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Thanks for reading this.

I have a mid 2015 MacBook Pro, 15" Retina, the 11,4 model. I installed Debian Jessie, running kernel 3.16, on an external hard-drive and can boot into it. I only have two problems:

I can use the mouse fine to point and click but I can't do anything that requires multitouch. For example, I can't scroll or right-click using the force touch trackpad. The Debian website says all the new trackpads should be supported so I am lost as to what to do. The system settings pane has only two options under Mouse/Trackpad which are not helpful.

My other problem is that I cannot get the internal WiFi thing to work. I got the proper driver and installed it (brcmfmac) but it says I need kernel 3.17 for it to work; when I check the available upgrades using apt-get cache search linux-image they are all 3.16. I am new to Linux so I don't know how to proceed. Any help would be appreciated.

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I don't know the answer to your multi-touch question off-hand. (My Macbook Pro 13" touchpad works fine on Debian 8, but it's a 2009 model.)

Regarding your second question — and ideally you should ask one question at a time on a Q&A site such as this one — the easiest way to install a newer kernel is to use Jessie backports.

First you need to add Jessie backports to your repositories, if it's not already there:

echo deb http://http.debian.net/debian jessie-backports main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie-backports.list

(as root), then

apt-get update
apt-get -t jessie-backports install linux-image-amd64

will install the current default backported kernel (4.6 as of this writing).

Enabling backports is safe: newer packages are not picked up automatically from backports, you need to explicitly select them using -t jessie-backports as above.

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To get the wifi working you need to:

Install "broadcom-sta-dkms" with a backported kernel from Jessie.

1) Upgrade your kernel version : The easy way is by following the steps described by Stephen Kitt's answer to install the 4.6 kernel version:

echo deb http://http.debian.net/debian jessie-backports main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie-backports.list

apt-get update

apt-get -t jessie-backports install linux-image-amd64

2) Install the broadcom-sta-dkms package (non-free) and load the wl kernel modules:

Add non-free to your sources.list and install required package:

apt-get install build-essential dkms wireless-tools
apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
apt-get install broadcom-sta-dkms

Unload conflicting modules:

 modprobe -r b44 b43 b43legacy ssb brcmsmac

Load the wl module:

modprobe wl

To get the touchpad working you need to install the mtrack driver :

apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-mtrack

Edit the 50-synaptics.conf configuration file:

nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf

Scroll down to the section "InputClass", edit it like this:

Section "InputClass"
   MatchIsTouchpad "on"
   Identifier      "Touchpads"
   Driver          "mtrack"
EndSection

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