HCL - MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13-Inch (Late 2012)

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ph145h .

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Jun 4, 2013, 8:10:55 PM6/4/13
to qubes...@googlegroups.com
Qubes release 2 (R2)
Model Name: Apple_Inc. MacBookPro10,2

Chipset: 00:00.0 Host Bridge [0006]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller [8086:0154] (rev 09)
VGA: 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0166] (rev 09)
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.5Ghz
BIOS: MBP102.88Z.0106.B03.1211161133
VT-x: Active
VT-d: Active

I've been following Qubes-related developments for a while now, but this is my first post to the mailing list. I'm not a developer, but sharing my experience with Qubes may be valuable to someone.

Installation:  For many reasons, I decided to use a PC to run an installation DVD. I installed Qubes to an external USB drive, restarted the system, let it configure the default VMs, and I updated dom0. Once it was plugged in to the Mac, holding the option key during power-on allowed me to select the "Windows" installation, and then Qubes started perfectly.

The Good: VT-d appears to be functioning. Assigning PCI devices to VMs is straightforward, including devices connected via Thunderbolt, such as my ethernet adapter. Running all VMs simultaneously is no problem. Inter-vm networking and the clipboard both work as well.

The Bad: As expected, the built-in wireless adapter does not work. The only audio output device detected is the HDMI port, which works for audio and video, but the built-in speakers are completely non-functional. Also, closing the lid does not put the machine to sleep.

The Ugly: The display resolution resets to the default (2560 x 1600) after the system is restarted. The only other available resolutions have different aspect ratios, making everything look "squished". The keyboard backlight does not turn on, and the trackpad has no multi-touch functionality. If two fingers are detected in the slightest, no cursor movement is possible. I understand that sensitivity is configurable, but even clicking straight down can move the cursor a surprising distance away from the intended location, especially with the high resolution making everything so small.

The Unknown: I have yet to customize any VMs, nor have I installed an HVM. I'd also like to eventually test my USB ALFA wireless adapter, but both external USB ports are on the same controller, so I can't assign the adapter to netvm without also assigning my external system drive. This will have to wait until I buy a Thunderbolt drive or free up enough space on my internal SSD for dual-booting with OS X.

Hopefully, my post will add value to the project or help in some way. I'll be looking for more opportunities for non-developers like myself to contribute.

Joanna Rutkowska

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Jun 5, 2013, 7:52:08 AM6/5/13
to ph145h ., qubes...@googlegroups.com
On 06/05/13 02:10, ph145h . wrote:
> Qubes release 2 (R2)
> Model Name: Apple_Inc. MacBookPro10,2
>
> Chipset: 00:00.0 Host Bridge [0006]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core
> processor DRAM Controller [8086:0154] (rev 09)
> VGA: 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen
> Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0166] (rev 09)
> CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.5Ghz
> BIOS: MBP102.88Z.0106.B03.1211161133
> VT-x: Active
> VT-d: Active
>
> I've been following Qubes-related developments for a while now, but this is
> my first post to the mailing list. I'm not a developer, but sharing my
> experience with Qubes may be valuable to someone.
>
> *Installation:* For many reasons, I decided to use a PC to run an
> installation DVD. I installed Qubes to an external USB drive, restarted the
> system, let it configure the default VMs, and I updated dom0. Once it was
> plugged in to the Mac, holding the option key during power-on allowed me to
> select the "Windows" installation, and then Qubes started perfectly.
>
> *The Good:* VT-d appears to be functioning. Assigning PCI devices to VMs is
> straightforward, including devices connected via Thunderbolt, such as my
> ethernet adapter. Running all VMs simultaneously is no problem. Inter-vm
> networking and the clipboard both work as well.
>
> *The Bad:* As expected, the built-in wireless adapter does not work. The
> only audio output device detected is the HDMI port, which works for audio
> and video, but the built-in speakers are completely non-functional. Also,
> closing the lid does not put the machine to sleep.
>
> *The Ugly:* The display resolution resets to the default (2560 x 1600)
> after the system is restarted.

So, why this is a problem?

> The only other available resolutions have
> different aspect ratios, making everything look "squished". The keyboard
> backlight does not turn on, and the trackpad has no multi-touch
> functionality. If two fingers are detected in the slightest, no cursor
> movement is possible. I understand that sensitivity is configurable, but
> even clicking straight down can move the cursor a surprising distance away
> from the intended location, especially with the high resolution making
> everything so small.
>
> *The Unknown:* I have yet to customize any VMs, nor have I installed an
> HVM. I'd also like to eventually test my USB ALFA wireless adapter, but
> both external USB ports are on the same controller, so I can't assign the
> adapter to netvm without also assigning my external system drive. This will
> have to wait until I buy a Thunderbolt drive or free up enough space on my
> internal SSD for dual-booting with OS X.
>
> Hopefully, my post will add value to the project or help in some way. I'll
> be looking for more opportunities for non-developers like myself to
> contribute.
>

And have you tried if, say, baremetal Fedora 18 also exhibits the same
problems (S3, touchpad, wifi, etc)?

joanna.

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ph145h

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Jun 7, 2013, 9:07:52 PM6/7/13
to Joanna Rutkowska, qubes...@googlegroups.com
On Jun 5, 2013, at 7:52 AM, Joanna Rutkowska <joa...@invisiblethingslab.com> wrote:
On 06/05/13 02:10, ph145h . wrote:
*The Ugly:* The display resolution resets to the default (2560 x 1600)
after the system is restarted.

So, why this is a problem?

Actually, I failed to notice the menu button to set another resolution as the system default. Anyway, I was more concerned with the lack of other resolution options with the same aspect ratio (16:10) but this is negligible. Upon further research and testing, I was able to fix a few problems:

Keyboard Backlighting: I opened the dom0 terminal and ran

echo XXX >> /sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness

where XXX is the desired brightness percentage. This must be repeated after restarting, but It should be trivial to automate at startup. One could probably map the keyboard brightness keys to a script that checks the current value and increments/decrements it by 10 or so.

Audio: Again, in the dom0 terminal

echo "options snd_hda_intel model=mbp101" >> /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf

After restarting, KMix detected and displayed the built-in audio hardware. Sound comes through the speakers and headphones properly, and the microphone functions too.

And have you tried if, say, baremetal Fedora 18 also exhibits the same
problems (S3, touchpad, wifi, etc)?

My schedule and lack of disk space has made it difficult to test Fedora 18 fully-installed, but running a live USB showed improved multitouch performance. I was able to rest my thumb on the trackpad while moving the cursor with another finger. What are your thoughts on the meaning of the different results? Also, Bluetooth appeared to work as well, although I haven't attempted to connect any devices yet. The built-in wireless card remains unusable, and I haven't bothered to test S3 until the system is fully installed.

The Retina Display MacBook Pro is a nice piece of hardware, so I'm interested in getting Xen/Fedora/Qubes to agree with me in that regard. Do you have any suggestions on overcoming the drawbacks I'm currently experiencing?
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