Derp Ops -- The blog of Jesse Keating

A computer, bike, and climb nerd living in the Pacific Northwest. I do cloudy things with computers, currently at GitHub.

View on GitHub
23 May 2012

Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life...

by Jesse Keating

I can feel it coming in the Air tonight...

Excuse me a moment whilst I rock out to a killer electronic drum riff.

still there?  Ok.

I've had a Macbook Air for a while now, not the original air, but the first redesign of it (sadly just before they did another redesign with a better chipset and backlit keyboard, oh well).  When I first got it, I went a little crazy, and setup a triple boot system, OS X, Windows (Vista), and Fedora.  Sadly, Fedora didn't work so hot.  There were graphics issues, sound issues, touchpad issues, wireless issues, I mean, I think the issues had issues.

So instead of fighting all those issues, I did something even more silly.  I found a virt software set in OSX that would allow me to attach a real partition to the guest.  I setup a virtual disk image to do a minimal install of Fedora in, then edited the grub config so that it would actually load up the real disk partition as /.  This actually worked, surprisingly well.  I spent most the time in OSX with various X11 applications ran through ssh, and of course ssh'd into the guest to do all my command line work.  It still felt dirty though.  I would also let the guest boot up into graphical mode and make that go full screen in OSX Lion, which gave the illusion of using Linux native on the hardware.  The upside was that the touchpad worked pretty well, and there weren't network issues.  Video still sucked, no gnome-shell for me.

When I picked out the Air, I was thinking that it would be nice to have some hardware that was not the normal around the water cooler, so that we had a broader set of systems being used every day.  I actually thought I could do something to fix issues that came up.  Ha, hah.  Turns out the most useful thing I could do was hand the system off to people who knew what they were doing.

Enter Super Hero mjg who decided (or got tasked with, I'm not sure which) that making Fedora work on Apple hardware like my Air was a thing he would do.  And he sure did!

So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you've been

That's the Fedora 17 Final (RC3) Desktop Live image being installed to my Air.  It couldn't have been easier.  dd the iso to a USB stick, boot holding down option, plug in the stick (because I forgot to do that first) and pick the Fedora Media.  Anaconda did all the right things (even when I didn't) and I now have a simple dual booting macbook.

F17 looks awesome.  First time I've really used shell, and I like it.  Audio works, graphics work, webcam works, touch pad (mostly) works, even the brightness and volume buttons work.  I can't wait to haul it down to my local Starbucks on my bike, then show it off to my hipster friends, because you see, I was using Fedora on my Air before it was cool.

Well I've been waiting for this moment for all my life....