Macbook Pro 9,1 (or 10,1 Retina) nvidia drivers

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Macbook Pro 9,1 (or 10,1 Retina) nvidia drivers

Postby jommoner » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:36 pm


I have a Macbook Pro 9,1 (non-Retina but identical hardware to Retina; I got it because it is the last MacBook Pro that can can be upgraded, but that's another story!).

I've tried for a while to install the nvidia drivers; but without success, If I search on these forums for 'retina nvidia' or 'macbookpro nvidia' 'macbook pro nvidia' i find my
last two threads where I tried to get Mint to boot on the macbook (and fixed that) and where I tried to recover from a ruined xorg install (am an expert in this area now and
can do it with a few commands, and without trashing my install). The first 'hit' on the forum index for my searches is viewtopic.php?f=42&t=121225&p=666445&hilit=macbook+nvidia#p666445 ... and this thread states that they got Mint running but trying to install the nvidia drivers messed it up.

Has anyone got a working install?

So far I have tried.... Standard 3.5 kernel with all available options - drivers install, kernel module builds, and I get a system with some nvidia software but
running an unknown driver (probably nouveau) and no 3D acceleration.

The 3.7.1 final kernel from Ubuntu - kernels installs fine but the nvidia drivers fail due to the kernel module failing to build.

My install method was via a standard Linux Mint DVD booted via the 'refind / refit' bootloader, if that makes any difference.

If anyone can help I would be very grateful. I am not a great fan of Mac OS X and have shrunk the partition to 100MB, with 650MB for Linux Mint. It is annoying to
have a system with 2D acceleration only when I prefer to develop on Mint and move to Mac OS X only when I need to use XCode for various things. I could set up a
Hackintosh on my old laptop (5 years old and only slightly slower than this MacBook with the faster CPU available and only 3 weeks old...) but want to use a genuine
Mac for software developent!!!!!

Thanks for your help; will go back to googling but have done so far days!

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Re: Macbook Pro 9,1 (or 10,1 Retina) nvidia drivers

Postby jommoner » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:19 pm

For anyone finding this thread, they should know that the MacBook Pro 9,1 and 10.1 are identical on a hardware level aside from the retina display. The motherboard and internals are
totally rearranged for the 10,1 but the chipsets, CPUs, etc are identical. So anything that works for 10,1 should work for 9,1.

One issue I faced was the fans... They only sped up far too late, until I installed a fan control script which improved the situation.
The big issue was no working nvidia drivers despite messing around with kernels, kernel headers, different ways of installing, and so on. To add
insult to injury, the nvidia card is used with the nouveau drivers (2D only), running at full frequency, so the MacBook runs very hot (fans go most
of the time to keep the temperature under control) - so I get the heat of the new card with none of the benefits. Even glxgears doesn't work!

My solution will be twofold........

1. Boot from a liveCD and shrink my Mint Partition down to leave only about 1GB free
2. Expand my home partition into some free space I made earlier
3. Install this - they make a special Mac version - and use this to actually get my 3D card working...
4. Keep using mint and hacking away until I find a way to get it to work properly on the MacBook - will post results when done eventually!

(my Mac Partition is only 100GB as I will use if for xcode and nothing else to be honest). I will even install a 'Hackintosh' under Linux to then
only need the Mac partition for when I need full OpenGL 2.0ES support within Xcode!

I am a fan of Linux, and in particular Debian and linked distributions. Mint is my favourite but right now Ubuntu *might* have better Mac support
(and they added a PPA for MATE for Ubuntu so that will be the first thing I do with my new Ubuntu install!)

Look forward to moving back to Mint soon :)

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