User Tools

Site Tools


apple_macbook_pro_9_2

Apple MacBook Pro 9,2 (13 inch, mid 2012)

Author(s)

Don Swatzy

Introduction

This MacBook Pro is one that still allows for easy switching of RAM and disk. Both are not Apple original anymore, I upgraded the RAM in 2013 and the HDD for an SDD in 2017. A beauty of a machine of which I gladly replaced Mac OS for a Free Software OS.

For the test I used Elementary OS 0.4.1 Loki.

Editing This Page

If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.

Specifications

NameApple MacBook Pro 9,2 (mid 2012)
ProcessorIntel Core i5, 2,5 GHz, Number of Processors: 1, Total Number of Cores: 2, L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB, L3 Cache: 3 MB
Screen13 inch, 1280×800
RAM8 GB, 2 memory slots, Double Data Rate Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (DDR3), 67.6mm x 30mm (1.18 inch), 2 GB or 4 GB, 204-pin, PC3-12800 DDR3 1600 MHz
HDD1 TB (SSD)
Optical DriveYour Optical Drive
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
NetworkEthernet, Wireless: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0xF5), Broadcom Corporation BCM4331 802.11a/b/g/n [14e4:4331] (rev 02), Bluetooth

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorks
ScreenWorks
HDDWorks
Optical DriveNot Tested
GraphicsWorks
SoundWorks
EthernetNot Tested
WirelessWorksSlow to get connection, Needs proprietary firmware
BluetoothWorks
56K Modemn/a
USBWorks
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot working
ExpressCard Slotn/a
CameraNot Tested

Notes

Broadcom WIFI firmware installation

For more information http://linuxwireless.sipsolutions.net/en/users/Drivers/b43/#firmware

The Broadcom wireless chip needs proprietary software (called “firmware”) that runs on the wireless chip itself to work properly. This firmware is copyrighted by Broadcom and must be extracted from Broadcom's proprietary drivers. To get such firmware on your system, you must download the driver from a legal distribution point, extract it, and install it. This is accomplished different ways by different Linux distributions, so please read the section for yours for the best results. You will need an alternate working internet connection (by Ethernet cable, for example) since the firmware cannot be included with the distro itself.

Fedora

With Fedora 10 and above, you should install wget and the b43-fwcutter tool (which will extract firmware from the Windows driver):

  su -
  yum install b43-fwcutter wget

Next use the instructions here, skipping b43-fwcutter installation part.

openSUSE openSUSE 11.3 and above includes a utility that will automatically download the firmware and install it into its proper location. With working Internet access, run the following commands:

  sudo zypper install b43-fwcutter
  sudo /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware
 

Ubuntu/Debian

In recent versions of Ubuntu and Debian, installing the firmware-b43-installer package will handle everything for you:

  sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

You will be asked to automatically fetch and install the firmware into the right location. Again, you will need an internet connection.

Ubuntu Community Documentation Ubuntu also has a page detailing the process of installing Broadcom wireless drivers on their community documentation. If you have internet access on the device that you want to install the b43 driver onto, follow this link: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx#b43%20-%20Internet%20access . If you do not have internet access on the device that has a b43 supported broadcom wireless chipset and would like to use b43, follow this link instead: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx#b43%20-%20No%20Internet%20access.

Note that you can only follow one of the two guides, not both.

Gentoo

Gentoo systems supply a pre-compiled binary for b43-fwcutter. You need to:

  emerge b43-fwcutter

and then follow the instructions below to download the Broadcom driver. The line that invokes b43-fwcutter will need to be changed to execute the program emerged above.

Mandriva

See the instructions at http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Installing_wireless_network_cards_using_the_b43_driver

Other distributions not mentioned above Note: You need to have a compiler and headers for libc installed, since you will have to build fwcutter from source

Install b43-fwcutter Use version 018 of b43-fwcutter. Download, extract the b43-fwcutter tarball and build it:

  wget http://bues.ch/b43/fwcutter/b43-fwcutter-018.tar.bz2 http://bues.ch/b43/fwcutter/b43-fwcutter-018.tar.bz2.asc
  gpg --verify b43-fwcutter-018.tar.bz2.asc
  tar xjf b43-fwcutter-018.tar.bz2
  cd b43-fwcutter-018
  make
  sudo make install
  cd ..

If verification of the GPG signature fails due to an unknown key, you need to import the following key:

Key ID = 4203454C Key fingerprint = 757F AB7C ED18 14AE 15B4 836E 5FB0 2747 4203 454C If you are using the b43 driver from 3.2 kernel or newer: After installing b43-fwcutter, download version 5.100.138 of Broadcom's proprietary driver and extract the firmware from it:

  export FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR="/lib/firmware"
  wget http://www.lwfinger.com/b43-firmware/broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
  tar xjf broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
  sudo b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o
 

If you are using the b43 driver from older kernel: After installing b43-fwcutter, download version 5.10.56.27.3 of Broadcom's proprietary driver and extract the firmware from it:

  export FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR="/lib/firmware"
  wget http://mirror2.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-5.10.56.27.3_mipsel.tar.bz2
  tar xjf broadcom-wl-5.10.56.27.3_mipsel.tar.bz2
  sudo b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" broadcom-wl-5.10.56.27.3/driver/wl_apsta/wl_prebuilt.o

Note that you must adjust the FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR path to your distribution. The standard place where firmware is installed to is /lib/firmware. However some distributions put firmware in a different place.

If you are using the b43legacy driver: After installing b43-fwcutter, download version 3.130.20.0 of Broadcom's proprietary driver and extract the firmware from it:

  export FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR="/lib/firmware"
  wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o
  sudo b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o

Note that you must adjust the FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR path to your distribution. The standard place where firmware is installed to is /lib/firmware. However some distributions put firmware in a different place.

Tips & Tricks

Elementary OS-specific

More apps

The AppCenter of Elementary OS is rather limited. You can install more software by for example installing Synaptic:

> sudo apt-get update
> sudo apt-get upgrade
> sudo apt-get install synaptic
> sudo synaptic
Dropbox

Because of the different Windomws system Dropbox is not nicely integrated in the icon bar. You can fix that by installing Dropbox as follows:

> sudo apt-get install git
> sudo apt-get remove dropbox*
> git clone https://github.com/zant95/elementary-dropbox /tmp/elementary-dropbox
  bash /tmp/elementary-dropbox/install.sh

Note: You need to reboot once to make dropbox available from the command prompt.

Add shortcuts

By default the shortcuts in Elementary OS are a bit 'weird' (different from other distros like Ubuntu). You can easily fix that: go to System Settings ⇒ Keyboard, tab Shortcuts.

For example, go to Applications and set CTRL-ALT-T for Terminal instead of Super-T.

Bluetooth

When searching for devices it can seem that Bluetooth is not working, because none are found. However, the panel that contains the devices is too small to show anything. Solution: maximize the window and see the found devices.

Power and temperature

Some notes on reducing power usage with Elementary OS and controlling temperature:

Red light in audio jack stays on (digital output)

If you noticed, the red LED inside of the audio jack port stays on always. This is fixable:

  1. Open Terminal by Ctrl + Alt + T
  2. Type in sudo alsamixer
  3. Use the arrow keys to move around and when over S/PDIF press M to mute, this will turn the light OFF.
  4. In case the light does not turn off: keep going right and keep muting until it does.
  5. Hit the Escape key - DO NOT CLOSE TERMINAL
  6. Type sudo alsactl store - This will make it persist across reboots
  7. Close Terminal

To restore the setting after reboot:

> sudo alsactl restore

To automatically restore after reboot:

> sudo apt-get install gedit
> sudo gedit /etc/rc.local

Then add the line 'alsactl restore' (without the quotes) before the line 'exit 0. Save and exit.

Summary

The Apple MacBook Pro 9,2 is a great machine to run Linux on. Using Elementary OS pretty much everything works 'out of the box'. Some minor glitches do occur and some tweaking is necessary to get the most from it.

apple_macbook_pro_9_2.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/24 16:19 by jmiralles