Macbook Pro 7,1 and Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)



This page aims to describe the steps needed, to fully enable all features of the MacBookPro 7,1 (release date: mid 2010) when using Ubuntu 14.04, codename 'Trusty Tahr'.

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.

Overview

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

  • Feature

    Support status

    Sound

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MactelSupportTeam/DocTemplate#Wireless%20(AirPort)

    Suspend & Hibernate

    IconsPage/question.png

    Desktop Effects (Compiz)

    IconsPage/question.png

    HFS+

    IconsPage/question.png

    Keyboard functions (Brightness,volume,...)

    IconsPage/ok.png

    CD/DVD Writing

    IconsPage/question.png

    Bluetooth

    IconsPage/ok.png

    External Monitor

    IconsPage/question.png

    Wireless (AirPort)

    IconsPage/ok.png

    Video/Graphic Card

    IconsPage/ok.png

    iSight

    IconsPage/ok.png

    Touchpad (appletouch)

    IconsPage/ok.png

    Mic

    IconsPage/question.png

    Apple USB 56K Modem

    IconsPage/question.png

    Apple Remote Control

    IconsPage/question.png

    Firewire

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

Wireless (AirPort)

IconsPage/restricted.png If you just installed Ubuntu on you Notebook, you'll see that the Wireless LAN is deactivated, maybe with some words like 'firmware is missing'.

As you can tell, some driver is missing, it needs the 'Broadcom STA wireless driver', which can be easily be installed on this way:

Software Sources -> Additional Drivers

This is listing possible missing drivers in your system, amongst them the Wireless LAN driver from Broadcom. After installation, reboot your computer and your Wireless LAN should be working.
If there are performance problems (as for me, there are none), have a look at the broadcom website and compile the latest Wireless LAN driver. But this should't be necessary.

If you have the problem that the connection often crashes, try to add the BSSID of your router/access point in WLAN settings.

Video/Graphic Card

Works on fresh install.

Now there are the additional hardware suggestion to install proprietary drivers. Without is fine too.

But at the latest, you'll see that some linux games or just graphic card based programs works fairly slow or even not show a proper rendering.

The driver you have after installation is the Nouveau display driver, in short 'nouveau'. This is the Open Source driver for all NVIDIA running system with linux. And the MacBookPro of mid 2010 is using a NVIDIA graphic card.

Why proprietary (for now)?

Okay, so here I'm suggesting you to switch to a proprietary driver (in other words 'close source' or 'don't know how it works, but it works' program) rather than keep on using the preinstalled OpenSource driver? What are the benefits to do this?

  1. The proprietary drivers is from the nvidia company directly, they know the specification of each graphic card they have (well, they develop and manufacture them, so no surprise), so they can enhance the driver until each graphic card breaks.

    On the other hand, the nouveau driver is 'reverse engineered', in other words, the developers mostly don't know the graphic cards specifications and API and have to experiment until their code works. They have made good progress though.
    For more information you can visit their side and look for the current status.

  2. The proprietary driver is (currently in sum) faster and less flawed than the OpenSource driver, especially in rendering complex 3D graphics. There are various Benchmarks you can find about these drivers, so feel free to investigate it yourself.

  3. You have some extras like 'vdpau' or a complete UI based control center to config or even overclock your graphic card like you want. The OpenSource driver hasn't reached this level yet, but we will see, how that will look like for Ubuntu 13.04 or 13.10 from now on.

  4. Ubuntu itself has made the installation of the proprietary driver very easy, so that you shouldn't have any problems with this. In the following I explain how to activate, use and configure the driver correctly in Ubuntu 12.10 (that means some explanation won't do for earlier versions of Ubuntu).

Activate proprietary nvidia driver

Like the Wireless LAN problem, you just do:

Software Sources -> Additional Drivers

This time search for NVIDIA and look for a combination of 'NVIDIA binary Xorg driver' and 'nvidia-current' (not 'nvidia-current-updates'). Activate this, reboot and wonder why you can't change the brightness and why the resolution on startup are messed up.

To re-enable the brightness buttons after installing the proprietary Nvidia video driver, open a terminal and edit:

nvidia-xconfig

The command above create a new 'xorg.conf', if there are non, which is sometimes the case. The following command opens this file:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Search for Section "Device" and edit the file as below (note that yours might not be exactly the same as here):

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 320M"

    #This following line actually enables the brightness control
    Option  "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

EndSection

Now another quick reboot and your brightness control should be working now.

Fine-tuning Xorg nvidia driver

In the Section "Device", you can also add some useful extra options to make your system a little bit better or even fix some annoying problems:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 320M"

This disables the logo, which is shown on boot up:

    Option         "NoLogo" "True"

iSight

IconsPage/webcam.png Works on fresh install.

Touchpad (appletouch)

Works on fresh install.

Can be fine tuned as found in this guide.

Palm detect is disabled by default, so if you find yourself clicking accidentally while typing, the above guide explains how to enable palm detect among other settings.

External Monitor

Function Keys

Works on fresh install, however if you change the desktop environment to something other than Unity (the default) the function keys no longer work.

I found pommed to be a suitable fix for LXDE. The following command installs pommed:

sudo apt-get install pommed

And to enable pop-up notifications in LXDE:

sudo apt-get install xfce4-volumed

Add both to start-up applications.

Microphone


CategoryMac




IconsPage/users.png
Please update this page, if you have figured out anything, that is not mentioned here!



IconsPage/users.png
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.



MacBookPro7-1/Trusty (last edited 2014-06-21 22:31:18 by erikmhauck)