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Kernel Patches Start Coming For 2013 MacBook Air

Linux Kernel

Published on 30 June 2013 06:27 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
10 Comments

The Linux support for Apple's new Haswell-based MacBook Air is less than desirable, but at least it's on the path to getting better.

The 2013 MacBook Air is an incredible piece of hardware with its lightweight, well built design, very long battery life, and excellent performance via an Intel Core i5 "Haswell" processor. However, as I have already written about at length, running Ubuntu Linux is messy on the 2013 MacBook Air.

With the latest kernel there's some HD Graphics 5000 issues causing the GPU to frequently hang, some hanging issues when booting the 3.10 kernel, and other smaller shortcomings of the less than month old laptop. The 2013 MacBook Air I had bought as soon as it came out was the MD711LL/A model and it runs great with OS X but Linux is a different story at the moment.

Fortunately, it seems more kernel developers are now getting their hands on the new MacBook Airs or at least access to them. Appearing on the kernel mailing list today were two MacBook Air 2013 patches. Before getting too excited though, the new MBA patches are for tidying up the trackpad and keyboard support.

The June 2013 MacBook Air has a new trackpad protocol, which the bcm5974 input driver had to be updated in the kernel to accomodate. Adding in about three dozen lines of new code adds in the protocol support for the MacBookAir 6,2 unibody model. The second patch adds proper keyboard support for this MacBook Air to the HID driver.

With the Linux 3.10 kernel expected to be released at anytime now, it's unlikely it will make the Linux 3.10.0 release but it will surely be in Linux 3.11 and it's possible it could appear in a later 3.10 point release. The patches also apply to kernel code-bases going back to Linux 3.7.

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