Traducción NO OFICIAL(se admiten ayuda y rectificaciones) español de la página Macbook

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Hilo disponible(Lista distribución) here(en Inglés)

Debian Etch on a MacBook HOWTO (triple-boot) at:

Triple boot (inc. Debian Etch) at:

Boot process described is rEFIt to LILO to Linux (as discussed in above-linked thread.)

Relevant information elsewhere on this wiki: MacMiniIntel and MacBookPro.

Pros y contras de un Macbook para usuarios Linux




Particionado & Instalación (arranque simple)

CUIDADO: Si sigues este método, perderás Mac OS X y todos los demás datos en el MacBook (si no quieres que esto ocurra pasa al siguiente apartado Multiarranque (OS X & Debian)).

Metodología: usa el método de compatibilidad de la bios para arrancar Debian borrando la tabla de partición GPT del disco.

Asegúrate de haber recibido las últimas actualizaciones de Apple en OS X. Esto es necesario porque las últimas actualizaciones incluyen una capa de compatibilidad con la bios, la vamos a usar para arrancar Debian.

Arranca desde el CD, deberás presionar C mientras arranca. Antes de establecer las particiones en el instalador, presiona ALT+F2. Ahora vamos a limpiar el disco entero:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

Esto limpiara el disco entero (recuerda: todos los datos están perdidos), y lo más importante, se borra la tabla de partición GPT. Vuelve al instalador presionando ALT+F1 y continúa la instalación normal. Acuérdate de instalar el cargador de arranque en el MBR (/dev/sda), y no en la partición de arranque (como cuando instalamos con rEFIt)!

Multiarranque (OS X & Debian)

Particionamiento (via OS X)

Antes de instalar Debian, necesitará reparticionar(Cambiar el tamaño de la partición) del disco; Suponiendo que quiera hacer la reserva de 20GB para su partición de OS X, ejecute el comando siguiente desde un terminal:

Mac OS X $ sudo diskutil resizevolume disk0s2 20G

Started resizing on disk disk0s2 Macintosh HD
Verifying (verificando)
Resizing Volume (Cambiando el tamaño del volumen)
Adjusting Partitions (Ajustando partición)
Finished resizing on disk disk0s2 Macintosh HD (Finalizado el cambio de tamaño del reservado para el volumen del disco disk0s2 de Macintosh HD)
WARNING: You must now reboot! (ATENCIÓN: Ahora debe reiniciar)

El soporte para modificar el tamaño del volumen se ha añadido a partir de la versión de Mac OS X 10.4.6. si tiene una versión anterior usted necesitará actualizarla.

Preparación previa para el arranque dual (via OS X): rEFIt

First install the latest rEFIt from rEFIt homepage. For the manual way (which is not needed) read the rEFIt install documentation. If you don't have your MacBook connected to the internet, you can download the rEFIt Mac disk image onto a USB memory stick and install rEFIt from there by double clicking on rEFIt-0.10.dmg (or whatever version you have) and then on rEFIt.mpkg.

NOTE: The combination of pre-0.9 rEFIt and GNU parted is known to cause problems: see If you install an old version of rEFIt and then install Debian + Lilo, you might not be able to install Grub afterwards. Reinstalling rEFIt 0.9 or greater will fix this problem.

It's now possible to proceed with installing Debian.

Note refit doesn't support making linux the default boot choice in tripple-boot environments, so you might want to look into other options. rEFIt does support making GNU/Linux the default choice when dual-booting. From OS X, edit the /efi/refit/refit.conf file and uncomment/add the line legacyfirst:

sed -e 's/#\(legacyfirst\)/\1/' -i~ /efi/refit/refit.conf

Instalar Debian

Get an installation CD: Burn yourself a Debian installation CD (i383 version!, 1st CD/DVD of full CD/DVD set). CD-images are available from

Boot from installation CD: Insert the Debian installation CD and hold down the c-key while booting. This should bring up the Installation CD welcome screen. Simply press return there and proceed with the installation.

[!!] Choose language ...

[!] Select a keyboard layout ...

[!!] Configure the network: (Laurenz Wiskott: I think it is important to configure the network here, because the refit package does not seem to be on the installation CD but is needed later, see also comment below under [!] Configure the package manager. The easiest is to do it via DHCP.)

[!!] Partition disks: When creating new partitions for Linux, take care that the Linux boot/system partition is among the first four partitions, i.e. is a primary partition. There are reports that rEFIt does not notice partition five and higher ?Linux auf einem MacBook Pro]. Also consider creating a partition for exchanging data between Linux and Mac OS X, see Section Cross-mount file systems below.

Also make sure all partitions are formatted and have a known file system type. Otherwise you get in trouble further below, see TROUBLESHOOTING (GPT partition of type 'Unknown' found, will not touch this disk.). Partitions with free space are ok.

(Laurenz Wiskott: I guess the linux partition should have the bootable flag turned on, but I am not sure. Anybody knows for sure?)

[!!] Set up users and passwords ...

[!] Configure the package manager: (Laurenz Wiskott: I think it is important to configure a network mirror here, because the refit package, which is needed later, does not seem to be on the installation CD but has to be downloaded. Can anybody confirm this?)

[!] Configuring popularity-contest ...

[!] Software selection: Select the Laptop here (in addition to the defaults Desktop environment and Standard system).

[!!] Configuring uswsusp: This step may cause the following problem.

[!] Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk: Do not install the GRUB boot loader. So, leave this menu item and go to the main menu by selcting <Go back>.

Synchronize MBR and GPT: Switch to the second virtual console by pressing ctrl-alt-F2, press return to start the shell, and then enter

 chroot /target aptitude install refit
 /target/sbin/gptsync /dev/sda

and enter 'y' at the prompt. This synchronizes the MBR from the GPT, which were made out of sync by parted.

(The directory /target is the directory in which the Debian installer installs the new system and it later becomes the root directory /.)

then continue with installing your boot loader.

Then switch back to the first virtual console by pressing ctrl-alt-F1.

[!!] Install the LILO boot loader on a hard disk: In the main menu choose select "Install the LILO boot loader on a hard disk". Choose /dev/sda3 (or whatever your new Debian partition is) for the LILO installation target. Do not install LILO to the MBR! When the installer asks whether you want to make this partition active, choose "No."

[!!] Finish the installation: Remove the ejected installation CD and select <Continue>. During reboot select Linux from the Mac rEFIt menu.

If i386 Debian installed, change the kernel to amd64 (MacBook Core 2 Duo)

As mentioned above, it is problematic to use the amd64 version of the Debian installation CD. However, it is possible to install the amd64 kernel afterwards.

Install the amd64 kernel: Simply run

aptitude install linux-image-amd64

This should install the amd64 kernel and also update the LILO boot loader to automatically boot into amd64.

Reboot: Reboot to start the amd64 kernel.

VALIDATION: To validate that the amd64 kernel is running, run

uname -r

The output should be something like


Remove the i686 kernel: To avoid the problem that an automatic update brings you back to the i686 kernel (see TROUBLESHOOTING (automatic update back to i686) above) you can remove the i686 kernel from within aptitude. Run aptitude, search forward (press '/') for linux-image, mark for purge (press '_' and not '-') all installed packages that start with linux-image and end on 686, perform the purge (press 'g' twice). Finally, run lilo in a shell (if required).

Sustitución de lilo por GRUB

Configurando GRUB

(Laurenz Wiskott: I guess, this and the following section Switching to Grub should be integrated somehow by somebody who knows what (s)he is talking about.)

The GRUB included with Debian 4.0 Etch (GRUB 0.97-10 or greater) is compatible with MacBook if you configure proper MBR/GPT hybrid. Although it was possible to install GRUB during the initial d-i install with many manual fiddling processes of MBR/GPT synching, I recommend you to install LILO initially as above and install GRUB to /dev/sda3 and/or /dev/sda4 later for the ease of process and ease of updating kernel. "rEFIt " on OS X does not like anything other than MSDOS or HFS+ for file system description in GPT table when executing gptsync to create matching MBR record. So I marked Linux partitions as MSDOS before executing gptsync. I used both disked for GPT and fdisk for MBR. Once you marked the MBR with the proper file system type (eg. 83), GRUB is happy to boot Debian by looking into FS and finding files.) Here is an example of /boot/grub/menu.lst for dual booting 486 and amd64 systems:

(Linux kernel is GPT-aware thus the swap partition maybe located in places such as /dev/sda7)

El cambio a Grub

To switch to grub you first need to change the partition type to linux. You can do this by using sfdisk to dump the partition information to a text file. Editing it to change the partition type, and then using sfdisk to save that to the partition table.

sfdisk -d /dev/sda > sda.out

edit sda.out and change the id to 83 (linux) as in the below

# partition table of /dev/sda
unit: sectors

/dev/sda1 : start=        1, size=   409639, Id=ee
/dev/sda2 : start=   409640, size= 83886080, Id=af
/dev/sda3 : start= 84295720, size= 68953126, Id=83, bootable
/dev/sda4 : start=153248846, size=  3052609, Id=82

Now mount a usb drive if possible in case you made a mistake somewhere so that you can save recovery data.

Warning!!: this next line can wipe out your partition table if you made a mistake. It might be a good time to look at the sfdisk manual if you aren't sure what this does. It may be possible to undue unspeakable damage with the file so long as you can access it, which you might not be able to do if you saved it to the disk you are editing rather than the recommended usb disk.

sfdisk /dev/sda -O /media/usbdisk/ < sda.out

In case sfdisk does not work for you (complains about not being able to make the kernel reread the partition table because a partition is mounted, or mismatching start/end partition boundaries) you can alternatively use fdisk to change the partition type. Use "p" to list partitions, "t" to change partition type, and "w" to write the table back to disk.

Then you can install grub "aptitude install grub"

Once grub is installed you need to edit /etc/kernel-img.conf so that when you install a kernel image it doesn't also replace grub with lilo.

As per (zless /usr/share/doc/grub/README.Debian.gz) set to the following.

postinst_hook = /sbin/update-grub
postrm_hook = /sbin/update-grub
do_bootloader = no

Cross-mount file systems

To make a double boot system really useful it is desirable to cross-mount file systems, i.e. to make Mac OS X-filesystems readable (and writable) under Linux and vice versa. Mac OS X uses a file system called HFS+ while Linux uses ext3.

Even though cross-mounting is possible in either direction, there seems to be some scepticism (and possibly bad experience?) concerning the reliability, so that the common advice seems to be to only use small partitions mounted under both operating systems and use them for data exchange. Mounting and using large partitions for regular usage under both operating systems seems to be not advisable. (Please let us know if you have experience with that.)

Montar sistemas de ficheros Mac OS X (HFS +) en Linux

If you want to mount a Mac OS X-filesystem under Linux in read-write mode (not read-only) then you have to turn off journaling first under Mac OS X. If you leave journaling on, you can only mount in read-only mode and will not be able to write or modify files in the Mac OS X-filesystem. This is a trade-off, of course, because journaling gives you security that your Mac system lacks if you turn it off. It might thus be advisable to have one partition for the Mac operating system with journaling (which is the default) mounted from Linux read-only (if at all) and one partition with user data without journaling mounted from Linux read-write. See ?HOWTO hfsplus] for more information about HFS+ under Linux.

Step 1 (if mounting read-write) - turn off journaling under Mac OS X: If you want to mount the Mac OS X-filesystem in read-write mode (not read-only) then you have to turn off journaling.

(i) Boot into Mac OS X.

(ii) Start a terminal.

(iii) As root (e.g. with sudo) use diskutil to turn off journaling (Disabling journaling via diskutil):

mac:user> sudo /usr/sbin/diskutil disableJournal /data

This assumes your partition is mounted to the directory /data. If you want to turn off journaling for your Mac operating system partition, use / instead.

(iv) Reboot into Linux.

Step 2 - mount the Mac OS X-filesystem under Linux: If /dev/sda2 contains the HFS+-filesystem of the Mac OS X you want to mount, then run under Linux the following as root ?Dave Taylor, 2005-05-14].

root# mkdir /media/macdata
root# mount -t hfsplus /dev/sda2 /media/macdata

This mounts /dev/sda2 on the directory /media/macdata (only read-only if the HFS+ partition is using journaling, which is the default when Mac OS X creates a HFS+ partition). Of course, you can also create and mount on a different directory.

Step 3 (optional) - edit fstab to auto-mount at boot time: If you want to mount the partition automatically at boot time, you have to add an entry like the following in the file /etc/fstab.

/dev/sda2   /media/macdata   hfsplus   defaults   0   2

TROUBLESHOOTING (cannot write on HFS+ filesystem anymore): If you cannot write on the HFS+ filesystem anymore, boot into Mac OS X and perform a filesystem check, maybe that helps ?Linux on an Apple iBook G4].

Montar sistemas de ficheros Linux (formato ext3) en Mac OS X

To mount Linux filesystems (ext3) under Mac OS X the only open source option seems to be to use ext2fsx ?Mac OS X Ext2 Filesystem at SourceForge]. You have to use the newest version (1.4d4 as of 2007-09-02), which is not stable yet. Version 1.3 does not work for recent Mac OS X versions.

La configuración del hardware

Devices that work

The following features work

(See below for more)

Devices to be confirmed

s2ram -f -p -m works (for some values of "work") with original macbook (sys_product = "?MacBook1,1" sys_version = "1.0" bios_version = "MB11.88Z.0061.B03.0610121324") kernel and mactel patches rev 126. Resumes with backlight off but can turn back on with pommed (usually...).

Backlight + Volume + CD Eject button

Backlight keys (Fn+F1 and Fn+F2) work using Julien Blache's pommed (there is a new project homepage at alioth); you can even turn off the backlight using the keyboard; pommed also enables the CD Eject button's functionality, Fn behaviour and remote control. Besides, you can also install gpomme: a GTK+ client suitable for all environments (you should start it when your session starts) and wmpomme (a ?WindowMaker dockapp)

By default on Debian testing, the F1, F2 ... FX keys are disabled and act like Fn+F1, Fn+F2 ... To enable the keys and make use of Fn+FX, modify /etc/pommed.conf by changing fnmode = 1 to fnmode = 2 and restart pommed with /etc/init.d/pommed restart.

To enable the sound keys (Fn+F3, Fn+F4 and Fn+F5), you have to modify /etc/pommed.conf : change init = -1 to init = 80 and (at least on Macbook 2) change volume = "PCM" to volume = "Front" and after that restart pommed with /etc/init.d/pommed restart.


Actualización a la resolución de 1280x800

After installation of Debian, there will be only very few screen resolutions available, e.g. only 1024x768, 800x600, and 640x480 (1024x768 is the biggest normal size that fits the screen). The resolution of the screen of a MacBook (Intel 915, video chipset 945GM) is 1280x800 and rescaling the 1024x768 display to 1280x800 results in a fuzzy and distorted picture.

To get support for the 1280x800 resolution you have to install the 915resolution package.

Install 915resolution: As root run

aptitude install 915resolution

915resolution should automatically set the correct video mode for 1280x800 and configure X properly.

Restart X: Press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to restart X, but close any sensitive application first.

If it works and you get high resolution, you should see it right away from the more focussed image. You can also check it under Main menu -> Desktop -> Preferences -> Screen resolution.

Configure highres video playback

For highres video playback something like the following is needed in the Device section:

        Option          "LinearAlloc" "6144"
        Option          "CacheLines" "1080"

Monitor externo

See also an xorg.conf file which enables use of an external monitor.

Note when using an external display: unless the display resolution is in the small builtin supported list (it won't be if it's widescreen or highres) then you'll need to use 915resolution to set a mode for the external display too.

Note when using multiple displays: the order for ?MonitorLayout is "pipe a, pipe b" but this corresponds to "screen 1, screen 0", not "screen 0, screen 1" as you might expect (and isn't documented in the man page...)

You need a mini-DVI/VGA adaptor.

Note that kernel somehow breaks the external display with stable i810

Configurar pantalla dual (por usuarios lenny/sid)

Dual screen configuration for etch does not work for xorg 7.2 and later. Just use the usual single-screen xorg.conf, and configure output later.

You can control X with xrandr.

LVDS is the liquid display, VGA is the external output. (see output of xrandr command)

To enable dual screen

xrandr --output VGA --mode 1024x768
xrandr --output VGA --right-of LVDS

or in one big command including handling of disabling unneeded output:

xrandr --output TMDS-1 --off  --output LVDS --mode 1280x800 --crtc 1 --output VGA --mode 800x600  --right-of LVDS --crtc 0

To disable dual screen, simply specify VGA to off

xrandr --output VGA --off


ALSA driver snd_hda_intel works for playback as of 2.6.18-rc1.

MacBook with Debian 4.0 Etch has no problem with sound. Although, you may need to run alsaconf as root.

If you hear any distortions even when all of the mixer settings are at least 20% below their maximum, it might help to load snd-hda-intel with the 'position_fix=1' option. In the file /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base, change the line

install snd-hda-intel /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-hda-intel $CMDLINE_OPTS && /lib/alsa/modprobe-post-install snd-hda-intel


install snd-hda-intel position_fix=1 /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-hda-intel $CMDLINE_OPTS && /lib/alsa/modprobe-post-install snd-hda-intel

The microphone requires mactel patches and the following to activate (with original macbook, kernel and mactel patches rev 126):

amixer sset 'Input Source' Line; amixer sset 'Input Source' Mic; amixer sset Mux 20.00dB

The microphone did not worked on debian testing with kernel 2.6.21. However I made it work by compiling alsa from subversion (as of 12/08/07) on kernel 2.6.21 without mactel patches.

Mixer channels are as follows (with original macbook, kernel, and mactel patches rev 126):

Master: Builtin tweeter level.  No effect on heaphones.
PCM: Master volume for speakers and headphones.  This is the channel controlled by pommed.
Front: Builtin woofer level.   Headphone level.
Surro..:  ?
Line In as Output: ?
IEC958: ?
Capture: ?
Input Source: ?  See above for builtin mic.
Mux: ?  See above for builtin mic.

Optical drive analog CD audio output doesn't appear to work (with original macbook, kernel, mactel patches rev 126, xmcd 2.6-19.1).


There are two possibilities: madwifi drivers or the ndiswrapper way. Both have some common procedures, which you need to perform at the end (see the "common setup" subsection).


Add 'non-free' to your main Debian repository then update your packages list with

aptitude update

Install the madwifi kernel module source and the ability to compile it

aptitude install madwifi-source madwifi-tools module-assistant

Compile it

m-a prepare
m-a a-i madwifi
depmod -a
modprobe ath_pci

See for more details.

Note: the current stable madwifi debian package (0.9.2+r1842.20061207-2etch1) isn't compatible with the latest stable kernel versions ( -- use madwifi-source from Debian testing.

The quick and ugly way until or later is available as .deb package:

svn checkout madwifi-hal-
cd madwifi-hal-
make install


apt-get install wget
tar zxfv madwifi-hal-
cd madwifi-hal-
make install

The version seems buggy on macbook core 2 duo 2 Ghz (the driver stops working after a while). Unfortunately, even the subversion version is buggy (as of 12/08/2007) :

$ dmesg | grep wifi | uniq -c | tail -n 1
    576 wifi0: rx FIFO overrun; resetting


The following procedure worked on etch/i386 with card 168c:0024

Get the D-link DWA645 card drivers for Windows XP from somewhere (for example from as suggested in

This is a zip file: Unzip it. You will need the files ar5416.sys and net5416.inf from the Driver subdirectory.

The D-link driver not permit to scan wireless networks arround. Is possible get this feature using the driver of ThinkPad 802.11abgn wireless LAN driver, avaliable in . You need to get the file 7iwc28ww.exe, and extract with cabextract. Are the same files, but in a newer version.

Run the following:

aptitude install module-assistant
m-a a-i ndiswrapper
ndiswrapper -i net4516.inf

The last command has to be run in the "Driver" directory, it copies the driver into /etc/ndiswrapper and does some additional setup.

Proceed to the "Common setup" subsection. Just make sure you add the following

        pre-up modprobe ndiswrapper
        post-down rmmod ndiswrapper

right after the "iface ath0 inet dhcp" line.

Common setup

Install wireless support

aptitude install wireless-tools

See for more details on iwconfig

To start wireless up on boot, add the following to /etc/network/interfaces (unless you intend to use network Manager, in which case you don't need this)

# Starts the wireless card on boot
auto ath0
iface ath0 inet dhcp

Restart networking.

/etc/init.d/networking restart


After the standard installation of Debian Linux, what you type on the keyboard might not be what you see on the screen, and some characters, such as curly brackets, might not be available at all. This is due to an incorrect keyboard mapping. In particular you might want to add/change/configure the following:

Swapped keys: Even if you have chosen the correct general keyboard layout, e.g. German for a German keyboard, there may still be keys swapped, e.g. you press the '<' key and get a '^' and vice versa. This can be corrected with a global option.

Alt-Gr: Alt-Gr stands for 'alternate graphic' and is a modifier key, much like Shift or Ctrl, used to type special characters, typically the 'third symbol' on the lower right of a key. The Mac keyboard does not have such a key, so we want to configure the right Apple key as an Alt-Gr key.

Function keys: You may also want to configure the function keys.

The keyboard mappings are configured separately for the X11 (X Window) system and for the consoles.

X11 (X Window)

The recommended place to configure the keyboard mapping for X11 is the configuration file /etc/X11/xorg.conf, which has the advantage of effecting all users. Each user can also configure his/her keyboard individually in the (Gnome) Desktop Preferences.


To set options for the keyboard you can use the XkbOptions field in the keyboard section of file /etc/X11/xorg.conf. To activate the right Apple key as an Alt-Gr key add "lv3:rwin_switch". To correct the swapped keys add "apple:badmap". To do both combine them with a separating comma, as shown below.

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
        Driver          "kbd"
        Option          "CoreKeyboard"
        Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
        Option          "XkbModel"      "pc105"
        Option          "XkbLayout"     "it"
        Option          "XkbOptions"    "lv3:rwin_switch,apple:badmap"

To activate the changes restart X11 by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, but close all sensitive applications first.

Desktop Preferences:

It is probably best to change the keyboard mappings discussed here centrally in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. However, it is also possible to change them in the Desktop Preferences. For Gnome click 'Desktop' -> 'Preferences' -> 'Keyboard'.

For the basic keyboard definition go to 'Layouts'. As 'keyboard model' choose '?MacBook/MacBook Pro (Intl)' (although 'Generic 105-key (Intl) PC' seems to work fine as well). As 'selected layout' add and make default 'Germany' -> 'Macintosh' or 'Macintosh, eliminate dead keys' (although 'Germany Eliminate dead keys' seems to work fine as well).

For the configurations under discussion here go to 'Layout Options'. To configure the right Apple key as an Alt-Gr key select 'Third level choosers' -> 'Press Right Win-key to choose 3rd level.'. To correct the swapped keys select 'Miscellaneous compatibility options' -> 'Swap keycodes of two keys when Mac keyboards are misdetected by kernel.'.

When I did this I actually got obscure error messages. So this seems to be buggy and I would not recommend it also for this reason.


To configure the right Apple key as an Alt-Gr key for the consoles (the black and white screen you get with Ctrl-Alt-F1 etc.) add the following line to /etc/console-tools/remap.

s/keycode 126 =/keycode 126 = AltGr/;

Correcting swapped keys should also be possible, but I have not figured out how to do that yet.

Fn-key behaviour

If you want to change the bahaviour of the Fn-keys look at /etc/pommed.conf after you've installed pommed. (Or look at the parameters of the hid kernel module.)

Has anyone made the fn key work? --> Yes, even on the newer MacBook(osamu). Apply the mactel-linux patch to the kernel and recompile it! The use of pommed program as written above makes it work better. (I recompiled the current Debian version of 2.6.18 source with the mactel-linux patch [is that the Etch version of 2.6.18?]. This patch solves issues for fn-arrows and fn-Fn keys for the newer ?MacBooks while addressing few other issues.)

Other issues


Alternatively you can work around this with xmodmap and xkbset. xkbset is useful for emulating mouse buttons with the keyboard.

xmodmap -e "keycode 115 = Alt_L"           # left-apple
xmodmap -e "keycode 116 = Zenkaku_Hankaku" # right-apple
xmodmap -e "keycode 108 = Pointer_Button3" # KP-ENTER
xmodmap -e "keycode 204 = Pointer_Button2" # eject
xkbset m

#379789 has been filed to track down a problem with keymap

To work around issues of missing/unresponsive keys on the MacBook Japanese models, see MacBookJp for helpful scripts (Japanese page but scripts are in English. The real fix needs to happen in the kernel source drivers/usb/input.).

Synaptics Touchpad

With 7.3 version of and linux 2.6.22, it should work out of the box: the tapping of touchpad with two fingers should generate a middle-button click and tapping it with three fingers will generate a right-button click. Please see below more information if you wish to re-configure it.

For older versions, you need to have a kernel with at least:

Afterwards, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and in the Module section, add the following line:

        Load "synaptics"

If you want to use the Synaptics touchpad you may also need to add these lines to /etc/modprobe.d/

install usbhid /sbin/modprobe appletouch; /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install usbhid $CMDLINE_OPTS

Then add  appletouch  to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules and then run  update-initramfs 

This is just a tip for configuring the synaptics touchpad. You have to install the synaptics driver for Xorg for enabling the touchpad.

One possible setup:

Replace the contents of the ?InputDevice section with the "Configured Mouse" identifier with the following: (from the ?AppleTouch driver site

    Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
        Option          "LeftEdge"              "0"
        Option          "RightEdge"             "850"
        Option          "TopEdge"               "0"
        Option          "BottomEdge"            "645"
        Option          "MinSpeed"              "0.4"
        Option          "MaxSpeed"              "1"
        Option          "AccelFactor"           "0.02"
        Option          "FingerLow"             "55"
        Option          "FingerHigh"            "60"
        Option          "MaxTapMove"            "20"
        Option          "MaxTapTime"            "100"
        Option          "HorizScrollDelta"      "0"
        Option          "VertScrollDelta"       "30"
        Option          "SHMConfig"             "on"

Another possible setup:

On my configuration, I set one finger tap on the pad = right mouse click and two finger tap = middle mouse click, I have disabled the two finger scrolling and let the vertical right edge scrolling. Here is the mouse section of my xorg.conf :

Section "InputDevice"
  Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
  Driver          "synaptics"
  Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
  Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
  Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
  Option          "SHMConfig"             "true"
  Option          "New AccelFactor"       "0.03"
  Option          "LeftEdge"              "100"
  Option          "RightEdge"             "1120"
  Option          "TopEdge"               "50"
  Option          "BottomEdge"            "310"
  Option          "FingerHigh"            "30"
  Option          "MinSpeed"              "0.94"
  Option          "MaxSpeed"              "1"
  Option          "AccelFactor"           "0.0015"
  Option          "FingerLow"             "20"
  Option          "HorizScrollDelta"      "0"
  Option          "MaxTapTime"            "150"
  Option          "TapButton1"            "3"
  Option          "TapButton3"            "0"
  Option          "VertEdgeScroll"        "1"
  Option          "HorizEdgeScroll"       "1"
  Option          "VertScrollDelta"       "5"
  Option          "VertTwoFingerScroll"   "0"
  Option          "HorizTwoFingerScroll"  "0"

Yet another possible setup here...

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "AlwaysCore"
       #Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/by-id/usb-Apple_Computer_Apple_Internal_Keyboard_._Trackpad-mouse"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
        Option          "HorizScrollDelta"      "0"
        Option          "SHMConfig"             "true"

        Option          "TouchpaddOff"          "0"

        # How fast the two-finger scrolling scrolls. The lower, the faster.
        Option          "VertScrollDelta"       "25"
        Option          "HorizScrollDelta"      "25"

        # Location of the touchpad edges, somewhat sane values
        # that I found by testing. Xmin=0, Xmax=1216, Ymin=0,Ymax=387
        Option          "LeftEdge"              "100"
        Option          "RightEdge"             "1116"
        Option          "TopEdge"               "50"
        Option          "BottomEdge"            "337"

        # Touch and "untouch" thresholds
        Option          "FingerLow"             "25"
        Option          "FingerHigh"            "50"

        # We DO NOT want palm triggering middle/right mouse
        # button events, so a tap has to be quite fast
        Option          "MaxTapTime"            "100"
        Option          "MaxTapMove"            "100"
        Option          "MaxDoubleTapTime"      "200"

        # Enable vertical (right) edge scrolling with one finger
        Option          "VertEdgeScroll"        "1"
        # Enable horizontal (bottom) edge scrolling with one finger
        Option          "HorizEdgeScroll"       "0"

        # Disable two finger scrolling, as we have the edge scrolling enabled already
        Option          "VertTwoFingerScroll"   "0"
        Option          "HorizTwoFingerScroll"  "0"

        # Left top corner of the touchpad shall be the middle mouse button
        # Bottom buttons tend to get triggered accidentally.
        Option          "LTCornerButton"        "2"

        # Right top corner of the touchpad shall be the right mouse button
        Option          "RTCornerButton"        "3"

        # Disable bottom corners
        Option          "LBCornerButton"        "0"
        Option          "RBCornerButton"        "0"

        # Fast taps
        Option          "FastTaps"              "0"

        # Disable tapping of the touchpad (excluding the corners, of course)
        Option          "TapButton1"            "0"
        Option          "TapButton2"            "0"
        Option          "TapButton3"            "0"

        # Movement speed settings
        Option          "MinSpeed"              "0.2"
        Option          "MaxSpeed"              "0.6"
        Option          "AccelFactor"           "0.35"

        # Palm detection. Does not seem to work on Macbook
        Option          "PalmDetect"            "1"
        Option          "PalmMinWidth"          "10"    #1-15
        Option          "PalmMinZ"              "200"   #1-255

        # Various other variables
        Option          "UpDownScrolling"       "0"
        Option          "LeftRightScrolling"    "0"

To find out about the synaptics options, type man synaptics in a terminal.

Mouse 2nd and 3rd button

You can use synaptics X11 driver, see above.

You can also use the keyboard.

With GNOME: (thanks to fedora wiki)

To emulate right-click with the keyboard, you must bind a key on the keyboard to the mouse button you want and enable an accessibility feature called mouse keys:

I like the Left side "Command" key on my keyboard as the third mouse button, here's how I did it:

Without GNOME: You can achieve the same thing by executing manually xmodmap -e "keycode 115 = Pointer_Button3" each time you log in (or put in your .xsession file).


Escalando la frecuencia de la CPU

CPU frequency scaling is governed by SPEEDSTEP_CENTRINO kernel module.

echo speedstep_centrino >> /etc/modules

If that does not work, you can also use the acpi_cpufreq module:

echo acpi_cpufreq >> /etc/modules

CPU frequency scaling in kernel

To avoid unnecessary overhead you can let kernel scale the CPU frequency automatically. Just load module cpufreq_ondemand or cpufreq_conservative. The ondemand-module is perhaps better choice if you want the system to be as responsive as possible.

Next add this to /etc/rc.local or to another startup script:

# Switch on "ondemand" CPUfreq governor
# This is more reliable and faster than using userspace governor and
# a userspace program to control CPU frequency.
# You have to do this for each CPU.

echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/scaling_governor

# The "ondemand" governor in kernels prior to 2.6.22 something tend to
# have a bit high sampling rate, so we will modify it according to
# This is not _required_, but reduces the amount of wake-up calls the
# processor makes each second

cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_rate_max > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_rate
cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_rate_max > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_rate

CPU frequency scaling in userspace

In case you want more complex CPU frequency scaling schemes, you can just load the module cpufreq_userspace, set it as default (see above) install powernowd or cpufreqd package for CPU frequency scaling. There are several other daemons available, but those two work quite well.

You can use gkfreq to monitor the CPU frequency in gkrellm (currently it only supports one processor but can be easily modified to support 2 cores - I have send a small patch to the maintainer) :

CPU throttling

CPU throttling means forcing the processor(s) to idle for a certain amount of their time. When processor is not heavily loaded this saves battery but also slows the processor down. With 1st generation Macbook switching both cores to 50% throttling so that they are idle 50% of the time can give maybe 30-40 minutes of extra battery life. The Macbook is perfectly usable even both processors are running at 1Ghz (scaled down) and throttled to 50%. So in most cases, it's a good idea to use CPU throttling when using battery.

There are various ways to enable CPU throttling. It is probably easiest to use laptop-mode, and make sure that throttling is enabled in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf:

# Should laptop mode tools control the CPU throttling? This is only useful
# on processors that don't have frequency scaling.
# (Only works when you have /proc/acpi/processor/CPU*/throttling.)

# Legal values are "maximum" for the maximum (slowest) throttling level,
# "minimum" for minimum (fastest) throttling level, "medium" for a value
# somewhere in the middle (this is usually 50% for P4s), or any value listed
# in /proc/acpi/processor/CPU*/throttling. Be careful when using "maximum":
# this may be _very_ slow (in fact, with P4s it slows down the processor
# by a factor 8).


If you are serious about saving power, take a look at Powertop program. It is a very good interactive program that gives suggestions on how to minimize CPU wakeups. I was able to drop wakeups from around 1500 to roughly 400 with the aid of this program.

With up-to-date lenny/sid, it's possible to drop to around 100 wakeups (with wifi and compiz).

Receptor de infrarojos

Use the usual HID device; kernel patch available as of 2006-07-17.

If the appleir driver is also compiled as a module, change the line described in the keyboard section of this page to the following, so appletouch and appleir get loaded before usbhid:

install usbhid /sbin/modprobe appletouch; /sbin/modprobe appleir; /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install usbhid $CMDLINE_OPTS

Also add appleir to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules and re-run update-initramfs.

On debian testing with kernel 2.6.21 I couldn't make hiddev work. However, I have succeeded to make the remote work like this :

1)I have downloaded this patch and copied each piece of it into my kernel sources (most of it goes into appleir.c)

2)After that I have added "CONFIG_USB_APPLEIR=m" at the section "USB HID Boot Protocol drivers" in the .config file from the kernel source.

3)I have recompiled and installed the modules.

4)I have loaded the appleir module with "modprobe appleir" and added "appleir" to /etc/modules to have it loaded at boot.

5)I have installed lirc and lirc-x with apt-get

6)I have created /etc/lirc/lircd.conf with some infos found on the web :

# this config file was automatically generated
# using lirc-0.8.0(userspace) on Fri Oct 20 01:12:42 2006
# contributed by Michael Olson
# brand:                       APPLE_REMOTE
# model no. of remote control:
# devices being controlled by this remote: 1

  begin remote

    name  APPLE_REMOTE
    bits            8
    eps            30
    aeps          100

    one             0     0
    zero            0     0
    gap          135863
    pre_data_bits   24
    pre_data       0x800100
    toggle_bit      0

    begin codes
     KEY_MENU 0x8B
     KEY_PP 0xA4
     KEY_N 0xA3
     KEY_P 0xA5
     KEY_VU 0x73
     KEY_VD 0x72
    end codes

 end remote

7)I have changed the following lines in /etc/lirc/hardware.conf :

# Run "lircd --driver=help" for a list of supported drivers.
# If DEVICE is set to /dev/lirc and devfs is in use /dev/lirc/0 will
# be
# automatically used instead
# Default configuration files for your hardware if any

The tricky part is that /dev/input/event1 is not correct, so we have to generate the correct input event at each reboot. I have installed "lsinput" and modified the startup script /etc/init.d/lirc, by adding the following lines just before ". /etc/lirc/hardware.conf" :

mac_input=$(lsinput 2>&1 | grep -B 5 "Mac mini" | head -n 1)
sed -i "s;DEVICE=\".*\";DEVICE=\"$mac_input\";" /etc/lirc/hardware.conf

Now everything should be fine.

8)To test if it works, write into ~/.lircrc :

    flags = startup_mode
    mode = irexec

  begin irexec

     prog = irexec
     remote = APPLE_REMOTE
     button = KEY_N
     config = xmms
     repeat = 0

  end irexec

and start irexec with "irexec -d".

9) Now if you press the "next" key on the remote it should open xmms (if you have it installed).


On old Macbooks iSight might work with the linux-uvc driver with patches. It is installable with

# aptitude install module-assistant linux-uvc-source linux-uvc-tools

Once the source and tools are installed, then:

# m-a prepare
# m-a a-i linux-uvc
# mount -t hfsplus /dev/sda2 /mnt/mac/
# macbook-isight-firmware-loader /mnt/mac/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBVideoSupport.kext/Contents/MacOS/AppleUSBVideoSupport
# modprobe uvcvideo

Test it with Ekiga.

# aptitude install ekiga libpt-plugins-v4l2
$ ekiga

If you are using a semi-recent Macbook, the linux-uvc drivers from the Debian repositories won't probably work - at least not with Debian Etch. Drivers from Testing or Unstable does also not work (backported linux-uvc-0.1.0.svn54 from SID). Luckily there are at least two patched versions of the linux-uvc drivers especially for the iSight. Finding them is not trivial unless you know where to look (svn rev.100 bundle: Probably the best way to find them is to go to Mactel-linux-users mailinglist archive and search for "iSight". By following the threads you'll find the various patched linux-uvc drivers. Don't bother downloading any patches, as they are meant to be applied against specific old (svn) revisions of linux-uvc drivers and probably many chunks will be rejected. Go for the s.c. "bundles" which contain whole patched linux-uvc code.

The patched drivers are relatively easy to build and install: just do a "make && make install" and you're set. In case build fails, just do a

aptitude install apt-file
apt-file update
apt-file search name_of_the_missing_header_file

After this install the something-dev package that apt-file gave you, and try again, until the build and install ends without errors. Then do

modprobe -r uvcvideo
modprobe uvcvideo

Now you can test the driver with Ekiga, as shown above. Alternatively you can use mplayer to test the driver. First edit $HOME/.mplayer/config and add this line to it:

# Write your default config options here!
# $HOME/.mplayer/config
# Built-in iSight
# This works at least for a 9/2006 Core Duo Macbook

Then launch mplayer for console:

mplayer tv://

If you see your face, iSight is probably working :). Attention! I only see a green video, nevertheless it works with ekiga!

NOTE: When you get your iSight working, copy the iSight firmware somewhere safe. Mac OS X updates might contain new iSight firmware which could break the Linux iSight support. In this case you can revert back to the old, working firmware.

Parche para el núcleo y las herramientas de recursos del hardware

Mactel-Linux has mactel specific kernel patch and hardware tool resource. Its subversion archive can be seen at by the browser or retrieved by:

 $ svn co mactel-linux

Using pre-built patched i386 etch kernel

See for information. Note that only architecture i386 kernels are provided, no amd64 ones. These are unofficial packages, prepared by a debian developer.


CONFIG_FB_IMAC support is for booting from ELILO (EFI). You are most probably using lilo/rEFIt to boot, using IMAC driver will make your screen appear scrambled. Use CONFIG_FB_I810 driver instead.

Helpful guide on compiling a mactel kernel:

Hardware sensor

tool available from:

You need to load the msr module before using the coretemp tool : modprobe msr, or put msr in /etc/modules to make the module load on every boot.

Download Makefile and coretemp.c.

$ make
$ sudo ./coretemp
CPU 0: 69 C
CPU 1: 69 C

$ sudo hddtemp /dev/sda
/dev/sda: ST98823AS: 38°C

Note: no sensors are detected below, just EEPROMs.

MacBook contains the 82801G (ICH7 Family) and ICH7 is supported by lm_sensors since sensors 2.9.0 by the i2c-i801 kernel driver which has been in the kernel since 2.6.11.

# sensors-detect revision 1.413 (2006/01/19 20:28:00)

Probing for PCI bus adapters...
Use driver `i2c-i801' for device 00:1f.3: Intel ICH7
Probe succesfully concluded.

We will now try to load each adapter module in turn.
Module `i2c-i801' already loaded.
If you have undetectable or unsupported adapters, you can have them
scanned by manually loading the modules before running this script.

 To continue, we need module `i2c-dev' to be loaded.
 If it is built-in into your kernel, you can safely skip this.
 i2c-dev is not loaded. Do you want to load it now? (YES/no): yes
 Module loaded succesfully.

 We are now going to do the adapter probings. Some adapters may hang halfway
 through; we can't really help that. Also, some chips will be double detected;
 we choose the one with the highest confidence value in that case.
 If you found that the adapter hung after probing a certain address, you can
 specify that address to remain unprobed. That often
 includes address 0x69 (clock chip).

Next adapter: SMBus I801 adapter at efa0
Do you want to scan it? (YES/no/selectively):
Client found at address 0x08
Client found at address 0x38
Probing for `Philips Semiconductors SAA1064'... Failed!
Client found at address 0x3a
Probing for `Philips Semiconductors SAA1064'... Failed!
Client found at address 0x44
Probing for `Maxim MAX6633/MAX6634/MAX6635'... Failed!
Client found at address 0x50
Probing for `SPD EEPROM'... Success!
    (confidence 8, driver `eeprom')
Probing for `DDC monitor'... Failed!
Probing for `Maxim MAX6900'... Failed!
Client found at address 0x52
Probing for `SPD EEPROM'... Success!
    (confidence 8, driver `eeprom')
Client found at address 0x69


Driver `eeprom' (should be inserted):
  Detects correctly:
  * Bus `SMBus I801 adapter at efa0'
    Busdriver `i2c-i801', I2C address 0x50
    Chip `SPD EEPROM' (confidence: 8)
  * Bus `SMBus I801 adapter at efa0'
    Busdriver `i2c-i801', I2C address 0x52
    Chip `SPD EEPROM' (confidence: 8)

I will now generate the commands needed to load the I2C modules.

To make the sensors modules behave correctly, add these lines to

#----cut here----
# I2C adapter drivers
# I2C chip drivers
#----cut here----

# uname -a
Linux coreduo 2.6.18-rc1dancer #2 SMP Sun Jul 9 09:57:01 JST 2006 i686 GNU/Linux

Old hardware issues


usual EHCI, UHCI stuff

Gigabit Ethernet

Your kernel must have support for the Yukon Gigabit Ethernet driver known as sky2; this is available in Debian 4.0 Etch (or kernel 2.6.16 and above).

See #378521


915resolution now works automatically; the below (old) instructions show how to do it manually, but this is no longer necessary:

aptitude install 915resolution
915resolution -c 945 54 1280 800

then edit /etc/default/915resolution

# 915resolution default
# find free modes by  /usr/sbin/915resolution -l
# and set it to MODE
# e.g. use MODE=54
# and set resolutions for the mode.
# e.g. use XRESO=1024 and YRESO=768
# We can also set the pixel mode.
# e.g. use BIT=32
# Please note that this is optional,
# you can also leave this value blank.

Adjust the Monitor section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Color LCD"
        Option          "DPMS"
        HorizSync       28-64
        VertRefresh     43-60
        Modeline "1280x800@60" 83.91 1280 1312 1624 1656 800 816 824 841

and make sure the Screen sections uses "1280x800" as default resolution in the Modes lines and finally

/etc/init.d/915resolution start