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Thread: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    So I've got 15.04 installed and running successfully (future people Googling this: see footnote [1]). However, this version of the MBP has Apple's shiny new Force Touch trackpad, and surprising exactly nobody, it's not working particularly well. The basics work - I can move the mouse and left click - but nothing more than that. According to my Xorg.log (relevant section here), it's just getting the class "pointer" and the generic evdev driver - neither the Synaptic driver or mtrack (I have both installed) are picking it up.

    I'm not sure whether there's a simple configuration change I can make to get mtrack to Just Work or whether this is going to be more complicated. Any ideas?

    Also, possibly related, my keyboard doesn't appear to be registering the fn key at all. xev doesn't pick anything up when it's pressed, nor does it affect other keypresses when held down. But in OSX, fn+down generates page down, and so forth. I'm not sure if that's fixable by changing the keyboard layout (it's set to UK Macintosh at the moment, which is mostly right for the other keys, except that the `/~ and §/± keys are switched).


    [1] I had the same issues getting started as the Macbook Air in this thread - GTK apps weren't rendering their window contents in 14.10, but it works fine in 15.04. And the wireless drivers weren't working even with all updates installed, until I downloaded the firmware from the Linux firmware git repo and dropped it in /lib/firmware/brcm.
    Warning: do not install the bcmwl-kernel-source package (the official Broadcom drivers), on pain of them freezing the kernel up upon loading.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    I am very happy that I am not alone. I just install Ubuntu 15.04 on macbook pro Early 2015, And it works fine.

    But I have four problems also:
    - 1. the wifi is not working, and when I install the bcmwl-kernel-source package(the official Broadcom drivers from update software in addition drivers), my macbook pro cannot shutdown properly. And the worst thing is that I can not shut down my Ubuntu properly even I uninstall it from the software center. Then I think I will reinstall it and try your method. Thanks a lot.
    - 2. the keyboard backlight is always lighting with full value.
    - 3. the screen backlight is always lighting with fuall value too. After try some method with the google result. I can not make them the value I like .

    If you has just setting the keyboard or screen backlight properly. Would you like to share it with me ?

    Thanks advance.
    Last edited by baozhanbingyai; March 28th, 2015 at 10:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2015
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    Hi guys,

    Im happy about this topic, i bought also a macbook pro 13 early 2015 and want to install Ubuntu, too.
    So I hope we will fix the trackpad and wlan issue, did anybody try 14.04 or the newest linux kernel?
    I read some people have problems with overheating on linux, will that problem be fixed ?
    I hope in the future everything will work fine, perfect hardware and a hight configurational OS ... a dream will come true
    Did anybody try a other linux distribution like fedora or suse ?
    Last edited by fechler2; March 28th, 2015 at 06:08 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    Backlights:
    The keyboard brightness setting is the file /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness, on a scale of 0 to 255. Edit that file (with sudo) and write whatever brightness you want to it, and you should see the keyboard brightness change.
    Likewise, the screen brightness is /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness. I believe the reason adjusting this from the GUI doesn't work is that there's also an acpi_video0 backlight detected, which doesn't work properly.
    I don't know if there's a GUI tool that will set these correctly, but you should be able to write a startup script or something which sets them to your desired values.

    Other distros/verisons:
    I haven't tried 14.04, but the kernel won't be new enough for the wireless to work. Trying a new kernel from mainline is one of the things I want to try re the trackpad, along with trying to just force the mtrack driver on it in xorg.conf, and failing that packet capturing the damn thing and comparing it to a working trackpad. However, Pillars of Eternity just got released so there are some competing demands on my spare time here...
    The latest version of Fedora ran fine for me, but had the same wireless and trackpad issues as Ubuntu. I imagine making sure it has a 3.19 kernel and installing the firmware blob will fix the wireless.

    Overheating:
    I haven't had any problems, but I haven't done anything particularly stressful with it yet. You probably want to install lm-sensors and macfanctld and keep an eye on the output of `sensors` and/or /var/log/macfanctl.log.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    Gents:

    Not to be a dark cloud, but, I've had a few threads posted here and over on the LM forum asking about trackpad problems for my '10 MBPro . . . with no ***easy*** to me solutions provided. My problem was text being highlighted and erased while typing on the keyboard--and I didn't swipe the trackpad--and the "ultimate" solution for me was to check "disable trackpad while typing" . . . . However, one poster on the LM forum did post some data about how to add "synaptics" data to the xorg.conf file . . . but, just didn't have the chops to try that method. My point is that if linux didn't have a handle on the '10 tp it ***probably**** won't have the complexities of the latest and greatest at all covered. But, you could try to find that thread on LM; it's something like "why does LM 13 erase data??" . . . . It's a free OS, be happy with what it does do.

    Also, in terms of the "try 14.04" suggestion . . . yes, I would support that idea. I have LM17.1 running on my MBPro and the broadcom module installed through "additional drivers" without a problem. 15.04 is still "testing" I believe . . . and that might explain the issues . . . 14.04.2 might even work the tp better . . . .

    e...

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    Ah, ye of little faith. I'm optimistic that a solution exists; given the basics are working it can't be doing anything *too* weird. Not necessarily an easy solution, but I'm not afraid of xorg.conf. (If I wasn't up for a challenge I wouldn't try putting Linux on difficult hardware in the first place.)

    The problem with older versions is that older kernels don't support brand new hardware. The open source drivers for the particular model of Broadcom wireless chip in the 2015 MBP, for example, were only added to the kernel in 3.19, and there are likely to be other issues even if the official driver behaves (which I'm not optimistic about - I had the same problem with the official driver in 3.17 on Fedora).

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    @sentynel:

    Happy to be proven wrong . . . please post back when you get it "fixed" to your satisfaction . . . and then post the details of what you did so that others could learn your procedure . . . .

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but in the comparison to how OSX runs its own machines, the relative sophistication of an ***expensive*** operating system to a free OS really designed to run on PCs . . . linux is a tad behind that curve . . . no harm no foul. So, in terms of the kernel needing to be the latest, you may or may not be correct; I'd still venture that it would need some . . . possibly major tweaking to get it to do what OSX is offering. And, then the question is, to what end???

    Rather than trying to get it to work in the same way as the more or less unobtaniumism of apple, why not just enjoy the things and applications that it does offer . . . and let the very basic functions of the tp suffice, while you are booted in linux. When you want the maximum function and capacity use the OS that apple designed for it . . . why waste time? Many of us in this sub-forum are here because the computers that apple no longer "supports" have viable function that linux offers . . . . Enjoy the process.

    e....

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    @Sentynel
    Thanks for your post, I can make my wifi working !!! I think it is a simple, elegant method to make wifi working. I just curious why the wifi does not work out-of-the-box considering that the driver link you proposed point to git.kernel.org web site.
    Yes, the keyboard/screen brightness can be setting manually. I also want to make it automatically. So I follow the method proposed http://askubuntu.com/questions/52992...-start-up?rq=1, I add the follow command in my /etc/rc.local file, but It does not work for me:

    echo '470' > /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness
    echo '0' > /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightnessWould you like share the method that how you make it automatically ?

    And I find that the 'delete' key in GUI interface does not work also. I think it is cause by a key mapping, but I can not fix it also.

    My next path will to make the keyboard function do something I like. e.g. make the function key(the first row key) to behave combined with the 'fn' key (bottom left key). I know this will take my a lot of time. but anyway I will have a try.

    Thanks for your great advice and method to make wifi work.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2015
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    I'm thinking of buying a new MBP but I have a question about the force touch trackpad in Ubuntu/Other Distros. Does the tactile response work? I understand that there is no tactile response if you try to click while the machine is off, but there is a tactile response if you click in OSX. Does the tactile response "Just Work" in Ubuntu, or is there any known driver to make it work?

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu 15.04 on Macbook Pro 12,1 (Early 2015 13" Retina) - trackpad issues

    On setting the backlights - if you're sure that your script is actually getting executed and works properly, you might be finding that your rc.local script is getting triggered before the drivers have finished loading, or that something later in the startup process is resetting the brightness. I'd try getting it to happen later somehow.

    The wifi firmware only got added to that kernel git repo a week or two ago - it'll take them a little while to make it into distro packages.


    The click on the trackpad works just fine out of the box (to my slight surprise), I just don't have multitouch working on it yet.

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