Xubuntu 16.04 LTS on black MacBook (2008)

I have a MacBook now.

Granted, it’s a almost obsolete as it’s 8yrs old and has an un-updateable version of Mac OS X, but I have one. And it’s one of the rarer black models from early 2008. A bit of spit and polish has made it almost as good as new. It also has extra value in being from a famous friend, who now has a gorgeous MacBook Air.

The battery doesn’t last quite as long as it must’ve but it’s been fun to tinker with OS X on my own, and it’s not hard for a nearly-25yr Windows veteran to get to grips with. But to really make this more usable I decided to mess with its metaphorical brain. I partitioned the disk and put Linux on it. Which is a bit sacrilegious to some.

I first used Ubuntu 10 years ago and last used it 4 years ago, the last iteration being the very lightweight Lubuntu for my sold-off netbook. I decided to put Xubuntu on this MacBook as it’s capable of running heavier than Lubuntu, but classic Ubuntu with the Unity GUI might be pushing it.

After a bit of reading, installation was pretty painless. I burnt a Xubuntu CD, got the MacBook to boot it up to test all was good (it was, apart from WiFi which needed a proprietary driver that was acquired on installing), told it to install to the free space from partitioning, and I was good to go. So as well as respectfully keeping OS X on there I can (with the aid of rEFInd) now boot in to a modern OS with modern applications. And it looks better than the OS X which was last updated in 2009!

I’m not whooping too much though as I know that a machine approaching a decade is unlikely to last too long on the hardware side, but hey, it was free. I didn’t have a laptop. I didn’t have an Apple, and I didn’t have Linux. I have it all in one now. Let me enjoy my parade.


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