Francesco de Gasperin ⋇ personal page

First of all let’s do some safety moves:

  • To be sure to have the right model on MacOS console just type “sysctrl hw.model”
  • Download the Recovery Disk Assistant from here.
  • Use a >1 GB USB key to create a bootable MacOS (the tool is very easy to use).

Now prepare the partition from MacOS:

  • Open Disk Utility, go on the hard drive and press the “Partition” button, resize MacOS to ~200 GB (or what you want).
  • A second partition of ~300 GB is created (assuming you have a 512 GB hard drive).

From a Linux box I created a bootable Debian (testing) USB stick, it’s very easy and the procedure is here. Reboot and press the “alt” button so to enter the EFI menu. Then choose to boot from the USB stick. Follow the initial standard procedure, add 8 GB of swap space and set up the other partitions (MacOS has 3 partitions set up: the EFI partition for booting, the system partition and a rescue partition, keep them untouched). Install GRUB by acknowledging that it might not work:). Reboot and linux should load properly, also X should immediately work.

Now let’s install a nice&comfortable booting tool: rEFInd. Reboot and keep the “alt” button pressed, boot MacOS and download the last version of rEFInd here. REFInd is extremely simple to install and saves a lot of headaches; in fact, it scans the EFI partition and makes all the images it finds “bootable” adding a nice interface for free. On the MacAir rEFInd complains that the SIP is active and it cannot proceed with the installation, reboot in safe mode (holding cmd+R), open a terminal and install rEFInd from there (it will still complain but you can ignore the warning and continue). rEFInd is also available for Linux here.

Now reboot in Debian from your new fancy rEFInd interface.

Fix the wrong keys (~ ` € and german characters) using this ~/.Xmodmap:

!! ~ 
keycode 94 = grave asciitilde 
!! " 
keycode 48 = apostrophe quotedbl 
!! euro and german letters 
keysym e = e E EuroSign 
keysym b = b B ssharp 
keysym u = u U udiaeresis Udiaeresis 
keysym o = o O odiaeresis Odiaeresis 
keysym a = a A adiaeresis Adiaeresis 
!! mela 
keycode 133 = Mode_switch 
keycode 134 = Mode_switch 
keycode 64 = Alt_L 
keycode 108 = Alt_R 
clear Mod1 
add Mod1 = Alt_L Alt_R 
clear mod2 
add mod2 = Num_Lock 
clear mod3 
clear mod4 
clear mod5


You need to use the proprietary driver. Install the broadcom-sta-dkms deb, then do:

modprobe -r b44 b43 b43legacy ssb brcmsmac
modprobe wl

Color profile

If you want a much nicer color on your graphic interface just download this color profile and run “xcalib CustomMacRumors.icc”.


Backlight was quite of a problem as the keyboard keys do not work out of the box and when the laptop is resumed from a suspend the backlight is set at the minimum. A solution is to use the kernel module gently provided here. At the moment of writing the deb package that is on that site does not support kernel 4.3. I solved by downloading that deb and replacing the code with the last git version and repackaging it.

Other stuff

  • Suspend seems to work fine
  • also bluetooth as far as I can tell from the log but I haven’t tested it yet.
  • The package “macchanger” helps avoiding the annoying log “ERROR @wl_cfg80211_get_station : Wrong Mac address”. The problem seems to appear only in some networks.



Categories: Debian, Linux, Mac

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