Some thoughts

directly from the furnace

Ubuntu and the MacBook Pro 3.1

Running Linux on a 2007 MacBook Pro aka 3.1 is quite a nice experience. Not just because it breathes fresh air into an “older” Mac but also because it runs a lot smoother under Linux than Mac OS X. Well, later versions of Mac OS X like Mavericks.

I know, the machine is not quite state of the art but if Apple decides to let users install 10.9 on their machines they should at least make sure it’s a smooth experience.

But it’s not. I have 4GB of memory in my MBP and it’s still slow and sluggish at best. Not very nice. And looking at the specs the MBP is not bad.

Anyway, putting Ubuntu on it was ok but here and there there are some issues that need some tinkering. One of them was the graphics card. It works but there are always error messages in Gnome after startup. I tried the Nouveau driver but it didn’t really work. Issues here and there. So I tried the Nvidia driver which worked better but still produced the error messages. I think it was the 319 driver.

Yesterday after looking into that again I tried the newer updated 319 driver and voila, no more error messages.

So if you come here looking for the MacBook Pro late 2007 3.1 model with a G84M video card, also known as Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT do not look further but use the NVIDIA binary Xorg driver called nvidia-319-updates. It works well. It’s proprietary but that’s the price for a working video card.