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

2012 MacBook Air Isn't Trouble-Free On Linux

Hardware

Published on 11 August 2012 12:58 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
20 Comments

While lately I've been busy with trying out the Retina MacBook Pro under Linux, which has been a big problem and I'm not recommending the rMBP for Linux users at this time (more details soon), it looks like the new MacBook Air might also have some Linux woes. Outside of Apple, the Sony Vaio Z Ivy Bridge laptop also has some Linux problems of its own.

The new MacBook Air has a 1440 x 900 native panel resolution, up to 256GB of flash storage, an Intel Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" processor with integrated graphics (or up to a Core i7 CPU model on the highest-end model), at least 4GB of DDR3L 1600MHz memory, and a weight of just over one kilogram while being extremely thin. It didn't look like the MacBook Air would have any Linux compatibility problems as it goes without the switchable/hybrid graphics, no retina display, and is based upon the Linux-proven Intel Ivy Bridge hardware. However, it doesn't seem to be absolutely trouble-free.

According to the Intel-gfx mailing list this morning, Fedora 17 will install on the 2012 MacBook Air when adding intremap=off to the kernel's boot arguments. However, when upgrading from F17's Linux 3.3 kernel to the 3.5/3.6 (or even the drm-intel-next kernel branch), the screen doesn't light up. If trying to boot the MacBook Air without the Intel kernel mode-setting support, the Linux kernel panics.

So if you have Linux running on the new MacBook Air right now, it might be best to avoid changing out the Linux kernel until all of the bugs/regressions get ironed out. At least though the new Apple MacBook Air is making it further along with Linux than the Retina MacBook Pro.

For those not into Apple hardware but rather the Sony Vaio Z series with their new Ivy Bridge laptops, there your mileage may vary too. Here's a blog post by Julien Danjou with information on a Sony Vaio Z laptop with Ivy Bridge CPU where USB booting is borked, the storage requires using fake RAID, graphics are unstable on pre-3.5 kernels, a sound bug, broken fingerprint reader, USB 3.0 does not work, and some WiFi quality issues.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Ubuntu 15.04 Is The Easy Path To Better Performance On Intel Broadwell
  2. NVIDIA's Latest Maxwell Line-Up Against AMD With Catalyst On Linux
  3. Preliminary Tests Of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge vs. Broadwell
  4. AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux
  5. Linux Compiler Benchmarks Of LLVM Clang 3.5 vs. LLVM Clang 3.6-rc1
  6. Intel Broadwell HD Graphics 5500: Windows 8.1 vs. Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Atomic Mode-Setting/Display Support Progresses In Linux 3.20
  2. NVIDIA 340.76 Brings Three Stable Fixes
  3. Intel Broadwell-U P-State vs. ACPI CPUFreq Scaling Linux Performance
  4. DragonFlyBSD Is Almost To Linux 3.10 Era Intel Graphics Support
  5. New Beta Of Witcher 2 Aims For Greater Performance
  6. NVIDIA Tegra DRM Driver Supports Atomic Mode-Setting In Linux 3.20
  7. Linux "GHOST" Vulnerability Hits Glibc Systems
  8. Linux Game Publishing Remains Offline, Three Years After The CEO Shakeup
  9. PlayStation 4 System Compiler Support Landing In LLVM
  10. Now-Closed KDE Vulnerabilities Remind Us X11 Screen Locks / Screensavers Are Insecure
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Windows 10 To Be A Free Upgrade: What Linux Users Need To Know
  2. LibreOffice 4.4 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  3. TraceFS: The Newest Linux File-System
  4. My Initial Intel Broadwell Linux Experience With The ThinkPad X1 Carbon
  5. Broadwell Linux Ultrabook Running MUCH Cooler Than Haswell
  6. LZHAM 1.0 Lossless Data Compression Codec Released
  7. Interstellar Marines On Linux With Catalyst: Bull S*#@
  8. Linux Users Upset By Chromium's Busted HiDPI Support