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Warning: ARM architectures are supported by Arch Linux ARM. However, it doesn't support M1 or future generation chip yet. For Linux support information for Mac with M1 chip, see Asahi Linux project. Both Arch Linux ARM and Asahi Linux are downstream projects that not officially endorsed by Arch Linux, you may go to Arch Linux ARM Forum and Asahi Linux Community for help.

Installing Arch Linux on a MacBook (12"/Air/Pro) or an iMac is quite similar to installing it on any other computer. However, due to the specific hardware configuration of a Mac, there are a few deviations and special considerations which warrant a separate guide. For more background information, please see the Installation guide and UEFI. This guide contains installation-instructions that can be used on any Apple computer whose hardware is supported by the Linux kernel. Please see 'related' pages (on the top right of this page) for model-specific tips and troubleshooting.


Specifically, the procedure for installing Arch Linux on a MacBook is:

  1. Firmware updates: It always helps to start from a clean, backed up, and up-to-date install of OS X.
  2. Partition: Resizing or deleting the OS X partition to create partitions for Arch Linux.
  3. Setup boot loader: Making sure that the new partition is bootable.
  4. Install Arch Linux: Actually installing Arch Linux.
  5. Post-installation: MacBook-specific configuration.

Firmware updates

Before proceeding with the installation of Arch Linux, it is important to ensure that the latest firmware updates for your MacBook are installed. This procedure requires OS X. In OS X, open the App Store and check for updates. If your mac finds and installs any updates, make sure to reboot your computer, and then check again for updates to make sure that you installed everything.

Note: If you uninstalled OS X or want to reinstall it, Apple has great instructions.

It is advisable to keep OS X installed, because MacBook firmware updates can only be installed using OS X. However, if you plan to remove OS X completely, make backups of these files, which you will need in Linux for adjusting the color profile:


Continue to #Partitions


Partitioning of the storage drive is no different from any other PC or laptop. However, if you plan on keeping OS X for dual booting, you should consider that, by default, a MacBook's drive is formatted using GPT and contains at least 3 partitions:

  • EFI: the ~200 MB EFI system partition.
  • OS X: the main partition containing your OS X installation. It is formatted using HFS+.
  • Recovery: A recovery partition present in almost all MacBooks running OS X 10.7 or newer. It is usually hidden from OS X but can be viewed with partitioning tools.
Note: In Macs that use the Apple Fusion Drive, the partition scheme could be different.

How to partition depends on how many operating systems you want install. The following options will be explained:

Arch Linux only

This situation is the easiest to deal with. Partitioning is the same as any other hardware that Arch Linux can be installed on. Please refer to the standard Installation guide for details.

Note: It is advisable to disable the MacBook startup sound before proceeding with partitioning. Just boot in OS X, mute your system sound and reboot again to the Arch Linux Installation media. Please keep in mind that the volume of the startup sound can only be modified reliably in OS X.

If you want to configure your system in order to have full-disk encryption, please look at the Dm-crypt/Encrypting an entire system page for details.

An example for a very basic partitioning, that does not consider a separate /home partition nor encryption or LVM, is the following:

partition  mountpoint  size    type  label
/dev/sda1  /boot       200MiB  vfat  EFI
/dev/sda2  /swap       adjust  swap  swap
/dev/sda3  /           remain  ext4  root

Once done, you can continue to #Installation.

Arch Linux with OS X or other operating systems

You need to partition your hard drive while keeping the partitions used for OS X/Windows. If you wish to keep OS X, the easiest way is to use partitioning tools in OS X and then finish with Arch Linux tools.

Warning: If your OS X partition is encrypted with FileVault 2, you must disable the disk encryption before proceeding. After the OS X partition has been resized, FileVault 2 can be re-enabled.


  • In OS X, run Disk (located in /Applications/Utilities)
  • Select the drive to be partitioned in the left-hand column (not the partitions!). Click on the Partition button.
  • Add a new partition by pressing the + button and choose how much space you want to leave for OS X, and how much for the new partition. Keep in mind the new partition will be formatted in Arch Linux, so you can choose any partition type you want.
  • If the above completed successfully, then you can continue. If not, then you may need to fix your partitions from within OS X first.
  • Boot the Arch installation media or LiveUSB by holding down the Alt during boot. Proceed with #Installation.

It is possible to resize the newly created partition from within the Arch installation media, or delete it in order to proceed with the creation of other partitions (eg. swap).

Tip: Instead of cluttering your drive with different partition, it is possible to use a swapfile instead of a dedicated partition. Another solution can be setting up LVM in order to use the newly-created partition as a container. Please refer to the linked articles.

Option 1: EFI

  • Run cgdisk
  • Delete the partition you made in Disk and create the necessary partitions for Arch Linux. OS X likes to see a 128 MiB gap after partitions, so when you create the first partition after the last OS X-partition, type in +128M when cgdisk asks for the first sector for the partition. More information about Apple's partitioning policy can be read here. A simple example (no LVM, crypto):
  • The swap partition is optional on machines with 4GB of RAM or more. A swap file can be created later.
  • The easiest dual-boot option is to install rEFInd from inside OS X, to its root directory (default for Following that, copy the driver folder from the installation tarball into the new rEFInd location, and uncomment the lines "scan_all_linux_kernels" and "also_scan_dirs" options in refind.conf. Configuration of boot options can then be done from a refind_linux.conf in Arch's /boot directory.
  • If you want to be able to boot GRUB from the Apple boot loader, you can create a small hfs+ partition (for convenience, use OS X to format it in Disk afterwards). Follow the GRUB EFI install procedure, and mount your /efi directory to the hfs+ partition you created. Finally, finish up again in OS X by blessing the partition. This will set GRUB as the default boot option (holding alt at startup goes to the mac boot options screen still. See,
  • OS X's EFI partition can be shared with Arch Linux, making the creation of an additional EFI partition dedicated to Arch completely optional.
Note: For more information on partitioning, see Partitioning
partition  mountpoint  size          type  label
/dev/sda1  /efi        200MiB        vfat  EFI
/dev/sda2  -           ?             hfs+  OS X
/dev/sda3  -           ?             hfs+  Recovery
/dev/sda4  -           100MiB        hfs+  Boot Arch Linux from the Apple boot loader (optional)
/dev/sda5  /boot       100MiB        boot  boot
/dev/sda6  -           ?             swap  swap (optional)
/dev/sda7  /           15-20GiB      ext4  root
/dev/sda8  /home       remaining     ext4  home

Once done, you can continue to #Installation.

Option 2: BIOS-compatibility

  • Run parted as root.
  • Delete the empty space partition and partition the space as you would for any other installation. Note that MBR is limited to 4 primary partitions (including the efi partition). That leaves 2 primary partitions for Arch. One strategy is to have a system and home partition, and use a swap file (I have not tried to use logical partitions). Another is to dedicate one partition to a shared partition (see below).
  • Next, create new filesystems on those partitions which need them, especially the partition which will contain /boot. If you are not sure how to do this using mkfs.ext2 (or whatever), run /arch/setup and work through until you get to Prepare Hard Drive and use the "Manually configure block devices..." option, then exit the installer. This is necessary so that rEFIt will set the right partition type in the MBR in the next step (without an existing filesystem, it seems to ignore the partition type set by parted), without which GRUB will refuse to install to the right partition.
  • At this point you should reboot your computer and have rEFIt fix the partition tables on your hard drive. (If you do not do this, you may have to reinstall GRUB later on in order to have your Mac recognize the Linux partition.) When you are into the rEFIt menu, select update partition table, then press y. Reboot.
  • Done, you can continue with #Installation.

OS X, Windows XP, and Arch Linux triple boot

This may not work for everyone but it has been successfully tested on a MacBook from late 2009.

The easiest way to partition your hard drive, so that all these operating systems can co-exist, is to use disk utility in OS X, use the formatter on windows XP, install XP and then finish with Arch Linux tools.

Warning: It is highly recommended that this only be attempted after a clean install of OS X. Using these methods on a preexisting system may have undesired results. At least back your stuff up with timemachine or clonezilla before you begin.


  • In OS X, run Disk Utility (located in /Applications/Utilities).
  • Select the drive to be partitioned in the left-hand column (not the partitions!). Click on the partition tab on the right.
  • Select the volume to be resized in the volume scheme.
  • Decide how much space you wish to have for your OS X partition, how much for XP, and how much for Arch Linux. Remember that a typical installation of OS X requires around 15-20 GiB, and XP about the same, depending on the number of software applications and files. Something like OS X 200Gb, XP 25Gb, Arch 25Gb should be fine.
  • Put your decisions into action by pressing the + button and adding the new partitions, Label them as you like and make sure that your XP partition is the last one on the disk and is formatted for FAT32. It is probably best to have Arch formatted in HFS format as to not confuse you later, it will be reformatted anyway.

So in linux terms your partitions will be something like:

  • sda (disk)
  • sda1 (Mac boot partition - you cannot see this one in OS X)
  • sda2 (OS X install in HFS+)
  • sda3 (Arch install temporarly in HFS)
  • sda4 (XP install in FAT32)
  • Finally, click apply. This will create a new partition out of the empty space.
Note: Using this method you may not be able to have a shared partition between OS X and Arch Linux, this is because the mac will only allow for 4 active partitions. You will however be able to mount a HFS partition in Arch for one workaround. There are other workarounds possible also.
  • If the above completed successfully, you can continue. If not, then you may need to fix your partitions from within OS X first.
  • You will not be needing boot camp this way, the program rEFIt is much more flexible (though not as flexible as GRUB). Download and install rEFIt [1]
  • Go into a terminal in OS X and perform the following, this will enable the rEFIt boot manager.
# cd /efi/refit
# ./
  • Reboot to check the rEFIt is working, it should appear on boot. When it comes up go to the rEFIt partition manager and agree to the changes.
  • Put your XP install CD and boot it with rEFIt - You may have to reboot a few times until it is recognized by the boot loader. Install XP and once it is installed use the OS X installation CD to get your drivers running nicely in XP.
    • Note: when installing XP make sure you select your XP partition and format it again inside the XP installer. If you do not reformat it will not work.
  • Boot the Arch install CD, log in as root and run # /arch/setup.
  • Follow the install as normal but note that you will have to tell that arch installer to mount sda3 as the root partition and format it as ext3, there will not be a /boot or swap partition so ignore those warnings.
  • At this point, if you are dual booting, you should reboot your computer and have rEFIt fix the partition tables on your hard drive. (If you do not do this, you may have to reinstall GRUB later on in order to have your Mac recognize the Linux partition.) When you are into the rEFIt menu, select update partition table, then press Y.
# reboot

Setup boot loader

Using the native Apple boot loader with systemd-boot (Recommended)

Apple's native EFI boot loader reads .efi files located inside the EFI system partition at /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI. Luckily, this is also the default install location for the systemd-boot binary. This means that booting linux using systemd-boot is very simple.

  • First, make sure you mounted the EFI System Partition at /boot
  • Proceed with #Installation normally
  • Once inside the chrooted enviroment, type the following command to install systemd-boot:
# bootctl --path=/boot install

The above command will copy the systemd-boot binary to /boot/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI and add systemd-boot itself as the default EFI application (default boot entry) loaded by the EFI Boot Manager.

At the next reboot, the Apple Boot Manager, shown when holding down the option key when booting the MacBook, should display Arch Linux (it will be displayed as EFI Boot as a possible boot option.

Tip: If you installed Arch Linux alongside OS X, you will be able to change the default boot location from system Settings inside OS X. If Arch Linux does not show up as a possible boot option, you will have to mount the EFI System Partition inside OS X before selecting your boot option:
$ diskutil mount disk0s1

Using the native Apple boot loader with GRUB

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Reason: Uses partial upgrade procedure and explicitly lists many basic commands. (Discuss in Talk:Mac)

Despite using UEFI, the MacBook's native EFI boot loader does not use the EFI partition for booting. Instead, it looks for .efi files inside all the partitions in internal and external drives and shows them as possible boot options if certain conditions are satisfied. For example, MacBooks can detect an existing OSX installation after checking that:

  • there is a partition formatted as HFS+
  • the partition contains the partition id af00
  • in the root of that partition, there is a file called mach_kernel
  • inside that partition, there a boot.efi file inside /System/Library/CoreServices

This means that configuring an Arch installation to be automatically recognized by the MacBook boot loader is possible. Moreover, it simply requires a properly-formatted HFS+ /boot partition and does not require meddling with the EFI system partition. The advantage of this method is that it can coexist with OS X nicely and allows to avoid other boot loaders such as rEFInd. However, this requires manual configuration. The following steps will illustrate how to perform this configuration using GRUB.

  • First, while configuring a new Arch installation, create a separate /boot partition. Many tools are available in the Arch ISO, for example cgdisk.
  • Make sure the partition is at least ~250 MB in size, since it will be used to store the kernel as well as any custom kernel you will install in the future. Moreover, make sure the partition type is set as Apple HFS/HFS+ (it will appear as Apple HFS/HFS+ in fdisk/cgdisk or af00 in gdisk)
  • Since the Arch installation ISO does not include the hfsprogsAUR package, we need to install it in the installation environment before proceeding with formatting the new partition as HFS+, install hfsprogsAUR, then:
# modprobe hfsplus
# mkfs.hfsplus /dev/sdXp -v "Arch Linux"

Note: replace /dev/sdXp with the appropriate device and partition number.

Warning: Once inside the chrooted enviroment, do not forget to install the hfsprogsAUR package on the newly installed system as well. After the installation of the package, regenerate the initramfs while chrooted.
  • Once inside the chrooted enviroment, install the grub and efibootmgr packages.
  • Also, create a dummy mach_kernel file
# touch /boot/mach_kernel
# mkdir -p /boot/EFI/arch && touch /boot/EFI/arch/mach_kernel
  • The following steps install the GRUB UEFI application to /boot/EFI/arch/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi and install its modules to /boot/grub/x86_64-efi.
# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot

After that, remember to create a standard configuration file:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

As you can see, the directory structure of the boot.efi is not correct, as the /System/Library/CoreServices directory is not supposed to be a subdirectory of the /boot/EFI/ folder. For this reason, we need to relocate the boot.efi stub in a location the MacBook boot loader is able to recognize:

# mv /boot/EFI/arch/System/ /boot/
# rm -r /boot/EFI/

After that, you need to create the following file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<plist version="1.0">
       <string>Arch Linux</string>

At the next reboot, the Apple Boot Manager, shown when holding down the option key when booting the MacBook, should display Arch Linux as a possible boot option. Selecting that option will boot GRUB.

Done! GRUB can now be selected on the standard MacBook boot loader and you can boot into your newly installed Arch Linux.

Tip: After the installation, it is optionally possible to set a custom icon that will be displayed in the MacBook boot loader. In order to do that, you need to install the wget, librsvg and libicns packages. After that, just follow the following commands:
$ wget -O /tmp/archlinux.svg
$ rsvg-convert -w 128 -h 128 -o /tmp/archlogo.png /tmp/archlinux.svg
# png2icns /boot/.VolumeIcon.icns /tmp/archlogo.png
$ rm /tmp/archlogo.png
$ rm /tmp/archlinux.svg

Obviously, you can replace the Arch logo with any other icon you like.

Other methods

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Reason: Section that describes boot loader setup for other setups should be revised and re-structured into more readable way (Discuss in Talk:Mac)
Tip: rEFIt is a popular boot loader for EFI-firmware computers (including Macs). It can be installed at any time during the installation. For instructions, please see #rEFIt.

If you are going for an Arch Linux-only setup, installing the boot loader is no different than on any other machine: Install systemd-boot, rEFInd or other boot loader of your choice.

If, on the other hand, you are dual/triple booting, then read on.

Installing GRUB to EFI system partition directly

  • These instructions are known to work on a MacBook Pro (Early 2011). Please read the procedure carefully as well as the details following it.
  • With a new MacBook Pro (Mid 2014), this procedure worked only after installing the

efibootmgr package.


  • Install grub
  • Make a directory named efi in /boot
  • Mount the already-existing EFI partition on your Mac to this /efi directory
  • Install GRUB to this directory
  • Make a directory named locale in /boot/grub
  • Copy from /usr/share/locale/en@quot/LC_MESSAGES/ to /boot/grub/locale/
  • Generate a configuration for GRUB
  • Done! GRUB will now start on reboot and you can boot into your newly installed Arch Linux.
  • Remember to hold Alt/Option key while starting your computer if you want to boot back into OS X.

Details (quoted from GRUB EFI Examples#M5A97):

Finish the standard Arch install procedures, making sure that you install grub and partition your boot hard disk as GPT.

From GRUB#UEFI systems:

The UEFI system partition will need to be mounted at /efi for the GRUB install script to detect it:

# mkdir /efi
# mount -t vfat /dev/sdXY /efi

Where X is your boot hard disk and Y is the efi partition you created earlier.

Install GRUB UEFI application to and its modules to /boot/grub/x86_64-efi using:

# modprobe dm-mod
# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/efi --bootloader-id=arch_grub --recheck --debug
# mkdir -p /boot/grub/locale
# cp /usr/share/locale/en\@quot/LC_MESSAGES/ /boot/grub/locale/

Generate a configuration for GRUB

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Using blessing

It is possible to boot directly from GRUB in EFI mode without using rEFIt through what is known as "blessing" after placing GRUB on a separate partition. These instructions are known to work on a MacBook7,1. It is advisable to host GRUB on either a FAT32 or HFS+ partition, but ext2 or ext3 may also work. GRUB's appleloader command does not currently work with the 7,1, but support can be added with the patch available here.

After the GRUB install is in the desired location, the firmware needs to be instructed to boot from that location. This can be done from either an existing OS X install or an OS X install disk. The following command assumes that the GRUB install is in /efi/grub/ on an existing OS X partition:

# bless --folder /efi/grub --file /efi/grub/grub.efi


Some models may need EFI_ARCH set to i386.

$ bzr branch --revision -2 bzr:// grub
$ cd grub
$ ./
$ patch -p1 < appleloader_macbook_7_1.patch
$ export EFI_ARCH=x86_64
$ ./configure --with-platform=efi --target=${EFI_ARCH} --program-prefix=""
$ make
$ cd grub-core
$ ../grub-mkimage -O ${EFI_ARCH}-efi -d . -o grub.efi -p "" part_gpt part_msdos ntfs ntfscomp hfsplus fat ext2 normal chain boot configfile linux multiboot
$ cp grub.efi *.mod *.lst yourinstalllocation


Note: This section is only required if you want to have OS X installed along with Arch Linux. If not, follow the steps in the official install guide, then skip to #Post-installation.
  • Boot from the Arch Linux install CD, or from a manually created bootable USB drive.
  • On a MacBookPro7,1, I had an error booting the installation media Version 2012.12.01: "unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 0000000000000010" during pacpi_set_dmamode. To fix this problem, boot with the option: acpi=off. After chrooting, add MODULES=(ata_generic) to /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and regenerate the initramfs, see Installation guide#Configure the system.
  • Some MacBook users report strange keyboard output such as long delays and character doubling. To fix this problem, boot with the following options: arch noapic irqpoll acpi=force.
  • Proceed through the installation as described in the Installation guide except in the following areas:
    • Skip the partition the disks stage, do only the partition formatting and mounting steps, taking care to assign the correct partitions. Partitions have already been created if you followed #Partitions
    • When at the install boot loader stage, follow #Setup boot loader
    • (for booting with BIOS-compatibility) Edit the menu.lst file of Grub and add reboot=pci to the end of the kernel lines, for example:
      kernel /vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda5 ro reboot=pci
      This will allow your MacBook to reboot correctly from Arch.
    • In the configure system stage, edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and ensure the keyboard hook is in the HOOKS line somewhere after the autodetect hook. This will load the drivers for your keyboard in case you need to use it before Arch boots (e.g. entering a LUKS password or using the troubleshooting shell).
  • When the install process is complete, reboot your computer.
  • If using optical media, hold down the eject key as your MacBook starts, this should eject the Arch Linux install disk.
  • If dual-booting OS X and Arch Linux, hold down the alt (option) key while the system boots to use the Mac boot loader to select which OS to boot.


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Reason: Duplicated information, does not comply with Help:Style. (Discuss in Talk:Mac)

See General recommendations for system management directions and post-installation tutorials like setting up a graphical user interface, sound or a touchpad.


Different MacBook models have different graphic cards. To see which graphics card you have type:

$ lspci | grep VGA
  • If it returns a string containing Intel, read Intel graphics.
  • If it returns NVIDIA, read NVIDIA.
  • If it returns two lines, with both NVIDIA and Intel, your mac has dual graphics. See MacBookPro10,x#Graphics for an example of one such setup that might apply in other cases.
Warning: Despite lots of confusion in online forums, the dual graphics on MacBooks are not Optimus-based, and treating them as such will break your graphics. See instead MacBookPro10,x#Switching to/from GPUs with gpu-switch or your laptop's specific article for instructions on setting up graphics switching.
  • Otherwise if it returns ATI or AMD, read ATI.


Tip: If you have installed OS in EFI mode and NVIDIA binary drivers are working only in BIOS mode (e.g. you get black screen on EFI boot), try this approach:

For MacBooks with NVIDIA graphics, for the backlight to work properly you may need the nvidia-bl-dkmsAUR package.

  • If backlight control does not work after installing nvidia-bl, you should blacklist apple_bl kernel module.
  • If backlight control does not work even this way, try setting module parameters. Uncommenting options nvidia_bl max_level=0x1ffff shift=11 in /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia_bl.conf should do the trick.
  • Alternatively, you can choose to use the pommed-lightAUR package. If you do so, you may wish to change the step settings in /etc/pommed.conf.mactel to something around 5000-10000 depending on how many levels of brightness you desire. The max brightness is around 80000, so take that into account.

iMac 2020 (with AMDGPU and 5k retina resolution)

It seems amdgpu driver has problems to set the native 5k resolution. If the display gets corrupted during boot when amdgpu driver module is loaded, try forcing a lower resolution. Add e.g. video=2560x1440@60 to your kernel parameters.


The touchpad should have basic functionality by default. A true multitouch driver which behaves very similarly to native OS X is included in the xf86-input-mtrack-gitAUR package. Configuration options are documented in the readme.

The following mtrack options work well on a MacBook7,1:

 Option "Thumbsize" "50"
 Option "ScrollDistance" "100"

Probably, you also need to add:

 MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event10"

To disable tap-to-click (that is, to press down to click) by default, add the following to your mtrack configuration section

   Option          "TapButton1" "0"  
   Option          "TapButton2" "0"
   Option          "TapButton3" "0"

Natural scrolling: To configure natural two finger scrolling similar to OS X, refer to Touchpad Synaptics#Natural scrolling.

If you are using xf86-input-mtrack-gitAUR, you can simply swap the scroll up and scroll down buttons (along with the scroll left and scroll right):

  Option "ScrollUpButton" "5"
  Option "ScrollDownButton" "4"
  Option "ScrollLeftButton" "7"
  Option "ScrollRightButton" "6"

Special Note About Older Macbook Models (confirmed on MacBook2,1): On older Macbook models (pre-multitouch), the touchpad will not function properly until you install the xf86-input-synaptics package. Please see Touchpad Synaptics for more information on installing and configuring this package.

Note on MacBookPro5,5: I found it is much simpler to use the xf86-input-synaptics in Extra. Although it does not have much function as 3 finger swipe, this driver provides faster response. gpointing-device-settingsAUR also provides a simple GUI config. Below is a Xorg config file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/60-synaptics.conf for reference only.

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad catchall"
        Driver "synaptics"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Option "SHMConfig" "on"
        Option "TapButton1" "1"
        Option "TapButton2" "3"
        Option "TapButton3" "2"
        Option "PalmDetect" "on"
        Option "VertEdgeScroll" "off"
        Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "off"
        Option "CornerCoasting" "off"
        Option "EdgeMotionUseAlways" "off"
        Option "AreaLeftEdge" "10"
        Option "AreaRightEdge" "1270"

For some users, the two-finger right-click may not work correctly and trackpad may also become less responsive after these settings. For me, removing the 'AreaLeftEdge' and 'AreaRightEdge', solved that problem. OS X like MultiTouch Gestures currently broken due to newer synaptic drivers! For users looking to add more of OS X's multitouch gestures to Arch, xSwipe is a highly customisable, light weight perl script, which does just that. Once installed and configured (see xSwipe wiki on Github) I would recommend adding xSwipe as a start up item.


MacBook keyboards work by default. For swaping Fn keys with Fx keys see Apple Keyboard.

To enable it you can map with right application like xbindkeys or through DE preferences; but another very good way, that we recommend, is to install the pommed-lightAUR package.

Edit the /etc/pommed.conf according to your hardware on MacBook, building it from /etc/pommed.conf.mac or /etc/pommed.conf.ppc example files.

Note that you can also run it without a configuration file, the defaults may work for you. Then enable and start pommed.service.

Tip: if you are using Gnome or KDE you can easily configure 3rd level functionality, multimedia key, etc. in Keyboard Preferences.
Note: See the Xorg input hotplugging page for other configuration information.

Keyboard backlight

The keyboard backlight is controlled by /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight. Write the desired value to brightness in that directory.

Both acpilight or kbdlightAUR (stalled since 2015) allow to control keyboard backlight though scripts. With the appropriate udev rules or sxhkd they allow light-level changes without being root.

As of 2017-11-12, acpilight provides a "just-works" solution tested on a MacbookPro 8,1.

Alternatively you might want to check out the Keyboard backlight wiki page.

Ensuring the keyboard backlight is on when entering the LUKS decryption password

This can be done via initcpio hooks. First, create an executable install script in /etc/initcpio/install/mac_kb_backlight with the follwing:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

build() {
  add_module applesmc

Next, create an executable hook in /etc/initcpio/hooks/mac_kb_backlight with:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

run_hook() {
  if [ -f "/sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness" ]; then
    echo 100 > "/sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness"

Finally, add this custom hook to the HOOKS array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf, and ensure it is placed before the encrypt hook:

HOOKS=(... mac_kb_backlight encrypt ...)

Remember to regenerate the initramfs images after these steps to include the custom script.


If the brightness does not function correctly through pommed, make sure you have installed the nvidia-bl-dkmsAUR package and insert

find . -name "*" -exec sed -i 's/mbp_backlight/nvidia_backlight/' '{}' \;

into the second line of the pommed PKGBUILD build() function and remake the package. From this forum post.

Another possible solution is to modify the pommed PKGBUILD build():

find . -name "*" -exec sed -i 's/nvidia_backlight/apple_backlight/' '{}' \;

If the previous does not work try the following,

run nvidia-settings, edit the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add this line into the Device section:

Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

Save and reboot and check backlight buttons work. More information available at Ubuntu MacBookPro5,5.


Different MacBook models have different wireless cards.

You can easily check what card do your MacBook have by:

# lspci | grep Network
  • If you have an Atheros card, all should work out-of-the-box.
  • If you have a Broadcom card, follow the Broadcom wireless page.
  • 5.0 and 6.0 generation MacBooks may have a BCM43xx, follow the instructions for the broadcom-wl driver on the Broadcom wireless page. The interfaces can swap during reboot so its best to define them in a udev rule (instructions on the Broadcom wireless page).
  • If you have the correct broadcom DKMS driver (i.e. broadcom-wl-dkms) installed and your wifi card is still not being recognised, try rebuilding the driver (See Dynamic Kernel Module Support).
  • If your connection frequently drops, you may have to turn off Wi-Fi power management.
  • Eduroam or similar may crash your network manager. Simply delaying the connection after login should do the trick

Power management

Powerdown is a very simple to set up set of scripts what will maximize your battery duration. A MacBook Air 2013 with powerdown provides about 11 hours of light usage with just powerdown installed. All the usual power management recomendations apply as well.

Disabling Thunderbolt

Linux still has poor power management for Thunderbolt adapters on Macs. This can cause the TB adapter(s) to be always-on and prevent the CPU from going into the deepest power-saving states [2], drawing ca. 2W additional power even when not in use [3]. An easy way to see the CPU states is using powertop. The problem arises when the CPU does not go below C3 as a package (Pkg%pc3).

One workaround is to add acpi_osi=!Darwin to the kernel parameters, thereby telling the firmware that the system is not compatible with macOS [4]. This should disable the TB adapter (at least on older Macs), and thus reduce power consumption greatly, but will probably come with side-effects (e.g. no Thunderbolt, maybe others?).

It is also possible to blacklist the thunderbolt module and then putting the controllers to sleep with

# echo auto > /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:07:00.0/power/control

Check the correct device number with lspci. This can also be automated. This method reduces power consumption slightly, but still consumes 0.9 W more than the previous method on a Macbook Air 2013.

Suspend and hibernate

Suspending (suspend to ram) and hibernating (suspend to disk) work fine out of the box:

systemctl suspend

Issues were reported where the machine would "suspend immediately after resume" in certain conditions when suspending by closing the lid. This was solved by setting the option "sleep-inactive-ac-type" to "nothing" using dconf-editor, option path: org → gnome → settings-daemon → plugins → power).

See Suspend and hibernate for details on how to configure hibernation. Noticably, you will need a swap partition or file (see the mentioned article for further instructions).

Slow wake ups from a suspend state can be resolved by disabling Thunderbolt. See #Disabling Thunderbolt.

Wake up after suspend

Occasionally a Mac laptop may wake up immediately after suspending. This may not be immediately evident as the screen may stay off despite the system being awake, and can be checked by seeing whether the keyboard backlight stays on.

In /proc/acpi/wakeup, check to see that XHC1 and LID0 are enabled. If they are, one can temporarily disable just LID0 with the following to see if the issue resolves

# sh -c "echo XHC1 > /proc/acpi/wakeup" 

To make the change persistent with each reboot, create and edit /etc/systemd/system/suspend-fix.service.

Then add the following text and save:

Description=Fix for the suspend issue
ExecStart=/bin/sh -c "echo LID0 > /proc/acpi/wakeup"

And then enable and start suspend-fix.service. To wake the system from this point, use the keyboard.

If this doesn't resolve the issue, XHC1 may be the issue and one can disable both it and LID0 temporarily with the following to see if it goes away.

# sh -c "echo XHC1 > /proc/acpi/wakeup && echo LID0 > /proc/acpi/wakeup"  

Disabling only XHC1 is not recommended if you have this bug, since it may result in glitchy behavior. Disable both on every boot by changing /etc/systemd/system/suspend-fix.service to the following

Description=Fix for the suspend issue
ExecStart=/bin/sh -c "echo XHC1 > /proc/acpi/wakeup && echo LID0 > /proc/acpi/wakeup"

To wake the system from this point, only the power button can be used.

Light sensor

The values can be read from /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/light.

A "cat" on this path returns two-tuples like (4,0). The below referenced lighter script ignores the second value - which always seems to be 0 - and uses the first number as measured environment lighting brightness value.

If you want to use the built in light sensor to automatically adjust screen and keyboard backlight brightness check out Lighter [5] (simple perl script, easy to fine-tune) and Lightum [6] (Requires Gnome or KDE but is older and more complete than Lighter).


First of all follow ALSA wiki page, then if something does not work correctly, continue reading this part.

Kernel options

Edit your /etc/modprobe.d/50-sound.conf or /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf appending this line:

options snd_hda_intel model=intel-mac-auto

This should automatically specify the codec in your MacBook.

Warning: Every time you change /etc/modprobe.d, test it by rebooting.

Specific models may need more help. You can try specifying other options according to your hardware. All possible settings are listed in Kernel Documentation, available online:


For example, if you have a MacBookPro12,1, you might need

options snd-hda-intel index=1,0

instead. Alternatively, for MacBookPro5,X, you can use:

options snd_hda_intel model=mb5

(note that the jack output is controlled with "HP").

If you have an iMac8,1, you should instead use

options snd-hda-intel model=mbp3 position_fix=2

For Aluminium iMacs, see iMac Aluminium#Getting sound to work right

For MacBook2,1 (late 2008/early 2009)s with a SigmaTel STAC9221 A1 chip, use

options snd_hda_intel model=macbook

Disabling S/PDIF

Some (most?) Macbook models have an optical S/PDIF audio jack in the same jack as the headphone jack. You can see it when it is active as a red light glowing out of the headphone jack. It can trick PulseAudio into preferring it and routing all your audio out it.

If you are not getting any sound in or out, confirm that pavucontrol > Configuration > Profile says "Analog Stereo Duplex" instead of "Digital"

or just run

$ pacmd set-card-profile 0 output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo

Also check if you need to edit /usr/share/alsa-card-profile/mixer/paths/ to workaround faulty plug detection causing PulseAudio to failover to "Digital".

and see below for how to edit this to get the macbook2,1's microphone to work.

Auto-Mute Mode

The internal speaker might not be disabled when using the headphone jack. To solve this, enable "Auto-Mute Mode".

You can either do this using alsamixer:

  1. Run alsamixer
  2. Press F6 and pick "default:0 HDA Intel" to get more detailed controls
  3. Use the arrow keys to select "Auto-Mute Mode"
  4. Press Space to enable it
  5. (optionally) Run sudo alsactl store to make the change permanent

or with amixer:

$ amixer -c 0 cset name='Auto-Mute Mode' 1 && sudo alsactl store

USB audio interface

In some cases, it can actually be easier to set up sound using a USB audio interface rather than the jack directly.

For example, after plugging in a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, open pavucontrol, go to Configuration, choose Off for all devices and choose Analog Stereo Duplex for Scarlett Solo USB. You can then use the headphone jack on the Focusrite device for speakers or headphones. This should work immediately and on startup. This does not require any Focusrite software to be installed.


Bluetooth should work out-of-the box. See the article on Bluetooth to install and configure all software needed.

Magic Mouse

If you use a magic mouse you will find it works nicely out of the box. You might want to tweak some settings such as scroll-speed or acceleration. There is no GUI for this at this time. The only way to set these settings is to instruct the kernel driver (hid_magicmouse) with parameters. Create a modprobe config file for your mouse.

options hid_magicmouse scroll-speed=55 scroll-acceleration=1 emulate_3button=0

This will instruct the driver to have a fast scroll-speed, do exponential acceleration and do not emulate a 3 button mouse. You can find an overview of all parameters and their current settings in /sys/module/hid_magicmouse/parameters.

To play with the settings without rebooting you can also set them through the command line, like so:

# echo 55 > /sys/module/hid_magicmouse/parameters/scroll_speed
Note: Using kernel 4.10.10-1-macbook the Magic Mouse (hid_magicmouse) will cause a lot of system lock ups. If you experience random lock ups, try a different, wired, mouse to see if this is the case for you as well.



Note: Linux kernel from 2.6.26 includes the Linux UVC driver natively. MBP 6,2+ (Kernel ~2.6.37+) iSight works out of the box without the need to use firmware from OS X. Only use isight-firmware-tools if it does not work normally.

iSight webcams on MacBooks or pre 6,2 MacBook Pros (6,2 came out around 2010) require the Apple's proprietary firmware that cannot be redistributed. It must be extracted from OS X and loaded onto Arch.

There is a pre-extracted copy at

If you want to do it yourself you will need to install isight-firmware-toolsAUR to extract the firmware. This package also includes a udev rule and ELF binary that are necessary, even once you have extracted the firmware file into /lib/firmware/isight.fw, for the file to be loaded every time you boot your computer (namely /etc/udev/rules.d/isight.rules which uses /usr/lib/udev/ift-load).


First you need to get the firmware out of a particular file located on your OS X install. It is located in /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBVideoSupport.kext/Contents/MacOS/AppleUSBVideoSupport.

Tip: The AppleUSBVideoSupport file from a OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) installation may not work properly. If possible, use the file from OS X 10.5 or earlier.

To mount the OS X drive if multi-booting:

# mkdir /media/OSX
# mount -t hfsplus /dev/sda2 /media/OSX

Then, install the isight-firmware-toolsAUR package.

Locate the AppleUSBVideoSupport file in the OS X directory listed above. Either copy it over to your Arch system (Any OS X installation should do, such as an iMac, not just one specific to your system) or, if multi-booting, mount the OS X drive and navigate to the directory. (On 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.7 (Lion) the directory is /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBVideoSupport.kext/Contents/MacOS.) In that directory you can go ahead and extract the driver:

# ift-extract --apple-driver AppleUSBVideoSupport

When it is done, check that the firmware has been found:

# ls /lib/firmware/isight.fw

Once successful, completely SHUTDOWN your Mac and start it back up again (to clear the hardware state of the webcam). Do not reboot.

It should be automatically loaded at boot; if it is not you can load the uvcvideo module manually or load it at boot.

FaceTime HD Camera

Recent Macbooks include the FaceTime HD Camera, which may be connected by PCIe. You can confirm this by looking for "FaceTime HD Camera" in the output of lspci. The bcwc-pcie-gitAUR package installs a facetimehd module (and firmware) to support these devices. The module should be loaded automatically after installation.

If the webcam shows incorrect colors, this may be due to missing sensor calibration files. Instructions for extracting the calibration files from Apple BootCamp drivers are given in this page:

You can use many applications to test the webcam:

  • MPlayer
# mplayer tv:// -tv driver=v4l2:width=320:height=240:device=/dev/video0 -fps 30
  • Cheese
  • Skype
  • Ekiga

A simple solution to take snapshots is:

# mplayer tv:// -vf screenshot

and the pressing the s key to take a snapshot. Files are of the format shot\d\d\d\d.png and are reported in the standard output.

Temperature Sensors

For reading temperature just install lm_sensors. See the lm_sensors page for more information.

Color Profile

We can use color profiles from OS X.

First, install the xcalib package.

Second copy pre-saved color profiles placed in /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Displays/ on OS X partition to ~/colorprofiles/ for example.

There are color profile files agree with in MacBook models; select the right one:

  • Color LCD-4271800.icc for MacBook Pro with CoreDuo CPU
  • Color LCD-4271880.icc for MacBook with Core2Duo
  • Color LCD-4271780.icc for MacBook (non-Pro) based on CoreDuo or Core2Duo.
Tip: Also OS X allows to save current color profile from Displays > Color section of the Mac OS System Preferences, in this case file is saved to /Users/<username>/Library/ColorSync/Profiles.

Finally you can activate it by running

# xcalib ~/colorprofile.icc
Note: Previous command set the color profile only for the current session; this mean that you must run it every time you login in your system. For automating it you can execute the command by Autostart Application, concording with your DE (or add the command to your login manager's initialization script, e.g. /etc/gdm/Init/Default).
Warning: GNOME will revert the profile set by xcalib. It is preferable to set the profile using Color in settings.

Apple Remote

First, to correctly install and configure the lirc software that control IR see LIRC wiki.

Then make LIRC use /dev/usb/hiddev0 (or /dev/hiddev0) by editing /etc/conf.d/lircd. Here is how mine look:

# Parameters for lirc daemon

Use irrecord (available when installing lirc) to create a configuration file matching your remote control signals (alternatively, you can try to use the lircd.conf below):

# irrecord -d /dev/usb/hiddev0 -H macmini output_conf_file

Start lircd and use irw to check if it works.

Example of an /etc/lirc/lircd.conf:

begin remote

  name  lircd.conf.macbook
  bits            8
  eps            30
  aeps          100

  one             0     0
  zero            0     0
  pre_data_bits   24
  pre_data       0x87EEFD
  gap          211994
  toggle_bit_mask 0x87EEFD01

      begin codes
          Repeat                   0x01
          Menu                     0x03
          Play                     0x05
          Prev                     0x09
          Next                     0x06
          Up                       0x0A
          Down                     0x0C
      end codes

end remote

HFS partition sharing

First, install the hfsprogsAUR package.

we have to list our partitions. Use fdisk.

Example output:

# fdisk -l /dev/sda
   Device  Boot     Start         End      Blocks   Id  Type
/dev/sda1               1          26      204819   ee  GPT
/dev/sda2              26       13602   109051903+  af  Unknown
/dev/sda3   *       13602       14478     7031250   83  Linux
/dev/sda4           14478       14594      932832+  82  Linux swap / Solaris

As we see, the "Unknown" partition is our OS X partition, which is located in /dev/sda2.

Create a "mac" folder in /media:

# mkdir /media/mac

Add at the end of /etc/fstab this line:

/dev/sda2    /media/mac     hfsplus auto,user,rw,exec   0 0

Mount it :

# mount /media/mac

and check it:

$ ls /media/mac

HFS+ Partitions


HFS+ partitions, now the default in OS X, are not fully supported by Linux and are mounted as read-only by default. In order to write to an HFS+ partition, the safe way is to disable journaling. This can be accomplished using the OS X Disk Utility. Refer to this Apple support page for more information or try to do it from the command line:

Find your partition:

# diskutil list
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *750.2 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS OSX                     149.5 GB   disk0s2
   3:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            599.2 GB   disk0s3
   4:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s4

In this example we will use disk0s3 partition named as Macintosh HD. To know if journaling is activate or not you could execute:

# diskutil info /dev/disk0s3 | grep -i journal
    File System Personality:  Journaled HFS+
    Name (User Visible):      Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    Journal:                  Journal size 49152 KB at offset 0x1176000

As you can read the journaling is active. To turn off the journaling you could execute:

# diskutil disableJournal disk0s3

To verify it is done execute the info command again.

If you get noting as output, then journaling is disabled.

However, if you fail to disable journaling. You can change "auto,user,rw,exec" in /etc/fstab to "auto,user,force,rw,exec" and mount it.

Yosemite and later

This section addresses error message when mounting hfsplus partition:

# mount -t hfsplus dev/sdX force,ro
wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdX, missing codepage or helper program, or other error.

Since Yosemite, HFS+ partitions are now wrapped a CoreStorage volume. Verify that you have an CoreStorage volume.

# fdisk -l /dev/sdX
Disk /dev/sdX: 298.1 GiB, 320072933376 bytes, 625142448 sectors
Units: sectors of 1* 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Device      Start      End         Sectors    Size     Type
/dev/sdX1   40         409639      409600     200M     EFI System
/dev/sdX2   409640     623872871   623463232  297.3G   Apple Core storage
/dev/sdX3   623872872  625142407   1269536    916.0M   Apple boot

HFS+ uses two volume headers, one 1024 bytes into the device and one 1024 from the end of the device. With the HFS+ partition wrapped in the CoreStorage volume the end of the partition is not actually 1024 bytes from the end of the /dev/sdX2 partition. To fix this you need to specify sizelimit=X when mounting.

To determine sizelimit do the following:

  1. Run testdisk /dev/sdX and select your drive
  2. Select EFI GPT
  3. Select Analyse and then Quick Search

Sample output:

TestDisk 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <>

Disk /dev/sdX  - 320 GB / 298 GiB - CHS 38913 255 63
    Partition     Start      End        Size in sectors
P  EFI System     40         409639     409600  [EFI]
P  Mac HFS        409640     623147815  622738176
P  Mac HFS        623872872  625142407  1269536

What you see now is the output of the HFS partition itself without the CoreStorage volume. Take the size in sectors (622738176 in this example) and multiply by the number of bytes in your logical sector size (512 in this example).

622738176 * 512 = 318841946112

Finally, mount your disk with the sizelimit=X option.

 mount /dev/sdX -t hfsplus -o ro,sizelimit=318841946112

Home sharing

UID synchronization


Note: It is strongly recommended that UID/GID manipulation be done immediately after a new user account is created, in OS X as well as in Arch Linux. If you installed OS X from scratch, then this operation is guaranteed to work after logging into your account for the first time.
Step 1: change UID and GID(s)


  1. Open NetInfo Manager located in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. If not done for you already, enable access to user account transactions by clicking on the closed lock at the bottom of the window, and entering your account password, or root password if you have created a root account.
  3. Navigate to /users/<new user name> where <new user name> is the name of the account that will have read/write access to the folder that will be shared with the primary user in Arch.
  4. Change the UID value to 1000 (the value used by default for first user created in Arch).
  5. Also change the GID value to 1000 (the value used by default for user account creation in Arch).
  6. Navigate to /groups/<new user name>, automatically saving the changes you have made so far.
Note: If you get an error message that the transaction is not allowed, log out and log back in.


In Leopard, the NetInfo Manager application is not present. A different set of steps is required for UID synchronization:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Users & Groups.
  3. Unlock the pane if not already done so.
  4. Right-click on the desired user and select Advanced Options.
  5. Write down the value of the User ID field, you will need it later on. Change both the UID and GID to match the UID and GID of the account wished to be shared with in Arch (1000 by default for the first user created in Arch).
Step 2: change "Home" permissions
  1. Open up Terminal in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
  1. Enter the following command to reclaim the permission settings of your home folder, replacing <your user name>, <your user group> and <your old UID> with the user name whose UID and GID values you just changed, the group name whose GID value you just changed and the old UID number, respectively.
# find /User/<your user name> -user <your old UID> -exec chown <your user name>:<your user group> {} \;

In Arch

To synchronize your UID in Arch Linux, you are advised to perform this operation while creating a new user account. It is therefore recommended that you do this as soon as you install Arch Linux.

Now you must substitute Arch's home with OS X's home, by modify entries of /etc/fstab.

Avoid long EFI wait before booting

If your MacBook spends 30 seconds with "white screen" before booting you need to tell the firmware where the booting partition is.

Boot OS X, if you do not have it installed, you can use the install DVD (select language, then click Utilities->Terminal) or another MacBook with OS X (connect the two computers via firewire or thunderbolt, start the other MacBook while holding the T button, boot your MacBook while holding the Options button (alt)).

Either way, once you have got a OS X terminal running on your MacBook you need to execute a different command (as root) depending on if you use EFI or not:

# bless --device /dev/disk0s1 --setBoot            # if the booting partition is EFI


# bless --device /dev/disk0s1 --setBoot --legacy   # if the booting partition is not EFI

(given that if your GRUB or EFI is on sda1, /dev/disk1s2 if it is on sdb2, etc). See also

Mute startup chime

The startup chime volume is controlled by the EFI variable SystemAudioVolume-7c436110-ab2a-4bbb-a880-fe41995c9f82. So it can be muted with

# printf "\x07\x00\x00\x00\x00" > /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/SystemAudioVolume-7c436110-ab2a-4bbb-a880-fe41995c9f82

Bear in mind that the file may have the immutable bit set by default, which will prevent even root from overwriting the file. See File permissions and attributes#File attributes. To remove it, issue the following:

# chattr -i /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/SystemAudioVolume-7c436110-ab2a-4bbb-a880-fe41995c9f82

After that, run the printf command and it should overwrite the file properly. Verify the file's contents and then set the immutable bit again with chattr +i once satisfied.

Alternatively, you can use a OS X install disk to mute the chime. Boot from it, select language, then click Utilities > Terminal, and enter

# /usr/sbin/nvram SystemAudioVolume=%01

(or whatever volume you want).

Note: Required formatting of the value provided for key SystemAudioVolume may differ depending on MacBook model and perhaps the version of OS X install media. If the above command fails to work, try enclosing the value in double quotes.

kworker using high CPU

Sometime with the addition of Yosemite, some users found that kworker CPU usage will spike, as disccused here. This is sometimes the result of runaway ACPI interrupts.

To check and see, you can count the number of recent ACPI interrupts and see if any of them are out of control.

$ grep . -r /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/

If you see that one particular interrupt is out of control (possibly GPE66), i.e., registering hundreds of thousands of lines, you can try disabling it (replace XX with the runaway interrupt):

# echo "disable" > /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/gpeXX

Disabling random ACPI interrupts could cause all kinds of problems, so do this at your own risk. If this fixes the problem, there is discussion about how to make a systemd service that automatically disables an interrupt at every boot here.


  • You probably want to have a look at rEFInd, which is some type of successor of rEFIt.
  • This is not a requirement. It only gives you a menu to choose between OS X and Arch Linux upon every boot.

For more see, rEFIt myths.

In OS X, download the ".dmg" from rEFIt Homepage and install it.

Note: If you have already partitioned your hard disk in preparation for the Arch installation, rEFIt may not be enabled by default. You will have to run the "" script installed in /efi/refit/.

Open up Terminal and enter:

# cd /efi/refit;
# ./

Problems with rEFIt

If you experience problems after the install of Arch or rEFIt, especially is the right OS is not showing up to boot to or if it dumps you at a GRUB prompt stuck like the following:


Then have a look at this link:

It can give you a basic idea on how to boot off the Arch live cd, mount the problem Arch install, chroot, use gptsync, and reinstall GRUB. This is probably for more advanced users who can translate the commands from a debian system to an Arch system and also apply it to the partitions on their machine. Be careful not to install GRUB in the wrong spot.

If you need gptsync, install gptsyncAUR.

Mavericks upgrade breaks Arch boot option

For some multi-boot users who utilize a separate Linux boot partition, the OS X Mavericks upgrade may overwrite the boot partition with Apple's own recovery boot filesystem. This breaks the Arch Linux boot option in rEFIt/rEFInd. The best way to proceed in this situation is to abandon a separate boot partition and use the EFI system partition (ESP) to install the boot loader of your choice. It is also recommended that you use rEFInd instead of rEFIt as development on the latter has halted.

Assuming grub2 as the boot loader:

Use the Arch LiveCD to boot to a shell and chroot to your broken Arch Linux environment.

Mount the ESP on /boot.

Edit the fstab and remove the old boot partition and make ESP the new boot partition. Now mount the ESP as the new /boot parition.

# mount -a

Reinstall the linux package.

Create a new initramfs and vmlinuz in /boot.

# mkinitcpio -p linux

Install grub.

# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot --bootloader-id=grub --recheck --debug

Create a new grub.cfg file.

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/EFI/grub/grub.cfg

Make sure that grub.cfg is in the same directory as grubx64.efi.

Generate a new refind_linux.conf file in /boot simply by running which comes with rEFInd.

Exit the chroot environment.

Reboot. You should see a new entry for Arch Linux in rEFInd and it should boot to your Arch Linux installation.

Model-specific information

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with Laptop/Apple.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: This should probably be integrated into the Apple laptop page or split into a separate sub-page otherwise. (Discuss in Talk:Mac)


April 2016 12" - Version 9,1

  • Booting from USB via EFI works fine, when giving the intremap=nosid kernel option. Remember to hold the Alt key on booting to enter the boot menu. In order to allow Linux boot directly from your system disk, you will first need to install from within OSX recovery mode (hold cmd+r during boot, then open terminal, then run refind-install script).
  • The wireless card works out of the box with brcmfmac.
  • Suspend / hibernate does not work. The problem seems to be the NVMe that does not wake up. When booting from an external drive, suspend / hibernate works out of the box.
  • Audio recording works out of the box. Audio playback works out of the box for headphones, not for built-in speakers. Cirrus driver patch needed for making the speakers work:
  • The keyboard and the touchpad do not work out of the box. There is a work-in-progress driver available that works well: macbook12-spi-driver-dkmsAUR. Sometimes the touchpad does not work after booting but this can be fixed by reloading the driver with rmmod applespi && modprobe applespi.
  • The keyboard backlight does not work (no solution yet).
  • For Bluetooth driver, see macbook12-bluetooth-driverAUR

Mid 2007 13" - Version 2,1

Boot loader

The macbook2,1 is an unusual system, being a x86_64 machine that runs a 32-bit pre-boot EFI OS. This means that while you should (and will, if you are using official Arch ISOs) install a 64 bit Linux, you need to make sure the boot loader you choose is compiled for 32-bits.

With GRUB, this is done by

# grub-install --target i386-efi --efi-directory=/boot/ --removable

You can also use rEFInd, as explained next.

Installation via 201212 ISO image

Since older Macbooks have a 32bit EFI running, the usual installation image is not recognized. You need to either remove the UEFI support from the disc (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#Remove UEFI boot support from optical media) or build a 32bit EFI version of the disc. The paragraphs below will take the first path to success, booting into BIOS mode and its pitfalls. For a try the other way round, read Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#Create UEFI bootable USB from ISO first.

First prepare your harddisc according to your wishes. In this scenario it was a "Linux only" approach with

/dev/sda1 HFS+ AF00 200M -> EFI boot system on Apple HFS+ partition
/dev/sda2 ext4 8300 147G -> arch system
/dev/sda3 swap 8200 1G   -> swap

The hfsprogsAUR package contains the tools to handle HFS/HFS+ filesystems. The rEFInd boot loader recognizes it on its own. Usually the partition for the EFI boot loader is a FAT32 (vfat) partition. In this case I tried rEFIt first, which apparently needs the HFS+ filesystem to work, and kept it at that.

The mount points are:

/dev/sda2 -> /
/dev/sda1 -> /boot

The boot loader in use was rEFInd instead of rEFIt. To install it, the rEFInd homepage provides a good guide. Usually it is simply done by copying rEFInd:

# mkdir /boot/EFI
# cp -vr /usr/share/refind/drivers_ia32 /boot/EFI/refind/
# cp -vr /usr/share/refind/tools_ia32 /boot/EFI/refind/
# cp -vr /usr/share/refind/fonts /boot/EFI/refind/
# cp -vr /usr/share/refind/icons /boot/EFI/refind/
# cp -v /usr/share/refind/refind_ia32.efi /boot/EFI/refind/
# cp -v /usr/share/refind/refind.conf-sample /boot/EFI/refind/refind.conf
# cp -v /usr/share/refind/refind_linux.conf-sample /boot/refind_linux.conf
Note: I'm using the 32bit version of Arch and refind, since the EFI of the old MacBooks is 32bit. I'm not sure about 32bit rEFInd booting a 64bit Arch...

The pitfall here is, that the system bootet in BIOS compatibility mode and not in EFI mode. You cannot therefore use efibootmgr, because the EFI variables (even with 'modprobe efivars') are not available. While installing the system get mactel-bootAUR. The hfs-bless utility comes in handy, when blessing the EFI boot loader. This is done by calling:

# hfs-bless /boot/EFI/refind/refind_ia32.efi

Since the Linux kernel does come with EFI stub enabled, it seems a good idea to run it through a boot loader first. Especially if it runs not out of the box. But using rEFInd makes GRUB (or any other boot loader) obsolete, because of that.

Note: In the refind_linux.conf you add any kernel option you may want as long as you use the EFI stub of your kernel. In refind.conf you adjust your needs for the boot loader itself, like menu entries. If you use them (menu entries), rEFInd should not look for these EFI stub kernels itself, so blacklist the directories used in here, like /boot/.

Not running out of the box is unfortunately the initial stage for the kernel. Since we installed it in BIOS mode, two modules are missing to grant access to the root partition while booting. Hence the 'initfsram-linux.img' can not be found/loaded. Adding the following modules to your MODULES array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf solved this (original post).

MODULES=(ahci sd_mod)

Regenerate the initramfs.

The boot loader rEFInd can scan kernels even out of the /boot/... directory and assumes an efi kernel even without the extension .efi. If you do not want to try out special kernels, this should work without the hassle to copy each kernel after building to some spot special.

If you happen to get multiple entries for one boot image, it often results of a previous installation of a boot loader within the MBR. To remove that, try the following - taken from the original post. This is valid for GPT partitioned discs, so please check your environment and save your MBR first.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=440 count=1
Installation via 202104 ISO image

The MacBook will not reboot properly by default. It needs the kernel command line parameter reboot=pci. To add it, if you are using GRUB, add the parameter with:

 echo '# Repair macbook rebooting:';
 echo 'GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="$GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX reboot=pci"') >> /etc/default/grub

Then make sure to regenerate with

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg 

If you are using syslinux then use its APPEND operation.

Microphone 2,1

If your microphone is not working, you have probably run into a driver bug which makes the macbook think the digital microphone is always plugged in, disabling the normal microphone.

To work around it, disable the pulseaudio plug detector with this patch:

--- a/usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-input-mic.conf
+++ b/usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-input-mic.conf
@@ -23,6 +23,8 @@
 [Jack Mic]
 required-any = any
+state.plugged = unknown
+state.unplugged = unknown
 [Jack Mic Phantom]
 required-any = any
@@ -31,6 +33,8 @@
 [Jack Mic - Input]
 required-any = any
+state.plugged = unknown
+state.unplugged = unknown
 [Element Capture]
 switch = mute
Warning: This needs to be reapplied manually after every pulseaudio upgrade. Pulseaudio does not seem to support any kind of system-local customization files that could make this patch permanent.

MacBook Pro

Mid 2010 - Version 6,2

On this model only the open source NVIDIA driver nouveau is installable in UEFI mode (The proprietary driver nvidia-340xx-dkmsAUR causes a black blank screen when Xorg loads).

Note: A kernel option enabled in recent kernels causes suspension and hibernation to become dysfunctional when using the open source nouveau driver (Debian)

The solution is to provide the init_on_alloc=0 kernel parameter.

Early 2015 13"/15" - Version 12,x/11,4+


The brcmfmac driver is working as of 2015-11-20, with newer firmware necessary for working 5GHz support (see here.)

Note: On the Macbook Pro 12,1 if the brcmfmac driver can not be started and the following errors occur in the journal:
brcmfmac: brcmf_chip_recognition: chip backplane type 15 is not supported
brcmfmac: brcmf_pcie_probe: failed 14e4:43ba

Then check whether PCI runtime power management is enabled on the device, and disable it if so.


Bluetooth is fully supported starting from kernel-4.4.0.

Suspend and power Off (11,4+)

The 11,4 and 11,5 MacBook Pros do not shutdown or suspend correctly with the default kernel. This issue is being addressed in Bug 103211 and a temporary patch is currently available in linux-macbookAUR. Note that Linux 4.13.0 has this patch included, and will be released shortly.

Keyboard and trackpad

Haptic feedback works out of the box due to the trackpad's built-in firmware.

There are several drivers available that provide multitouch support. The following have been confirmed working with the MacBookPro12,1.

For xf86-input-libinput the following configuration emulates some features from the OS X functionality. For more options see libinput(4).

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "libinput touchpad catchall"
    MatchIsTouchpad "on"
    MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
    Driver "libinput"
    Option "NaturalScrolling" "true"

For xf86-input-synaptics the following configuration is necessary to make the touchpad work fully.

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier "Trackpad"
    Driver "synaptics"
    MatchIsTouchpad "on"
    MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"

Further, some US/ANSI keyboards suffer from an issue where the tilde key (~, the key vertically between Esc and Tab) registers as < and >. The following config file fixes this issue.

options hid_apple iso_layout=0

See this kernel bugzilla for more details and the relevant patches for earlier kernels.


For Intel-only graphics, install the xf86-video-intel package. For more information or OpenGL/3D support, follow instructions at Intel graphics.

As of linux kernel 4.16.6 dual graphics switching does work on the 11,5 (2015) with Intel modesetting and the AMD GPU utilizing the radeon driver (amdgpu is untested). See MacBookPro11,x#Graphics to enable the integrated graphics. Once the laptop boots with integrated graphics enabled you can use VGA Switcheroo controls to power down the discrete GPU. However, if you keep it powered on you will be able to utilize HDMI connections and using switcheroo-controlAUR you can run applications on the AMD GPU.

  • The kernel parameters acpi_backlight, i915.lvds_downclock, i915.enable_ips, and intel_iommu are no longer necessary as of kernel 4.2.
  • (Kernel 4.10.8, MacBook Pro 11,4+) If you experience system lock ups and/or tearing in Xorg, remove the .xf86-video-intel completely, including any config file you made for it. Xorg will default to its modesetting DDX driver. The performance of this driver is good and the locks go away. See also Intel graphics.
  • If you are experiencing flickering issues with Xorg, you can set i915.enable_rc6 to 0 parameter into the kernel parameters which will disable to power saving of Intel graphics.

2012 - 2014 models

MacBook Air

Early 2014 11" - Version 6,1

This is almost the same as the 2013 version, where the only known difference is a slightly faster processor. The version numbers have not been changed since the 2013 version.

It works excellently after following the instructions for the MBA 2013 13" here and in the forum thread. Bluetooth, which has been reported not working for some people with the 2013 version, works without trouble for the 2014 version, although it should be exactly the same.

Note: Unless you have a local repository on a USB disk, you need a USB to ethernet adaptor or a USB wireless adaptor supported natively by the kernel to easily install Arch Linux, since you have to install the broadcom-wl-dkms package to make the internal wireless adaptor work.

Unresolved issues:

  • There is no driver for the webcam yet.
  • rEFInd uses 30 seconds to start booting. Using the bless trick stops rEFInd from loading, and it has to be re-installed.

Mid 2013 13" - Version 6,2

Dedicated forum thread

Installing and booting

Booting from a normal 2013.6 USB key works fine, but I could not seem to get either GRUB or Syslinux working.

I was able to boot by first installing Arch Linux following the MacBook guide at the wiki (having a separate FAT32 /boot partition). Skip the boot loader installation.

Installing rEFInd from OS X (important!) and installing the EFI stub loader made me able to boot fine.

Dedicated thread.

Note: Installing rEFInd from Linux (or from OS X, but to the esp) also works fine
Arch Only Installation

This method works without rEFInd and uses grub to boot EFI. Partition as follows:

/dev/sda1 200M Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda2 256M Linux filesystem
/dev/sda3 4G Linux swap
/dev/sda4 108.6G Linux filesystem

sda1 can also be a HFS+ partition for EFI. This example chooses to use FAT32 (vfat). Although swap is optional, it is required for hibernation. Instead of sda4 for root and home, an alternative partition scheme would be to make sda4 as root and sda5 as home.

Format and mount:

# mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sda1
# mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda2
# mkswap /dev/sda3
# swapon /dev/sda3
# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda4
# mount /dev/sda4 /mnt
# mkdir /mnt/boot
# mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot
# mkdir /mnt/efi
# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/efi

Finish the installation according to the Installation guide and skip anything after the boot loader. After you have generated your initramfs and set root passwd follow below to setup grub. First, install grub efibootmgr, then:

# mount -t efivarfs efivarfs /sys/firmware/efi/efivars
# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/efi --bootloader-id=grub --recheck --debug
# grub-mkconfig -o /efi/EFI/grub/grub.cfg
# cp /efi/EFI/grub/grub.cfg /boot/grub/grub.cfg
# cp /efi/EFI/grub/grubx64.efi /efi/EFI/boot/bootx64.efi}}

Now you can exit/unmount/reboot:

# exit
# umount -R /mnt
# reboot
Stability problems

Tango-edit-clear.pngThis article or section needs language, wiki syntax or style improvements. See Help:Style for reference.Tango-edit-clear.png

Reason: Section is written like a blog post (Discuss in Talk:Mac)
Note: Passing libata.force=1:noncq to the kernel parameters solves the problem.

This is the big worry for me. Every now and then my system hangs for a brief moment and everything involving net or disk access just hangs there for a while and then it seems to work. So far it only seems to happen when I run something disk or CPU-intensive. Also had an occasion when I could not start X and just got this repeating all over my screen:

ata1.00: failed command: WRITE FPDMA QUEUED
ata1.00: cmd 61/08:f0:10:8c:c2/00:00:0b:00:00/40 tag 30 ncq 4096 out
res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
ata1.00: status: { DRDY }

On the next attempt it worked fine. I did SMART short and long tests on my disk and they returned fine: smartctl -a

There are some messages in my boot that indicate this could be disk and/or ACPI related.

These are with 2013-06 ISO, 3.9.7-1 2013 x86_64 kernel.

journalctl -b Seems to only work with the headphone jack, not with the speakers.


Note: Same problem in 2017 with a Macbook Air early 2014. Updating the firmware (via migration to macOS Sierra) solved the issue.
Marvell ATA suspend bugs

If you have 2013 MacBook Air with a Marvell 128 or 256 GB drive, you might get the following ata errors instead after pm-suspend/resumes:

ata1: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x10000 action 0xe frozen
ata1: irq_stat 0x00400000, PHY RDY changed
ata1: SError: { PHYRdyChg }
ata1: hard resetting link
ata1: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)
ata1.00: unexpected _GTF length (8)
ata1.00: unexpected _GTF length (8)
ata1.00: configured for UDMA/33
ata1: EH complete

Try what Patrick and Tejun figured out on the linux bug. I followed what Patrick describes with sata_alpm, and I have not seen the issue since.

There are more steps on how to resolve this issue in this thread on the Arch forum


Brightness is either 0% or 100% after resuming from suspend. Adding the kernel parameter "acpi_osi=!Darwin" to your boot loader fixes the problem, though may have other side effects including disabling the thunderbolt port.


WiFi does not work out of the box. Install broadcom-wl-dkms to connect to a network. If booting from the official Arch Linux ISO, one needs to unload a few standard modules in order to use the included wl module. Do so as follows:

# rmmod b43 ssb bcma wl

Now simply load the wl module:

  1. modprobe wl

This should automatically load the onboard wifi which can be seen by issuing: ip a. From here follow the wpa_supplicant#Connecting with wpa_cli article to bring up the wireless network.


Since 3.10.3 kernel touchpad works perfectly with xf86-input-synaptics.


ALSA may recognise the HDMI audio out as card 0 which will be the default card. Confirm this by checking the output of

$ aplay -l

If that is the case, you may need to create a /etc/asound.conf with below entries:

defaults.pcm.card 1
defaults.ctl.card 1

to use the HDA Intel card, ie. the built-in speakers / headphones.

Mid 2012 11.5" — Version 5,1

If you have issues with waking from sleep while in X11 such as a black screen or showing the console with a frozen mouse cursor then remove xf86-input-synaptics and install xf86-input-mtrack-gitAUR. This fixed errors such as

 (EE) [dix] bcm5974: unable to find touch point 0

and backtraces that causes X11 to crash. This might apply to Version 5,2 assuming they use the same trackpad.

Mid 2011 — version 4,x

Works out-of-the-box since kernel 3.2.

Mid 2009 — version 2,1

Everything works, except the WIFI. You need to install the b43-fwcutter and b43-firmwareAUR packages.

Append options b43 pio=1 qos=0 to /etc/modprobe.d/b43.conf.

Early 2008 — version 1,1

Everything works out of the box though you will need the b43-fwcutter package (or simply b43-firmwareAUR) for the wireless adapter to work.

Since this model has only one USB port, you may find it easiest to install Arch with a powered USB hub. Plug a USB network adapter (wireless or ethernet adapter to plug into a USB port) and your Arch installation media into the USB hub.

If you cannot get any result by scanning wireless network after boot, unload modules b43 and ssb and load them again:

# rmmod ssb
# rmmod b43
# modprobe b43

There is a good chance you will find what's wrong with DMA from the dmesg log.

Even if you can scan wireless networks after reloading the modules, it is still possible that you will only be able to connect to some networks, but not all of them. According to a more detailed discussion here:, adding pio=1,qos=0 options to the b43 module can solve this problem.

I tested this for a 13' MacBookAir1,1 with a BCM4321 chipset, and it works.

Mac Mini



Attempting to modify UEFI boot parameters with efibootmgr is likely to crash in the kernel. Including GRUB install phase

Luckily firmware on this model can function without it, using following adaptation of the #Using the native Apple boot loader with GRUB

  • Instead of creating HFS+ partition create a fat32 partition for the boot loader
  • Instead of using grub-install create grub image and installation manually OR boot with efi=noruntime parameter
  • Manual installation:
# mkdir -p /boot/grub/fonts
# grub-mkimage -O x86_64-efi -o /boot/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi -p /boot/grub part_gpt hfsplus fat ext2 btrfs normal chain boot configfile linux appleldr minicmd loadbios reboot halt search font gfxterm png all_video
# cp -r /usr/lib/grub/x86_64-efi /boot/grub/
# cp /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 /boot/grub/fonts/

  • Touching /boot/mach_kernel is not necessary anymore.

See also