Putting in and Working Ubuntu on a 2015-ish MacBook Air

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So just a few months in the past kiddo one dropped an apparently pretty massive cup of espresso onto her one and solely trusted laptop. With just a few months (then) to commencement (which by now occurred), and with the obvious “genuis bar” verdict of “it’s a goner” a brand new one was ordered. Because it seems this supposedly useless one coped nicely sufficient with the espresso in order that after just a few weeks of drying it booted once more. However give the newer one, its obvious age and whatnot, it was deemed surplus. So I poked round somewhat on the interwebs and conclude that sure, this might work.

Quick ahead just a few months and I lastly received maintain of it, and had a while to play with it. First, a bootable usbstick was ready, and the machine’s content material was actually (actually, and examine once more: actually) not wanted, I received maintain of it for good.

tl;dr It really works simply fantastic. It’s a little heavier than I believed (and isn’t “air” speculated to be weightless?) The ergonomics appear fairly good. The keyboard is first rate. Display-resolution on this pre-retina easy Air is so-so at 1440 pixels. However battery stay appears okay and e.g. the digicam is means higher than what I’ve in my trusted Lenovo X1 or at my desktop. So simply as a zoom consumer it could make quite a lot of sense; in any other case simply strolling round with it as a fast transportable machine appears excellent (particularly as my Lenovo X1 nonetheless (ahem) suffers from one damaged key I actually need to repair…).

Beneath are some evenly edited notes from the set up. Preliminary steps had been fast: possibly an hour or much less? Customizing a machine takes longer than I remembered, this took a couple of minutes right here and there fairly just a few instances, however at all times incremental.

Preliminary Steps

  • Obtain of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS picture: took just a few moments, even on broadband, feels slower than regular (quick!) Ubuntu bundle updates, possibly lesser CDN or unhealthy luck

  • Startup Disk Creator utilizing a so-far unused 8gb usb drive

  • Plug into USB, recycle energy, press “Choice” on macOS keyboard: voila

  • After a fast hunch… no to ‘stay/check solely’ and sure to put in, complete disk

  • set up simple, only a few questions, someway skips wifi

  • so activate wifi manually — and everythings just about works

Customization

  • First take care of ‘fn’ and ‘ctrl’ key swap. Set up git and adopted this github repo which labored simply fantastic. Yay. First (guide) Linux kernel module construct wanted want in … half a decade? Longer?

  • Hearth up firefox, go to ‘obtain chrome’, set up chrome. Register. Activate syncing. Signal into Pushbullet and Momentum.

  • syncthing which is superb. Initially through apt, later from their PPA. Spend a while remembering the best way to arrange the mutual handshakes between units. Now syncing desktop/server, lenovo x1 laptop computer, android telephone and this new laptop computer

  • keepassx through apt and arrange utilizing Sync/ folder. Now all (encrypted) passwords synced.

  • Found synergy now longer actually free, so after a fast search discovered and put in barrier (through apt) to have one keyboard/mouse from desktop attain laptop computer.

  • Added emacs through apt, to this point ‘empty’, so config recordsdata but

  • Added ssh through apt, have to propagate keys to github and gitlab

  • Added R through add-apt-repository --yes "ppa:marutter/rrutter4.0" and add-apt-repository --yes "ppa:c2d4u.workforce/c2d4u4.0+". Added littler after which RStudio

  • Added wajig (apt frontend) and byobu, each through apt

  • Created ssh key, shipped it to server and github + gitlab

  • Cloned (not-public) ‘dotfiles’ repo and linked some dotfiles in

  • Cloned git repo for nord-theme for gnome terminal and put in it; additionally added it to RStudio through this repo

  • Emacs put in, activated dotfiles, then incrementally set up just a few elpa-* packages and some M-x package-install together with nord-theme, after all

  • Put in JetBrains Mono font from my very own native bundle; activated for Gnome Terminal and Emacs

  • Set up gnome-tweak-tool through apt, adjusted just a few settings

  • Ran gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences focus-mode 'sloppy'

  • Arrange digicam following this handy GH repo

  • Sooner or later additionally added slack and zoom, as a result of, nicely, it’s 2020

  • STILL TODO:

    • docker
    • hassle with electronic mail setup?,
    • possibly atom/code/…?

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