From Macbook to Linux (Linux installation process)


I was working regularly with Fedora Linux until I came to Berlin and I started having a Macbook for work, so most of my programming was done in Mac OS.
I have still another desktop computer for gaming and not serious stuff with Windows 10 because I don’t want to think about how to run games, I want them to just run

The new laptop / installing Linux

I bought a Dell Inspiron 13 7000, I choose Dell because the XPS line has Ubuntu OEM and the Inspiron has similar hardware, so I thought that I wouldn’t have many problems.

I chose to install Ubuntu because it’s the distribution that Dell is putting on their XPS line and I thought I had more support. I know the pain about having old versions of packages and the concept of having releases and not being on rolling release but for now it’s not a problem

Actual installation

On the first try I tried to use the net install, but without an Ethernet cable wasn’t going to be a success.

Second try was with the full live boot image but the hard drive was not found. I found a solution quickly on the Ubuntu Forum. I know that it’s not really a Linux fault but I just booted once Windows 10 for seeing if the laptop was working and now I need to change a lot of things that if I was a noob I would already gave up

After that everything was smooth and I booted on my new Ubuntu

After installation

After the installation I’m greeted by 2 different stores for my apps, I didn’t remember it since the last time I used Ubuntu on a workstation was in version 16.x. This is confusing at first, and still is confusing in which store I should search my stuff, but to be honest it’s quite nice to have a store for more “bundled applications” that you would otherwise go to the trouble of installing it in a weird way.

In the 2 stores I found everything that I need to work and leisure, this is actually a quite nice addition to the last time that I used a Linux distribution and had on my desktop quick link to stuff that I cloned from repos and scripts that were alerting me to check and update.

Problems after installation

For me the main problem after installation for a non technical person is battery life.

With a quick search I found this Medium post and I found a Gnome applet for quickly change the CPU governor and frequency of the CPU. To be honest I shouldn’t even care about it, I never needed to to do something like that in Mac Os, Windows or even Android.

Thankfully I’m not the only one that think about that, the Fedora team seems to be saving the day pretty soon, honestly this could be a reason for me to change distribution and go back to Fedora.

Nice things after installation

Even if I’m not running a lot of closed source drivers, I was pleasantly surprised that Ubuntu was asking me if I want them to use it and I actually installed with one click the OpenCL enabled driver for Intel.

VLC and proprietary codecs are a one click install, that’s nice.

Chromium is not painful anymore to install and I can have most of my extensions up and running in virtually no time