Lazyweb: Best Linux distro for a 2015 MacBook Pro?

Apple has decided that my 2015 MacBook Pro isn’t deserving of the latest macOS, so I’m looking to run Linux on it to get a few more years out of it. My first plan was to put Fedora on it, but Fedora 36 and 37 have failed to “set a new efi boot target.”

Chrome OS Flex installed just fine, but I don’t know if I want to stick with Chrome OS long-term. It’ll do if all I use it for is couch surfing, but I might like to turn this machine into a home server running a few VMs or similar.

Wondering which Linux distros are particularly good with old Intel-based Macs. I have a 27″ Intel iMac that’s likely to lose support with the next macOS release, and I’d like to get as many years out of it as the hardware will bear. It’s only a Core i5, but it has 64GB of RAM and would make a decent home server running test VMs as well.

Also open to suggestions on workarounds for the efi boot target issue. I haven’t found anything good by googling but maybe somebody has some info I’ve missed.

5 thoughts on “Lazyweb: Best Linux distro for a 2015 MacBook Pro?

  1. You could try booting the ISO using Ventoy. I have a 2009 MacBook that has a temperamental UEFI which refuses to boot certain ISOs (like KDE Neon), but I can (usually…) boot anything using the GRUB2 mode that Ventoy includes.

    You could also ignore Apple’s minimum requirements for macOS and use OpenCore Legacy Patcher. I also did that on the same 2009 MacBook, bringing it from 10.13 to 12. It runs a bit janky, but that’s probably because the Core 2 Duo on that machine simply isn’t enough for macOS anymore.

    If all else fails, well, maybe you could try Arch Linux ;p

    1. The problem isn’t that I can’t boot – it’s that during install it fails to install the bootloader. Maybe I’ll look into OpenCore, but I’m fine using Linux on it as long as I can get Linux on it.

      1. I hadn’t read the linked thread before commenting, sorry. I really need to stop doing that.

        Looking through the log on the thread, it seems that the boot loader files are installed and GRUB is configured, but then efibootmgr (the program that creates the boot loader entries on the firmware) fails for some reason. But as long as you can run that shimx64.efi file, you should be able to boot into the installed OS.

        Try booting a rEFInd live USB after a failed install, it should be able to automatically find that file in your EFI system partition. If it boots, then you might be able to manually create the boot entry through efibootmgr from inside Fedora. Keyword being “might”, because this sounds like some sort of bug in efibootmgr.

  2. I just installed Fedora 37 (Silverblue) on my 2015 MacBook Pro (have been running Fedora on it for years). I did notice the error during install but upon reboot everything worked fine so I just forgot about it.

    The biggest problems with it at this point:
    – webcam doesn’t work, but that’s not new with F37
    – waking up from suspend takes a long time. like 5 minutes

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