Fedora 19… on a Macbook Air (2013 Model)!

Update 02-04-2014 – this blog has been updated with Fedora 20.  Fedora 20 works much better so I would highly recommend following the instructions there.

Warning – This information is now out of date and replaced with the blog entry on Fedora 20


Update 07-29-2013 – the new kernel supports the touchpad out of the box.  Getting better every day!

This is a slight deviation from my traditional posts but I’m a techie at heart and when a Linux guy gets a new Macbook, he’s gotta try putting on Fedora.  Anderson Silva was my primary inspiration since he got this working on a mid-2012 model Macbook Air (http://anderson.the-silvas.com/?p=605).  However, when deploying on a 2013 model, I hit a couple of bumps in the road.  The good news is that I was able to fix everything but it took me a while to track down all the fixes.  Warning – if you aren’t interested in building some packages, it’s probably just better to wait a couple of months.  However, if you are impatient like myself, read on!

Step 1 – Building RPM’s

You are going to need to build some RPM’s here so you’ll need some development tools installed.

sudo yum install @development-tools

Step 2 – Wireless

The new Macbooks ship a BCM4360 wireless chipset which isn’t supported today in Fedora or available via RPMFusion.  However, the RPMFusion guys are working on it and you can build your own RPM with the latest driver to get this working.  You can track the progress at https://bugzilla.rpmfusion.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2721.

# Download and build the source RPM's
cd ~/rpmbuild/SRPMS
wget http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/25699833/rpmfusion/bug2721/broadcom-wl-6xx-
wget http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/25699833/rpmfusion/bug2721/wl-6xx-kmod-
rpm -Uvh *.src.rpm
cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS
rpmbuild -ba wl-6xx-kmod.spec
rpmbuild -ba broadcom-wl-6xx.spec

# Install those RPM's
cd ~/rpmbuild/RPMS
sudo yum install RPMS/`uname -i`/akmod-wl-6xx* RPMS/`uname -i`/kmod-wl-6xx* RPMS/noarch/broadcom-wl-6xx*

Step 3 – Touchpad support (e.g. two finger scroll, two finger click)

Update: You used to have to build a custom kernel but now that 3.10 is out, this works out of the box!


1. Light sensor / backlight – after a reboot, I can adjust screen brightness with the correct steps / increments using the hot keys. However, after suspend / resume, I can still use the hot keys but it’s either max / min brightness. Not the end of the world, but a bit of a pain.  I’ve opened the following bug to track – https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=989555

2. Internal speakers.  I can’t seem to get the internal speakers to work.  Headphones work fine but I went ahead and opened a bug to track – https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=989582

3. 15-30 second hangs.  This seems to be somewhat CPU / IO related but every once in a while, my machine will hang for 15 or 30 seconds.  Nothing more than an annoyance but I’m going to try adding libata.force=1:noncq to my kernel boot parameters and see if that helps based on this article (https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1295212#p1295212).

# Edit the default grub file
sudo vim /etc/default/grub

# Add 'libata.force=1:noncg' to the end of the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX parameter

# Regenerate the grub configurations
sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cf

Please comment on the bugs if you are experiencing the same issues or if you have fixes!