Mint on MacBook Air

I installed Linux Mint 18.1 (with MATE desktop) on my MacBook Air yesterday (coincidentally after watching “Snowden” :)).

I got it all up and working, but one issue remains, and it looks like there is no good fix for it yet, and that is the FaceTime camera in the front.

I can find all info about it in terminal using:

lspci -vnn

and get the following result:

02:00.0 Multimedia controller [0480]: Broadcom Corporation 720p FaceTime HD Camera [14e4:1570]
 Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation 720p FaceTime HD Camera [14e4:1570]
 Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 59
 Memory at c1500000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
 Memory at a0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
 Memory at c1400000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
 Capabilities: <access denied>
 Kernel driver in use: bdc-pci
 Kernel modules: bdc_pci

I have tried the fix for earlier systems by using a package called isight-firmware-tools and wrapping the AppleUSBVideoSupport file, but no such luck for me. I’ll try with a different version of the VideoSupport file before giving up on that, though.

Another alternative I’ve come across is a commuity made alternative driver for the FaceTime camera. That is a reverse engineered linux driver. The source for that is on GitHub here: https://github.com/patjak/bcwc_pcie

I haven’t tried that yet, but I’ll give it a go later today and write a update here about how it goes.

If anyone comes across a good fix for this (for debian based systems) and accidentally also comes across this post, please give a comment about it below here.

We’ll get it fixed somehow. ^^