Installing Linux on a mid-2010 MacBook Pro
Notes on installing Arch linux on a mid 2010 macbook pro, because I don't like OSX.
Partition the disk
- Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility
- Select your *drive*, not the 'Macintosh HD' partition
- Click on the 'Partition' tab along the top
- Drag and drop or type the size in the box to resize your OSX partition
- Click apply
- Download refit: http://refit.sourceforge.net (the .dmg makes it easy to install with rEFIt.mpkg)
Change default boot order, optional
If you don't want refit to boot to OSX by default, edit /efi/refit/refit.conf and uncomment the 'legactfirst' option.
I'm using Arch Linux. If you don't want to use that then things may become increasingly out of sync for you from now on.
Also note that you will want to use wired networking for setup, the wireless card probably won't work (yet).
After installing refit and burning a linux CD, *shutdown* the computer, a reboot is not good enough.
When you boot it back up, the refit bootsplash should show up. Use the partition inspector to sync the EFI partition table with the MBR.
Reboot from the refit menu and hold C down to boot from the linux CD.
Arch linux will display a GRUB prompt, just pick whatever the default is.
When you get a shell, run parted, you have to partition things manually.
Use 'print' to view the current partition table, and 'mkpart' to create partitions. You'll probably want to make a swap and a main partition, more if you feel ambitious, although I think having more than 4 partitions can cause headaches.
After doing this, you need to reboot and use refit's partition utility again to sync EFI and the MBR.
Reboot back into the Arch installer and do /arch/setup. Walk through the setup until it gets to 'Prepare Hard Drive'. Chose the 'Manually configure block devices' option and setup your swap and / partitions (they should be sda3 and sda4). Chose the right filesystems and mount points.
Continue on with the installation, chose GRUB as the bootloader when prompted. If you want to view detailed progress you can use fn-alt-f7 to switch to that virtual terminal, and fn-alt-f1 to switch back. I didn't bother installing anything other than the 'base' metapackage.
Do *NOT* setup the bootloader. Exit the installer and go back into refit and sync the partitions again (last time, I promise). Then boot back into the arch shell:
mount /dev/sda4 /mnt mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev chroot /mnt grub
At the grub shell, do the following (I assume your linux / partition is sda4):
root (hd0,3) setup (hd0,3) quit
Reboot again, and the linux option should boot you into grub, from whence you can boot into linux.
Make sure you use a recent ArchLinux install CD. You may run into a bug where, during hard-drive installation, you get duplicate entries. The way to fix this kind of sucks, but it works.
Right before you go to the part where you have to choose the existing partitions (the menu item above that, disk selection or whatever) you need to switch to a different virtual terminal (fn-ctrl-alt-f2) and edit /tmp/aif/aif-blockdata to remove the duplicate entries. See https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=141795 for more information. I couldn't stop the installer and restart it to to fix it like suggested there, I had to do it live.
Configuring all the hardware
You might have to fiddle around with the GPG stuff for pacman (arch linux's package manager). You can look here for details: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman-key Basically I had to pacman-key --init (and give it LOTS of entropy on the keyboard) and then run the command from that page to import the 5 master keys. Alternatively you can edit /etc/pacman.config and set SigLevel=Never for everything.
I prefer openbox as a window manager, so here's how I got it going
pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xterm nvidia
You'll need to reboot after installing the nvidia module, apparently.
Then you should be able to start an ugly default X11 environment with 'xinit'.
The better driver for the apple touchpad is the xf86-input-mtrack package from the AUR. The AUR are user-contributed package recipes you build yourself:
pacman -S base-devel
And the dependencies for this actual package:
pacman -S git xorg-server-devel mtdev
Download the tarball from https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=48505 untar it, cd into the created directory and run 'makepkg'. A package tarball should be created, which you can install by doing
pacman -U xf86-input-mtrack-git-20120604-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
This is what my /etc/X11/xorg.conf.f/10-mtrack.conf looks like:
Section "InputClass" MatchIsTouchpad "on" Identifier "Touchpads" Driver "mtrack" Option "Sensitivity" "0.5" Option "TapButton1" "0" Option "TapButton2" "0" Option "TapButton3" "0" Option "TapButton4" "0" EndSection
It makes things less squirrely and disables tapping to trigger a button click, you have to actually press down.
Make sure you're in the 'audio' group. Audio pretty much works out of the box. You might want to install pommed to get the audio shortcuts on the keyboard working.
Pommed is a little tool that lets you use the F-row keys to do the secondary functions like on OSX, adjust volume, brightness, etc. You can find it in the AUR at http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=14833
Recent kernels support the broadcom chipset used in the mid-2010 macbooks out of the box, to deal with WPA you can use something like wicd, which makes dealing with wpa-supplicant less agonizing.