Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 on MacBook Pro 5.4

A few days ago I purchased a new shiny MacBook Pro, and decided to install Ubuntu on it. Why? because Linux is my habitat, and also because some software packages I use are readily available on Linux, but not on Mac OS. In any case, this blog is not about Mac OS vs Linux (more on this maybe one day; I can write a book on how Mac OS sucks :)), but rather some steps I had to overcome to complete the installation.

Out of the box, Jaunty works on MBP, with some exceptions. The trackpad is too slow be useful, the Fn key in in the reverse.
After installation using the Boot Camp, I followed the instructions on the Ubuntu forums:, additionally used information here:
to adjust keyboard settings. All was fine, except the Trackpad refused to be configured. This has proven to be the biggest hurdle I spent the most time on... until I discovered this posting:
Configure ALPS (Synaptics) touchpad in Ubuntu 9.0.4 (Jaunty Jackalope)
Apparently, the fdi file must be mapped to the correct HAL device (kinda makes sense :)).
Using this command:

$lshal > hal.txt

, I was able to see that the name of my device was: "Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad".
Armed with this knowledge, I edited my FDI file to my liking, and HAL was able to load it, and apply my settings to the right device.
The trick is to find the parameter: "info.product" in the lshal output and use it in the fdi file.
Here is my complete fdi file after adjusting speed and sensitivity:


1 comment:

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