From ArchWiki
Revision as of 23:23, 9 November 2013 by Hrod (talk | contribs) (Screen Backlight)
Jump to: navigation, search

Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary end

Preparing for the Installation

Preparing the Hard drive

Assuming you want to dual boot with OSX (so you can firmware update), you have to shrink it's partition with Disk Utility. You can either create a HFS+ partition now to override later, or leave it empty.


Booting the live image

Now, download the latest Archboot iso, write it to USB and boot from it by selecting it in the Apple boot loader using hold alt on boot (use refit if you can't get manage to pick it). When it comes to the syslinux boot loader, press Tab to edit the entry and append nomodeset to fix screen corruption.


Note: You can skip this if you use the Thunderbolt or USB to ethernet adapter for the installation.

The installation

Note: Refer to the MacBook page if you don't want to have a separate partition for GRUB but rather prefer to use rEFInd (or rEFIt).

Run the installation wizard.


Direct EFI booting

See: UEFI_Bootloaders

As of August 2013, refind can autodetect the Arch kernel, removing the need for copying the kernel into the EFI partition. Simply install refind and enable the "scan_all_linux_kernels" and "also_scan_dirs" options in refind.conf (see link above for instructions.)

GRUB (with osx)

Another solution is to install GRUB. Edit /tmp/install/boot/grub/grub.cfg and edit the boot entry to load linux-mainline instead of the normal one. You might want to append nomodeset to the kernel line again, at least for now.

Now cd into /tmp/install/ and create the GRUB image by calling:

grub-mkstandalone -o bootx64.efi -d usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi -O x86_64-efi -C xz boot/grub/grub.cfg

This will create file called boot64.efi which contains GRUB and the config file incorporated inside. It is important to cd into the right directory to make it pick up the config file and put it into the right place within the image.

Copy this file to the mac EFI partition. Downside of this method is that you need to repeat this step whenever you want to change the GRUB config. Reboot the machine and you should be able to select your installed Arch Linux by keeping the alt button pressed, it should appear as EFI boot.

To generate a nicer config use: grub-mkconfig, (add in nomodeset if you are using framebuffer), remove quiet if you like the text, then to update your grub post installation do this to make the grub efi and put it in the EFI partition:

cd /
grub-mkstandalone -o bootx64.efi -d usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi -O x86_64-efi -C xz boot/grub/grub.cfg
sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
sudo cp bootx64.efi /mnt/EFI/boot/bootx64.efi

Post installation



  • headphones work
  • speakers work from kernel 3.12


One method is to install xf86-input-synaptics and configure to your liking in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf:

Section "InputClass"
    MatchIsTouchpad "on"
    Identifier      "touchpad catchall"
    Driver          "synaptics"
    # 1 = left, 2 = right, 3 = middle
    Option          "TapButton1" "1"  
    Option          "TapButton2" "3"
    Option          "TapButton3" "2"
    # Palm detection
    Option          "IgnorePalm" "true"
    # Horizontal scrolling
    Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "1"
    # Natural Scrolling (and speed)
    Option "VertScrollDelta" "-100"
    Option "HorizScrollDelta" "-100"

Keyboard Backlight

What doesn't work (updated 7th November 2013)


Screen Backlight

  • brightness stuck to whatever setting osx was last on
    • ls /sys/class/backlight returns nothing
    • xbacklight says No outputs have backlight property
  • no backlight after suspend
    • use hibernate instead



  • broadcom-wl works
    • performance is low
    • stability is an issue for some


  • not listed on lspci/usb

Optical Audio


See Also