I am trying to install Arch Linux on my MacBook. I've Etcher to write archlinux-2021-04.01-x86_64.iso to a USB stick and as far as I can tell that succeeds. When I go into the startup manager by pressing Alt, I select the USB stick, but then all that happens is the screen goes black and does not change. I then have to power down the laptop and power it up again.

However, I've also tried ubuntu- using the same technique and that does boot successfully.

I've also tried some alternative arch installers which do not work:

What else can I try?

1 Answer 1


I then tried different versions of Arch Linux. The screen worked on versions from 2018 and 2019, but the keyboard did not. According to https://github.com/Dunedan/mbp-2016-linux#53, Linux 5.3 added keyboard drivers so the MacBook keyboard worked out of the box, so I knew I had to use a version between then and when the screen stuff broke.

archlinux-2020.01.01-x86_64.iso worked perfectly. Once I installed arch, the kernel was updated again and so I got a black screen when I booted. I then tried installing rEFInd to see if that made a difference, and luckily it fixed the black screen problem.

So my solution to this problem is this:

  1. Install rEFInd.
  2. Install an Arch Linux version after Linux 5.3. Hopefully any version should work as rEFInd fixed the black screen issue, but to be extra sure you can try archlinux-2020.01.01-x86_64.iso.

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