Linux Fix For Issue That Prevented Some MacBook Pros From Booting On Recent Kernels
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 1 March 2019 at 07:21 AM EST. 6 Comments
HARDWARE --
Seeming to affect mostly Apple MacBook laptops, some systems since Linux 4.17 and newer have failed to boot but fortunately a fix is now queued for landing into the mainline tree and being back-ported to the stable branches.

Since January has been this bug report about a MacBook Pro 14,1 (13-inch 2017 model) failing to boot -- as soon as 4.17+ start, the screen goes dark and nothing ends up happening. Fortunately, the issue has been tracked down and a fix is pending.

Queued as part of the x86/boot code for the Linux 5.1 merge window and then marked for back-porting to stable branches is this fix to not read legacy ROM on EFI systems. The patch by an Intel Linux developer explains:
EFI systems do not necessarily provide a legacy ROM. If the ROM is missing the memory is not mapped at all.

Trying to dereference values in the legacy ROM area leads to a crash on Macbook Pro.

Only look for values in the legacy ROM area for non-EFI system.

So if your MacBook Pro has failed to work on recent kernels, it's quite possibly due to this bug and the fix is en route to mainline Linux Git and the supported stable trees. But still the process of running recent MacBooks on Linux is far from a pleasant process due to the T2 security ship in the newest of MacBook Pro laptops to the Touchbar not being properly supported under Linux to other issues. The Dell XPS Developer Edition and others are better choices for Linux laptops.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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