1
Jun

Fedora 15 Lovelock on MacBook Aluminum [Guide]

This is a guide to get Fedora 15 running on a MacBook Aluminium. Specifically, it was written for the MacBook 5,1 generation, but I believe this should work on more recent generations as well. As with Fedora 14, there were many things that worked out of the box. The differences between Fedora 14 and Fedora 15 are: 1) bluetooth required a set of commands to be ran before it worked and 2) the keyboard backlight works out of the box. I have created this guide to help others get Fedora 15 installed on their MacBook Aluminum quickly. I hope to gain a lot of feedback so it can benefit other users who wish to use Fedora on a MacBook. I would also like to add that I used the live CD to install, not the DVD.

Notable frustrations:

Table of Contents:

PreStep
Video Working, but with comments
Wireless Needs manual install
Bluetooth Working, but with comments
Touchpad Working, but with comments
Sound Working out of the box
Function Keys Working, but with comments
Keymapping Working, but with comments
Webcam Working out of the box
Microphone Not Yet Documented (untested)
Backlight Working out of the box
Keyboard Backlight Working out of the box
Power/Battery Working, but with comments
Mini DisplayPort Not Yet Documented (untested)
Example Partition Scheme for Dual-Boot Mac OSX and Fedora 15

Legend:

Working out of the box = Working out of the box
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)

PreStep:

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 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck 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:

su -c 'yum upgrade'

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

su -c 'shutdown -r now'

Video:

The Nouveau drivers actually work out of the box (with composite/3D support), so nothing really needs to be done here. You could install the nvidia drivers if you wanted to. I chose not to install them since Nouveau works just fine with Gnome 3, so I don’t have step-by-step instructions for installing them. Instead, use the following resource: http://rpmfusion.org/Howto/nVidia.

Wireless:

Depending on what the return of uname -r is, you’ll either need kernel-PAE-devel or kernel-devel. For my installation, I had 2.6.38.5-24.fc15.i686, so I needed the kernel-devel package. If I had seen 2.6.38.5-24.fc15.i686-PAE, I would’ve needed the kernel-PAE-devel package. If you have used “yum upgrade” as mentioned in the PreStep section above, you’ll want to restart the system. I found issues with the akmods step below which were solved with a reboot.

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

Bluetooth:

In Fedora 15, Bluetooth connections did not work out of the box as it did in Fedora 14. Instead, it will appears as if bluetooth is working, but when you open the bluetooth properties, it says “bluetooh disabled” or something along those lines. To fixt his, open a terminal and run the following commands:

su -
systemctl enable bluetooth.service
systemctl start bluetooth.service

After using these commands, I was able to successfully test a pair of bluetooth headphones and a bluetooth mouse.

Touchpad:

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”

I will note that using the touchpad under Fedora 15 is practically useless. It’s incredibly frustrating to use and I wish I could just disable it entirely. There are two things that need to be solved in order to change my opinion on this: 1) The “double-tap to click” feature needs to stay “clicked” until I tap again (so I can double-tap to select, then I can move around with multiple finger strokes, and then tap again to release the click) and 2) palm detection so I don’t tap while typing. The 2nd point is supposedly included in the trackpad settings in the mouse preferences, but it doesn’t have any effect (it’s the same behavior on or off).

Sound:

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, keyboard backlight, and audio keys (the keyboard backlight keys were not working in Fedora 14).

Keymapping:

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.

Webcam:

Works out of the box. Open “Cheese Webcam Booth” from “Applications -> Sound and Video” to see. Note: I cannot seem to get Cheese to record my video! Strange…

Microphone:

In Fedora 14, it was reported that the microphone does not work out of the box. I have been unable to test this but will soon.

Backlight:

Works out of the box.

Keyboard Backlight:

Works out of the box.

Power/Battery:

I have not had ample time to test this, but it appears that the battery indicator is accurate. The fans seem to be more audible than Mac OSX. I have not put it through a scientific test, but I’m thinking that battery life in Fedora is shorter than in Mac OSX still. I’m going to keep monitoring the fan noise and heat as I use Fedora 15 more in the coming weeks. If there are any comments on this, please let me know.

Mini DisplayPort:

This is not working out of the box. I have plugged in a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter into an external monitor. The display preferences do not detect the second monitor. It was reported with Fedora 13 that it does not work out of the box, but a workaround has been found. I have still not heard about this workaround, so please enlighten us if you have found the solution. I haven’t had the time to seek out a solution myself.

Example Partition Scheme for Dual-Boot Mac OSX and Fedora 15:

By Request:
This is my partition scheme for dual boot environment with Mac OSX and Fedora 15. 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):
MacBook-dualboot-fedora-macosx

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