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.


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.


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"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.