This guide outlines special information on installing and configuring Arch on the more recent Macbook 9,x (Mid-2012) hardware alongside a pre-existing OSX operating system. This requires adequate free disk space, install media (such as a USB or CD), and a wired connection for the initial steps of the install procedure.
This article is written with a dual-boot setup in mind, and does not cover how to replace OSX with Arch.
For general help on the install preocedure see the Installation guide
- 1 Preparation
- 2 Installation
- 3 Post Installation
- 4 Bells & Whistles
If you want to access your OSX user directories from Linux, write down the UID and GID for the users.
Install Boot Manager
Optional. The easiest way to begin is by installing rEFInd on Mac OSX before moving on to Arch. This will place a boot menu on startup. The config will be in your OSX partition - if this is not desirable it is possible to install it later in Arch. For more information consult UEFI.
Shrinking Macintosh HD
Although nowadays Boot Camp requires a Windows installation disc before altering partitions, it is possible to do this using Mac OSX's disk utility. Create a new partition, calculate the amount of free space required for all new partitions and shrink Macintosh HD to accommodate for this amount. Leave the new partition as free space for now.
Preparing Installation Media
Download Arch and burn it to a USB, CD or DVD, and boot into the Arch install.
Running the Arch Installation
Proceed from the Installation section in Installation guide#Installation. Note that you'll need a wired connection to continue for now.
The following differences will apply to MacBooks:
Sample partition layout
partition mountpoint size type label /dev/sda1 /boot/efi 200MiB vfat EFI /dev/sda2 - ? hfs+ Mac OS X /dev/sda3 - ? hfs+ Recovery /dev/sda4 /boot 100MiB boot boot /dev/sda5 / 10GiB ext4 root /dev/sda6 /home remaining ext4 home (optional) /dev/sda7 ? ? ? shared (optional)
For sharing files between OSX and Linux, a number of filesystem options exist. FAT32 is natively supported on all systems - however, it lacks support for filesystems larger than 2TB or files larger than 4GB. Journaled HFS+ partitions, such as the Macintosh HD partition, will only mount read-only in Linux. Full read-write support is available for unjournaled HFS+ filesystems. ExFAT support can be made available by installing.
Use GRUB2#UEFI systems for more information.
After setting up the base system, do the following in your chrooted environment:
# pacman -S grub-efi-x86_64 # pacman -S efibootmgr # mkdir -p /boot/efi # mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /boot/efi # modprobe dm-mod # grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=arch_grub --recheck --debug # mkdir -p /boot/grub/locale (this may already exist) # cp /usr/share/locale/en\@quot/LC_MESSAGES/grub.mo /boot/grub/locale/en.mo
Note about Macbook Pro 9,1 and 9,2
For Macbook Pro 9,1 users, the process is similar.
# pacman -S grub-efi-x86_64 efibootmgr # mkdir -p /boot/efi # mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /boot/efi # modprobe dm-mod # grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=arch_grub --recheck --debug # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg (may not be necessary for 9,2) # mkdir -p /boot/grub/locale # cp /usr/share/locale/en\@quot/LC_MESSAGES/grub.mo /boot/grub/locale/en.mo
The only difference is installing efibootmgr (required for 9,2) and running grub-mkconfig (may not be required for 9,2)
Alternatively you can use rEFInd as your boot manager. Very simple installation as the refind-install script does everything for you.
# pacman -S refind-efi # refind-install
Configure /boot/EFI/refind/refind.conf and uncomment the scan line and edit to reflect the below values for mac.
If you are seeing a slow bootup (30s) move rEFInd to the fallback efi boot path.
# mv /boot/EFI/refind /boot/EFI/BOOT # mv /boot/EFI/BOOT/refind_x64.efi /boot/EFI/BOOT/bootx64.efi
If you are having problems check the efi boot order with efibootmgr.
# efibootmgr -v
Continue with General recommendations, noting the following modifications:
SD Card Reader
The sdcard reader does not work properly with the highest speeds currently and may never work properly. To get it working you will have to sacrifice the ultra fast modes and use a quirk in your boot parameters.
If you wrote down your OSX uid's and gid's eariler, new users can be created by running:
# useradd -m -u [uid] -g [gid] -G [additional_groups] -s [login_shell] [username]
In order to be able to access a OSX user's directory, only the uid and gid need to match. (usernames can differ)
Macbooks 8,1 to 9,2 (and possibly newer) use BCM4331 for Wifi. As of June 2013 two options are available, the open source b43 driver and Broadcom's proprietary wl driver.
$ curl -O https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/backports/2013/03/28/compat-drivers-2013-03-28-5.tar.bz2 $ tar xjf compat-drivers-2013-03-28-5.tar.bz2 $ cd compat-drivers-2013-03-28-5 $ scripts/driver-select b43 $ make $ sudo make install
/etc/modules-load.d/b43.conf and write
b43 to load wireless at startup.
Install AUR and reboot. From here on in, wifi configuration should proceed normally - once it's working the wired connection may be disconnected.AUR from
more to come.
Download, extract, and install AUR and reboot.AUR from
The only connection manager combination with BCM4331 that doesn't result in flakiness seems to be connman + disabled background scanning.
/etc/connman/main.conf [General] BackgroundScanning = false
Main Page: Xorg
Installand setup Xorg as you normally would.
The built-in keyboard and most usb input devices will work out-of-the-box, butis needed in order to use the built-in touchpad.
Bells & Whistles
Emulating OSX Touchpad Gestures
With a little bit of work it's possible to tweak the multitouch options on the trackpad. This can be achieved with a combination of X11 driver settings and open source software.
synclient is included with the driver. It is useful for experimenting with settings as they take effect immediately and expire at the end of an X session. Many OSX options can be emulated without any additional software.
synclient -l to have a look at all the available options. Here are some suggestions which resemble the options found in OSX's System Preferences:
- By default synaptics is configured to use a double-tap drag gesture found on older touchpads - one may argue that this is not necessary on a clickpad.
synclient TapAndDragGesture=0will turn this off.
- TapButtonX and ClickFingerX sets the mouse button triggered by tapping or clicking with X fingers. set
ClickFinger2=3to assign two-finger click to the right mouse button.
- Setting the bottom-right corner click to right mouse button can be done by subtracting about 500 from
BottomEdgeand plugging the new values into
RightButtonAreaTop. If the last two options are not visible, set
To make settings permanent, just modify
... <application name="All"> ... <gesture type="DRAG" fingers="3" direction="ALL"> <action type="DRAG_AND_DROP"></action> </gesture> ... </application> ...