“Dude, you got a Dell.” Please, don’t snicker.
No, I haven’t given up on Apple. I am still heavily entrenched in the Apple infrastructure, and have no intent of changing that. I still do lots of development on macOS, and will continue to do so for some time. But my next gig is heavily ops oriented, and I want to develop on something as close to what I will deploying on as possible. And you get a lot more hardware for your money at the expense of some quality and good looks when you buy non-Apple.
I settled on a Dell Precision 5520. It runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS out of the box - no driver woes! The Unity desktop sucks, so I went and grabbed the latest Cinnamon desktop from the Mint project. Now, it’s much more usable!
There are three minor problems that plagued me that took me a bit to figure out:
VirtualBox on Linux: When you have a Windows 10 virtual machine, make sure you don’t shut the VM down when it is maximized - there seems to be a driver issue that makes it difficult - if not impossible - to boot successfully again.
CrashPlan: I love CrashPlan, and it is my backup system of choice for everything, except Linux apparently. I am not sure if it misconfigures dnsmasq or does some other networking magic, but it completely hosed my networking stack. It took a bit of time to unravel this, but disabling the CrashPlan service was the easiest fix. I am hoping this will get resolved at some point.
Trackpad sensitivity: The trackpad is overly-sensitive under Linux (and that is a huge understatement!). Thankfully, I was able to find a good page to help get the settings straightened out.
And that’s it! Happy hacking to me! I’ll be sure to report any other issues I encounter along the way.