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 Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis
  2. D-Link DCS-2330L HD Wireless Network Camera
  3. Gigabyte AM1M-S2H
  4. AMD's New Athlon/Semprons Give Old Phenom CPUs A Big Run For The Money
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Catalyst 14.4 Brings Few Linux Performance Improvements
  2. The Performance Of Fedora 20 Updated
  3. Clang Fights GCC On AMD's Athlon AM1 APU With Jaguar Cores
  4. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS vs. Oracle Linux vs. CentOS vs. openSUSE
Latest Linux News
  1. PC-BSD Is Developing Its Own Desktop Environment
  2. Valve Is Bringing VOGL To Windows & Working On Regression Tests
  3. Canonical Is Taking Over Linux 3.13 Kernel Maintenance
  4. Google Web Designer Is Now Natively Available On Linux
  5. Ubuntu 14.10 Is Codenamed The Utopic Unicorn
  6. Audacious 3.5 Lightweight Audio Player Released
  7. Steam Updated For Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, SteamOS
  8. DNF 0.5 Yum Replacement Now Supports Groups
  9. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 Is Looking Fantastic
  10. Intel Is Launching An Interesting Bay Trail NUC Next Week
  11. Another X.Org EVoC Proposed For OpenGL 4+ Tests
  12. The Best Features Coming With Qt 5.3
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  2. The Most Amazing OpenGL Tech Demo In 64kb
  3. Announcing radeontop, a tool for viewing the GPU usage
  4. HTPC-upgrade advice: AMD Richland A8-7600 or Kaveri A10-6700T ???
  5. New card. Open source drivers only.
  6. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  7. Script for Fan Speed Control
  8. Torvalds Is Unconvinced By LTO'ing A Linux Kernel