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To install an x86_64 system, follow the MacBook EFI installation instructions. It is recommended to read the UEFI, GPT and UEFI Bootloaders pages before trying any of this on your machine. Also of note, GIST.

See notes on video support before attempting installation!

Dual Boot

If you want to dualboot osx and linux, the easiest way to do so is to use rEFInd. rEFInd is a updated and maintained fork of rEFIt and should be used in its place.

I've found it easiest to install rEFInd from osx. Depending on your setup, you'll either install it to your osx partition, or to the ESP partition ( --esp). See here for instructions. Installing to the ESP partition can cause a delay at startup, which can be overcome by simply renaming rEFInd's installation folder to "BOOT" and the executable to "bootx64.efi"[1]

Once rEFInd is installed, you'll need to create a directory on the ESP to hold the kernel & initramfs image. I've found it convenient to later mount the ESP as my "/boot" directory.


You can boot your mac in efi mode via the kernel's efistub feature. See here for more general information on the topic.


See here for more general information on how to setup a hybrid mbr.


Wireless Setup provides instructions on how to identify your card, but if your MacBook Pro 7,1 is like mine then you'll head to Broadcom Wireless and use this command.

$ lspci -vnn -d 14e4:

If from this you discover that your full PCI-ID is [14e4:432b], then the following advice applies to you: Don't waste time on the b43 driver. I've been fiddling with it for weeks, and switching to broadcom-wl made all the problems go away. broadcom-wl might make your device names funky, but that's easily fixed with the udev rule documented on Broadcom Wireless.

I also recommend netctl.


According to the Debian Wiki the MacBook Pro 7,1 has an NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M in it.


Works out of the box, performance however is not that great and your system will get quite hot when running nouveau.


The drivers work, but so far only when booting the mac in csm- or legacy-mode. See here for some discussion on the topic.

In short, booting in efi-mode, will crash the nvidia module, resulting in a black screen, so in order to use nvidia's driver, you'll need to boot your machine in csm-mode.

This can't be achieved directly, but depends on apple's firmware agreeing that your partition layout warrants this as presumably they implemented the feature to allow booting of windows xp/7, neither which can ordinarily boot off a gpt partitioned disk.

To be continued..