Pimping the SlackBook

I’ve been running Slackware6414.1 on this MacBook 5.1 for a while.  From what I can tell, Apple calls this a 13-inch, Late 2009 MacBook. Now I’ve decided it’s time to pimp this box. (In my world, time is a slippery thing: It’s been over four months since I started this post and I’m finally getting around to finishing it!)

NOTE: This is not finished . . . .yeah, STILL NOT FINISHED! It looks like I need to write an outline and start over.  Anyway, here’s the crappy not-quite-done version for your reading pleasure:

Step 0 was to install Slackware64 14.1.  I installed everything, including XFCE–my preferred window manager–then removed the few packages I don’t want using pkgtool. (I build my own httpd and php, use the Linux – Generic 2.6 (x86, 64-bit) MySQL package from dev.mysql.com, and remove akonadi because it bugs me!)

I also installed wicd from /extra on the Slackware DVD to manage the wireless network stuff.

Now, on to the hardware issues.

The first step in pimping was to install the NVidia driver.  I grabbed NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-331.38.run from my desktop workstation and installed that. (I’ve had issues with Mozilla’s Gecko-based programs and newer versions–namely 340.32–of the NVidia driver on boxes with Compiz-Fusion installed. I gotta have my wobbly windows!)

Then, on to the wireless (which doesn’t work out-of-the box with the huge kernel version 3.10.17). So, what hardware is it?


03:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4322 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)

So, I grabbed the 64-bit version of the STA driver from Broadcom, then compiled and installed it using the directions in the BUILD INSTRUCTIONS section of the included README.txt. Then, I made the file /etc/modprobe.d/make-wireless-work.conf containing:

blacklist b43
blacklist brcmsmac
blacklist bcma
blacklist ssb

to blacklist the modules that interfere with the Broadcom wl.ko driver.

The last hardware issue was to get the firmware for the built-in iSight from the Apple driver.  For this, I used my own SlackBuild of isight-firmware-tools.

I had already installed rEFIt on the Mac side and set it to boot Slackware first, by editing /efi/refit/refit.conf to set the default_select line to:

default_selection L

Then running ./always-enable.sh.

The next step was to set the Linux boot screen to 1280×800, the native resolution of the display. I added the line:


to the global section of /etc/lilo.conf.

Since switching from KDE to XFCE, I’ve been using xdm as my login manager. XDM is functional, but while I was pimping, I wanted something sexier. Enter SLiM. Installing SLiM was very easy, as there is a SlackBuild. The SlackBuild includes a custom theme based on the Slackware logo.

After reading the README.SLACKWARE file, included with the SlackBuild, I changed a one line in /etc/slim.conf and added a few lines to /etc/rc.d/rc.4 to make SLiM the default login manger for X.

Ah, sexier by the moment! Now my startup penguins are in native resolution and my I log in to a lovely Slackware-themed screen:

Theme Preview

Then, I built and installed all the Compiz-Fusion stuff from SlackBuilds.org. (Actually, I didn’t install compiz-plugins-unsupported, but I installed the rest of it.)

My final pimp was to add my anti-Mac startup sound.

Happy Slacking!

Leave a Comment