In 2020 The Linux Kernel Is Still Seeing Driver Work For The Macintosh II

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 28 June 2020 at 07:11 AM EDT. 14 Comments
The Linux kernel is seeing some modern work done to its driver for supporting the Apple Desktop Bus on Macintosh II era systems.

Along with the likes of the Apple PowerBook 100 series seeing Linux driver improvements once in a while, this Sunday developer Finn Thain sent out a set of patches improving the kernel's via-macii driver that contains "fixes for all known bugs" to this driver.

The via-macii device driver is for supporting ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) on Macintosh II era systems. Apple Desktop Bus is the proprietary interface used by Apple in the late 80's and 90's for connecting devices like keyboards and mice to the system rather than a PS/2 interface.

These 9 patches fix all known bugs within the Macintosh II ADB driver support in the Linux kernel.

Besides testing the code within QEMU, this driver was in fact tested on real hardware too. The developer was testing on the Apple Macintosh Centris 650, the computer from 1993 that was clocked at 25MHz and had 4~24MB of RAM, 80~500MB HDD, and other leading features for the time.

Should you still be rocking a Macintosh II era system and having buggy Apple Desktop Bus behavior, besides these patches being material for Linux 5.9 if the review is done timely it's also marked for back-porting to Linux 5.0+ stable kernels.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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