The Macbook Pro 6,2 is highly compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 Precise.
You may need to apply some of the adjustments listed below. For further discussions, see: Ubuntu Apple Users forum
Note that this fix must be manually applied to allow fans to work.
MacBookPro 6,2 and Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)
This page aims to describe the steps needed, to fully enable all/most features of the 15.3 (mbp 6,2) and probably other 6-th Generation MacBookPro (release date: April 2010) when using Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin.
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.
(works out-of-the-box) (works, with remarks) (needs manual install) (won't currently work (completely)) (not yet documented)
Basic Installation Instructions
Before beginning, verify that you have the latest available firmware for your machine (Bug 774089).
Common things about installing and maintaining Ubuntu on Intel-based Macs: Intel CPU-based Macintosh Generic Installation Instructions
Package Support for Intel Macs
Already enabled are some modules from the MactelSupportTeam/PPA.
The system memory issue and 32/64bits kernel version
The new MacBookPro 6,2 has 4 GB as base RAM and the Intel i5/i7 processors supports 64 bits. When choosing 64-bit or 32-bit, there are a few points to consider.
The 64-bit version is very well tested and supported, and is the default install for the 6,2 MacBook. This version will handle more than 3,1 Gb natively, without the small performance hit from PAE.
The 32-bit version includes a pae-kernel out of the box to handle more that 3,1 GB of memory.
You can confirm this with:
dpkg -l | grep linux-image-generic-pae
And if it's not present, you can install it from your terminal with:
sudo apt-get install linux-image-generic-pae
Note that PAE adds (extremely minor) overhead and that even with a PAE kernel, each individual process (or XEN virtual machine) will be limited to 4GB of memory.
Obtaining the correct installation media
If you decided on 32-bit, the standard installation media is what you want: PC (Intel x86) install/live DVD - "For almost all PCs. This includes most machines with Intel/AMD/etc type processors and almost all computers that run Microsoft Windows, as well as newer Apple Macintosh systems based on Intel processors. Choose this if you are at all unsure."
Details and Solutions
Installation works fine. See Basic Installation Instructions above for details.
During an in-place upgrade from Natty the update-manager crashed. Rebooting manually caused several other bugs, but after a second reboot things are stable with one exception: zeigseist crashes after a few minutes then seems to work again. Update-manager bug report is here.
Sensors (temps & fans)
To enable proper detection of sensors edit /etc/modules:
gksudo gedit /etc/modules
Add to this to end of file, save and reboot:
Bug report filed to track this not being part of the stock install.
To get the Macbook fans to work properly you will need to enable the Mactel PPA and install macfanctld.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mactel-support/ppa sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install macfanctld
For more info on macfanctld
Temperature, fanspeed, environmental light and keyboard backlight can be controlled over the sysfs exported interface at /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/.
One user reported that the environmental light sensor did not work initially until he applied a not further specified firmware update.
Suspend & Hibernate
Suspend seems to work fine out of box: multiple suspends during single session works.
Hibernate saves and restores mostly, but upon restoring the video is very distorted/unusable.
(Comment Wolf Rogner: The display is fine, only the space occupied by the unity task bar is corrupted. Clicking the mouse in this are reveals the bar (I have it disappear after a timeout).)
Rebooting and Shutdown work fine.
Video & Effects (Compiz)
You should use the restricted video driver: The open source driver nouveau seems to currently causes random system freezes. Also with the powermizer functionality of the Nvidia driver you can get the laptop pretty cool at about 50 degrees Celsius instead of 65-70 degrees. Battery life is also better at about 4 hours currently (instead of 2:30).
Install from: System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers. Select the NVidia graphics driver that says recommended and Activate. Reboot to apply the change.
Edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf to permanently operate the Nvidia graphics adapter in the lowest possible setting:
gksu nvidia-xconfig #if you haven't created a xorg.conf yet gksu gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Add the following lines to the Device section of the nvidia device:
Option "Coolbits" "1" Option "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x2222; PowerMizerLevel=0x3; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x3"
LCD Brightness Control
Installing the proprietary nvidia driver appears to provide the backlight control.
which works perfectly.
See the page for the MacBookPro 7,1 on how to obtain the color profile for your monitor.
The profile can be applied using the xcalib method mentioned there, or by using gnome-color-profile:
sudo apt-get install gnome-color-profile gcm-prefs
Not currently working. Bug reported.
- Read Only: Confirmed working out of the box.
- Read/Write: It is necessary to disable journal:
- Login macos and open a terminal.
- Identify the partition.
- Run diskutil to disable journaling.
$ mount /dev/disk0s2 on / [...] $ sudo diskutil disableJournal force /dev/disk0s2 Journaling has been disabled for volume [...] on disk0s2
Both writing and reading work.
Solid State Disks (SSDs)
SSDs perform badly in IDE mode (especially bad if the disk starts to get full):
- very high system load (6 to 7) during HD intensive tasks like a system update (apt-get dist-upgrade)
- freezes every 20-30 seconds during non-CPU intensive tasks (e.g. writing emails, browsing, editing text files, ...)
This behavior had been observed in combination with
- Cruzial RealSSD C300
- Intel SSD 320
Both disks behave much better (i.e., "normal") in AHCI mode on (at least) this MBP.
Heed this bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/mactel-support/+bug/817017
(Essentially, DON'T sleep/wakeup if you switch your controller into AHCI mode: it CAN'T work right now!).
Skip and switch to a non SSD disk, if you don't absolutely know what you're doing
The SATA controller operates by default in IDE mode and there is no known EFI setting to override this behavior. Fortunately, it can be put into AHCI mode before the Linux kernel is booted:
Make sure to use Grub2 and create the file /etc/grub.d/01_mbp_ahci :
echo "setpci -d 8086:3b28 90.b=60"
(the setpci command sets bit 5 and 6 on register 0x90 -- lookup Intel document number 322169 for details) Don't forget to make the file executable (+x) and run update-grub2.
 http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Apple_Macbook_Pro (also contains useful hints to increase SSD performance).
Device joins, but audio is poor/choppy. Icon does not display as "connected." (Bug 761766)
(Comment Wolf Rogner: Cannot confirm. Bluetooth works fine.)
Everything seems to work with pommed installed:
- F1 and F2 can be used to adjust display brightness
- F3 and F4 can be correctly associated with any command in the system preferences.
- F5 and F6 can be used to adjust keyboard backlight brightness
- F7, F8 and F9 are correctly associated with audio player's 'previous', 'play/pause', 'forward' commands.
- F10, F11, F12 correctly mute and tune audio volume (after having correctly configured audio, see below)
- Eject key works
To toggle the function (Fn) key behavior, i.e. Fn+F1 to adjust brightness:
sudo -i echo 2 > /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode
This setting might not be saved between reboots
Keyboard backlight without pommed
Consider this if you want a way to control the backlight from the command line or with the mouse.
You can choose a value from 0 to 255 to tune the keyboard backlight by writing to /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness. For example this command switches the light completely on:
echo 255 | sudo tee -a /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness
The file reporting the ambient light sensor is /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/light (the number 768 in the path might be different on your machine). To read the value do
which should give different values under different light conditions.
With the following method you can control the backlight through a GUI. Create a new file in /usr/local/bin:
gksu gedit /usr/local/bin/keyboard-backlight
Copy this script into the file and save it:
# A little script to set the keyboard backlight # Note: clicking "Cancel" in the dialog sets the backlight to 0. # Note: needs to be called as root (with gksu or sudo) because # of writing to /sys. Use "sudo visudo" to edit the /etc/sudoers file # if you want to allow non-admin users to change this value, possibly # without having to enter a password. Read "man sudoers" and, e.g., use # ALL ALL = NOPASSWD:/usr/local/bin/keyboard-backlight # to allow all users to execute this command on all hosts without # a password. # Read current value BACKLIGHT=$(cat /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness) BACKLIGHT=$(zenity \ --title "Keyboard backlight" \ --scale \ --text="Adjust the keyboard backlight" \ --value="$BACKLIGHT" \ --min-value="0" \ --max-value="255") echo $BACKLIGHT | tee -a /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness exit 0
Use this command to make the file executable:
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/keyboard-backlight
You may want to create a launcher on the panel. In this case enter
as the command line. Very smartly, the dialog will recognise the word "keyboard" and suggest a good launcher icon automatically.
You could also use the ambient light value to extend the script to make the backlight depend on the ambient light.
The touchpad (bcm5974) works out of the box. You can enable two-finger scrolling from the preference->mouse-> applet. If you are having accidental clicks while moving the mouse, it also may help you to uncheck the "Enable mouse clicks with " checkbox under the tab.
Furthermore tweaking the drag and drop time to be less may be help. The click-and-drag also works.
Enable natural scrolling (Lion-style) with:
echo "pointer = 1 2 3 5 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12" > ~/.Xmodmap
then log out and back in.
If you are not using Gnome, you can disable tap-to-click by running
#!/usr/bin/env bash /usr/bin/synclient MaxTapTime=0
To make this change persist past reboots, copy the script above to /etc/init.d/disable_tap_to_click and run
sudo chmod u+x /etc/init.d/disable_tap_to_click sudo update-rc.d disable_tap_to_click defaults 98 02
If the mouse jumps around while typing, and "Disable while typing" is already selected (under Preferences > Mouse > ,) mark yourself as affected by this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-input-synaptics/+bug/240738.
Multitouch is available using xf86-input-multitouch drivers. Explanations from MacBookPro7-1/Maverick# are fully usable.
There are two driver options for your macbook pro. The proprietary broadcom drivers, or the open-source kernel ones. The open-source drivers were added to ubuntu 11.04 kernels. Only install the additional drivers if you experience issues with the open source ones.
2.4 GHz works fine. 5 MHz does not.
Note: Should you experience slow connections with the proprietary broadcom drivers when running on battery power then you can find a workaround in this thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1596061#6
Some users find disabling network-manager and enabling wicd, as described in the 10.04 documentation, improves wireless performance.
Works fine out of the box.
Internal speakers and headphones work out of box. However, internal speakers are very quiet. The volume for the front speaker (Front Sp) must turned up. This can be adjusted by running alsamixer from the Terminal, or using gnome-alsamixer, maximize both Front Speaker and Surround.
sudo apt-get install gnome-alsamixer
To enable the optical output (you'll see a red light coming from your headphone jack if it is enabled), make sure that the IEC958 option is checked.
If you find that sound seems only to come from the right speaker, make sure Surround Speaker is checked in gnome-alsamixer and that the Surround slider is set to maximum.
The Front Sp slider controls the subwoofer, while the Surround slider controls the tweeters. The placement of speakers on this Macbook Pro is explained in http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3336. You may notice that bass disappears when setting audio balance to the left speaker; that is because the subwoofer is treated as the front right speaker.
Works great out of the box. You will need to change sound preferences: * Click the sound control (top-right of screen) * Click 'Sound Preferences', and click the Input Tab * Set connector: Internal Microphone * Set Input volume: 100%, and unmuted
You may experience some trouble with the external VGA and the new drivers: if the detected resolution of externally connected monitors doesn't go beyond 640x480, you will need to inactivate EDID. Add:
Option "NoEDID" "True"
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI works, but drops audio.
Apple Remote Control
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 A1294 (aluminum 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.
(Comment Wolf Rogner: Without installing the outdated HAL IRC does not work. Installing HAL and gnome-lirc-properties works fine. However, HAL has been demoted so why use it then?)
Works fine out of the box.
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.