MacBook 6,1 and Ubuntu 64-bit 10.04 (short version)

Looking to get Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) running on your MacBook 6,1? Calm down! Take a deep breath. Then, before you consult all the web pages on how to get sound working, follow these steps. This might not work for everyone but the steps are non-invasive and it won’t hurt anything to try this before moving on to the surgery-level steps that other blogs are recommending.

  • Go to the terminal and run alsamixer. Make sure no channels are muted and that all channels are turned up (probably above 60% or so is a good starting point). Especially make sure that the Surround channels are un-muted and turned up.
  • Install VLC and try playing back a media file (just about anything; VLC just works). Turn the volume up in VLC and in Ubuntu’s panel.
  • If all volumes are turned up sufficiently, you should already have sound and will not need to hack around installing Alsa and the other libraries that are mentioned on sites prior to April, 2010. I wasted many hours and was running Windows 7 (gasp!) until yesterday, when I decided to give Ubuntu a try again.

YMMV, feel free to comment if you’d like some details/screenshots of alsamixer.

Yes, I know Mac OS X is a very nice operating system. I bought the Apple MacBook for hardware quality and performance, not for the OS. My next trick is to see if OS X actually virtualizes properly now as indicated on some other blogs…

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