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I am a software engineer who is at a new company, and my boss is about to order a computer for me. I will be doing most of my work on Linux, and my experience with Linux has always been that I wipe Windows and install Linux (Ubuntu), or I dual boot Windows and Linux. My personal computer is Mac, and I like various things about a Mac, but I am afraid that I will encounter more issues with booting Linux onto a Mac than onto a PC. I have already encountered a screen resolution issue with my MacBook Retina screen and a virtual machine of Ubuntu (using VMware). I also currently cannot detect USB cameras on this virtual machine. Additionally, a colleague of mine who seems to have more "I.T." knowledge than I mentioned in passing that there are various issues with booting Ubuntu onto a Mac.

Am I correct in shying away from booting Linux Ubuntu on a Mac, and going with a PC?

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    Kind of sounds like you are already answering your own question. :)
    – acejavelin
    Aug 2, 2018 at 21:47
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    My brother's... MacBookPro13,2? needed a special driver for the keyboard. For the G****M F*****G KEYBOARD. Aug 2, 2018 at 22:03
  • I find it funny how people use "PC" to specify it's windows. "My personal computer is mac". "personal computer". Heh. Get it? ... Anyway, if you already have a mac I'd definitely not get another. That way you just have both which IMO is always a good option. Also agreeing with the people above me, macs come with way more compability issues than regular PCs under linux.
    – confetti
    Aug 2, 2018 at 23:00

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It really depends on what you need for work. If you want to be able to write for windows, linux, and Mac. Then Mac is the right choice as it gives you all three options. If you only need linux then it depends on the hardware you are looking for so take a look at the various machines from a hardware spec standpoint and figure out who's machine as the right specs for what you want. With the new MacBook Pro specs it's really hard to beat, but if you don't need that or it's not an option pick the right specs for what you are doing.

I have been running a Mac for years, and I just boot under VMware the other operating systems I need. I have not had trouble with external devices plugged in. I have run a secondary operating system off an external drive with VMware at times as well.

I also know others that dual boot their Mac so instead of using VMware they natively run either windows or linux.

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In my limited experience of using Ubuntu and Windows 7/10 on VirtualBox (I know, I know, different VM software) on my MacBook Pro Retina 2015, issues with hardware drivers and the like seem to generally disappear when using the same OS's in a full dual boot.

However, after doing some cursory research, it seems that the new MBP's with touch bars are definitely having driver issues with Ubuntu. I don't know anything about the newest MBP lineup, as they've had some major low-level changes with chipsets and the like, but I'd definitely do some more searching regarding compatibility.

If you really do want to try a Mac, however, Apple has a no-questions-asked full-refund return policy for 14 days after the date of purchase. You could ask your boss to buy a new MacBook Pro and use it for a week to see how things are working out, and return it if you're having any issues with Ubuntu.

The other option is you go for a Windows computer right off the bat; that way you'll definitely have lower chances of issues, but won't necessarily have that return policy and definitely won't have access to OSX.

In the end, it's your call.

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  • Thanks. I'm not sure why you're getting down voted. You provided useful information. Aug 13, 2018 at 23:52

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