MacBook 4,1 and Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty)

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 different model, please go here and find the right wiki.


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

  • Feature

    Support status

    Wireless (AirPort)

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Desktop Effects (Unity)


    Touchpad (appletouch)

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Keyboard functions (Brightness,volume,...)





    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Suspend & Hibernate


    CD/DVD Writing




    External Monitor



    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Apple USB 56K Modem


    Apple Remote Control

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

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)

Basic Installation Instructions

Common things about installing and maintaining Ubuntu on Intel-based Macs: Intel CPU-based Macintosh Generic Installation Instructions, but remember that rEFIT supports this MacBook only from 0.12.

Wireless (AirPort)

To enable wireless you need to install the restricted Broadcom STA driver.

Open and choose Broadcom STA in:

  • Applications -> System -> Additional Drivers

if you already chose to install restricted software during Ubuntu's installation, the wireless card is automatically working.

Desktop Effects (Unity)

Works out the box


Left-click, right-click (two finger)use and basic trackpad work out of the box.

To enable two finger scrolling and tap to click:

  • Applications -> Themes & Tweaks -> Mouse -> Touchpad

Fill in circle for Two-finger scrolling and if you want horizontal scrolling check that box as well.


According to this thread Macbook hotter in linux than in OSX Macbooks running Ubuntu get hotter than in OS X. Swedishwings (Fan control for mactel-support repo) has created the following solution (from the Mactel PPA repository Mactel PPA repository):

sudo apt-get install macfanctld 


Stereo sound works out of the box.

Optical Audio Output

Optical Audio Oputput is always on. If you look INTO the headphone jack-hole, you'll see a red light.

To disable it, run 'alsamixer' in a terminal. There should be a switch called S/PDIF that you can turn off, press m to mute.

To save the profile:

$ sudo alsactl store

To restore the profile:

$ sudo alsactl restore

As highlighted on this thread Volume problems we will need to launch restore command on startup.

Open and choose 'Add' in:

  • System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications

Then enter the following details for each field:

Name: alsactl

Command: alsactl restore

Comment: fix for pulse

Click 'Save'.


Suspend works out of the box, lifting the clamshell does auto-wake.

Hibernate not tested Hibernate does not work in comination with rEFIt (or at all?), because the resume code doesn't get triggerd and it boots normal.

Remote Control

Install gnome-lirc-properties:

sudo apt-get install gnome-lirc-properties

gnome-lirc-properties will give you an entry "Infrared Remote Control" in menu System > Administration. After launching this it will guide you through the configuration. Tested with remote model No A1156 (Apple remote): gnome-lirc-properties detects the signals (with some models the Enter button is detected as an additional Play button). Although this seems to work, the remote does not actually control any applications, like the Totem Movie Player - more testing is required. Could be that the key-binding are incorrect


works fine out-of-the-box


Works out the box. Bug in natty prevents Bluetooth Preferences form display correctly need to enter

sudo killall bluetoothd
sudo bluetoothd

then prefences will display options properly.

External Monitor

Works out of the box.


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 (or retrieved online). See for details, do read with care.

You can test iSight with for example "cheese".


Please update this page, if you have figured out anything, that is not mentioned here!

The MactelSupportTeam is about to restructure and reorganize the documentation for Intel-based Macs. If you are interested in helping, please visit our team page for information. For all Mactel wikis, there is a starting place here. There is also a thread about planning the Mactel docummentation going on.

MacBook4-1/Natty (last edited 2013-12-14 02:01:52 by knome)