[clug] Linux/UNIX laptop?

blazs at netspeed.com.au blazs at netspeed.com.au
Mon Dec 27 13:33:40 GMT 2004

Hi Pearl,

Quoting Pearl <pearl.louis at anu.edu.au>:

> do Macs run Linux programs?  Besides the general desktop Linux stuff like 
> Gimp, how well does Mac OS X do as a science orientated UNIX laptop?  For 
> example, does it have a free Fortran 90 compiler like the Intel one for PCs?

Mac OS X is BSD Unix variant based on the Mach kernel.  AFAIK as long as you can
get the source code package (via fink [http://fink.sourceforge.net/] or
darwinports [http://darwinports.org/]) you should be able to build it, though a
lot of programs also come with already built binary versions.  If you're after
the latest versions of programs then it's best to build it yourself.
> Will the Fortran 90 programs from Numerical Recipes for UNIX/Linux work on a
> Mac fine?

In the way of Fortran...in fink there is a program called gfortran which is a
GNU Fortran 95 compiler...no idea how good it is though or if that is of help to
you =]...just thought I mention it after having a quick look through fink.

I don't think you can go wrong with the laptops from Apple...I use one myself to
run a mixture of Apple proprietory, and open source software, under Mac OS X. 
Their only drawback is having to use a closed/proprietory operating system but
it is one that is very capable of running open source software.  If you wish to
actually run Linux, not all of the laptop components are supported, though there
are ways around some of the limitations, and getting better all the time (some
people in CLUG have experience with getting Linux to run on the Apple laptops
who I'm sure will be glad to help you out if you decide to go in this direction).

Other option in the way of laptops are IBM Thinkpads, basically the ones that
you see Tridge and few of the others at CLUG running around with.  They seem to
run Linux quite nicely and AFAIK have excellent Linux support.

There is also a Linux website [http://www.linux-laptop.net/] dedicated to
running Linux on laptop, which I'm sure should be able to point you in the right
direction.  Just watch out for the dancing peguin...he's just too 'grooovy'!!! ;-)

Hope that helps,

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