1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Linux Is A Lemon On The Retina MacBook Pro

Michael Larabel

Published on 16 August 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 4 - 37 Comments

When it comes to the switchable NVIDIA/Intel graphics on the Retina MacBook Pro, that's a big mess too. There isn't any working solution for dynamically switching between the graphics processors in any sane manner and that both the open-source Intel and Nouveau drivers fail to properly control the hardware in a standalone manner. Using the NVIDIA binary driver will work for the GeForce GT 650M on the Retina MacBook Pro, but switching to the discrete NVIDIA GPU requires booting OS X and using a utility for manually switching that GPU to drive the display. There is work towards switchable graphics along with related work like the DMA-BUF PRIME happenings, but we're still several months out from all of the pieces being mainline and becoming a reality. Ubuntu 12.10 won't have these components but hopefully there will be some early support in Ubuntu 13.04. The Nouveau "Kepler" support is also still forthcoming with no proper micro-code support and the re-clocking support and power management being non-existent.

For using suspend-and-resume under Linux with the Retina MacBook Pro, you must also be using the NVIDIA binary driver. One of the noted limitations for the Retina MacBook Pro with the NVIDIA binary driver is that there even the black-light control isn't working.

After working out these issues -- which would certainly be a headache for any novice Linux user -- the state was still less than ideal due to the non-switching graphics and other minor hardware support issues (e.g. broken integrated microphone support). The various Linux desktop environments are also less than ideal in handling high-density displays. Compared to OS X 10.7/10.8, the Unity, GNOME Shell, and KDE desktops all looked like shit at 2880 x 1800 on the Retina MacBook Pro. The text was difficult to read and even when toying around with different scaling factors, the text ended up looking awkward in relation to icons and other visuals. Hopefully as these "retina" displays become more common among vendors, we'll see more work by the Linux desktop developers on properly supporting these high-density displays.

Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Even With Re-Clocking, Nouveau Remains Behind NVIDIA's Proprietary Linux Driver
  2. The Power Consumption & Efficiency Of Open-Source GPU Drivers
  3. AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
  4. Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Updated Source Engine Benchmarks On The Latest AMD/NVIDIA Linux Drivers
  2. Nouveau vs. Radeon vs. Intel Tests On Linux 3.16, Mesa 10.3-devel
  3. KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
  4. X.Org Server 1.16 Officially Released With Terrific Features
Latest Linux News
  1. GStreamer VA-API Plug-In Update Adds New Features
  2. Qt 5.4 Going Into Feature Freeze Next Week With Exciting Changes
  3. OpenSUSE Factory Turns Into Rolling Release Distribution
  4. "The World's Most Highly-Assured OS" Kernel Open-Sourced
  5. NVIDIA Is Working Towards VDPAU H.265/HEVC Support
  6. Hawaii Bug-Fixes Start Hitting Mainline RadeonSI Gallium3D
  7. The FFmpeg vs. Libav War Continues In Debian Land
  8. Grand Theft Auto Running On Direct3D Natively On Linux Shows Gallium3D Potential
  9. GCC As A Just-In Time Compiler Is An Interesting Project
  10. Age Of Wonders III Is Still Being Ported To Linux
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Linus Torvalds On GCC 4.9: Pure & Utter Crap
  2. AMD Athlon 5350 APU On Linux
  3. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  4. Debian + radeonsi
  5. Open-source drivers on ATI R7 260X
  6. List of Linux friendly Kickstarter projects
  7. Porting Mesa to the Playstation 2
  8. ASRock AM1H-ITX: One Of The Best AM1 Mini-ITX Motherboards