What a wonderful release. Of course, Apple do try to take the shine off it. I offer some tips which may prevent you wasting the entire weekend re-installing (as I did).


Partition with Bootcamp then Refit. There are numerous guides on this.
By far the easiest installation method is to use an external DVD drive. Remember to edit Grub (add "nomodeset") before booting. In theory, Macs will boot from the USB or the SD drive. In practice, most images use an unrecognisable isolinux. See this excellent article for a possible solution:
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This is a potential headache. Unfortunately, the proprietary Nvidia driver is required to make the most of the wonderful 1440x900 display. I had no success with the nouveau drivers. This post by ghostdog67 is the way to go:
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If you try installing the same driver from different sources (e.g. from the BT repo or the Nvidia installer), the default resolution keeps resetting to 800x600.

Backlight control

The Fn 1/2 keys do not work. The kludge is to add to xorg.conf Section "Device"

Option         "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
Backlight can then be controlled by echoing values (between 1-15) to /sys/class/backlight/mbp_backlight/brightness e.g.
echo 12 > /sys/class/backlight/mbp_backlight/brightness
I have these set up as scripts on the desktop. I'm trying to map these to the fn keys but haven't cracked it yet.

Power consumption

Battery life can be improved with:
hciconfig hci0 down
echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
echo 1 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT, add: usbcore.autosuspend=1 hpet=force
On light web browsing with the screen on 12/15, powertop shows:
Power usage (ACPI estimate): 7.2W (9.0 hours) (long term: 6.5W,/9.9h)
Not as good as OSX, but not too shabby!


This fix is required:

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You also should load alsamixer and then unmute the front speakers.


BRCM80211 loads, and connects rapidly, much better than bcwl. Unfortunately, there are frequent disconnects. On my installation of Mint 10 kernel 38.5, wireless is completely stable. I'm playing with compat-wireless (and will probably bork the system).

Monitor mode

There is some basic functionality!

aireplay-ng -9 mon0
15:46:35  Trying broadcast probe requests...
15:46:35  Injection is working!
15:46:37  Found 2 APs

15:46:37  Trying directed probe requests...
15:46:37  xxxxx - channel: 8 - 'xxxx'
15:46:40  Ping (min/avg/max): 3.684ms/90.562ms/112.339ms Power: -43.43
15:46:40  30/30: 100%

15:46:40  xxxx - channel: 6 - 'xxxx'
15:46:44  Ping (min/avg/max): 4.538ms/29.985ms/98.703ms Power: -82.50
15:46:44  10/30:  33%
But... this only works when wlan0 is associated ?!?


It is no longer necessary to use the mactel ppa
The synaptics driver for the touchpad is controlled through /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf.
Reboot requires "reboot=pci" in Grub
My final grub.conf reads
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text nomodeset usbcore.autosuspend=1 hpet=force reboot=pci"