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Apple Thunderbolt Driver Might Be Added To Linux 3.16 Kernel

Hardware

Published on 26 May 2014 11:37 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
1 Comment

An open-source Thunderbolt driver for supporting Apple MacBooks might be added to the Linux 3.16 kernel.

Going on for months has been a Linux driver to support Thunderbolt on Apple MacBook systems. A special driver is needed for supporting Thunderbolt on Apple hardware since Apple implemented Thunderbolt holt-plug support within their OS X driver rather than at the firmware level, which is where it's implemented by other Thunderbolt devices.

The Apple Thunderbolt driver is now up to its third code revision and has been tested with the 2013 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air 2013, and will run on all other Apple hardware with the "Cactus Ridge" Chip with MacBook Air/Pro hardware between mid-2012 and early 2014. This driver though by Andreas Noever does not support Thunderbolt chaining, no Apple Thunderbolt Display support, there is no device handoff support, and hibernate support can be tricky.

Apple Thunderbolt Driver Might Be Added To Linux 3.16 Kernel

With the latest patches the Thunderbolt driver weighs in at 4,000 lines of code. Andreas Noever is trying to get this Thunderbolt driver added to the Linux 3.16 kernel.

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 .
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