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MacBookPro (mid 2009)


Code names

MacBookPro 5,5 or A1278


I installed Debian (Gnome flavour) and it works pretty well. The only thing the live image didn’t recognise and auto configure was the WiFi card due to missing firmware. I installed it via firmware-b43-installer and everything works and is stable albeit with not great performance (downloads are capped at around 1.5MB/s). There is an option to also use wl but I haven’t tried it yet. If nothing else works using an USB WiFi adapter might be the last resort if I really decide I need high performance.

I tried to use the live NixOS installer but I cannot get it to boot due to no bootfile found for UEFI. I believe it’s the same issue described here

Before using Debian, in 2021, I installed Manjaro XFCE. It supported everything out of the box (including WiFi firmware) but I had some full-system-freeze that lasted even a couple minutes. At the time I thought the issue was with the GPU driver. I was using neuveau. The official (closed source) drivers dropped support for NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and installing them with recent kernels might require some patches. As a workaround I disabled hardware acceleration in Firefox and it solved the issue.

Clean OS X installation

Latest supported release: OS X 10.11 El Capitan (official but last release in July 2018). How to make a bootable USB drive. Unofficial support up to macOS Catalina, using these patches.

For a clean I had to set the date to 1st January 2017 to bypass an expired certificate. To dual boot Linux and OS X I am using Refind.


The old charger broke. I found a USB-C to MagSafe adapter so I can use a more recent charger.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out for any comment or question.