Old Macbook: DE, brightness, power

Hey there,

Another newbie here :slight_smile:

I am trying Manjaro with deepin 15.11 (I just installed it through Architect) on a secondary partition on my old Macbook from 2013. I am somehow realizing is not the easiest setup (well, i first tried with KDE Plasma but I had not way of solving the Wifi drivers issue since I couldn't even tether through my smartphone, that's why I tried again with the architect).

I have been setting the whole system up and so far so good, but before going ahead I thought I would check with the community first: do you recommend following this path or should I consider to change the DE first of all and change it back after I am more comfortable with the whole system? Thanks!

Besides that I am noticing two additional issues with power management and brightness control. I have been looking around but haven't found any suitable solution, so I thought I could try here and start getting involved.

Power Management: it's an old macbook and I have it mistreated badly, but at full charge the remaining time prediction seems quite low (4h ish) against MacOS. I haven't installed or tweaked anything specifically in this regards. I have just checked the options under Control Center --> Power saving mode ON and setting up suspension timings. Is there a way to benchmark this against the other SO or even optimising it further?

Brightness: I've found two issues here, the hardware controls in F5 and F6 are not working at all and after any suspension the screen does not brighten up, it remains really dim as if the brightness had been set to the minimum. I can solve it manually going to Control Center and moving the slider for brightness control to any position but I don't think it's supposed to behave like this.

Thank you very much in advance for the advice! I am really enjoying the distro so far and I believe that this could be now a serious option for a full transition to linux.

Welcome another MacBook user!
I do not get what DE you use, KDE or Gnome. I have MacBookAir 2013. When I first installed Manjaro Gnome everything was working but WiFi, it can be solved by installing linuxXX-broadcom-wl (XX is your kernel ie 54 or 56) For audio Gnome contains pulseaudio which is needed for MacBook. I have thunderbolt to ETH so no problem for me if you do not have you need to download it and install manually.
And the power, it will never be like on Mac, macOS is optimised for its HW.

You should read about tlp and set it right.
It would be hard to achieve the same battery life as on original OS.
Also use inxi -Fxxxza --no-host to show your hardware in detail.

Thanks @VoDo and @openminded!

Following the inxi command, the DE is Deepin 15.11 and the wifi is just working fine. Will give it a look to tlp, it's not the first time I see it mentioned when troubleshooting for laptops.

Will tlp help in solving the screen brightness issues as well, then?

Thanks again!

No, for brightness you need another tweaks, I don't remember what I did to make my macbook handle keys the right way, it was about 3-4 years ago. Mac are not a good choice for Linux, anyone trying to use Linux on Macs will have issues of various caliber without doubt.

I am in opposition here, I did not see any huge differences between LevovoP50 and MacBookAir 2013 both needed some tweaks, different but not PITA on any of those two. Even dual boot on macOS/Linux was not hard at all, just install Linux on partition created on macOS then in macOS disable SIP and install refind. I forgot NVIDIA on LenovoP50 was PITA more like try/fail, try/fail.

@openminded, it's not my first attempt with linux in Mac and this time is more promising than 6-7 years ago. Apart from that, I have no other choice since I don't have any other laptop. I am testing the ground to see if it's worth it before starting my research on my next laptop. I am sticking to dual boot for the time being.

Thanks again to both in any case!

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