I’ve used a 2010 MacBook Pro as my main laptop for a couple years, it’s old, slow, and the last version of macOS to support it is 10.13.6. I replaced my MacBook a little over a year ago, so it hasn’t been doing much lately.
So macOS 10.13, it’s ancient, at this point a lot of applications are dropping support, and it’s happening really fast too. I still use my 2010 MacBook Pro as my secondary laptop because it’s still quite useful as a little 13" laptop. It has tons of ports, and the size is great. Sadly it’s old, it has a Core 2 Duo P8800 and an NVIDIA GeForce 320M, I maxed out the RAM at 8GB and installed a 250GB SSD.
I decided to wipe macOS completely, and install Kubuntu on it to use as a secondary laptop. So far it’s been going well, I’ve tried other distros like Arch Linux, Gentoo, Debian, Fedora, and they don’t work nearly as well as the Ubuntu family.
Installation was pretty easy, I just burned Kubuntu to a DVD and booted it in legacy mode, why? So I didn’t have to do any hacks to make the NVIDIA GPU work properly. Installing from a DVD was quite a nostalgic experience. Something I don’t do too often..
Once booted I was able to share the ethernet connection from my Lenovo IdeaPad and run the Kubuntu installer. During installation it pulled the
broadcom-wl drivers. These seem to be fine at the moment, if there’s any problems I could use
b43 or a USB adapter. After installation I installed the NVIDIA 340 drivers and was up and running.
Using the proprietary NVIDIA 340 drivers which Ubuntu still maintains, performance seems to be decent. I would use
nouveau if it had better compatibility, and didn’t have graphical glitches with 3D acceleration.
What can I use this laptop for?
Well there’s lots of things, here’s a list:
- Web browsing
- Light programming
- Talking on chats
- Connecting to computers remotely (what I usually use it for)
- Light photo editing with Krita and GIMP
- Media consumption
- Most other things you can do on a laptop, just at a slower performance (it’s 11 years old)