Arch Linux running on my MacBook

What I did to kick start it and teach it super powers


Preface

Recently I wrote a guide on how to set up Ubuntu on your MacBook Pro and it got great reception. So do people love to break free from Apple’s restrictions, do they love the Open Source trend, or are they just adventurous?

For me it was definitely all three reasons, and now I want to walk even deeper into the rabbit hole.

The problem with Ubuntu was that it didn’t run quite well, and had some quirks. Especially Unity was difficult to deal with, as it was indistinguishable where Unity starts and GNOME stops. Oh, the horror—

To fix that I wanted to build a system from the ground up. Arch Linux was my choice number one obviously. Its popularity, rich community and philosophy just makes it my favorite distribution. You will get a quickly-updated, official repository, as powerful as Ubuntu’s. Through the so called AUR you will also get a community-driven repository.

Be prepared to start over at least once!

But—and that’s the catch for many beginners—when you have to start from zero, you really have to start from zero. Arch Linux won’t have anything in particular installed by default. Just a few basic packages, but that’s it! No window server, no desktop environment, basically nothing helpful. You start in a sandbox, free to build anything you want. So, this guide is basically, how to get from zero to hero.

Before you go any further note that this is for more advanced Linux users, as you will face unpredictable hurdles, or maybe even an unusable system. Also this guide will most certainly have some gaps and flaws, as I’m writing this from memory, and my memory is not the best.

Make sure, that you don’t run into unsolvable problems, that need a reinstall. http://xkcd.com/1084/

Also note, that this is a highly “opinionated” guide. I will tell you to install this and that, possibly without even telling you about great alternatives—blasphemy!

For whom I wrote this article

This article is for people, who…

  • want to learn how to set up an Arch system
  • got bored (or frustrated) with Ubuntu and want to make the switch to Arch Linux
  • love not opinionated systems, that allow complete freedom.

But this article is not for people, who…

  • just have mediocre Bash and Linux skills
  • think that Mac OS X is the single most best OS
  • who want to acquire a deep understanding of the Arch Linux distro by themselves
  • are afraid of deleting everything from their Mac.

Let’s do this folks!

Requirements

You will need a thunderbolt-to-LAN, or USB-to-LAN adapter to make this work. It probably won’t come with wifi drivers. You could package those into the installation medium, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just assume this requirement.

Caution!

This guide will wipe everything from your disk and install Arch Linux only. No OS X involved! If you really want to do this make backups, lots of them.

I wrote this guide for a Macbook Pro Retina 11,1 13". It might work for similar models too, but I can’t guarantee it. In fact I better guarantee nothing.

Installation

It’s really easy to make a bootable setup-stick for Arch Linux (just as it is for Ubuntu). For example you could use Unebootin. Look here into the Arch wiki to get more detailed instructions on creating boot sticks: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_flash_installation_media

You can find all mirrors to the Arch Linux ISOs here: https://www.archlinux.org/download/

When you boot from your fresh setup-stick and press “alt” it will bring up the boot menu. There you can select the installation stick. Make sure you select the EFI option though, as the other option only loads the setup in BIOS-legacy mode.

The BIOS-legacy mode is included in the Mac firmware and emulates a full BIOS, which is obviously really inefficient. The Mac would startup the EFI, then the BIOS-legacy mode, then the Linux bootloader, then Arch Linux itself. And we want our setup to boot as quickly as possible, right?

Booting the Arch Linux installer

The guides and manuals over at the Arch Linux Wiki were really helpful. I browsed through some of them and some third websites to find what I needed.

Following I will compress the installation instructions into a smooth guide you can follow, to get everything up and running in no time.

When you come from Ubuntu you will notice, that no setup wizard will boot up, just an empty TTY (Oh noes!)

Don’t worry, you won’t miss it. In fact I felt, that the setup through the TTY felt much more smooth, than Ubuntu’s wizard. But this is probably due to the fact, that I had to fix everything afterwards on Ubuntu.

Did we do it?

First of all, we will need to check whether we really are in EFI mode:

efivar -l

If this command lists the EFI variables, that means you have booted successfully into EFI mode. Otherwise reboot into the boot menu again and select the correct item there, not the legacy-mode item.

Choosing a keymap

If you’re not using a US keyboard, you’ll have to select your keymap manually. You can find all available keymaps in the “/usr/share/kbd/keymaps” directory, so lets list all of them:

ls /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/

And choose one with the “loadkeys” command, like this:

loadkeys de

Partitioning the disk

With EFI booting, we can’t boot directly from our system partition, as the EFI firmware doesn’t know how to handle ext4 partitions. So, we will need an extra booting partition, which will later be mounted at “/boot”.

Overall we’ll need three partitions: A V-FAT partition for the boot loader, an ext4 partition for the systemitself, and a swap partition.

The swap partition is optional. You don’t really need it on modern MacBooks, that have at least 8GB RAM or even more. It even slows some operations down. But it is still very convenient to have one for hibernation, that suspends to the swap partition.

My own partition table (which I recommend you) looks like this:

Number  Start   End    Size    File system     Name  Flags
1 1049kB 538MB 537MB fat32 boot, esp
2 538MB 243GB 242GB ext4
3 243GB 251GB 8492MB linux-swap(v1)

As you can see I’ve got 251GB available. So, let’s try to set your drive up like mine.

First of all let’s print the available drives with the “lsblk” command:

# lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda 8:0 0 233,8G 0 disk
├─sda1 8:1 0 512M 0 part /boot
├─sda2 8:2 0 225,4G 0 part /
└─sda3 8:3 0 7,9G 0 part [SWAP]
[...]

It lists all bulk devices connected to your MacBook, so there certainly the setup-stick will show up as well. It could also look a bit different on your system.

Just search your main hard drive and memorize its alias. Here it’s sda, which is the most likely also the name of your hard drive.

As soon as you know the alias of your hard drive, open the partitioning tool GParted in interactive mode:

parted /dev/sda

Remember to exchange /dev/sda with your drive’s path.

GParted has its own command line prompt in the interactive mode. It will show up as “(parted)” instead of the usual shell. This allows you to type very short commands to partition your disk. Try to type “help” if you’re interested in all available commands.

Let’s first have a look at your current partition table:

(parted) print
Model: ATA APPLE SSD SD0256 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 251GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
[...]

The output shows some information about the drive, its size, along with its current partition table. Jot down the space of your hard drive in the “Disk” row. In this example the drive is “251GB” large. We will need this value to properly size the new partitions.

So now let’s destroy everything on your disk, by recreating the GPT partition table:

mklabel gpt

You could also manually delete all partitions, but I personally consider it safer to just recreate the entire table.

Now we need to create the partitions, we need. These first two commands create the VFAT partition, the third the ext4 system partition and the fourth the swap partition. For the last two partitions we still need to calculate the size:

mkpart ESP fat32 1049kB 538MB
set 1 boot on
mkpart primary ext4 538MB [SIZE]
mkpart primary linux-swap [SIZE] 100%

Take the size of your hard disk, that you noted yourself earlier, and substract the size of your RAM from it. I’ve got 8GB of RAM, so for “[SIZE]” I’ve put in: 243GB (251GB minus 8GB).

So in my case I executed:

mkpart primary ext4 538MB 243GB
mkpart primary linux-swap 243GB 100%

When you now type in the command “print” it should look like our desired partition table. You can then exit GParted with:

quit

Now we need to format the newly created partitions. We created them, but they are still not properly formatted.

Maybe to make sure everything’s fine run the lsblk command again, but this time for your hard drive only:

lsblk /dev/sda

Again replacing “/dev/sda” with your drive’s path.

Now do:

mkfs.vfat -F32 /dev/sda1
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2
mkswap /dev/sda3
swapon /dev/sda3

Again, and again—make sure that “/dev/sda” is your drive’s path, and also make sure that “/dev/sda1” is your V-FAT boot partition, that “/dev/sda2” is your ext4 partition and that “/dev/sda3” is your swap partition.

This is the last time I will warn you about the whole “/dev/sda”-replacing. You’ll have to remember it yourself from here on.

Ready for take-off

We’re now ready to start the actual installation of Arch Linux.

Mount your new ext4 system partition to “/mnt”, which is the installers location for new systems:

mount /dev/sda2 /mnt

And mount the boot-partition to the boot-path of your new system:

mkdir -p /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot

Now the actual installing-part is pretty easy. The following command installs all packages contained in the base and base-devel package-group of the Arch Linux installer:

pacstrap /mnt base base-devel

Congrats! You’ve just installed Arch Linux. Wow, that was quick. But there’s still much left to do.For example generating an fstab file for your partition table, which tells Linux where to look for your partitions and how to mount them:

genfstab -U -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

This nice tool will automagically create your fstab.

But we will have to edit it a bit:

nano /mnt/etc/fstab

Make sure that the line of the ext4 partition ends with a “2”, the swap partition’s line ends with a “0”, and the boot partition’s line ends with a “1”. This configures the partition checking on boot.

If you haven’t got an SSD, then close and save by pressing “Ctrl-x”, followed by “y” and “enter”. You can skip to “Configuring your new base system”.

Otherwise, If you know what you’re doing and want to optimise your fstab for an SSD you can edit the ext4 partition options to look like this:

rw,relatime,data=ordered,discard

If you’re interested in what this does, find out more about SSD optimisation on this wiki page: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drives

This was it with partitions for today. Promise.

Configuring your new base system

First we’re going to “chroot” into the new system. That means that we apply the new drive as the root diretory for all following commands and “use” the new base system as if itself booted.

arch-chroot /mnt

Then we need to set the locale for your fresh system.

Open the locale.gen file:

nano /etc/locale.gen

And uncomment each locale that you’d like to enable, like this:

#en_SG ISO-8859-1
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
#en_US ISO-8859-1

Again close and save by pressing “Ctrl-x”, followed by “y” and “enter”.

Then generate the new locales:

locale-gen

Now we need to create a settings file, loading the default language on boot:

echo LANG=en_US.UTF-8 > /etc/locale.conf

Replace “en_US.UTF-8” with the locale you’d like to use as default. Then apply the setting for the current session too:

export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

You’ve already chosen the keymap for the current session, the installation, but not yet for your new system. To do that, open the vconsole.conf file:

nano /etc/vconsole.conf

And insert / edit this line to match the keymap you’ve chosen before with the command “loadkeys de”.

KEYMAP=de

Make sure it really is the keymap, that you’ve chosen before, or else you might experience issues when you’ll try to log in for the first time.

Close and save by pressing “Ctrl-x”, followed by “y” and “enter”. (This is also the last time I’m going to remind you how to close and save in nano)

What time is it?

No it’s not a question about how long you spent executing the instructions above—It’s what we’re going to set up next: The timezone and hardware clock. At this point I just have to say it—Have you ever thought about what the setup wizard in Ubuntu does for you? We’re doing everything manually now. Not that it’s hard, but Ubuntu really takes away a lot of effort. Just saying…

Link the preferred time zone to your localtime link:

ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Zone/SubZone /etc/localtime

You should replace “Zone” and “SubZone” with the desired time zone name. You can use tab completion to find the right timezone. Read more about tab completion here: http://tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/tabexpansion.html

Now enable the hardware clock:

hwclock --systohc --utc

The rest of it

We need to enable some kernel modules, that we will need later for fan speed and the temperature sensors:

nano /etc/modules

Insert these two lines:

coretemp
applesmc

Save and exit.

Now we need to name our system. We will set the hostname by writing it to a file:

echo nice-system > /etc/hostname

You can of course replace “nice-system” with your own desired host name. (Choose wisely)

Now open the “/etc/hosts” file:

nano /etc/hosts

And append the new hostname on these two lines:

127.0.0.1 localhost.localdomain localhost nice-system
::1 localhost.localdomain localhost nice-system

Preserving the LAN connection

Now we need to make sure, that we preserve LAN support to later on install Wi-Fi drivers, the Network Manager and more:

pacman -S dhcpcd
systemctl enable dhcpcd

Pacman is Arch Linux’s package manager, so the Arch Linux variant of Apt-get. It uses flags to specify what to do. The “S” flag installs software. There are several more flags, but don’t worry there’s wiki page: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/pacman

The systemctl is the settings tool for systemd.

Choosing an admin password

passwd

And choose an admin password.

Installing the bootloader

Instead of GRUB2 we will use systemd-boot (formerly “gummiboot”) in this guide. It is much easier to configure, simpler and sets itself up more complete.

First we will install some tools for EFI:

pacman -S dosfstools

And then we will install systemd-boot on our boot partition:

bootctl --path=/boot install

This will install the gummiboot package and run the tool to install the bootloader to our boot partition, that we created earlier.

Now we will create the Arch Linux boot entry:

nano /boot/loader/entries/arch.conf

Just enter the following configuration. It is the one I came up with, after some hints here and there to optimise SSD speed:

title Arch Linux
linux /vmlinuz-linux
initrd /initramfs-linux.img
options root=/dev/sda2 rw elevator=deadline quiet splash resume=/dev/sda3 nmi_watchdog=0

(Note: These are four lines, that look like five. Theres an automatic wrap in the options-line)

Now we will need to configure gummiboot to boot it:

echo "default arch" > /boot/loader/loader.conf

Done

Everything done? Great. To reboot into your new system type:

exit
reboot

Setting up Arch Linux

You’re a part of it now. http://xkcd.com/272/

When we boot we will get a bare tty again. Without any UI. Why? Because we’ve not installed that yet. The following steps instruct you how to set up GNOME.

GNOME is a widely popular interface for Linux, if not the most popular one. It supports everything that Unity does too, because Unity is based on GNOME. So I advise you (and will instruct you) to install GNOME.

Adding a user account

But first of all, we need to create a user for you:

groupadd users
useradd -m -g users -G wheel -s /bin/bash tuxinator

Replace “tuxinator” with your desired username. This command basically sets up a new user and adds it to the “wheel” group and to a newly created “users” group.

We need that to now enable sudo commands:

pacman -S sudo
nano /etc/sudoers

Add to the end of the “sudoers” file this:

%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

Save and exit.

Now select a password for your new user account:

passwd tuxinator

Again, don’t forget to replace “tuxinator” with your username.

Now we should lock the root account, as it is unsecure to keep it. An attacker could assume that there’s a root account, but if we make it unusable and only use the user account (as in Ubuntu) there’s no user account, that can be assumed:

passwd -l root

This locks the root account via passwd. We can unlock it later easily by using the “u” flag.

Reboot and log in as the new user.

Installing yaourt

As I’ve already mentioned in the “Preface”, there’s a repository populated by the Arch community, called “AUR”. A really nice package manager that combines the AUR with the official repositories is “Yaourt”.

This tool is an interface for Pacman, which adds additional functionality. More on that here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/yaourt

Add these lines to the bottom of the “/etc/pacman.conf” file:

[archlinuxfr]
SigLevel = Never
Server = http://repo.archlinux.fr/$arch

Then update the repositories and install yaourt:

sudo pacman -Sy
sudo pacman -S yaourt

Installing GNOME, Wi-Fi and the Network Manager

Finally we can do this:

sudo pacman -S gnome

You could additionally install “gnome-extra”, but it is not necessary to do so.

We can then enable the GNOME Display Manager, which provides a login screen, lock screen, screen setup, etc.

sudo systemctl enable gdm

Very important is the step to install the Intel display drivers.

sudo pacman -S xf86-video-intel

I’ve not got a discrete graphics card. You might have a second Nvidia card. This is a lot more complex to set up correctly and I won’t cover it in this guide, as I didn’t need that obviously. If you’ve got a second discrete graphics card, read this: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/hybrid_graphics

Now we need to install the Network Manager and disable the automatic “dhcpcd” start at boot:

sudo systemctl disable dhcpcd
sudo pacman -S networkmanager network-manager-applet

Finally we can install the Wi-Fi drivers:

yaourt -S broadcom-wl

This is for Macbook Pro 11,1's. On different devices you might need a different Wi-Fi driver! Read more about that here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/broadcom_wireless

You can now reboot into the system.

At this point you could probably stop with this guide and just be happy, but for certain security and power saving measures, I urge you to continue reading. Otherwise you will have a horrible battery life and you could even fry your MacBook—death by overheating.


Optimizing your new system

In this section I will introduce some modifications, tweaks and fixes to address some quirks and shortcomings.

Improve DHCP connectispeed

You can disable DHCPCD’s ARP Scanning, which basically checks if your IP is already used by other systems in the network. You can safely disable that as two systems really don’t get the same IP very often.

Open the “dhcpcd.conf”:

nano /etc/dhcpcd.conf

Now add these lines:

# Disable IP ARP checking
noarp

Documentation is key. You should add comments into each configuration file, that you edit to avoid confusion later on. Thanks to this, I was able to understand many modifications I did, that I already forgot about.

Some notes for HiDPI

The HiDPI support in GNOME improved tremendously in the last months. Still X11 is very old and has bad multi display support in terms of HiDPI. When you connect an external non-HiDPI display expect it to display everything twice as big, which really doesn’t look nice.

You could scale everything using a simple xrandr command. But due to a bug this restricts the area, which can be accessed by your mouse. So at the time I advise you to just live with that until the bugfix is merged into upstream X11.

Also the Chrome now supports HiDPI very well. I advise you to install the “google-chrome-dev” package.

Improve the trackpad

The default trackpad drivers aren’t really nice to use and don’t provide the feature set, that Mac OS X does.

I recommend you the mtrack driver:

yaourt -S xf86-input-mtrack-git

It is a nice alternative to synaptics with thumb detection, palm detection and more.

Now you should configure it in an xorg configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/60-mtrack.conf

The configuration I recommend you is:

Section "InputClass"
Identifier "touchpad"
Driver "mtrack"
MatchIsTouchpad "on"
MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
Option "Sensitivity" "0.45"
Option "TapButton1" "0"
Option "TapButton2" "2"
Option "TapButton3" "0"
Option "TapButton4" "0"
Option "ClickFinger1" "1"
Option "ClickFinger2" "0"
Option "ClickFinger3" "0"
Option "ButtonMoveEmulate" "false"
Option "FingerHigh" "10"
Option "FingerLow" "1"
Option "IgnoreThumb" "true"
Option "IgnorePalm" "true"
Option "TapDragEnable" "false"
EndSection

You will also need to add yourself to the input group, so you’ve got the appropriate permissions to set your input methods up:

sudo gpasswd -a tuxinator input

To enable natural scrolling you need to create a Xmodmap file:

nano .Xmodmap

And enter:

pointer = 1 2 3 5 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Making the fans work

Previously we already added “applesmc” and “coretemp” to the “/etc/modules” file. Now we need to install the mbpfan software, that controls the fan speed according to the current temperature:

yaourt -S mbpfan-git
sudo systemctl mbpfan.service

Done. It’s that easy.

Disable Swappiness

Swap storage is slow. SSD writes are precious. So let’s set the swappiness to “1” which technically almost disables your swap, but makes it still accessible for hibernation.

Edit a new file in the System Control daemon:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.d/99-sysctl.conf

And set the swappiness to “1”, by adding:

vm.swappiness=1

Save and exit. To apply this change for the current session execute:

sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=1

Fixing lid closing to suspend

Open the systemd daemon’s login configuration:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/logind.conf

And add the following lines at the bottom:

HandlePowerKey=suspend
HandleLidSwitch=suspend

Save and exit.

Then install the GNOME Power Manager:

pacman -S gnome-power-manager

Fixing suspend mode

I had issues when my MacBook just waked up randomly from suspend mode and found out that you have to disable a certain wake-up “feature”.

cat /proc/acpi/wakeup

This shows you what is allowed to wake up your Mac. There’s a line saying:

XHC1	  S3	 *enabled [...]

And a line saying:

LID0	  S3 	*enabled

We only want the last one to be enabled. So let’s create a configuration file, that disables XHC1 waking at boot time:

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/90-xhc_sleep.rules

Enter the following and save:

# disable wake from S3 on XHC1
SUBSYSTEM=="pci", KERNEL=="0000:00:14.0", ATTR{device}=="0x9c31" RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/bin/echo disabled > /sys$env{DEVPATH}/power/wakeup'"

Power Saving on your Intel

You can do much to save power now. THe most important parts are that you install “thermald” and “cpupower”.

Thermald is a deamon regulating the CPU speed, when your CPU runs too hot. Very useful. To install it execute:

yaourt -S thermald
sudo systemctl enable thermald
sudo systemctl start thermald

CPUPower can set the governor of your CPU clock speed. So it can set your Intel CPU to powersave mode, which saves a lot energy.

Install CPUPower by executing:

sudo pacman -S cpupower
sudo systemctl enable cpupower
sudo systemctl start cpupower

And set your governor to powersave mode:

cpupower frequency-set -g powersave

Also install “powertop” and enable it on boot, via systemd:

yaourt -S powertop

Create a file at “/etc/systemd/system/powertop.service”:

[Unit]
Description=Powertop Service
[Service]
Type=oneshot
ExecStart=/usr/bin/powertop --auto-tune
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Save and enable it:

sudo systemctl enable powertop.service

Printing

By default you’ve now got an installation of CUPS (the Common Unix Printing System) installed. It is a really easy to use printing service. Its wiki page for it is really long and informative.

If CUPS is not installed yet, do:

yaourt -S cups gsfonts

To make the server work on GNOME you will still need to install a package though. You will need to install the system-config-printer:

yaourt -S system-config-printer

This lets GNOME configure the CUPS server for you. You should also add a group, that allows you to print and use CUPS without root rights:

sudo groupadd printadmin
sudo gpasswd -a $USER printadmin
sudo gpasswd -a $USER lp

The “$USER” variable should do the trick, but you can also insert your username manually, if you prefer that.

Then you’ll need to add this new group to the list of groups that are allowed to use CUPS:

sudo nano /etc/cups/cups-files.conf

Search the line starting with “SystemGroup” and append your new group to it:

SystemGroup sys root printadmin

Now enable the CUPS printing daemon:

sudo systemctl enable org.cups.cupsd.service

Now you should install some common drivers and the postscript interpreter “GhostScript”:

yaourt -S gutenprint ghostscript foomatic-db

This should be it for most network and USB printers.

Fix the kworker CPU hug

“kworker” triggers some ACPI interrupts. You can check it out like this:

grep . -r /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/

For me GPE 4E triggered a lot of ACPI interruptions. So I disabled it via a systemd service.

To prevent that create “/etc/systemd/system/suppress-gpe4E.service”:

[Unit]
Description=Disables GPE 4E, an interrupt that is going crazy on Macs
[Service]
ExecStart=/usr/bin/bash -c 'echo "disable" > /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/gpe4
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

And enable it:

sudo systemctl enable suppress-gpe4E.service

Font Rendering

You can use the “infinality” font configuration and “freetype2” package, which greatly improves font rendering without any extra configuration. It will delete the standard “freetype2” in favor of its own.

Install it with:

yaourt -S fontconfig-infinality

You can find out more about the project here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Infinality

Disabling bluetooth and the webcam

This is optional. I didn’t bother to fix bluetooth quirks, as I don’t use it. So I disabled bluetooth to save power. The webcam service I disabled too, because there are no drivers at the moment anyway.

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/50-disabling.conf

And enter this:

blacklist bluetooth
blacklist btusb
blacklist uvcvideo

The first two lines disable bluetooth and the last disables the webcam service.

Trimming everything for powersaving

You can also create a file for enabling power save mode on your Intel Audio card. Create a new hook:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/60-snd_hda_intel.conf

And enter:

# Enable Power Saving on Intel HDA Audio
options snd_hda_intel power_save=1

To enable powersaving options on your Intel Processor create a second hook:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/60-i915.conf

And enter:

# Experimental options to improve power saving on Intel Graphics
options i915 enable_rc6=1 enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1

Upgrading software

When you upgrade your software, there’s a certain way you need to do it! Primarily you need to use yaourt to do it:

yaourt -Syua

To refetch and recompile all git software, you need to do:

yaourt -Syua --devel

But beware! If you reinstall your kernel, you need to rebuild it:

sudo mkinitcpio -p linux

Software tips

I’d like to recommend some software, which might help you and your system. (I might add some stuff to this section from time to time)

Installing the UFW Firewall

Blocking every request incoming to your Mac is nice to keep everything safe. I recommend you to install the UFW firewall:

sudo pacman -S ufw
sudo ufw enable
sudo systemctl enable ufw

Comments on this setup

I might have forgotten to add something. In this case just ask, comment, or contact me.

It is a very powerful setup, but it needs some upgrading love. I fyou treat it right, you will never need to reinstall it. Arch Linux is rolling out updates fluently, instead of Ubuntu-like versioning. Thus you only need to upgrade and upgrade and upgrade. But sometimes things break, so be prepared to use Google from time to time.

http://xkcd.com/1328/

If you need more information, you will find it here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/MacBookPro11,x

Postface

I hoped, that this guide helped you to Arch-ify your MacBook. Just write me or comment if you’ve got some questions.

Have I missed something? Comment and I will try to add it to the guide!

I’m also writing an article about my personal development environment for Ruby, node.js and web development soon.

Follow me on Twitter to get all my updates and content: @PhilPlckthun


I’d like to know whether what I think and write made a difference, so please “Recommend” this article to your friends and leave a comment, if you like what you read.

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