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Author Topic: TC on Macbook Pro, notes  (Read 9581 times)

Offline curaga

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TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« on: September 05, 2009, 09:35:58 AM »
I had been looking for a good laptop/netbook for a while now. My targets would be nicely summed as a Via Nano touchscreen netbook, a Macbook Pro, or a recent Macbook (yeah, I want the backlit keyboard).

Some days ago I found a nice used MBP. It's a late-2006 model, 15", core2duo 2.16Ghz, Radeon X1600, and so on. A very nice laptop indeed, I've always liked Apple's hardware style.

I used OS X exactly long enough to play one chess match (I lost btw ;)), and use Boot camp.

Booted a TC 2.2 cd, installed jfsutils, filesystems, cfdisk and grub, and proceeded with my installation.

1. cfdisk /dev/sda
Set sda3 to type linux, toggle bootable flag on.

2. mkfs.jfs -L MyMBP /dev/sda3

3. grub installation, regularly to MBR

Reboot with alt pressed to test around, then a final boot to OS X to set TC as the default (hey, why press alt every boot when I will hardly use OS X):
sudo bless --device /dev/disk0s3 --legacy --setBoot --verbose

Install went fine, nothing special, no refit or other stuff necessary. My MBP now boots to TC by default, with a slightly remastered image for my keymap and JFS, and damn the boot is fast :D
I'm used to fast after a slow usb-load, booting TC from HD is damn, damn fast. I might shoot a video later, just to show off :P

So, on pure TC 2.2, what works and what doesn't:
- touchpad doesn't work
- video, keyboard, ethernet work fine
- no sound so far with OSS, I'll soon try alsa
- hd, cd have full speed

I'll add stuff here as I move on with this. iLike so far.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 01:40:26 PM »
- sound works using alsa
- ath9k says it recognizes the wireless, can't test right now
- Xorg gives nice full display, 1440x900

Now running a custom 64-bit kernel. Touchpad working in perfect condition, bootsplash, other stuff.

Edit: Forgot to say in the first post, but OS X left a rather mixed impression. On the other hand it was beautiful and logical, but it was _slow_. Doing anything takes a sec or two, or more. Opening a terminal takes long. Opening iTunes takes near 10 seconds. 'Course, all waiting is smooth and animated, but still. I guess I've been spoiled by TC running in RAM, seeing OS X as way too slow.

Heck, I haven't tried Windows in a while. I wonder how much worse it would look now.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 01:57:24 PM by curaga »
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline alu

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 06:10:56 AM »
slight off, but however your post makes me curious about the 64 bit kernel; can you shortly discribed what you did in order to get a 64 bit kernel running? thanks, i am looking for such a kernel for a new hp i got recently

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 07:30:39 AM »
- alsa power saving produces a high-pitch whine when kicking in. I disabled this (added snd-hda-intel.power_save=0 to kernel boot line, because it is built in in my custom kernel)

@alu:
Sure, no problem. It wasn't that big a deal, all I did was build a TC-compatible (ie. loop-aes patched) 2.6.30.5 on a 64-bit box, then copied the resulting bzImage and modules.

No way of doing that on TC currently, it would require someone to build a full cross-compiling toolchain.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 11:00:32 AM »
One thing I like about these is the long battery life. Today I got 3+ hours playing music (mplayer-nodeps, headphones, mp3) on a used battery; not bad. The usual power savings were on: automatic cpu frequency via ondemand, wifi off, bluetooth off, screen off (via DPMS, which should save more power than just closing the lid), usb_suspend is automatic.

Oh, and as I now had a personal itch, watcher now supports battery ;)
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 10:09:09 AM »
KVM works :) One of the things I required from the laptop. Running anything in Qemu is now rather fast.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 01:27:13 PM »
Webcam works, after getting the firmware from the OSX partition using isight firmware tools. Tested with "mplayer tv://". Now just to figure out what the heck use that for :P
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 02:28:29 PM »
Now messing with the hotkeys. Pommed would seem the choice for it in the linux world:
Quote
pommed handles the hotkeys found on the Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook and PowerBook laptops and adjusts the LCD backlight, sound volume, keyboard backlight or ejects the CD-ROM drive accordingly.

pommed also monitors the ambient light sensors to automatically light up the keyboard backlight on the MacBook Pro and the latest PowerBook.

Optional support for the Apple Remote control is available.
But dear god the dependencies. Z+5 libs nothing else needs, plus never heard of, plus d-bus. No thanks. I don't want a daemon running there using resources just passing messages.

So, the keys have normal keycodes, as xev and showkey show. I'll be using actkbd to map them to actions. An actkbd extension to come.

The IR receiver can be used by standard LIRC. The only thing left would be the ambient light sensor, toggling the keyboard & screen backlights based on that.

PS: I have to try Neverball with the tilt sensor sometime ;)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 02:30:22 PM by curaga »
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Offline siriusfox

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 01:30:37 PM »
- sound works using alsa
- ath9k says it recognizes the wireless, can't test right now
- Xorg gives nice full display, 1440x900

What did you have to do to get Xorg working? I'm sitting on an iMac with similar specs (2GHz CD, X1600 GPU), and Vesa works fine, but when I go to launch Xorg the internal configuration fails when I try to run startx. TC 2.3.1.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 01:41:23 PM by siriusfox »

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2009, 12:41:25 PM »
I'm kind of old school, I prefer to create my own xorg.conf (instructions are in the info file). However, it worked straight from autodetection, so something else might be the fault here. Post the errors in a new thread?
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2009, 12:42:00 PM »
actkbd now running, all hotkeys working.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline evofx

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 11:46:31 PM »
Hi Curaga,

I'm interested in your 64-bit kernel. How did you do it?

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 03:29:32 PM »
Answered above:
...

@alu:
Sure, no problem. It wasn't that big a deal, all I did was build a TC-compatible (ie. loop-aes patched) 2.6.30.5 on a 64-bit box, then copied the resulting bzImage and modules.

No way of doing that on TC currently, it would require someone to build a full cross-compiling toolchain.
Do you need more details?
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline curaga

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 07:32:03 AM »
Update on things.

JFS, we had a great time, but in the end you just weren't the right one for me. You were slim, fast and light; but about every third crash was too much for you to handle. No data was ever lost, props for that, but having a crash make the fs un-fsckable is annoying enough. Result: Mount readonly, copy data off, reformat.
The not-so-bad crashes were fine with you - fsck just reran the journal, took about 3 secs.

But, I'm now back with my ex, ext3. Old, slow, but trusty. I've never had similar conditions cause an un-fsckable fs with ext3. Even though the formatting took 4x as long, it has near gb less space available for me, and general slowness and higher cpu usage, reliability wins for a laptop / dev machine.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline bmarkus

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Re: TC on Macbook Pro, notes
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 07:43:54 AM »
What is about XFS?
Béla
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