i tried to set up a Macbook PRO with ubuntu 12.04 and setting up was easy as pie except for a slew of trackpad issues i could never resolve, particularly resting thumb on trackpad while navigating resulted in skipping issues.

Now im in the market for an ultrabook and a macbook air is what i'm leaning towards but not if its going to be a problem ith ubuntu 12.04/12.10 -- any ideas how well the trackpad works or how to get the trackpad to behave perfectly?


After one year with 11.04/11.10 and now 12.10 on my MacBook Air, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

Yes, the MacBook Air has wonderful hardware. But the hassle of Ubuntu behaving a little more strangely every time I'd download a firmware update through OSX has convinced me that my next machine will be a Lenovo X1, which has comparable hardware to the Air these days. The other, minor, hassle is that the Air still requires quite a few post-install tweaks before it's usable. Thankfully that's a one-time fix -- and it's been automated for some time.


From everything I have read the Asus Zenbook Prime out performs the Mac Air 2012 in most tests stock and you can even upgrade it if you were feeling daring and wanted to take the intricate pieces apart. Some customization shops do this for you and still give you a warranty. Might be worth looking at especially since they also sometimes install your operating system of choice. For me that is the only other ultrabook that even comes close to the quality and performance/style of a mac air. Last bonus is you actually get 2 track pad buttons :D jk It would be nice if Asus offically supported Ubuntu like some Dell or System 76 systems. Another bonus to getting the Asus Prime is the price. Check out the reviews of both and find out what works best for you.

  • Awesome suggestion. However im finding Asus Zenbook Prime to be even more expensive than the air? But thanks for the insight.
    – fuzzie
    Aug 20 '12 at 16:34
  • @fuzzie there are a few different models of the Zenbook Prime, with different memory and hard disk sizes. The base model is similarly priced to the base Air, but I don't think I would advise getting either base model. Aug 20 '12 at 19:01

I haven't kept up with the latest Apple hardware, and so can't be sure if my experience with a late 2010 MacBook Air will translate over, but everything except graphics works perfectly on my MacBook Air. The problem with graphics is explained here. Trackpad works perfectly; in fact, there has been several important improvements in the synaptics driver since I first installed 12.04, such as fixing inertial scrolling and enabling drag select.

You might find installing Ubuntu on the Air difficult unless you are aware of this.

  • thanks for the links, will review. I tried several solutions for the macbook pro but to no avail.
    – fuzzie
    Aug 20 '12 at 16:35
  • @fuzzie Each Mac model (and even revision) tends to have its own "solution" for installing Ubuntu. Generally you want to wait at least several months after a new revision to see what progress has been made. You can do this by following the relevant discussion on the Ubuntu forums (ubuntuforums.org). Note I'm not advocating getting a Mac; installing Ubuntu and getting it to work properly can be something of a pain on a Mac. But in making your decision, you should be aware that it's not as difficult as it used to be. Aug 20 '12 at 18:56

I am in the same position you are; trying to determine if installing Ubuntu 12.04 on a Macbook Air 13'' (2012) will be easy.

The Macbook Air 13 hardware is great. It is light; the screen is clear and not very glossy.

I am currently beginning to consider other laptops like the Samsung Series 9 and Dell XPS 13. The Dell XPS 13 supports Ubuntu 12.04 very well according to recent articles on the interweb.

Good luck!

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