Linux For Mac Intel

  1. Linux Pour Mac Intel
  1. Oct 17, 2017 See how well Ubuntu Linux runs on your Mac. You needn't throw out the baby with the bathwater and wipe your old Mac's hard drive clean before trying it out. All you need is a USB drive of a least 2GB in size and an internet connection to get started. Here's how to do it. Get your USB drive ready. Backup your Mac. Launch Disk Utility.
  2. That said, there seems to have been an open source effort to compile Linux Intel drivers for Mac OS X as seen here. But note that the versions of Mac OS X referred to are Mac.


Ubuntu for Intel Macs and additionally the Ubuntu Intel Mac CommunityHelpPages looks to be loaded with lots of resources that you might find helpful. Since your iMac is an intel one, you can use a standard Ubuntu ISO built for any x86 PC.

  1. Before starting
  2. After installing
    1. Wireless
    2. iSight (integrated Webcam)
    3. Video
    4. Sensors (applesmc module)

Why this page?

Because i want to regroup some interesting informations/process/hooks to configure iMac Intel 5,1 late 2006 model with Debian GNU/Linux Lenny (2008/08/28)

Update (2011/08/12) : aluminium iMac Intel 12,1 / Wheezy , see the 'video' section.

Before starting

This hardware can be used with i386 or amd64 architecture. The little bench test i made shows that the use of amd64 arch improve cache read access.

Get space from others filesystems or OS

I successfully re-partionned the drive of the iMac with gparted to get some Gigas for GNU/Linux

After installing

It is recommended to install with the ethernet interface (sky2 driver) if netinstall (wireless not natively supported by linux driver)

Update (2015/12/08) No issues with default stable nor testing install.


Wireless on this model (Broadcom 4328) is not yet supported by any Linux driver1. NDISwrapper does the job quite well.

Update (2015/12/08) See no need for ndiswrapper / driver loading / init script anymore.


Driver loading (non-dfsg/non-free)

Init script

Alternative: graphical installation

Some help here:

More information on NDISwrapper is available on this wiki.

iSight (integrated Webcam)

Firmware location on Mac OS X filesystem (required and non-free)

uvc module loading

Update (2015/12/08) Not needed on testing. Not tried on stable.


You can test the integrated webcam with cheese for example.


Automatically discovered, nothing to do

Screen resolution

Nothing to do, Xorg (1.4.2 release now), recognize and adapt resolution.


Nothing to do specific; multimedia shorcuts (Sound level, mute, eject) are functionnal with Gnome (2.22.3 now)

Update (2015/12/08) If you want normal behaviour of 'F' keys, then configure as a module parameter following instructions on:


Aluminium iMac intel 12,1 mid 2011 and 7,1 mid 2007 (and potentially other models)

* Xorg radeon driver (default setup after installation)

The RadeonHD 6600M needs KMS to run Xorg with the free radeon Xorg driver. By default, KMS is enabled, but the card needs a non-free firmware that is not installed and will make the screen unuseable at boot time when the kernel initialiazes KMS. You will need to install the package 'firmware-linux-nonfree ( For this, modify the grub command line (press e) and add to the kernel boot parameters :

You will then be able to boot and login as root. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list to add contrib and non-free, you should have something like :

And install firmware-linux-nonfree:

Reboot, and enjoy your new Debian

iMac Intel 5,1 late 2006 (and potentially other models)

Update (2015/12/08) on this specific iMac model: It doesn't work on stable. Go for testing and you'll get a reasonable working driver: still some glitches and flashing second monitor from time to time. AMD dropped support for older graphics cards in Catalyst v. 9.3, which also requires the use of a Kernel older than v. 2.6.28 and X server older than v. 1.5. See:

Interesting links:

2 choices:

  • radeonhd (for my specific model, Radeon X1600/R500, 3D support)

  • fglrx (non-free driver, 3D support)


Update (2015/12/08) This package does not exist on stable:

Installed by default Desktop install and provide 3D/2D acceleration support



Apple Infrared Remote

As you have seen before, the IR Receiver is connected via USB bus:

This don't require any other kernel support and you just have to install lirc:

Edit /etc/lirc/hardware.conf:

Generate /etc/lirc/lircd.conf:

that give you:

Because if not you don't have volume up button enabled (not investigated).

Restart lirc:

Launch irw to verify:

and push buttons, you may see:

After pressing button Pause, Volume up, Next, Volume down, Precedent, Menu.

You can now have a ~/.lircrc to use this buttons !


Sensors (applesmc module)

Loading modules

  • 2.6.26 (current Debian lenny/testing kernel) don't have support for iMac5,12.

>= 2.6.27 kernel has support

  • Compile as kernel module
  • Load module (modprobe applesmc)


To manage fan speed:

Where X could be 1 (ODD fan), 2 (HDD fan) or 3 (CPU fan).

: Gnome sensors applet can be used for showing temperature and fan speed. You can alternatively use the sensors command to verify the speed.

Temperature and fan descriptions

Here is a complete list of the 12 temp sensors (mactel-linux-devel archive):

Sensors command now show us the right label:

: you have to load the coretemp kernel module to have cpu temperature.

Software suspend

The iMac Intel presented here seems to consume 220 Watts (french measure).

  • The s2ram -f works (uswsusp)

  • All others mode not tested yet.

Boot loader

grub2 boot loader works very good in the Linux partition:

: Please note that grub2 partition number now start at 1 and not 0


  • Microphone (no clues)
  • Brightness (no clues)
  • bless --device /dev/disk0s2 --legacy --setBoot --verbose # where /dev/disk0s2 is the partition you installed grub (Mac OS X command)

See Also

  • iMacG5 - Previous model and some tips

External Links

  • - Complete hardware listing (my model)

  • - How to identify hardware version

  • - many stuff to apply here



Linux Pour Mac Intel

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