Fedora 13 Goddard on MacBook Aluminum 5,1 [Guide]

Update: May 25, 2010 — I was able to take some time to verify the following steps to installing Fedora 13 Final on MacBook Aluminum 5,1. Enjoy!

This is my guide to getting Fedora 13 Goddard running on a MacBook Aluminium 5,1 (I believe this should work on more recent generations as well because the only difference was the addition of the SD card slot and Firewire port). As with Fedora 12, there were many things that worked out of the box. I have created this guide to help others get Fedora 13 installed on their MacBook Aluminum.

Table of Contents:


Video Working, but with comments

Wireless Needs manual install

Bluetooth Works out of the box (OBO)

Touchpad Working, but with comments

Sound Working out of the box (OBO)

Function Keys Working, but with comments

Keymapping Working, but with comments

Webcam Working out of the box (OBO)

Backlight Working out of the box (OBO)

Keyboard Backlight Working, but with comments

Power/Battery Working, but with comments

Working out of the box (OBO) = Working out of the box (OBO)
Working, but with comments = Working, but with comments
Needs manual install = Needs manual install
Won't work = Won’t work
Not yet documented = Not yet documented (TBD)


Gain internet access using a hard-wired Ethernet connection then install and enable the RPM Fusion repos for both the free and non-free packages which will get wireless networking up and running (and also the nvidia drivers if you wish):

su -c 'rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm''

Apply all updates to the system:

yum upgrade

Yes, this step takes a bit of time, but it’s worth getting all the updated packages (less to fix).


The Nouveau drivers actually work out of the box, so nothing really needs to be done here, but if you want a better video experience including desktop effects (compiz), you’ll either need to get the proprietary Nvidia drivers from the RPM Fusion repository or enable the experimental 3D support from the Nouveau drivers using su -c ‘yum install mesa-dri-drivers-experimental’. Then, to enable desktop effects, simply go to “System -> Preferences -> Desktop Effects” and enable them.


su -
yum -y install akmod-wl akmods kernel-PAE-devel
akmods --akmod wl
modprobe lib80211
modprobe wl


Bluetooth connections work out of the box. I was able to test a pair of bluetooth headphones and a bluetooth mouse.


The touchpad works out of the box, but if you’d like to have two finger scrolling and such, navigate to the mouse settings in the main menu and select the “touchpad” tab:
“System -> Preferences -> Mouse”


Sound works out of the box. This includes the headphones and internal speakers. Internal speakers turn off when headphones are plugged in and are turned back on when headphones are unplugged.

Function Keys:

These are working out of the box, including the backlight and audio keys, but not including the keyboard backlight.


If you’d like to customize the keys a little more to your liking (for example, swapping the command and control keys), please refer to this fedora forums post.


Works out of the box. Open “Cheese Webcam Booth” from “Applications -> Sound and Video” to see.


Works out of the box.

Keyboard Backlight:

The keyboard backlight works, but you need to manually increase and decrease the brightness (as mentioned in a comment by “Min” below).
Max Brightness:

su -c 'echo 255 > /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness'

Min Brightness:

su -c 'echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness'


With a fresh install of Fedora 13, I realized that the battery indicator is way off and I’m getting notifications that I only have so many minutes of battery left.

I would also like to make a few observations after a few days worth of using the MacBook with Fedora. In previous releases, it seemed that it tends to run hot and the battery life isn’t as good as it would be in Mac OSX. I’ll report back in a few days after using it.

Partition Scheme for Dual-Boot Mac OSX and Fedora 12

By Request:
This is my partition scheme for dual boot environment with Mac OSX and Fedora 13. I have a totally separate partition for sharing my files between both the OSs (which requires a change in UID in Fedora from 500 to 501):

Feel free to donate if this post prevented any headaches! Another way to show your appreciation is to take a gander at these relative ads that you may be interested in:

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