openSUSE 11.4 on Macbook Pro 5,3

openSUSE 11.4 runs great on the Macbook Pro 5,3 but you do need to add some extras to get everything working.

You can see what version you are running with the following:

sudo /usr/sbin/dmidecode -s system-product-name

First thing we want to do is add a repository from the openSUSE Build Service:

You can add this via zypper with the following code:

sudo zypper ar --refresh "Apple Stuff"

Add the packages from this repository:

sudo zypper in macfanctld applesmc-kmp-desktop applesmc pommed mbp-nvidia-bl nvidia-bl mbp-nvidia-bl-kmp-desktop nvidia-bl-kmp-desktop

Start the services and add them to startup:

sudo service pommed start
sudo service macfanctld start
sudo chkconfig --add pommed
sudo chkconfig --add macfanctld

Install broadcom for wireless with the Packman repository:

sudo zypper ar --refresh "Packman Repository"

Add the packages:

sudo zypper in broadcom-wl broadcom-wl-kmp-desktop broadcom-wl-kmp-default

If that doesn’t work after a reboot, try:
sudo /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware

Add the nvidia drivers for 3D acceleration with the Nvidia repository:

sudo zypper ar --refresh "Nvidia Repository"

sudo zypper in x11-video-nvidiaG02

Run nvidia-xconfig to create a /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add the following to the device section:

Option "Coolbits" "1"
Option "RegistryDwords" "PowerMizerEnable=0x1; PerfLevelSrc=0x2222; PowerMizerLevel=0x3; PowerMizerDefaultAC=0x3"

To fix sound;

sudo zypper in alsa-utils

Do the following as root:


Press F6
Select HDA NVidia
Unmute Front Sp and Surrond and turn up the volume, test in kmix or play something.

run /usr/sbin/alsactl store

That is it for now, I got to run and will finish updating later…


8 thoughts on “openSUSE 11.4 on Macbook Pro 5,3

  1. Hello, just followed your instructions to upgrade my macbook pro 5,1. And it went fine. Except for the broadcom drivers, I needed to perform the install afterwards from the yast install.
    I have finally my mbp upgraded ! Many thanks.
    I just regret Amarok 1.4, but I am now using Clementine. I hope they will add the mysql support in the future.

    • Yeah, I’ve been using Clementine as well. My biggest problem is the broadcom driver on the touchpad, sometimes when I’m typing the palms of my hands touch it and can do some pretty crazy things. It can cause headaches. Fedora works just fine so I’m caught in a circle of which one I should stick with.

      I should say too, that GNOME works fine as well when you go in and adjust it so I’m not sure what it is with openSUSE KDE, but I’m trying to move away from GNOME because I’m not a fan of where 3.0 is headed.

  2. i hve a problem… i fllw yr step , wirelss sound is workng but when i install nvidia driver , i cant reduce brightness .. when run nvida-xconfig , and i cant see file xorg.conf.. can u help me..

  3. These are the clearest and workingest (it’s pretty close to a word) instructions on how to get my Mac’s wireless working with openSUSE 11.4. Thanks!

  4. Everything was great until I got to the step where I installed Nvidia driver. It created another kernel and another entry in boot menu. Now if I start old kernel it won’t even start X server. If I start nvidia one, video works perfect, even desktop effects are on. But wireless stopped working. Pommed stopped loading (it says exit code 1, can’t query backlight file which was is indeed missing in /sys/… catalog). The brighness option disappeared from “power management options”. The brightness buttons doesn’t work at all and brightness always fixed to 100%.

    I would appreciate any ideas on how to fix it back but keep HW accelerated drivers…

    P. S. Macbook 7,1

  5. Pity that the openSUSE_11.4 was removed. There is only a openSUSE_11.3 and openSUSE_Factory. Neither has the packages needed in the :

    sudo zypper in macfanctld applesmc-kmp-default applesmc-kmp-desktop applesmc pommed mbp-nvidia-bl nvidia-bl mbp-nvidia-bl-kmp-default mbp-nvidia-bl-kmp-desktop nvidia-bl-kmp-desktop nvidia-bl-kmp-default

    I get “nothing provides kernel(default:drivers_firmware) = ….” for the packages *-default and *-desktop. applesmc is not there either.

    Is there another source?


  6. Thanks for the instructions. Most of it worked for my macbook pro.
    The only problem I ran into is that the repository “” doesn’t exist. Only “…/openSUSE_11.3/” is there.

    Thanks for the explaination!

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