PC-BSD

I’ve been wanted to get back to where we started, specifically my MacBook Air (MBA) and doing something with the spare partition I created when I setup eOS, but I hadn’t really found the time or decided what I was going to use it for.

Given FreeNAS runs on FreeBSD I thought that was probably the most sensible option, so decided to give PC-BSD a shot, mainly as I expected that to be a lot easier than trying to install FreeBSD and then get a desktop environment up and running (although I had managed that in a virtual machine running a Xfce desktop).  If PC-BSD works, then maybe I’ll try that next.

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Episode IV – A New App?

I’ve decided to try and break this down into 2 blogs, and as a small homage to the greatest film ever made I’m calling the first one Episode IV!  

I thought it would be useful to understand what I use in macOS before diving into the alternatives available in eOS.  This is likely to be a real deal-breaker, as I know some of the things I use daily just don’t exist outside macOS, but let’s cover off some of this to begin.  

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Where to begin?

Another great question!  I guess my aim is to see if I could live in eOS should there come a time when I feel the need to ditch macOS.

I’m not going to get into the applications too much in the post and will save that for later when I have a nice and stable system that’s doing most of what I want.  Needless to say, I know I’m not going to get some software that runs permanently on my Mac, but I know of alternatives for some (e.g. MS Office) and will be interested to see if new ones exist for others (e.g OmniFocus – I’d really really miss that!)

One of the reasons I love macOS so much is the interaction with the enormous trackpad.  If you’ve never used an Apple trackpad you don’t know what you’re missing.  If you have, you know what I mean.  Using 2, 3 and 4 finger gestures is something I’d really miss and I’m going to try and tackle this early on.  It’s one of the things that might have broken the 1st (undocumented) attempt, so I don’t want to get too far in only to find I break ‘take 2’

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Installing Linux

I’m sure there are several ways to do this and hundreds of Linux distributions to choose from, but this is how I’ve done it for eOS:

1. Download eOS ISO file from > https://elementary.io  They’d like you to make a donation to ongoing development, which I don’t have a problem with as I plan on trying to live with it for a time.  If you’re just wanting to test things out, you can enter a value of £0 and still download.

2.  Burned the ISO file to a blank DVD-R in macOS (simply right-click the ISO file and select Burn to Disc from the menu)

3. Booted MBA to new rEFInd menu with connected Apple SuperDrive and ISO disk inserted

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Prepare to dual boot with rEFInd

Right, macOS (10.12 Sierra if you’re interested) is installed on the MBA. Pretty straightforward once I’d destroyed the whole partition on the SSD.

Pretty sure I’d messed things up trying to boot back into eOS and when I tried to remove the ext4 partition for Linux using Disk Utility from the SSD recovery partition it wouldn’t unmount. Couldn’t fix through terminal either using diskutil, so eventually booted from the USB HDD and zapped the whole SSD!  Maybe a little drastic but it had been frustrating me for a good few hours and it got me back to the same point.

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