Apple MacBook Pro - A1706



(Unless you’re a sucker for punishment :wink: )

Nice Things:

  • The grub2 bootloader works like a treat, absolutely overriding anything the EFI firmware was configured to do. As a result, an external drive with Qubes OS connected will take precedence over any other boot device (including the internal ones), and you don’t have to do anything at all.
  • Qubes has no trouble with the Retina Display, and XFCE looks mighty fine in such a high resolution
  • The 4.1-rc1 installer is flawless, and very quick.
  • Intel Integrated Graphics seems fairly well supported. I was able to get 4k video passably running in mpv in a qube.

The “less than pleasurable” things :woozy_face:

  • The Broadcom BCM43602 will cause a total system freeze, unless you spam the PCI device with echo 1 > reset when both booting and shutting down sys-net
  • Once I was able to get sys-net to start without imploding the machine, I then managed to get broadcom-wl, akmod-wl and kmod-wl from the RPMFusion non-free repository. The kernel module loaded without any problems, but it would refuse to load the driver, so basically ZERO network connectivity :kissing:
  • Apple thought it was a fantastic idea to put EVERYTHING, including the internal keyboard and trackpad, all 4 USB-C ports, and the internal camera, all on the one USB bus :sweat_smile:
    Want to pass a USB device through to a qube? You lose your only keyboard!
    Want to boot from an external block device because the machine has a SOLDERED SSD? Your entire system will be screwed as soon as you try and pass anything through to a VM!
  • If you are relying on the internal keyboard, you have NO ESC key or Function Keys (I managed to install GitHub - mikeeq/mbp-fedora in dom0, and it seems to work fairly reliably. Volume controls, screen brightness, and power button work alright.)
  • Fingerprint sensor does not work at all.
  • Vanilla install doesn’t recognize the power button at all (including when it crashes/freezes, so I had to unscrew the case plate and disconnect the battery to get it to reboot. I ended up testing it with the case OPEN after the fourth time it froze :stuck_out_tongue: )
  • Because everything is on a single USB bus, you can’t pass through an external ethernet adapter or wifi adapter (The A1706 only has 4 USB-C/Thunderbolt ports for I/O, and THAT’S IT!) to perform system updates, making it tedious to migrate offline repos between machines (…but I still did it for a whole day :wink: )
  • I also don’t want to see another USB dongle for a very long time :unamused:

If these things were able to mitigated, it would make for a formidable incognito Qubes beast. But until then, if you have a choice in your hardware, I’d stay away from this machine for Qubes OS, at least until these things are fixed…


Qubes-HCL-Apple_Inc_-MacBookPro14_2-20211106-223407.yml (890 Bytes)
Qubes-HCL-Apple_Inc_-MacBookPro14_2-20211106-223407.cpiogz (9.6 KB)

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