MacBookPro4.1 and Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

This page aims to describe the steps needed to fully enable all features of the 4-th Generation MacBookPro (release date: Feb 2008) when using Ubuntu 9.10 Lucid Lynx. Users running an older version of Ubuntu on this hardware should refer to the Wiki Page Matrix to find the proper page.

IconsPage/terminal.png A terminal is opened by going to Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal. You can find out what model you have by typing at the terminal:

sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name

If your model is different from "MacBookPro4.1", please go here to 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



    Suspend & Hibernate

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Graphics / Video Card

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Keyboard functions (Brightness,volume,...)

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Plymouth (pretty grub)

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    CD/DVD Writing




    External Monitor

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png

    Wireless (AirPort)

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png



    Touchpad (bcm5974)

    IconsPage/ok.png IconsPage/info.png



    Apple Remote Control




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

Installation procedure is mostly independent of the Mac model you have. You should follow the steps in the Apple Intel Installation Wiki Page.

Be wary of a bug in the Ubuntu Installer that can wipe out your MBR, leaving your system unbootable after a seemingly successful install. To avoid being bitten by this bug you should carefully follow one of the installation procedures documented here.


Sound works out of the box.

Suspend & Hibernate

Suspend works out of the box.

Waking from sleep can be slow if the battery is inserted (as it usually is). Adding the kernel boot option "acpi=rsdt" (as suggested in https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8246#c67) can help. It also helps with intermittent freezes of VirtualBox guests that poll ACPI information (see http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/2836).

This can be done by going to a terminal and entering the command

sudo dpkg-reconfigure grub-pc

and entering "acpi=rsdt" (without the quotes) at the end of the linux default command line. The rest of the options may be left as they are.

Reconnecting wireless after waking from sleep has improved since Karmic, but is still slow. Especially in contrast to some of the other operating systems you may run on your Macbook Pro. A simple workaround is to not notify NetworkManager of sleep status. This is done by:

  1. Edit /usr/lib/pm-utils/sleep.d/55NetworkManager

  2. Insert "exit 0" (without the quotes) after the comments about how nifty Apple is.

  3. Save the file.

This workaround will quickly reconnect wireless in the same location, but may take more time if you wake from sleep in another location.

Hibernate works but can be very slow.

Graphics / Video Card

A Proprietary Driver is Available:

Go to System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers. Enable the Nvidia accelerated graphics driver and reboot.

Desktop Effects (Compiz)

Use the Appearance window (System -> Preferences -> Appearance) to enable Visual Effects. Set this to "Extra" under the Visual Effects tab.

For further tweaking, in the Synaptic Package Manager find and install compizconfig-settings-manager. This program will let you enable other plugins and adjust plugin settings (i.e. desktop cube, animations, water effect, painting fire, etc.)

Once installed, the Compiz Settings Manager will be available under System -> Preferences.

Wireless (Broadcom)

Works after enabling the proprietary wireless driver in System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers. You need to restart the computer in order for the change to take effect. Reconnecting wireless after waking from sleep is very slow. Please see the fix under Suspend & Hibernate.


Special functions (Volume, Keyboard backlight, Caps Lock LED)

To fix keyboard backlight install the package pommed:

sudo apt-get install pommed

You can also manually change the keyboard backlight from the terminal (or create a script using these commands):

To set brightness to maximum:

echo 255 | sudo tee -a /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness

To turn off keyboard backlight:

echo 0 | sudo tee -a /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness

The mouseemu package can interfere with the LED on the caps lock key, however it is not installed by default in 10.04.

The Expo and Dashboard keys are assignable under Lucid. Run CompizConfig Settings Manager and use choose Expo Plugin -> Expo key -> Grab key combination to assign Expo to expose all desktops. It should report as "XF86LaunchA".

Fn Key

By default, the Fn key must be pressed in order to use F1, F2, F3, etc. Otherwise you get the special function of those keys (Screen brightness, keyboard backlight, sound volume, etc) as in OS X. Some users prefer that swapped so that F1, F2, F3, etc is the default. To make this change see the Apple Keyboard Wiki Page

Swap Command and Control

Users who prefer to switch the functionality of command and control keys should see this thread; see pages 2 and 3.

Plymouth (Pretty Grub)

As with many other systems, the Macbook Pro has some trouble here (especially after installing nVidia proprietary driver)

I followed this guide to get it to work, but in case that link breaks here is a summary:

 sudo apt-get install v86d hwinfo
 sudo hwinfo --framebuffer

From there, you should get a list of resolutions that you can support, pick the one that you want (I went with 1024x1280-24)

Edit /etc/grub/default with:
 sudo gedit /etc/grub/default

Find and change the relevant lines to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset video=uvesafb:mode_option=1366x768-24,mtrr=3,scroll=ywrap"

Save it

Execute these commands:

 sudo echo "uvesafb mode_option=1366x768-24 mtrr=3 scroll=ywrap">> /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
 sudo echo FRAMEBUFFER=y | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash
 sudo update-grub2
 sudo update-initramfs -u

Then reboot and test!

Screen Brightness

Screen brightness and its associated function keys works out of the box.

Bluetooth (Mighty Mouse)

Bluetooth works out of the box.


The iSight camera works out of the box.

Touchpad (bcm5974)

Left-click and basic trackpad functions work out of the box. You have however to activate them by going to System -> Preferences -> Mouse and selecting the tab Touchpad.

External Monitor

If you have the restricted drivers enabled, the default monitor configuration tool in Ubuntu wont be able to set up the graphics card and will instead direct you to Nvidias proprietary configuration tool. Just go to X Server Display Configuration, click Detect Displays, select the secondary display and enable it.


Mic seems to work out of the box but in case it won't go to System -> Preferences -> Sound and then under the tab named Input change Connector to Microphone 1.

Sensors and Power Management

Works out of the box. You can install lm-sensors to read your temps.

Apple Remote Control



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 documentation going on.


MacBookPro4-1/Lucid (last edited 2013-12-14 00:56:19 by knome)