Well, do you have an aging MacBook Air, like the 2011 A1369? Are you annoyed that there are no manufacturer updates for the operating system? There’s a way to use the device for many more years with the latest software: Install Linux.

I have installed Fedora Linux version 31 on my MacBook Air. I have completely removed macOS. With 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD and a 4-core Intel Core i5-2557M CPU Linux runs smoothly with the Gnome Desktop.

Hardware Compatibility

The following functions work in Fedora 31 without further ado:

  • UEFI: Fedora Linux does not require a separate EFI bootloader such as rEFIt.
  • Video: The integrated Intel GPU worked immediately. Displayport out works.
  • Audio: no problems.
  • WLAN: no problems.
  • Bluetooth: No problems.
  • Webcam: No problems.
  • Keyboard: No problems. The Apple-specific assignment can be selected during installation.
  • Energy management: When the lid is closed, the device goes into standby. Battery indicator works.

Problems with the following functions:

  • SSD: The Fedora installation program could not remove the existing macOS partitions. It was necessary to go to recovery mode with cmd+r and use the disk utility to remove the existing partitions. After that, partitioning ran smoothly in Fedora Linux.

The following functions are not supported:

  • Secure Boot and TPM: Unfortunately there is no Secure Boot and no TPM. Therefore there is no possibility to unlock encrypted partitions automatically via TPM key.
  • Thunderbolt: Device seems not to be present.

Performance

Since the old battery was completely defective, I ordered a spare part from iFixit. It lasts for many hours with average usage. Surfing the Internet and watching videos in Full HD are no problem, because the Core i5 processor is more than up to these tasks. All in all, I’m really impressed with the performance of the 8-year-old device.

I also installed TLP for advanced power management. This can be done with the following commands on the command line:

sudo dnf -y install tlp
sudo systemctl enable tlp.service --now
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