Finally getting a dedicated Linux laptop


I’ve been using Macbooks for the past decade. Over the past couple decades I’ve switched back and forth between PCs and Macs a couple times. My last 2 Macs had hardware failure and I just didn’t want to keep paying the Apple premium. But more than that, I’ve really come to loathe the Mac walled garden. I broke out earlier this year by switching from iPhone to Android. I’ve also gone back and forth between the 2 over the years. Both have their issues and leave something to be desired, but I have to say that I really found it liberating and less confined feeling to be using Android. There are more apps that do what I want, in a way that I want, without dealing with the constant iOS BS.

With that experience in mind, I told myself I will switch back to Linux the next time I need to get a new laptop. My Macbook was working fine until I spilled coffee on it. It kept chugging along for a few more months before it just stopped charging. I looked into getting it repaired, but Apple doesn’t really want to repair devices anymore. They just want you to buy a new one. That’s what happened to me in 2020 when my sweet 15” Macbook failed for now reason besides faulty logic board design. At that time, I had no choice, I was in school and needed a new device. I bit the bullet, bought a new one, which then only made it about 18 months before getting overcaffeinated.

For less than what it cost to repair my Macbook ($700) I was able to buy a used, like new Lenovo X1 Carbon, Gen 6 ($500). While it’s an older model, it’s known to run Linux well, and likely does everything I need.

Because I have a Macbook for work, it’s also less of an abrupt departure, since I’ll still be using Mac everyday for work. At this point, I don’t mind using Mac for work. In fact, I like it’s simplicity, and don’t have to worry about data privacy issues in the same way, as it’s work, not personal related matters.

With all that being said, I’ll start using this space to make note of what I did to get my laptop running, and projects that I’d like to work on.

Most everything worked out of the box. I had to use the tools from this site to get the thumbprint reader working:


My main goals are to use the device for better access to Photos and Videos, for editing and also viewing and organization.

In addition, I’m trying to setup common app usage, such as email. I’m currently using Geary and also Evolution.

Geary is slightly cleaner and more modern. But it has a couple design issues I’d love to see improved.

  1. Introduce a color and letter icon next to each email to help visually differentiate messages (I really like K-9’s design for Android).
  2. Have keyboard shortcuts for some of the common actions, such as archive