Linux on a Mac? OS X is Unix after all" type of comments do not help.

        I agree with this. The fact is there are a number of reasons to want to dual boot a system, including lowering the cpu and memory footprint for a operation.

        The idea that anyone who does this hasn't seen what OS X has to offer, and after they will they'll dump Linux on the desktop.

        Well, to be perfectly fair, I know a lot of people who have dumped Linux on the d

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:59PM (#14560552) Homepage
        /User/Library...what the hell is this?

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like English. While I do appriciate that you can write /usr/lib and achieve the same, but for the middle ground between "point-and-click" and "mv cp df ps" TLA-user it might be easier to get at least *some* clue of what's going on. With tab-completion I'd probably prefer the latter after getting used to it.
    • For that matter, who other than Apple sells a machine you can run Linux on that has the whole computer in a flat panel display? Just because you're a Linux user doesn't mean you're not willing to pay more for hardware so that you can have more space on your desk. Apple's stuff is also quiet, and I bet the portion of Linux users who sleep in a room with a running computer is higher than that for other operating systems.
      • Apple's stuff is also quiet, and I bet the portion of Linux users who sleep in a room with a running computer is higher than that for other operating systems.

        I don't sleep in the basement!
    • Or my situation. I want to try mac, I need a new laptop, but I want to make sure I have linux to fall back on if I hate mac OSX. This is best of both worlds. I can try mac and if I hate it I can just drop right back to my good old ubuntu.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:25AM (#14558509)
    Red Hat Plans for Linux on Intel Macs
    1/25/2006

    Red Hat representative Gillian Farquhar announced last week that the company plans to add support for Apple's new Intel Macs to its popular distribution.
    Red Hat wants to ensure that its software will continue to run on new Apple hardware in the future.
    EFI support is theoretically possible, but is still in development.


    And to answer the question, Linux will be first.
    • EFI support is theoretically possible, but is still in development.

      Yeah, that means that somebody needs to sit down for 10 minutes with Grub 1.9x and an EFI based system. Most of us have been too busy to bother because our EFI systems also do legacy booting and thus the need isn't there. Now these macs are out and people do care...

      Elilo isn't the answer. It's a quick and dirty hack, and should be replaced anyway.

      I'm convinced people have already gotten Linux running on these machines. Most people just don't
      • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:53AM (#14558884) Journal
        Most linux distros for x86 dont include efi support in the default kernel so editing grub wont work. Also the El Torrito bios feature which boots cdroms is not available on the macs. So they wont boot and macosx uses its own method to boot from the cd's.

        You can get it to work if you use linux from scratch which is a pain in the ass and for experts only. My guess is Gentoo will be first since its developers are familiar with linux from scratch which gentoo evolved from. All they need is EFI support in the bootable kernel as well as efi cdrom support and instructions on how to configure grub for EFI.

  • yellow dog linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DarkClown ( 7673 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:25AM (#14558519) Homepage
    Since apple has autorized yellow dog linux to resell macs preloaded with linux on them it surprises me that they weren't given development versions to have it running already. Then again, powerpc is the yellowdog deal - although their homepage proclaims 'we have an answer' to the intel move without really elaborating on the boot situation....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Red Hat representative Gillian Farquhar announced last week that the company plans to add support for Apple's new Intel Macs to its popular distribution.

    Run shrek run... King Farquad is putting on his Red Hat!

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:28AM (#14558550) Homepage Journal
    You'd only ask which would run first if you don't know the history of Linux on Macs. Since we already have excellent Linux for PowerPC Macs, the device driver and BIOS issues have already been dealt with. So, it's absolutely trivial to put Linux on an i386-architecture Mac. But nobody seems to be considering Xen. Xen is what's going to be interesting on these platforms. You can run OS 10 and Linux simultaneously, and Windows too on CPUs that include hardware support for emulation.

    Bruce

    • Xen needs support coded in the kernel, so it won't ever be able to run Windows (unless Microsoft assimilate Xen).
      • Xen needs support coded in the kernel, so it won't ever be able to run Windows (unless Microsoft assimilate Xen).

        This is not an issue on CPUs that include hardware support for virtual system partitions. Intel has said it will include this support in future CPUs.

        Bruce

      • Xen needs support coded in the kernel

        Formerly, yes. But see below.

        so it won't ever be able to run Windows

        But you're wrong about that. Firstly, it's already been done. Xensource licensed the Windows source code, and made an in-house modified version to support Xen. Of course, they weren't allowed to distribute it, but as an internal proof of concept, it showed that it could be done. Secondly, though, Windows XP will run unmodified on Xen 3 on any Intel VT enabled processor. Since Xen 3 and modern CPUs

    • "Since we already have excellent Linux for PowerPC Macs, the device driver and BIOS issues have already been dealt with."

      Um, no.

      PowerPC Macs don't use BIOS; they use OpenFirmware. (Which Linux/ppc supports.)

      Intel Macs don't use BIOS, nor OpenFirmware. They use EFI.
    • "Since we already have excellent Linux for PowerPC Macs,
              the device driver and BIOS issues have already been dealt with"

      That makes no sense to me. It's a totally different BIOS (it's EFI not openfirmware, for starters) and I suspect it's not the same device driver set on the whole, though there might be some overlap
      • Linux already has EFI support. I think it was done for Itanium. I was using BIOS as a generic term. PC-centrists seem to think it refers only to IBM PC BIOS, which I believe is incorrect.

        Bruce

    • Until Xen can work without mods to the OS, you can't get it to host on anything but Linux (which HAS the mods available...) and it won't hypervisor for anything without mods (Again...)

      The ability to handle doing it's magic mojo without OS modifications is still waiting in the wings from AMD and Intel in the form of extra hardware to allow it to do it's thing.
      • As has been pointed out before, with processors that support the VT extensions (or AMD's equivalent) Xen will run unmodified OS's just fine. I believe the Intel chips with VT started shipping towards the end of last year.

        There will however be a performance gain if you have native Xen support.
      • I think you could get it to host on the Darwin kernel, which is Open Source after all, and you could wedge the modified kernel into OS 10.

        Bruce

  • The Answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:32AM (#14558606) Homepage Journal
    Why... Linux. But of course. It's always first in anything that's interesting in the IT industry. ;) 64-bit computing for the Intel desktop, Linux was there first. Internet connection sharing, Linux was there first. Remote application serving, Unix as a whole and Linux as a subset with the use of X Window System was there first. Unless Bill feels like licking Steve's ass again to get MS in first...
  • by pyros ( 61399 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:32AM (#14558609) Journal
    Does that mean there will finally be suspend/hibernate built in the default fedora kernels? I switched to Ubuntu around FC2 because they wouldn't add any patches like swsusp2 or DSDT-in-initrd, and I just couldn't get a funcitoning custom compiled kernel.
    • Look at the goals of Fedora. One is to not be so patch happy like the other distros and stay as close to upstream as possible. That means some stuff will be slower in. As for your 'insight' swsusp2 is already part of FC5 test I believe, so it's not a great leap of faith to expect it to be in FC5.
  • by mikeisme77 ( 938209 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:34AM (#14558635) Homepage Journal
    as long as you'll eventually be able to boot OS X, Linux, and Windows. When you can boot all major OSs (and the more fringe ones like Solaris and BSD) from one machine, then you know the route to go is to buy an Apple--no other manufacturer will allow you to do that. Apple considers themselves a hardware company, and having the choice of any and all OSs (and creating a multi-partition/multi-drive system that gives you all the ones you need/want to use for your various computing needs) will certainly help make them a very popular computer hardware company. I know I'm in for a laptop once this whole booting mess is solved (I might buy one before, but I don't have the disposable income to experiment with it and possibly fry my machine...) I wanted a machine with OS X any way for testing/graphics/video stuff (nothing heavy that needs a lot of power, just some lighter editing/graphic creation), but being able to use it for gaming (Windows) and having my friend Linux on it will sweeten the deal. If it turns out to be impossible to dual boot (which I doubt will be the case) then I'll just get the mac mini as it's cheap enough...
    • No. Apple doesn't consider itself a hardware company, nor does Apple consider itself a software company. Apple considers itself a Mac company. From this fact springs understanding of all that is Apple, its customers, and its market.
      • No. Apple doesn't consider itself a hardware company, nor does Apple consider itself a software company. Apple considers itself a Mac company. From this fact springs understanding of all that is Apple, its customers, and its market.

        Well, then, it's a good thing they don't consider themselves an iPod company. Because it sure seems like that's what most of their customers think whenever I go to an Apple Store.

  • by Anonymous Meoward ( 665631 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:42AM (#14558730)

    It doesn't seem to make much sense to me to have Linux take over the entire box.

    OS X is very stable, even if it's most common variant isn't server grade, and easier to administer. Paying Apple's hardware premium just to run Linux natively seems a tad screwy.

    I'm far more stoked about getting Virtual PC or VMWare for OS X/Intel. If I need Linux, then a penguin-powered virtual machine can be a client for OS X's X11 server. (May as well let the prettier GUI do all of the graphical heavy lifting, no?) The performance hit would be bearable on a Core Duo (one core for OS X, one for the VM), so long as disk access isn't somehow hobbled (e.g. the files used as "drives" in Virtual PC).

    Could someone explain to me what the advantages of booting Linux natively again would be here?

    • I love OS X. It's an awesome OS. But as another poster mentioned, the GUI is not built for power users--ask any fluxbox or evilWM user which GUI they'd prefer. I can configure my Linux desktop such that I rarely, if ever, have to touch the mouse. That's just not possible with OS X.

      So for me, that ability to do most of what I need to get done with Linux, in my uber-customized window manager, with a beautiful and typically silent box sitting on my desk, plus the ability to dual boot (or preferably vmware- or
    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:33PM (#14559450)
      "I'm far more stoked about getting Virtual PC or VMWare for OS X/Intel."

      I agree, for the vast majority of cases this will be a better solution than dual-boot.

      But in truth I'm more excited about Codeweavers intention to support Intel Macs [codeweavers.com]. I'd much rather just launch the single Windows app I want, and have it running rootless alongside with my OS X apps. Having the entire Windows desktop up there is pointless most of the time.
  • This raises the question of when we will see the Xserve line updated. The original Xserve was a very nice server and the update was even better.

    It seemed like Apple was going to make a serious push at getting it's servers taken seriously by business, but that seems to have been seriously side tracked. The current top of the line PowerMac [apple.com] is a more impressive machine than the "Ultimate" Xserve [apple.com].

    Will Red Hat's announcement revitalize the XServe and that push into mainstream business? I hope so and look forward
  • VMware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stitch ( 1429 )
    Okay,

    Linux running VMware with Windows as a client.

    I think that's enough for me to get by as a Windows developer without ditching the Macintosh. (Or needing to buy a PC again. Yay! )
  • by digidave ( 259925 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:57AM (#14558937)
    The blessing and curse with PCs, and Windows has this problem as well, has always been the plentiful hardware choices. Mac enthusiasts taunted PC users with their superior plug and play that was only made possible because of the limited hardware and controlled environment.

    Linux on PowerPC was never big enough nor important enough to reach that level of hardware support.

    Linux on Intel Macs might just do that. For one thing, there is a lot less work to do. Presumably Intel Mac Linux apps will be binary compatible with x86 Linux apps. This leaves the Linux developer community to work on hardware specifics and Mac plug and play compatibility. There is no reason why Linux can't work with all the same devices that work on Mac OS.
  • The real question is will Windows or Linux be first?

    Better yet, how sweet would it be to have a laptop that would boot Windows, OSX or Linux?

    Sweet.

  • OK, all I have to say is that I will name my first child after the one who first gives me a MacBook tri-booting (is that even a word/concept?) OS X/Linux/Windows XP Pro. Email me when it's done, and I'll send you my address... Hear that? Right now, someone on Slashdot just lost their social life. While others are surpised that someone here could actually produce a child.
  • "The real question is will Windows or Linux be first?" Both. The biggest hold-up for both of them is EFI. When a bootloader is modded to work with EMI, then both Linux and Windows should be bootable.
  • Nether! (Score:2, Funny)

    by nbritton ( 823086 )
    It'll run NetBSD first :-)

    Has anyone tried running Darwin / FreeBSD?


    --
    Please sign the native Flash player for FreeBSD petition:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/flash4me/petition.ht ml [petitiononline.com]
  • I run Linux on Intel, AMD64 and PPC hardware. I do that because I need/want to run Linux (FC4), and I'm not particular about the hardware brand - as long as the price and performance are right.

    Linux provides me user interface uniformity across the hardware, as well as access to the suite of application software that I need and want to use. It's not that difficult to understand.
  • by tscheez ( 71929 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:31PM (#14560246)
    Because once you get grub or elilo working with EFI, you would be able to boot what ever you want, windows, linux, whatever, since both of those boot loaders understand how to load windows. Would it really be that easy or am I missing something?

    I guess technically then linux would win that race.
     
  • I'm game (Score:3, Informative)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <alex.phataudio@org> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @02:06PM (#14560635) Homepage Journal
    I've been using Linux as my primary desktop for about 6 years now. I have owned OSX machines in the past, specifically the original powermac G5. Typically as far as laptops are concerned, I run thinkpads and single boot in to my preferred distro. If I could still run Linux as my primary and be able to boot in to OSX when I want to test something or run photoshop, that makes the new intel based macs a powerful solution.

    Just because OSX is unix based, doesn't make it a replacement for desktop Linux or vice versa. There are a lot of things, that are a whole lot easier for me to do in Linux, when compared to OSX.

    • Run the latest Java release
    • Have a total package management solution
    • Developer tools easly installable through package management
    • Run the latest Openoffice.org
    • Run a gnome desktop
    • Run Evolution
    People have different needs. OSX is a great OS, but its not the solution for everybody. PPC Linux has been around for a long time, but its always been a second class citizen. Being able to run OSX and Linux on one machine, where everything works, could be very powerful.

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.

Working...