TrueOS on a MacBook Pro 4,1 (early 2008 model)


Hi. I’ve had this 2008 MacBook Pro lying around for years now without any use. Around a year ago, I gave it rEFInd, swapped out the 200GB hard drive it came with for a 500GB drive that I was planning to put a new OS on, but I never got around to doing it, until today, when I flashed a USB drive with TrueOS and installed it, giving my MacBook an OS for the first time in years. However, there have been some flaws.

  1. TrueOS isn’t compatible with the MBP’s wi-fi, at least in my setup. I suppose drivers do exist somewhere.
  2. Despite detecting a sound device, sound does not work at all.
  3. This MBP has an NVIDIA chip, but the Nvidia drivers do not work to the best of my knowledge. I’ve tried installing nvidia-xconfig and nvidia-settings, edited /boot/loader.conf, but that made my computer unbootable so I had to reinstall TrueOS. I’ve tried both the latest and legacy 340.xx drivers. I am using the scfb drivers, for now, and the image is shifted too high out-of-bounds, with a black bar at the bottom.
  4. Touchpad scrolling is wonky. Multi-gestures and right-clicking don’t work.

2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
500 GB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
TrueOS stable 18.06 amd64

I have been a Linux user for about 4 years now, and used it exclusively for the past year. I recently thought about entering the world of BSD, and saw TrueOS as a good starting point. My main computer still runs Linux, but I like the idea of having a TrueOS laptop. Too bad the wi-fi adapter doesn’t work.


Welcome to the forum @rkivd!

Searching for “macbook” will show you several threads on this forum. For instance “Does Trueos work in macbooks yet?”. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound very promising and WiFi seems to be a real obstacle.

TrueOS 18.06 is a server system and if you are aiming at a desktop, TrueOS 18.03 is the current version. The next desktop version will be "Project-Trident" which is expected to be released shortly. You could read "TrueOS become Project Trident?" for some information on this progress.


Yes, sadly broadcom Wi-Fi adapters is a bit of a sore point with getting TrueOS or FreeBSD working on a laptop. However, some work has been done on this. I’m not sure if that work was included in earlier TrueOS releases, but it should show up in a future one.

Otherwise, you can get a USB wi-fi adapter, and the ethernet adapter should wok OK.

Good luck!


Broadcom has a nasty habit of NDA and even then not being forthcoming with information.


Same laptop here but also a 2009 iMac that has ethernet! So I guess that one is a TrueOS candidate.


The OP’s MBP should have wired ethernet too, it was made in the day when the “Pro” moniker still meant something (other than "made for the shiny stbcks crowd) :wink:

Oh, and do research the USB WiFi dongle because not all work. I have a USBNovel donge with a Realtek 8811AU chip. It is recognised for what it is by TrueOS, but apparently there’s no driver for it (not surprising given that it’s wonky on Linux too).