macbook pro

thursday, 30 june 2016

intel based macbook pro’s make good Linux laptops. But some configuration is required to tune their installation.

fan control

out of the box, Linux Macbooks tend to run their CPU fans rather incessantly – it is not a subtle sound. To better sync the fan to CPU utilization, install mbpfan-git from the Archlinux AUR (or similar), then..

sudo modprobe applesmc sudo modprobe coretemp echo applesmc | sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/applesmc.conf echo coretemp | sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/coretemp.conf sudo systemctl enable mbpfan sudo systemctl start mbpfan

Macbook Pro’s run notoriously hot. You don’t want to run them on your lap unless you are facing a winter chill. Fan control doesn’t alleviate this characteristic of Macbooks but it does minimize the annoyance of an unnecessarily full throttled fan.


to restore rudimentary touchpad gestures, install the xf86-input-synaptics package. Then configure the Xorg file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/60-synaptics.conf with..

Section "InputClass" Identifier “touchpad catchall” Driver “synaptics” MatchIsTouchpad “on” MatchDevicePath “/dev/input/event*” Option “SHMConfig” “on” Option “TapButton1” “1” Option “TapButton2” “3” Option “TapButton3” “2” Option “PalmDetect” “on” Option “VertEdgeScroll” “off” Option “HorizEdgeScroll” “off” Option “CornerCoasting” “off” Option “EdgeMotionUseAlways” “off” EndSection

This provides 2 finger scrolling and button tapping gestures.

startup chime and grub

by default, macbooks power up with a very distinctive chime sound, then perform an EFI boot sequence which results in a significant delay before the legacy GRUB boot loader is found to load Linux (if you install Linux the most common way without using the EFI).

If you find the startup chime annoying and want to run stealth, on boot up, press <Option-Command-P-R> to reset the firmware (if necessary). Then, using the OSX install disk, boot up while pressing the C key to load the OSX installer and open a utilities terminal window.

Enter the following to suppress the startup chime and avoid the default EFI loader delay..

nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80 bless --device /dev/disk0s2 --setboot --legacy

In my case, I allocated a swap partition in /dev/disk0s1, hence, GRUB will be found in /dev/disk0s2.

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