Candidate for Deletion
This article may not be appropriate for this wiki, and may be deleted. More info...


Unsupported Version
This article applies to an unsupported version of Ubuntu. More info...

Ubuntu on a Santa Rosa MacBook Pro


This page describes the differences between the 3rd Generation MacBook Pro (Santa Rosa) compared to the 1st or 2nd Generation MacBook Pro.

For other guides and for other hardware. Please look at the Hardware Version Matrix.

For Installation instructions, see the AppleIntelInstallation page.

With the release in June 2007 of the third revision to the MacBook Pro line, several hardware incompatibilities were introduced with Ubuntu.

The primary hardware changes from previous hardware revisions include:

  1. NVIDIA Graphics (GeForce 8600M GT)

  2. AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n

  3. Santa Rosa Integrated Sound (info)

As well, at least some models (the MacBook Pro 15" @ 2.5gHz) now use a Broadcom 4328 wireless card. Madwifi will not work for this chipset; instead see this thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=728530.

In order to document these incompatibilities and the workarounds a thread was created. This wiki page is based on this thread, and on the contributions made by members in the forum. Other instructions can be found on this page.

Hardware support in Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy)

Here is the state of the hardware support in Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon):

  • NVIDIA graphics: fully working out-of-the-box with nv (2D) and nvidia-glx-new (3D) packages;
  • Ethernet networking: fully working out-of-the-box;
  • Wireless networking: fully working, with manipulations;
  • Sound: fully working out-of-the-box;
  • Backlight, keyboard light and hotkeys: working with the pommed package, just [apt://pommed click here to install] (link not working for now);

  • CD/DVD drive: fully working out-of-the-box, media can be ejected using the eject key if you have pommed installed;
  • TrackPad: fully working out-of-the-box, can be adjusted with manipulations;

  • Bluetooth: fully working, out-of-the-box;
  • Firewire: fully working, out-of-the-box;
  • Sensors: working with the applesmc package, just [apt://applesmc click here to install] (link not working for now);

  • Suspend: working out-of-the-box. If using compiz, see bug 144732; If using the madwifi atheros driver, make sure it is removed before suspending to RAM (See below).

  • iSight: fully working, out-of-the-box with V4L2;

  • Battery: at least 2 and a half hours with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on, or maybe more, someone must test it with Gutsy and edit this page.

Hardware support according to this page. If someone can test it, please, edit this page and share your experience.

  • Apple InfraRed: not working without kernel patching, see below.

  • PCI Express: working?
  • Sensors still works (make sure that applesmc is installed and module is loaded), but ACPI does not see temperature in /proc/acpi/thermal_zone, which leads me to thinks that fan regulation is not optimal. Temporarily you can use MacBookPro/SantaRosaFanControl.

Change 1: NVIDIA Graphics

The new NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card runs on the 'nvidia-glx-new' graphics drivers. These drivers will be recommended to you for installation on first boot after installation. To install, just select the 'nvidia-glx-new' drivers in the Restricted Driver menu.

Change 2: AirPort Extreme

This MacBookPro has an Atheros wifi card with 802.11n capability. You should use the ath9k driver.

Instruction on installing the "madwifi" drivers are now depreciated. This driver has been replaced with the newer ath5k and ath9k drivers. For the MacBookPro3,1 you should use the ath9k driver. This driver is available in Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex by default. You can also use the thread here to compile a newer version.

Change 3: Sound

NOTE: The file /etc/modprobe.d/options no longer exists in newer versions of Ubuntu. It is still supported by the kernel, however the filename needs the .conf extension, i.e. /etc/modprobe.d/options.conf would be the file you create to save your options. Actually the filename doesn't matter as long as the .conf extension is used.

The sound chip in this revision of the MacBook Pro is on the ICH8 (Santa Rosa) rather than the ICH7 on older MacBooks. Gutsy has support for this chip, in both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions, but it may not be automatically detected. To fix this, explicitly specify the model in /etc/modprobe.d/options by adding the line options snd_hda_intel model=mbp3. To automatically append this line to the appropriate file, use the following command:

sudo sed -i~ '$a\\options snd_hda_intel model=mbp3' /etc/modprobe.d/options

Then reboot, or input the following commands to restart the kernel module:

rmmod snd_hda_intel
modprobe snd_hda_intel

Note: Remember that alsa mixer settings are muted by default, so you may have to adjust them before hearing sound!

Change 4: Apple IR Remote

If this doesn't work for you (pressing up/down on the remote should adjust volume in Gutsy), then you need to rebuild the appleir kernel module. This procedure is detailed here or a simpler way (which builds a .deb) is detailed here.

There is a bug in launchpad for this issue as well.

If you want to make the remote work with Elisa (and most other media centres) this post explains how to do it.


MacBookPro_SantaRosa (last edited 2012-10-31 22:29:17 by 31-209-212-101)