MacBook (4,1) on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

This page aims to describe the steps needed, to fully enable all features of the 4th Generation MacBook (hardware release date: early 2008) when using Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx (released in spring 2010).

IconsPage/terminal.png You can find out, what model you have by typing at the terminal:

sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name

If you have a MacBook, but a hardware revision other than 4.1, please go to the MacBook start page. If you have a different Intel CPU-based Macintosh Product, go to the Mactel Community Help Pages, to find the right wiki.


Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" comes with support for all hardware components of the MacBook 4.1. Compared to older Ubuntu versions, more features run out of the box. Sound is now fully supported, the microphone works right away. 3D-Desktop acceleration starts automatically, even when the desktop is extended by an external monitor. WLAN support and two-finger-scrolling with the touchpad can easily be configured in the system menu. A lot of other things have improved. It boots faster, browsing files on a device connected via bluetooth works more reliable, etc. Some things still have to be installed manually, for example the webcam.

Anything not mentioned here probably already works out of the box. If not, please refer to the Ubuntu Apple Users forum.

IconsPage/ok.png (works out-of-the-box)
IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png (works, with remarks)
IconsPage/warning.png (needs manual install)
IconsPage/dont.png (won't work)
IconsPage/question.png (not yet documented)


Function and Fn Keys

By default the function keys work as if the Fn key is always depressed. This is the default behaviour in Mac OSX, but can be annoying for those used to a Windows or Linux environment where the function keys are widely used.

To switch their behaviour to function key first, with media keys and keyboard shortcuts requiring Fn+Function, one must set the fnmode to the value 2.

To change the behaviour, open the file /etc/modprobe.d/hid_apple.conf and modify the options for hid_apple (create the file if it doesn't exist). If this doesn't work, see Apple Keyboard Guide.

IconsPage/terminal.png Open a terminal and edit the file /etc/modprobe.d/hid_apple.conf as root.

gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/hid_apple.conf

Add or modify the following line to set the fnmode to 2.

options hid_apple fnmode=2

Save and close the file, and run the initramfs update command to apply the change. A reboot is required to for the change to take effect.

sudo update-initramfs -u

Media keys and keyboard shortcuts

  • CD-eject, volume up/down, mute/unmute, forward, backward, play/pause work out of the box
  • Spaces: cmd+e
  • Application launch traditional: Alt+F2
  • Change Desktop: Ctrl+alt+left/right
  • Home, End, PgUp, PgDn, insert, delete: fn+ left/right/up/down/enter/backspace

No keyboard at login screen

Many have reported not being able to use the keyboard at the login screen. A workaround is described here. You may also need to switch the keyboard layout setting at the login screen to enable the keyboard.


To achieve familiar behavior with the Apple trackpad go to System -> Preferences -> Mouse and select the Touchpad tab. Select Disable touchpad while typing. Deselect Enable mouse clicks with touchpad. Select Two-finger scrolling.

To "right-click", touch the trackpad with two fingers and click.

By default, the trackpad may not sense your finger unless you press on it. To fix this, run "synclient FingerLow=10" and "synclient FingerHigh=20" in the terminal. To make this change permanent: run "sudo gedit /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf" Find the touchpad section and add these two lines to the end of the section:

  • Section "InputClass"
            Identifier "touchpad catchall"
            MatchIsTouchpad "on"
            MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
            Driver "synaptics"
            Option "FingerLow" "10"
            Option "FingerHigh" "20"


To enable wireless you need to install the restricted Broadcom STA driver. If you don't have wired internet access, download these packages using another computer:

  1. http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/patch

  2. http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/dkms

  3. http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/bcmwl-kernel-source

Install them in this order (by double clicking them). Then restart the computer.

Suspend & Hibernate

Suspending to RAM and Hibernating to disk works out-of-the-box, but the mouse freezes on resume and thaw.

To fix this issue, do the following:

  1. Create the script macbook.sh in the folder /etc/pm/sleep.d:

    sudo gedit /etc/pm/sleep.d/macbook.sh
  2. Add the following contents to the file:
    case $1 in
                    #reset mouse drivers
                    /sbin/rmmod appletouch
                    /sbin/modprobe appletouch
  3. Make the script executable:
    sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/macbook.sh


The iSight webcam is internally connected to the USB bus. It only works, if the operating system loads it with a so called firmware. A binary file containing the firmware can be extracted from the OS X installation, see:


You can test iSight with for example "cheese".


MacBook (Early 2008) - Technical Specifications


MacBook4-1/Lucid (last edited 2013-12-14 01:10:50 by knome)