linux and bluetooth keyboard on iMac 2013

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by everybodies, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. everybodies

    everybodies Member

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    it's time to see where Linux is up to :)

    so i'm having a go with Linux to see how things are going there. i've used Debian, kubuntu and suse in the past but could use some help on an iMac.

    i've got a 64GB SDXC card in the imac but it appears that Suse or kubuntu doesn't see that disk during installation so that kinda sucks, but ok.
    so before re-sizing the imac SSD i installed Suse in an external dock 1TB SSHD thinking i'll do some tests before doing a real SSD install. it suprised me that the apple bluetooth keyboard worked during install but after installation it doesnt work and fails to pair (even after taking batteries out which puts it in pairing mode).
    so this is as far as i got. when the external dock is powered on Grub takes over and boots to Suse which is ok for now, but is there a way to get bluetooth keyboard working in grub menu? when i install linux on internal ssd later will need some control to boot OSX.

    im planning to do a Debian and kubuntu install on the same external disk. really want to avoid another usb keyboard just for linux.

    any help would be appreciated :)
     
  2. teej

    teej Member

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    I might be talking past you here, but the only Apple BT keyboard with batteries I'm familiar with goes into pairing mode when you press and hold the power button. Is that what you tried?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    everybodies

    everybodies Member

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    hey teej,

    i know about pairing mode and batteries, but with an imac you pretty much only have to do it once and from there on it just works with any mac osx you boot from it - it's saved to NVRAM.

    i gave up on this, thanks for reading my jive...
    basically with linux and mac osx one needs rEFInd boot manager to dual boot, the problem with that is that re-booting linux doesnt initialise bluetooth keyboard properly so you cant change the boot order in rEFInd menu.
    so yea, i cant go back to a wired keyboard just for this
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  4. ex4n

    ex4n Member

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    You will probably have more luck just running this as a VM unless there is a reason you need bare metal Linux install, a VM is certainly a better way to try it out which sounds like what you are trying to do.
    I have no issues with my wireless keyboard on Linux (Ubuntu 18.04), so it probably just doesn't like the crapple hardware, there might be a way to fix it but as I said above a VM would probably be a lot easier for you.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    everybodies

    everybodies Member

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    try it out?
    my first linux was slackware 3.1 in 1996, as i wrote in original post i've used debian, suse and kubuntu, you obviously read that with your try a VM shite.

    like i said before, you seem to miss the point, there is an issue with rEFInd and bluetooth keyboards, its documented on their website, their fix is to use USB keyboard.
    your crapple hardware i'll just ignore, i give up windows sheep :)

    you kind of here, looking like your trying to help but dont bother to read OP thread.
    thanks, you've been most helpful.
     
  6. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    Refind's got nothing to do with linux one way or the other really, it's entirely in UEFI. I'm not surprised it doesnt support bluetooth keyboards in the slightest, I've never seen anything even vaguely resembling a bluetooth uefi stack... in fact I cant find one that exists in the open-source space. Presumably apple have a closed-source stripped down one they're using in their own EFI firmware just to support their own keyboards and mice. I doubt it would be trivial to add support for bluetooth keyboards to refind, in that context. Especially as refind wasnt primarily developed with macs in mind, that's just been a useful sideeffect (though as you may well know it was forked from an earlier project rEFIt that WAS developed specifically and only for macs, but that is now in a uselessly out of date state by quite a few years).

    An alternative might be (I havent tried it) to go the bootcamp route, if that suits your use-case. But I very much doubt you're going to get a bluetooth keyboard working in one of the opensource UEFI bootloaders, of which refind is easily the best.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    everybodies

    everybodies Member

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    thanks for the explanation Quadbox,

    rEFInd looks great and works great except for one single key press rebooting from linux where keyboard doesnt respond, it's a shame.
    i've got two keyboards on main computer in similar situation just for one single key press to change boot to windows, it auto boots to osx, it looks like linux on an imac will look the same lol
    at least i have plenty of keyboards ha ha (white apple ones of course) ha ha.

    i miss the Debian 3.0 stable AF days
     
  8. teej

    teej Member

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    "re-booting", so bluetooth works in rEFInd on a cold boot? I wonder if blacklisting the bluetooth module in Linux would leave whatever primitive shim the EFI provides in place? Probably not, I'm just speculating wildly.
     
  9. ex4n

    ex4n Member

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    this sounds like 'trying it out' to me. you also mentioned wanting to use other/multiple distros too. I said nothing of your competence level, all I was doing was questioning the need for a bare metal install that you would have to reboot to make any use of. best of luck to you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  10. OP
    OP
    everybodies

    everybodies Member

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    it's difficult not to lash out at such troll like behavior.
    and then comes the dissection of little pointless points to ascertain which part of English language the troll has trouble with.
    i love you guys, you've managed to solve all my problems in just a couple of sentences,
    i dont understand why you're not at the Apple store telling people who fork out 3000-7000$au on useless junk that you've discovered Ubuntu 18.04 and VM (probably because you havent found any other way to use 32GB of ram in shitty windows).
    but yea, add me to your friends list, when im in a tough spot again i know who i can turn to.
     
  11. ex4n

    ex4n Member

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    You failed to provide any valid reason as to why a VM is not suitable for the purpose or provided any further information about what you intend to do with the machine other than 'see where Linux is up to'. It's a completely valid suggestion, nobody is trolling you here. Instead, you got on your high horse and made a bunch of baseless assumptions, bordering on personal attacks, which have nothing to do with anything. You're not likely to make any friends that way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  12. OP
    OP
    everybodies

    everybodies Member

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