Will MacBook Pro with faulty discrete graphics work with Manjaro?


Hello everyone!

My Late 2011 MacBook Pro was recently hit with the well known defective discrete graphics chip issue and as I’m no longer covered by the extended repair program, installing Linux appears to be the only way to resurrect my laptop.

I found this Ubuntu tutorial but am curious if it will work with Manjaro as well. I’m new to Linux and unsure how far I can customize Ubuntu, but out of the box Manjaro is far more appealing to me.

If any of the steps are different could you please advise how I would go about replicating this tutorial using Manjaro?


I edit the title to a more descriptive for forum members.


It will work fine but not with the usual guides.
There are specifies for arch systems, dual graphic systems and especially Mac firmware systems.
I wrote something for the macbook 2015 but something similar must apply to you:

The easiest way would be to go with m-a and build upon a base and setup the graphic stack afterwards.
The installer will give you the ability to install the system, but grub is not mac friendly and the latest mac firmware tend to reset the ram efi variables system after reboots (security …)

If you have questions we will help.


Yes, I have read of people having to go through the procedure from the tutorial again after a restart.

So what would be the most permanent solution to disable the defective discrete AMD chip and installing Manjaro?

As I said, I’m totally new to all versions of Linux and am not fully certain what an m-a is and how it works etc.


There is no standard solution as by default Macos disables the intel GPU, when you use another OS.

First you must be sure to have the latest macos firmware.
With an 2011 macbook you might be able to use refind with the “spoof_osx_version” and have a look at this thread:

Else you will have to follow the guide above.


Well, reading through that it sounds like the “GRUB” method might be the safest solution, despite being the least permanent.


The settings/configs will not disappear but sometimes your mac will delete the boot entry in the efi system and you will have to reinstall/update it again.
If you use the apple efi boot mgr the boot mechanism will be a bit more difficult to set up but consistent.


To your first point. Do you mean reinstall Linux fully or is it like when the Bootmgr is missing in Windows and I’ll still be able to boot to the Linux partition if I hold down the option key during startup?

To your second point, unless that guy was being overly dramatic, modifying the efi appears to have a high risk of bricking the device which unfortunately is not a risk I can take.


Not reinstall completely but be familiar with chroot to register the bootloader in the ram again (In my case I have a rescue partition to chroot without removable media)
The EFI variables are modified in temp memory only, that’s why they disappear. It will not brick your device and if any strange behavior happens restart with “option + cmd + p + r” to clear it.


Okay, I’ll look into that chroot stuff.

I believe Manjaro is based on ArchLinux, so would following this guy’s tutorial work with Manjaro too?

And then after I complete his tutorial can I simply proceed to install Manjaro fully and use it as my primary OS without any additional steps?


It will work with m-a (manjaro architect):

With the standard iso you will not be able to boot into an Xorg session.
Just remember that with m-a you are not root so you will have to “sudo” some of the commands mentioned in the guide.


Thanks for that resource. I’ll try and figure out the steps and what order to do everything in in the morning, it’s all a bit overwhelming right now.


Open a new thread if you encounter any problem during the process and reference this one that you can close, else there is almost no chance anyone else will look at it.


A friend gave to me the same machine to play around
I will also try M-A when I’ve time
BTW I got to load and run Tails on usb drive and installed TrueOS


I’d be interested in seeing a proper tutorial if you’re successful at installing Manjaro.

Right now I don’t think I will have the time to figure all of this out and sadly might just have to go with Ubuntu Mate.


Don’t confound …

It’s not difficult to install Manjaro.
It’s difficult to install Linux on a macbook, especially with an hybrid setup and a faulty GPU.


Yes, fair enough. Installing Manjaro is not the hard part but finding the procedure to disable the AMD chip during installation is the complicated part. And unfortunately as a first time Linux user I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to doing that.

Could it really be as simple as Step 1, following this tutorial and then Step 2, simply installing Manjaro and then Step 3 registering Manjaro in the bootloader through chroot as you mentioned before?


Step 1 is generic, what ever distro you will use
Step 2 Is indeed just installing manjaro
Step 3 is a security mesure that you must be familiar with whatever distro you will be using, because Macos tends to change your setup as mentioned in step 1.


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