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 Can Work On The 2013 MacBook Air

Hardware

Published on 25 August 2013 09:18 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
19 Comments

As soon as Apple launched their Haswell-based MacBook Air I purchased the "ultrabook" for its long battery life, great build quality, and impressive design. However, running Linux on the 2013 MacBook Air has been a pain. It wasn't running cleanly but it looks like the major kernel booting problem comes down to a UEFI interaction issue.

Most Apple MacBook Air 2013 owners have a problem with the modern Linux kernel not booting on the system. The system hangs almost immediately when the kernel prints "smpboot: Booting Node 0, Processors #1" and there hasn't been a clear workaround. The Linux kernel can boot on the MacBook Air if using an older kernel and being lucky, or more reliably if booting a Linux 3.8 era kernel and setting maxcpus=1, which limits the Linux use to one CPU core but will boot the system. The newer kernel releases don't work with this workaround or toying with different ACPI-related kernel parameters and other common workarounds hasn't helped.

It turns out now from the kernel bug report and Ubuntu bug report on this 2013 MacBook Air issue, Fedora 19 Xfce reportedly works fine. For Ubuntu Linux users, if manually converting Ubuntu to UEFI mode (Wiki instructions) the system will boot on the latest Linux kernel with not needing any extra kernel parameters.

On my 11-inch MacBook Air I tried the Xfce spin of Fedora 19 x86_64 but hit the bootloader stage1 target device error even after various other partitioning attempts to the point of taking over the entire disk. With Xubuntu 13.04, the 3.8 kernel I am running into UEFI issues still but am making more progress.

Linux Can Work On The 2013 MacBook Air


Stay tuned for more information next week when hopefully I'll have all the Linux hardware compatibility issues worked out for this latest-generation Apple MacBook Air. There will also then be OS X vs. Linux performance benchmarks for this lightweight Intel Haswell system and other interesting results.

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. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  2. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  3. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
  4. Apotop Wi-Copy
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. NVIDIA's NVPTX Support For GCC Is Close To Being Merged
  2. KDE's KWin On Wayland Begins Using Libinput
  3. Khronos Releases OpenVX 1.0 Specification
  4. Linux Kernel Working Towards GNU11/C11 Compatibility
  5. Ubuntu 15.04 Is Codenamed After A Monkey: Vivid Vervet
  6. Following GCC, Clang Looks To Default To C11
  7. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  8. Linux 3.18-rc1 Released One Week Early With Many Changes
  9. The VC4 Gallium3D Driver Is Still Moving Along For The Raspberry Pi
  10. Direct3D 9 Support Might Land Within Mainline Mesa 3D Drivers
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  2. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  3. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  4. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  5. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  6. Open-Source AMD Fusion E-350 Support Takes A Dive
  7. Upgrade to Kaveri, very slow VDPAU performance
  8. ChromeOS Drops Support For EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 File-Systems