With An Out-Of-Tree Kernel Patch You Can Finally Read/Write To The SSDs On Newer Macs

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 3 July 2019 at 10:02 AM EDT. 27 Comments
While Apple computers once ran well with Linux, that's not been the case in recent years particularly for MacBook Pros but now really all newer Apple computers have become a mess on Linux. There's been really messy issues in trying to run Macs on Linux. With MacBook Pros from recent revisions, it's now only finally possible for Linux to read/write to the solid-state drive if using an out-of-tree patch.

This Linux NVMe driver patch was pointed out to us by a Phoronix reader for allowing 2016 and newer MacBook Pros (and newer Macs) to be able to read/write the NVMe SSD from Linux.

This out-of-tree patch is against the current Linux 5.1 kernel and the write support should be considered particularly experimental, so be aware before trying to use this on a drive with any sensitive data.

Also, keep in mind that while you can now install Linux to the newer MacBook Pros, the keyboard/touchpad still are yet to be supported. The independent developer who came up with this NVMe patch is going to tackle keyboard handling next but he admits he isn't sure if he will be able to get it working.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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