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Revision as of 02:28, 27 August 2011 by AshK (Talk | contribs) (Gnome Support)

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This article is to provide information on how to get components of Apple's MacBook5,1 and 5,2 also know as the MacBook Aluminum, or the unibody Macbook, working in Arch. Please first visit the MacBook page that should work for these models and provide more detailed information.

Discussion of this in in this thread


To install, follow the instruction on the MacBook page.

Multi-Touch Trackpad

Works partially with kernel 2.6.30. (follow MacBook instructions)


The Alsa section on Arch wiki covers the sound setup mostly. However to get speaker output working, edit the following file:


And put the following in:

options snd_hda_intel model=mbp3


options snd_hda_intel model=mb5

(yes, it's mb5, not mbp5).

It appears that alsa fails to correctly detect and setup the soundcard. This is typical behaviour on some older models aswell.

NOTE: "LINE" is speakers and "PCM" and others control speakers.

Gnome Support

The system should automatically switch between headphone and speaker output depending on whether you've plugged anything in the 3.5 mm jack. Sometimes this is not the case, and the system may default to headphone output. I am unsure as to why this is the case.

By default Gnome 3 can't tell the difference between the headphone and speaker channels. If you aren't getting any sound through your speakers, check if the headphone jack is making sound.

You can change between these channels by installing 'gnome-alsamixer', and adjusting the "Headphon" and "Front Sp" channels.


Aluminium MacBooks usually have NVIDIA graphics, so you can choose to use the free & open Nouveau driver or the closed NVIDIA driver. Each have benefits and drawbacks, however Nouveau is substantially more straightforward to set up.


Follow the instructions in the Broadcom_BCM4312 article and install the broadcom-wl driver.

Suspend/Power Management

Suspend works (tested in GNOME)



Issue: When using it in Cheese, logs spill out "uvcvideo: unknown event type 79." (number changes).

Sensors, temperature and fan settings

motion sensor: Works out-of-the-box - tested with neverball

an ambient light sensor: How do i test?

For reading temperature just install and configure lm_sensors. See Lm sensors page.

Controlling the fan speed could be done by installing the package cmp-daemon in AUR.

Add cmp-daemon to the DAEMONS array in your /etc/rc.conf.

For the daemon to work the applesmc (modprobe -v applesmc) module must be loaded.

Output can be seen in /var/log/daemons.log


If you have a macbook pro 5,2 you will notice that pommed will give you an error when you run it(something about you are using a MBP 5,2 badboy!). To get this to not be the case you have to edit the pommed.c file and look for MACHINE_MACBOOKPRO (there is many instances) and sooner or later you will see where they have a if statement that says if it is a 5,1 or a 5,5 then run this, so there you should copy and paste 5,5 and replace with yep, you guessed it 5,2. I sent a email to the developers so that they can change that.

Anything else?

If your box is freezing on reboot "restarting..." then just add "reboot=pci" at the end of your kernel line in menu.lst file.

The SD card slot works automatically like any other removable device.