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Installing Archlinux on MacbookPro

These instructions could work for the most part for the regular MacBook.

You will need Archlinux 0.8 alpha3 or newer at least since GRUB and the kernel will work fine from this version.

Arch Only System

To install Arch and replace OSX you need to change the partition table type in MacOSX from bootcamp. Download bootcamp, install and run. Change disk from GPT to MBR partition table.

Reeboot, hold down the "C" key to boot from CD.

Install Arch as normal. Don't forget to set one partition as bootable.

After install you need to configure a couple of things...

Dual Boot (Arch & MacOSX)

In MacOSX: Install Bootcamp, resize the MacOSX partition; Install rEFIt in MacOSX and sync MBR with GPT partition table. Boot the Arch installation CD, create the partition needed and install as normal. At the end of the installation DO NOT install the bootloader in the MBR, but in a partition (e.g. sda3)



Make sure your "rc.conf" at least has the following modules:

MODULES=(sky2 fglrx speedstep_centrino)

For CPU scaling use the "powernowd" package.



pacman -S ati-fglrx-utils

You can see my xorg.conf here:

OR you can just make the necessary changes: (ADD these to your xorg.conf, dont replace)

Configure Xorg using xorgconfig. Once done edit your "xorg.conf" and change the driver type to "fglrx".

Section "Device"
  Driver      "fglrx"

Configure your keyboard: (make right "apple key" right ALT key)

Section "InputDevice"
  Option          "XkbOptions"    "lv3:rwin_switch"

Configure your trackpad:

Section "InputDevice"
  Option          "Protocol"              "Auto"
  Option          "MinSpeed"              "1.0"
  Option          "MaxSpeed"              "1.0"

Configure modules:

Section "Module"
  Load  "dbe"  	# Double buffer extension
  SubSection "extmod"
    Option	    "omit xfree86-dga"   # don't initialise the DGA extension


The airport card in the newest MacBook (PCI-ID 168c:0024) is not yet supported by Madwifi. In short: Madwifi does not yet have a version of the (binary-only) HAL (hardware-abstraction layer) for the new chipset and ETA is unknown. Workaround: If your kernel is 32-bit, you can use ndiswrapper in combination with the 2-bit windows driver for the D-Link DWA-645. It's ugly, but it works.


Pommed handles the hotkeys and is able to adjusts the LCD backlight, sound volume, keyboard backlight or to ejects the CD-ROM drive.

There is a PKGBUILD for pommed in the AUR. There is also a PKGBUILD of the GUI built on GTK in the AUR. If you like these packages, please vote for them!


I WILL get around to doing these! I promise! In the mean time I just put them here to remind me to do them.

- make package for mactel kernel

- make package for refit EDIT: refit is actually in [community]

- make section for isight