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Thread: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

  1. #41
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    Dec 2004
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    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    Thanks for the detailed steps on installing without bricking the device. I'll give it a go over the weekend and I'll try building an up-to-date graphics stack, too.

    I know it seems implausible that it's possible to damage a motherboard by installing Linux, but that is being reported around the web and is being seriously discussed in a couple of bug reports that I've read. Some users have resuscitated their machines by running a firmware update, but others have reported that they've needed logic board replacements - which seem to be offered without question by Apple.

    BTW, FWIW, my wife managed a £164 discount plus a £65 appstore voucher on her Air for simply being a student. Interestingly, Apple didn't want to see any evidence of her educational status, and simply allowed me to buy the machine on her behalf. If anyone is still in education, don't forget to ask for cash off - the discounts only seem to be promoted on line, so they're easily overlooked. I mention it here, as this thread is likely to be read by prospective purchasers.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    32

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny View Post
    BTW, FWIW, my wife managed a £164 discount plus a £65 appstore voucher on her Air for simply being a student. Interestingly, Apple didn't want to see any evidence of her educational status, and simply allowed me to buy the machine on her behalf. If anyone is still in education, don't forget to ask for cash off - the discounts only seem to be promoted on line, so they're easily overlooked. I mention it here, as this thread is likely to be read by prospective purchasers.
    I second that. My wife is a student and I got ~$60 off the machine + $100 App store coupon (USA). In our case, they did ask for a student ID, or proof of registration by logging into the school's website.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Mountain View, CA, USA
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    So I can confirm that it is possible to install from USB per Sarvatt's suggestion of http://www.devslashzero.com/node/160. I am including my walk-through as I made minor deviations. Standard disclaimer applies: PLEASE be careful with these commands noting that mkfs will erase all contents of the destination device.

    The key "trick" from the blog is to NOT partition the usb drive (note the -I flag to mkfs.vfat).

    Here is a script which does the necessary steps. You will need to modify the path to the usb device.

    UPDATE:
    In theory, starting with 11.10 (including daily builds) you can simply dd the iso to the usb drive (device not partition). See this post for detailed instructions. Here are the steps I took (after replacing sdX of the fourth line with the correct letter--for me this was "sdb").
    Code:
    sudo aptitude install zsync
    # Daily Builds: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/
    zsync http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/oneiric-desktop-amd64+mac.iso.zsync
    sudo fdisk -l # to find the correct device
    sudo dd if=oneiric-desktop-amd64+mac.iso of=/dev/sdX oflag=direct bs=1048576
    # if dd gives problems, drop the "oflag=direct bs=1048576"
    I also used gparted to allocate the unused space.

    However, I haven't had luck with this approach.
    Last edited by dfacto; September 21st, 2011 at 01:38 PM.

  4. #44
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    @jonny How out-of-date is xorg-edgers? I just ask because I question if its worth the effort/electricity for you to try "building an up-to-date graphics stack, too"... I'm guessing our sarvatt is an xorg-edgers maintainer and he seems to be all over this problem.

    From xorg-edgers ppa you can see that natty builds are frequent and that he is listed as maintainer.

    Perhaps there is some other way we can be more helpful? (@Sarvatt et. al.)
    Last edited by dfacto; July 28th, 2011 at 01:39 AM.

  5. #45
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    So since we're waiting on the graphics driver...anyone get their touchpad working right? All I have is standard mouse movement and primary click capability.

    I posted in the mtrack thread and in the bcm5974 thread. I'm stumped on how to debug this further. Again it seems, end-of-the-line for me.
    Last edited by dfacto; July 28th, 2011 at 04:53 AM.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    32

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    @dfacto For the trackpad, have you tried the mactel support PPA at https://launchpad.net/~mactel-support/+archive/ppa? My system is currently on Oneiric and the PPA only goes up to Natty so I've not tried it yet.

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mactel-support/ppa
    audo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 2B97B7B8

  7. #47
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    Mar 2007
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    32

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    I noticed when rebooting my machine the rEFIt menu would take about 20 seconds to show up. I found the post below that says to reset the PRAM by holding down cmd+option+p+r and letting the machine chime twice before letting go.

    After that rEFIt shows up nice and quick again.

    http://scothoser.blogspot.com/2007/0...-clearing.html

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    @berto This was the first thing I tried. No good.

    Also good to know about the PRAM trick. Eventually I think we will have a nice *consolidated* collection of tips in this thread!

  9. #49
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    So I am just learning about this video card business as we go but here is why having to boot with "nomodeset" officially qualifies as a bug. (Although everyone but me probably already knows this...)

    By setting "nomodeset" as a kernel parameter you are disabling kernel mode setting (KMS), ie, essentially telling the kernel to not handle video and let the specific driver handle it. The driver for new intel cards exclusively relies on KMS so by disabling KMS you are effectively disabling the intel video driver by selecting nomodeset. The nvidia driver is designed similarly but I believe the radeon driver still supports user mode setting (ie not kernel mode setting).

    Since this driver is disabled, xorg falls-back to the fbdev for display. The fbdev has limited resolution support which is why we are limited to 1024x768 resolution.

    Bottomline: if you wish to test different intel driver builds and you booted with nomodeset (because you added it to grub per my suggestion) make sure to reboot and remove this option when in grub. To do this, enter into grub, hit 'e', delete nomodeset, and hit 'F10'. (I have been testing by "sudo service gdm restart" from tty1 so my tests have been inadequate.)

    Cheers
    Last edited by dfacto; July 28th, 2011 at 03:10 PM.

  10. #50
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: MacBookAir4,1 & MacBookAir4,2 (MBA 2011) support

    So here is the answer as to what is different about the amd64+mac desktop install.

    Speaking from my experience, if you use refit the amd64+mac iso is not needed. You will see two boot options (in refit) for the live cd or usb if thats what you're using. One option is boot using bootx64.efi (IIRC) and the other is boot using legacy. Choose the legacy mode and you'll be fine.

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