Help with fan control and keyboard

Hello, I decided to give new life to a very old MacBook 2008 aluminium. I am new to Ubuntu Budgie and I would like some advice, please. The fan at some point started working continuously (much more than what it does under Mac OS El Capitain), and also the laptop feels warm. I installed macfanctld but didn’t see any difference. Also I couldn’t find a way to change the keyboard layout to MacBook. Any advices, please? Thank you.
PS Ubuntu Budgie looks fantastic!

Hi and welcome!

2008 is much older than the minimum specification we recommend … 5 to 10 years old

What is the spec in terms of memory and processor etc for this early macbook?

Hello, thank you for replying so fast!

There was a recent blog of someone installing Budgie on the same laptop as mine and it was well supported. Unfortunately it was not giving many details. Only now I realised that the hardware specs are much lower than you require!

The model is called MacBook Aluminium 2008 (Unibody). It has an Intel Core 2 Duo @2.40 GHz, 64-bit architecture, 4GB memory and an Nvidia Graphics card. it also has a 120GB SSD drive.

Ubuntu Budgie loads fine, but I am unsure how to check that the fun controller does its job; it feels warmer than when I run Mac OS El Capitain (the latest MacOS version supported by the laptop), the fun is on more frequently. I tried sudo “apt-get install mbpfan”, but the system cannot find (unable to locate package) it so I assume fan speed is controlled in a different way. The keyboard layout that the system finds doesn’t correspond to a Mac, and I can’t see how to change it. I tried to google, of course, and to add another keyboard, but could not find anything appropriate. Unfortunately, I don’t understand well the system (or linux as a matter of fact, though I can follow command line instructions). If there is any tutorial for guidance I would appreciate pointing it out to me.

I was looking for a linux version where the interface is Mac-like and lightweight to run on old systems - I understand I can configure linux to look as I want, but I was hoping to avoid that step. The laptop will be only used for browsing the internet and emails, of course.

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply!

4GB should be ok - nice that you have a SSD - makes all the difference.

For the keyboard:

Use budgie-control-center - keyboard - english US - and choose the English (Macintosh) keyboard layout

Under linux fan-control is managed by the kernel - so you rarely have to install anything extra.

In a terminal type


Look at what is the highest CPU usage process - on a quiet system obviously no fan would be expected and the CPU usage should just be minimal with just a few spikes. If you are getting 30% or more pretty consistently means the fan would and should kick in.

Remember for older laptops there could be more than software here - often opening the case and using a air-can around the processor etc can remove lots of dust that will impact fan control.

The other key issue will be your graphics card. If you are using nouveau opensource graphics then this will also be a key culprit since they are not as efficient as the drivers from nvidia themselves.

The issue is whether you older machine retains any nvidia support. From your menu look for drivers and see if any nvidia drivers are active or available for you to activate

I installed the “Nvidia” budgie version, and I can see no apparent problem, for instance when I close the lid it goes to sleep and when I lift it up it wakes up normally. Selecting the keyboard as mackintosh makes no change, but I came to realise that this isn’t an issue really; I could perhaps map some keys to functions that I want. I checked for drivers via" additional drives", and installed a proprietary for the wifi. No option for the graphics card. All works fine. In the end, the only worrying issue is that at some point the fan starts (top gives me GPU less than 20 % in either CPU fun is full speed) and it doesn’t seem to stop. This I find somehow concerning. Intersingly, when I put the lid down (sleep) and then up the fan stops. Otherwise, it runs smoothly! Again, thank you so much for your help.
PS the NVIDIA card is detected as GeForce 9400M (rev b1)

What is the output of

sudo lshw -class video | grep driver=

If it says nouveau then that means nvidia is not installed - and drivers didn’t offer it to you.

N.B. what version of Ubuntu Budgie are you using? 22.04.3?

For my macbook 2012 during the install on the keyboard screen I choose the english macintosh option and tested to confirm that the important keys were correctly mapped.

You are right, the driver is nouveau not Nvidia. Also right about the version of the OS, it is 22.04.3. The key keys are correctly mapped.

ok - fair enough. I strongly suspect your fan issue is due to nouveau being used / or the dust issue I mentioned (!) Given that nvidia isn’t an option you are basically out of luck with 22.04.x or later.

You may have better luck with an older version of Ubuntu (Budgie) such as 20.04.5 if the fan issues are particularly problematic for you - I believe nvidia will be available for the older version.

Thanks very much, very clear instructions too! Not only this OS has a beautiful design, it also has an amazing support :slight_smile: . To summarise: the fan control should work out of the box no need for tinkering, issues likely due to the nouveau driver or dust. There is a third reason that has nothing to do with Budgie and that is Reset the SMC of the Mac! It looks that the latter was the key issue. All in all, it is possible to run Ubuntu Budgie on MacBook Aluminium 2008 Unibody without major problems.